Friday, November 11, 2011

Veteran's Day Post: Dehydrated Egg Mix, Butter Flavored, Pasteurized, Uncooked.

In honor of Veteran's Day, and in my tradition of sharing with you examples of military rations (see my MRE review, Heater Meal too), today I bring you breakfast items. As a veteran, I find that there is something of a disconnect between members of our country's all-volunteer military and the public in general (probably especially the food blog reading/writing community). I think these small glimpses into the life of a service member help us all gain some perspective.

So today, I bring you Dehydrated Egg Mix, Butter Flavored, Pasteurized, Uncooked. This is an item taken out of a breakfast Unitized Group Ration (UGR) which is meant to feed about 50 Joes. It comes in three big ol' cases which include everything you need for a meal (beverages, utensils, condiments, etc...). These are generally consumed in the field during training, deployment or any other time when a dining facility is not readily available.

In that foil bag you have 50 servings of egg divided between two "boil in bag" packages, all in a shelf stable, easily prepared, and portable form.

Inside you have two big sacks of dehydrated egg with caps. You simply follow the idiot proofed instructions to prepare. There are two methods of preparation, you can either add the water and boil the whole bag for 50 minutes, or add water and then utilize as you would any other egg mixture sort of thing. The boil in bag method results in a giant, spongy, egg loaf sort of thing that you can eat in slices. I went for the second method which is bit more manageable for the home kitchen.

 Make sure you slosh it around good, you wouldn't want to bite into a big hunk of dried egg, now would you?

Before we get down to egg cookin', here are some other items that come in a UGR.  Here is some "Butter Flavored Grill & Topping Oil." I think the cooks use this stuff to grease the griddle when they are making french toast out of bread and the afore mentioned egg mixture. What other mysterious and buttery uses there are for this stuff I know not.

This is a giant carton of "Shredded Hash Brown Potatoes." I am sure all of my fellow veterans are familiar with the limp, flavorless, soggy hash browns that result from improper preparation of this stuff.

You rehydrate the "hash browns" right in the box and then dump them out on a griddle to crisp up, this step never seems to be done thoroughly.

Usually there is good ol' American Ketchup included, but sometimes you get wing nut stuff like "Buffalo Bob's Extra Spicy Everything Sauce." This is pretty much just slightly spiced ketchup.

 Now back to the eggs. Pour a goodly amount of the gloup into a hot pan.

Pretty soon the egg mixture will congeal into something that looks very much like scrambled eggs.

There you have it, pictured below is what a standard breakfast of this type would look like. You would also have breakfast meats, and probably grits, but you get the idea.

You know what? As with MREs and most other Army chow you will find that the stuff really isn't that bad at all. These are obviously not farm fresh eggs, scrambled with care. But they are good enough for government work and I actually kind of like them. They are packed full of all sorts of familiar taste memories and nostalgia.

Anyhow, while everyone is enjoying a day off and getting all drunk, take a minute to remember what the day is truly meant to be.


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