Camping Cooking disasters

Food topics, including recipes.

Camping Cooking disasters

Postby John Sheridan » Tue 13 Sep, 2011 1:43 pm

Just would not mind hearing about your cooking disasters, I tried to cook pancakes with my Mini Trangia at home as a test and I burnt my self about 5 times all differently ,finally made one though, Test Succsessfull :)

What about you guys.
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Re: Camping Cooking disasters

Postby Bronski » Tue 13 Sep, 2011 6:47 pm

I managed to spill metho without realising before I lit the match. Nearly started a grass fire, burnt the hair of the back of my hand and arm. Burnt eyelashes, eyebrows and hair. :oops: That was a few days before I bought a pocket rocket and retired the poor generic 'trangia'.
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Re: Camping Cooking disasters

Postby pok » Tue 13 Sep, 2011 9:23 pm

Never having used a simmerlite before, I figured it couldn't be too hard.

Thankfully I'd set it up on the bitumen in the carpark, so the fuel spray and subsequent fireball didn't do too much damage.

John- I find the min trangia quite good for pancakes! I've snipped out some of my wind screen to give the simmer ring a bit more range of movement.
Bacon and eggs is my other favourite!
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Re: Camping Cooking disasters

Postby cdg » Thu 15 Sep, 2011 9:23 am

I fell asleep cooking powdered eggs one night. The smell of burning powdered eggs woke me up. Rancid smoke everywhere, it was a bugger to clean as well.
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Re: Camping Cooking disasters

Postby Nuts » Thu 15 Sep, 2011 10:01 am

In my earlier guided trips I had trouble boiling water without instructions.

The meal for the evening was pre-packaged 'chicken' supprise (the supprise i expect was that it contained no chickens). It was salty and tasty enough but the saver for the evening was always the stewed fruit and custard to follow. We had managed to make the chicken edible after leaving the burnt base in one pot and finishing it off in another and I was sure the custard would be satisfying (even though the fruit wasn't anything like 'stewed' and had somehow managed to catch on the pot also).

With failing light I should have heeded the foreboding feeling that these things actually do indeed happen in threes.. I know i should have taken a deep breath and the time to find my headtorch but no.. fully resigned to fate what I did find was the salvital (saline mix) instead of the custard. I had managed to keep a constant eye on the heating milk and was starting to relax. The 'custard' mix wasnt looking too 'yellow' but hey.. I figured that was the light.

Anyhow... milk starting to steam, almost boiling, in went the 'custard' mix. The immediate frothing should have alerted me to the pending disaster but I decided more vigorous stirring would help. As everyone looked on my jaw dropped, the mixture (in a spectacular display like some yr 7 science experiment) gathered the energy to 'explode' from the pot. Milk and saline went everywhere, dousing the stove, sticking to everything (including my hand) and leaving me stirring the remnants in the bottom of the pot..

I wasn't allowed anywhere near the food for a while after that...
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Re: Camping Cooking disasters

Postby north-north-west » Thu 15 Sep, 2011 8:35 pm

Nuts wrote:Anyhow... milk starting to steam, almost boiling, in went the 'custard' mix. The immediate frothing should have alerted me to the pending disaster but I decided more vigorous stirring would help. As everyone looked on my jaw dropped, the mixture (in a spectacular display like some yr 7 science experiment) gathered the energy to 'explode' from the pot. Milk and saline went everywhere, dousing the stove, sticking to everything (including my hand) and leaving me stirring the remnants in the bottom of the pot..

I wasn't allowed anywhere near the food for a while after that...


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Camping Cooking disasters

Postby ULWalkingPhil » Thu 15 Sep, 2011 8:57 pm

This is one attempt at cooking I will never forget.

Was out camping at one of my favorite camping location. It was a number of years ago. Can't remember what I was trying to cook, but I had a hotplate on the fire.

Timber was damp, had trouble starting the fire, had some shellite with me, that I use in my Coleman lantern.

I don't know what I was thinking at the time, but I grabbed a 4 litre can full of shellite and using the tin I tried to get the fire going by throwing fuel into the fire that would not grab a hold onto the damp timber.

I stood back some distance, using the full tin, I thrown fuel from the container into the fire.
Instantly, a huge ball of flame shot out of the fire pit, the flame immediately headed for me to the full container i was holding in my hands. I had enough time to drop the can and dived out of the way as far as I could. The can landed on it's base and a huge roaring fire protruded from the can. Flames upwards of 3 to 4 meters. I never forget hearing a noise that sounded like a jet aircraft, it was loud. The tree above me was almost singed to the ground. There was this huge patch above me clear off all tree branches and leaves.

