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Mroz Cookbook Initial Report - Jim Hatch

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  • colonelcorn76
    Here it is. And I so wanted to like it. Oh well. Edit away. Jim ... Hiker s Guide To Preparing Home-Cooked Meals On The Trail Initial Report March 29, 2004
    Message 1 of 11 , Mar 29 11:39 PM
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      Here it is. And I so wanted to like it. Oh well. Edit away.

      Jim

      ---------------------------------------------------------
      Hiker's Guide To Preparing Home-Cooked Meals On The Trail
      Initial Report
      March 29, 2004

      Reviewer Information:
      Name: Jim Hatch
      Age: 44
      Gender: Male
      Height: 5'9" (1.8 m)
      Weight: 180 lbs (82 kg)
      Cooking Style: Former Betty Crocker Award winner
      Email: colonelcorn76@...
      City/State: Simsbury, Connecticut
      Date: March 29, 2004

      Backpacking Background:
      I've been backpacking and camping for 30 years (ever since I was a Boy
      Scout). I'm out at least once a month for a weekend or more and for 5
      nights several times during the year. Most of my backpacking is done
      in the mountains of the East Coast (Appalachians, Whites, Berkshires,
      Adirondacks), but I will occasionally camp as far south as the Florida
      Keys or as far west as the Grand Canyon. Having tired of 60 lb (27 kg)
      loads, I caught the lightweight bug about 5 years ago and am currently
      carrying a base pack weight of 10 lbs (4.5 kg) before food and fuel
      and rarely venture out with more than 20 lbs (9 kg) anymore. I am a
      hammock camper for most of the year, using a tent only during winter
      (under duress). I eat well by carrying dehydrated or home-cooked and
      vacuum packed food. I try not to sacrifice a happy stomach just in
      order to shave a few ounces or grams of weight.


      Product Information:
      Author: Steven A. Mroz
      Publisher: Trafford Publishing
      Copyright: 2004
      URL: http://www.trafford.com
      Binding: Paperback
      Size: 6 in X 9 in (15 cm X 23 cm), 114 pages
      MSRP: $15.95


      Initial Impression:
      The Guide arrived in a standard padded mailing envelope in excellent
      condition along with a brief note from Steven Mroz (the author)
      letting me know the book was a "proof copy" and that there are "ten
      typos or misspelled words" that are being corrected by the publisher.
      He also encouraged me to drop him an email if I have any questions or
      concerns. A very friendly start.

      I quickly scanned the table of contents and leafed through the book to
      see what the recipes looked like. The recipe categories looked pretty
      standard for a backpacking cookbook but there were a couple of items
      that stood out requiring immediate reading -- a chapter on "The
      Backpacker's Oven" and "Delectables". Paging through to the
      "Delectables" chapter I noticed that the format of the book is
      basically one recipe per page so there is a lot of white space as most
      recipes are only a half-page in size. Reaching the "Delectables"
      chapter I scanned the list of recipes and admit to some confusion.
      The following recipes are classified as "Delectables" -- brown rice,
      noodles, barley, couscous, hash browns, beef jerky, fruit leather,
      tofu, baked beans, and tomatoes. I had expected something more in the
      line of desserts rather than what I consider to be side dishes. Oh
      well, back to the oven chapter.

      Here I encountered the first of the typos I had been warned about.
      Since typos don't affect the quality of the food, I'm not going to
      report on those except to say that there are more than the reported
      "ten typos". I hope the publisher found the rest. This chapter
      contains instructions on how to build a small "oven" to be used to
      bake items that don't require extensive baking times (muffins,
      biscuits, etc. versus lasagna for instance). On the first read through
      I scratched my head. This chapter could certainly use a diagram or
      two. A couple more readings and I got the jist of constructing the
      oven. However, I also discovered that I need a Sierra Zip Stove and a
      specific pot to make some of these recipes. Of course, if I don't have
      one, I'm told I can modify the oven building directions to match the
      stove & pot combination that I do happen to have. Okay, table that.
      I'm good for experimenting so I set aside the oven issues and settled
      back for a cover-to-cover read.

      Sideline Note:
      Before I proceed, a brief note about the "publisher" is in order. In
      the typical book publishing world an author works with a publisher who
      selects book projects based on their sales potential. The publisher
      usually assigns an editor who works with the author on several drafts
      until it is ready for publication. The publisher pays for any editing
      and the book doesn't go out until the publisher and editor are happy
      with the end product. Many books will have advance copies sent to
      various industry spokespeople, other authors, or anyone the publisher
      believes will write a review worthy of quoting. They use these quotes
      for the book jacket or back cover as appropriate. Then they print a
      large number of copies, ship them to distributors and from there to
      bookstores across the land. Some books will be specifically promoted
      with displays and targeted advertising.

