Wednesday, August 17, 2011

MREs - They're What's For Dinner

Being married to a Sailor/Marine (Navy Chaplains serve both Navy and Marine Corps), it seems my cabinet space is frequently taken up by MREs.  Yes, everything in the military is named by acronyms.  That's "Meal Ready-to-Eat," and my husband is sustained by them during certain exercises.  These handy meals are packaged in a sealed, heavy plastic pouch that is water proof and will not attract wild animals.  They do not have to be refrigerated, and they come with a handy little chemical heater so that our Soldiers and Marines can have a hot, nutritious meal right in the middle of a jungle or desert.  There's a fair amount of variety, too.  Mmmm, hot beef teriyaki, cheese tortellini, or pasta alfredo, just like Mom used to make.  Or not.  But, hey, you can survive on them.  And each one comes with a tiny bottle of tabasco sauce to drown out any other flavors.  They tell me you can eat anything with enough tabasco sauce on it.

My husband, as I've said, has lived off these little gourmet dinners for periods of time, and I've had one or two at Jane Wayne Days or family days.  So I thought, I need to clean out these cabinets, and if the kids are going to live on Marine bases and have their dad gone on Marine deployments, they should sample Marine cuisine, don't you think?

Here's Daddy, showing them what's in the packs and how to activate the heater pouches just by adding water.  It doesn't even have to be clean water, since it never actually touches the food, so you can just grab it from a mud puddle if you have to.  Daddy doesn't often get to eat one of these at a dining room table with a tablecloth and chairs!

The heater bag smells pretty bad when it starts working, so it's a good idea to take it outside.

The heat and mosquitoes here in NC may not be as bad as in the deserts where our Marines are enjoying this fare, but they are bad enough to chase this family back inside to eat dinner.

As far as the younger three are concerned, well let's just say they won't be asking for MREs for their birthday dinners.  They were pretty good sports about tasting all the different meals, though, and they had fun with it.  It's a good thing Mommy had some chicken nuggets in the oven, having foreseen the small MRE appetites.

The oldest was the only one to finish his meal and eat some of someone else's.  (The closer he gets to the teenage years, the harder it is to find anything that he WON'T eat!)  He's planning on raiding Dad's stash for his upcoming Boy Scout camping trips & hikes.

Happy Trails!  :)


  1. Not your mama's cooking for sure, but quite tasty compared to what they were like. [:P] My parents used to buy them from surplus places as emergency food and we would have to rotate every few years when they picked up fresh (or quasi-fresh) supplies. Edible, barely. The MREs now are nearly gourmet compared to that. :D

    Stopping by from the Crew. Thanks for hopping ;)

  2. Thanks for commenting! It's fun reading comments from all the people who had the MREs "way back when"!! :)

  3. We've had MRE's here as well. They were a common meal after Hurricanes Frances and Jeanne went through Florida a few years back!

  4. Lol! Cute and fun. My kids had some MRE's from Civil Air Patrol and it was like Christmas when they shared them with everyone.