My mates where down on the beach fishing, a few minutes later, they came up to camp for a break and a drink and where stunned to see a huge gap in the canopy above me that was black with a area with no leaves on the tree.

oops.
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Camping Cooking disasters

Postby ULWalkingPhil » Thu 15 Sep, 2011 9:02 pm

Ps,

I'm happy to report that tree is still alive and kicking after my attempt at cooking. Every time I go camping there it brings back many memories, particularly the roaring fire.
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Re: Camping Cooking disasters

Postby Stibb » Thu 15 Sep, 2011 9:04 pm

Phillipsart wrote:
I don't know what I was thinking at the time...


Maybe "I wonder what that Darwin award is all about?" :wink:
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Darwin awards

Postby phan_TOM » Fri 16 Sep, 2011 4:20 pm

That one had me laughing out loud Philip :lol: !

I could imagine it very well as I've done something similar with metho. Just trying to picture the look on your face as the flames flew up to the container towards you is priceless :lol: (I love a bit of physical comedy)... I tried to pour metho into my trangia that looked like it had gone out (but hadn't :oops: ). The 1 litre container was about half full and went whoosh! and flew backwards out of my hand covering everything in metho and had me jumping around dancing slapping at my myself to put it out... Once the initial shock wore off I had a laugh but I was lucky that I didnt burn myself or my brand new tent or set the bush on fire, could have been mighty embarassing. Better than coffee as a morning heart starter anyday.
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Re: Darwin awards

Postby ULWalkingPhil » Fri 16 Sep, 2011 8:09 pm

phan_TOM wrote:That one had me laughing out loud Philip :lol: !

I could imagine it very well as I've done something similar with metho. Just trying to picture the look on your face as the flames flew up to the container towards you is priceless :lol: (I love a bit of physical comedy)... I tried to pour metho into my trangia that looked like it had gone out (but hadn't :oops: ). The 1 litre container was about half full and went whoosh! and flew backwards out of my hand covering everything in metho and had me jumping around dancing slapping at my myself to put it out... Once the initial shock wore off I had a laugh but I was lucky that I didnt burn myself or my brand new tent or set the bush on fire, could have been mighty embarassing. Better than coffee as a morning heart starter anyday.

I must admit, I did had a good laugh afterwards, particularly the look on my mates face when they returned. :lol: :lol:
I can remember it clearly, One of my mates walked up to camp and the look on his face, followed by "holy $%$#, what the %$#$ happened here?" By this stage I was almost rolling on the ground laughing.

I can vouch, shellite is extremely flammable.
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Re: Camping Cooking disasters

Postby Tony » Sat 17 Sep, 2011 7:25 am

While Phillips petrol can story is hard to top, this is a story about one of my early trips in New Zealand.

The year was 1975, I was tramping the North-West Circuit on Stewart Island, southern New Zealand. I had just finished my apprenticeship, I was doing a three month hitchhiking trip around New Zealand.

This was my first serious bushwalk/tramp, the North-West Circuit (NWC) is considered a 7-10 day walk, I had only done one overnighter on the Routeburn track previously and I did not have a clue as far what to take for food, I had received some advice from someone at the Invercargill youth hostel that Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP) was the way to go, TVP is made from Soya Beans and is considered a substitute for meat, so I stocked up with lots of TVP, I had just left home and I had no idea how to cook full stop, though cook vegetarian.

After a wild boat trip to town of Oban, I tramped off to the first hut, which I think was Port William Hut, the hut had quite a few walkers staying that night, one walker was a chef, he had noticed some DOC track worker nearby and went off to see if he could get some venison, he was successful and we all pulled out our food supplies and we where cooked up a top quality three course meal, wow this tramping was great.

I left the Port William Hut and paired up with a walker from South Africa, the next night or two we combined our food and managed with my TVP, though it was the most tasteless food I have ever eaten, the person who advised me to take TVP had not told me that you needed spices and to add some dried vegetables to add flavour.

When we reached one of the most remote huts on the North West side of the Island ( after 36 years I am unable to recall which one) we came across three people doing a slow four week walk, they where catching fish to supplement there food supplies, that night we where treated to a top feed of fresh fish.

The next night we had to eat TVP and what ever food that we could add that had any flavour had run out, TVP on it own was awful, but it was food. Both of us had decided that we could no longer stand TVP so we decided to walk back to Oban as quickly as possible, we did a very long day from Mason Bay Hut to North Arm Hut, this was a top day’s walking, we arrived at North Arm completely stuffed and very hungry, both of us could not face TVP again, near the hut there was a boat tied up, we decided to see if there was any food on the boat that we could take, some luck, the boat had some food, we took one can of sausages and veggies, we where starving, we shared the can and ate the contents cold.

Luck was with us a bit more, just as we finished eating the can of food, a boat pulled up next to the boat we had just raided, it was a fisherman’s spare boat and he needed it, we somewhat sheepishly asked for a ride back to Oban, the fisherman was quite happy to help us and saved us a hard days walking, we thanked him very much and brought him a few beers that night at the pub, we never did tell him about taking a can of food.

In 36 years since I have never touched TVP, even the thought of TVP still makes me feel sick.

Though I will say this food aside this was probably one of the best walks I have ever done.

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Re: Camping Cooking disasters

Postby corvus » Sat 17 Sep, 2011 11:44 pm

My worst experience was boiling water in a Billy that( unbeknown to me) had Metho leaked into it , using said water for our nice warming cup of soup on a cold and wet Tasmanian night and discovering that Metho residue on an aluminium Billy releases a very distinctive awful flavour rendering food to even a hardened pallet of school and army food like mine totally inedible :lol:
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Re: Camping Cooking disasters

Postby John Sheridan » Sun 18 Sep, 2011 5:58 pm

Is Metho worse that Petrol Or diesel :)

Which one do you prefere :lol:

Cheers.
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Re: Camping Cooking disasters

Postby Bronski » Sun 18 Sep, 2011 7:08 pm

corvus wrote:My worst experience was boiling water in a Billy that( unbeknown to me) had Metho leaked into it , using said water for our nice warming cup of soup on a cold and wet Tasmanian night and discovering that Metho residue on an aluminium Billy releases a very distinctive awful flavour rendering food to even a hardened pallet of school and army food like mine totally inedible :lol:
corvus


Oh, yes, I'd forgotten this one, but again, my old cheap generic trangia did not adequately hold any residual metho in the burner between cooking (It was leaking into the pots during the day while everything was packed away). It took a few meals to figure out what that awful taste was in the food :shock: :roll:
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Re: Camping Cooking disasters

Postby corvus » Sun 18 Sep, 2011 7:19 pm

John Sheridan wrote:Is Metho worse that Petrol Or diesel :)

Which one do you prefere :lol:

Cheers.


Fortunately never got to taste Diesel or Shellite as I never ever got around to trying Diesel in my multi fuel Optimus Explorer 11 and when using Shellite it was carried in a sealed fuel bottle (not a leaky Trangia burner) :lol:
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Re: Camping Cooking disasters

Postby MartyGwynne » Wed 26 Oct, 2011 12:25 am

My only failure was me trying to cook bread in the trusty trangia.
Not sure if I put shellite or metho in it but managed to set the darn thing on fire so well to this day it still has the burn marks on the wind shield part of the old Trangy.
The bread mix I made up was looking so good but I had made a little frame up to hold it off the bottom and placed some non-stick baking paper around the ball of dough.
The paper had smouldered in the trangy pot enabling the bottom of the pot to nearly melt.
Thank goodness no one saw me as I was trying out the 'new recipe' at home, but the house did stink somewhat.
I now just carry bread which is cooked and let it go stale and enjoy it very much.
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Re: Camping Cooking disasters

Postby Overlandman » Sat 28 Jan, 2012 4:42 pm

On the overland track back in the 90's, I had been having 2 minuite noodles for a quick snack each day, you know, the ones with the seasoning sachets, then having fresh meat each night, steak days 1 & 2 , Bacon 3 & 4, Cabana day 5, anyway on day 6, I had my first dehydrated meal, (simallar to the back country meals) at Pine Valley. I put the sachet in towards the end of cooking, I noticed that the meal was dry & tasted weired. That night I didnt go to the loo, and needed to drink more water than usual. The next day I continued to drink more water & made my way to Narcissus hut. That evening I cooked another dehydrated meal, I went to put the seasoning sachet in & to my horror read on the sachet, DO NOT EAT, Silica Sachet. :shock:
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Camping Cooking disasters

Postby ULWalkingPhil » Sat 28 Jan, 2012 5:51 pm

Overlandman wrote:On the overland track back in the 90's, I had been having 2 minuite noodles for a quick snack each day, you know, the ones with the seasoning sachets, then having fresh meat each night, steak days 1 & 2 , Bacon 3 & 4, Cabana day 5, anyway on day 6, I had my first dehydrated meal, (simallar to the back country meals) at Pine Valley. I put the sachet in towards the end of cooking, I noticed that the meal was dry & tasted weired. That night I didnt go to the loo, and needed to drink more water than usual. The next day I continued to drink more water & made my way to Narcissus hut. That evening I cooked another dehydrated meal, I went to put the seasoning sachet in & to my horror read on the sachet, DO NOT EAT, Silica Sachet. :shock:
Regards
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:). That's kind off a bit funny.
Maybe the silica satchel absorbed you know what.
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Re: Camping Cooking disasters

Postby Telopea » Sun 29 Jan, 2012 9:59 am

Myself and 2 buddies were using a metho stove on a picnic bench between walks. It was very windy and the metho tray tipped and we burnt a circle on the picnic table. We learnt our lesson to keep it all still on windy days. Pays to have a stove that has a sealed fuel system too.
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Re: Camping Cooking disasters

Postby Orion » Tue 31 Jan, 2012 1:02 pm

I forgot to bring the brandy for the flambe one time.
Imagine my embarrassment.
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Re: Camping Cooking disasters

Postby John Sheridan » Sat 26 May, 2012 8:13 am

I just got my NEw Dehydrator, Stay Tuned :0

cheers.
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Re: Camping Cooking disasters

Postby John Sheridan » Sat 26 May, 2012 8:15 am

..
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Re: Camping Cooking disasters

Postby michael_p » Sat 26 May, 2012 12:38 pm

When car camping we make meals up like stews and curried sausages with rice before we go and seal them in vacuum seal bags. When we get to camp we boil a large pot of water and put the whole vacuum bag in the pot and reheat. Much easier after a long drive or tiring day and there is less washing up.

This was working really well for us until one time the bag broke at the seal and the contents emptied out in to the pot of water. We managed to fish out most of the solid ingredients but the sauce and smaller bits were lost. Worst car camp meal I have ever had. The sauce was so diluted that it wasn't even worth trying to have it as a soup. So disappointed.

Since this incident we now double seal the ends of the vacuum bags. Lesson learnt.

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Re: Camping Cooking disasters

Postby wayno » Sat 26 May, 2012 2:22 pm

was in a hut and someone had the usual trouble lighting a kero stove.. fuel and flames coming out of the burner, then they knocked it over spreading the flames along the bench, we got it upright and put a billie on it upside down but there was still a gap at the bottom, one bright spark decided to blow on it, fanning the flames around the bench, finally one genius came up with a wet towel and put it around the stove,
for a brief moment I thought, well that wasnt too bad, then i looked around the cooking bench, there was loose ammunition all over it..... if i had seen it to start with i'd have run out of the hut as fast as possible.

tramping mate told me about the stoves we were all using a while back, otpimus with the fuel tank beside the burner.... he put a large billie on his once that overhung the fuel tank and heat shield. the cap on the tank has a pressure release seal on it if it gets over pressurised ,,, well he either over heated the tank or overheated the seal and a flame throwwe spurt forth....
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Re: Camping Cooking disasters

Postby BillV » Sun 05 Aug, 2012 5:01 pm

I had a bad experience omce s few years ago while cooking in a high winds..........I was cooking in my Gunyah2 tent and was transfering the boiling hot food from Jet boil to folding bowl when the tent was hit broadside by a very strong gust spilling the contents straight onto my ankle giving me three deg burns......Did I yelp lol.........
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Re: Camping Cooking disasters

Postby bushwalker zane » Mon 06 Aug, 2012 2:45 pm

I have a friend, and we were racing to see who could get one litre of water to a rolling boil the fastest. Both of us had MRS Dragonflies, he decided it was a smart idea to 'help' the fuel turn to gas faster by dousing the burner in fuel before putting it all together. When it was all connected he put a match to the stove and WOOF! It went up in a huge ball of fire, (we were doing it on gravel so the only damage he did other than probable damage to the MSR, was his eyebrow). It worked, he won the challenge, but I don't think I'll ever be using his methods of priming an MSR any time soon! :shock:
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Re: Camping Cooking disasters

Postby mikethepike » Sun 30 Sep, 2012 10:39 pm

More a meal than a cooking disaster but on one occasion, I was naive enough to buy a largish packet of 'bolognaise supreme' or some such and sat down to cook it one night on an extended trip. With an appetite to eat half a bullock and expecting the packet to contain a reasonable chunk of same, I was disgusted to discover that it only supplied the flavour. :(
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Re: Camping Cooking disasters

Postby Gadgetgeek » Mon 01 Oct, 2012 6:57 pm

When my wife and I go camping we normally go full on with the food. I've gotten pretty good at cooking with tinfoil in ashes, and doing sauces and such on the Whiperlite (simmer by distance) However, I cannot for the life of me cook pancakes. Cannot. I can make what I call "grumble-cake" which is kinda like the pancake equivalent of scrambled eggs. My wife can make pancakes with two sticks and a bit of foil. (also, she can cook popcorn, which I cannot.) The last "failure" of food I had was a curry that got a bit watered down as the rain fell faster than I could boil it out.

as for fire lighting...... I grew up in the middle of nowhere on a farm. I've had a few go.....wrong (or really right, depending on your perspective.)
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Re: Camping Cooking disasters

Postby nq111 » Tue 02 Oct, 2012 5:12 pm

John Sheridan wrote:Is Metho worse that Petrol Or diesel :)


Yes - the metho and aluminium makes a terrible, lingering bitter taste.

Diesel is quite tasty by comparison - think of it as fossilised olive oil - probably high in omega3 and all :)
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