      Trafford is different. They are a "self-publishing" house. In this
      case, an author provides the copy and Trafford provides
      publishing-on-demand services as well as order fulfillment and
      shipping functions. The author pays an initial setup fee and for any
      extra services like illustration or editing that they think are
      needed. The author is also responsible for marketing efforts to get
      buyers directed to Trafford's website where they can place their book
      order. Once ordered, Trafford handles the credit card billing and
      prints the book for shipment directly to the consumer.

      The Result:
      This is a wonderful system for niche books where the potential
      readership is too small to interest a major (or even minor) publishing
      house. It's also cheaper than many other "self-publishing" options.
      However, authors need to take more responsibility up front to be
      successful. This is important because "The Hiker's Guide To Preparing
      Home-Cooked Meals On The Trail" (The Guide) is very much a reflection
      of Steven Mroz's abilities in these other areas (most especially
      editing). To be succinct, Steve needs an editor...badly. Whatever they
      say about lawyers representing themselves applies equally to authors
      who are their own editors. While I generally applaud anyone who takes
      the initiative to step outside normal processes and gets things done
      on their own, I can't say Steve is well served by the lack of
      professional publishing discipline. There are far more than "ten typos
      or misspelled words" sprinkled throughout the convoluted and ponderous
      writing. My advice to Steven is to run without delay to an editor
      (Trafford offers this service for an added fee). Were I to pick this
      book up in a bookstore or library I would have dropped it after
      reading the first couple of pages--and that's without ever having
      tried a single recipe.

      Steven has a degree in Classical Languages (ancient Greek and Latin)
      and his writing seems to reflect an attempt to bring extraneous and
      irrelevant bits of that education to light. It also seems to reflect a
      poor mastery of concise, tight, focused writing which may be endemic
      to classical linguists but certainly has no place in a cookbook. For
      example, the Introduction wanders from literary allusions to Mozart
      symphonies and snow-capped mountains to The Ice Man; from ancient
      Greek underwater archaeologist George Bass to nineteenth century
      American Indians and even astronauts on their "voyage to the stars".
      Whew!

      The first paragraph of the book sets the stage: "The intended audience
      of this book is the hiker, yet any outdoor enthusiast such as the
      kayaker, mountain-biker, fisherman, hunter, or boy and girl scout
      would certainly benefit from the information presented herein. Anyone
      engaged in outdoor activities who needs, equal to any other need, to
      be able to carry lightweight, compact foods, will find that need
      satisfied in the following pages." Later, "Peoples and cultures have
      done this [enjoyed a tasty meal] for time millenia....The same need
      confronts modern man today just as it has since the dawn of
      civilization; that is, those who travel on foot in the wilderness and
      desire to get from point A to point B need to carry their own food,
      and lightweight, nutritional food will sustain the body best in the
      effort." And finally, my wife's favorite -- "Macaroni and cheese with
      bits of beef jerky thrown in might keep the hiker alive for another
      day, but the vitality needed to hike fifteen miles a day carrying a
      heavy pack, possibly up and over mountain passes, through brush, and
      sometimes in inclement weather, will be sorely lacking. It is no
      mystery how a hiker can become grumpy and incorrigible."

      Okay, so maybe a steady diet of mac and cheese might make me grumpy
      and irritable but incorrigible? Interestingly enough there is indeed a
      recipe for mac and cheese contained "herein". In this case, ham is
      included rather than the "bits of beef jerky". I'm only on the second
      page and I can't read without mentally twinging with nearly every
      sentence. I'm really hoping the recipes make the writing irrelevant.
      Here's hoping he sprinkles the seasonings with more concern with their
      compatibility than the willy-nilly approach of his use of punctuation
      and vocabulary.

      Normally, cookbooks aren't "read" but except for the recipes, this
      book contains eleven pages of "Introduction" and instructions for the
      oven. It's not too much to expect that those eleven pages do not
      require effort to navigate.

      Expectations:
      That said, I'll move on to the information contained within the prose.
      First off, I'm no Galloping Gourmet. Although I enjoy good food, I'm
      just as happy with meatloaf as I am with Chateaubriand (I only cook
      the latter on the trail when I'm showing off). But, I probably own
      every backpacking and camping oriented cookbook on the market. I also
      own a fair selection of "kitchen" cookbooks as well. I find
      inspiration for trail meals in all of these sources as well as the
      occasional wander through the aisles of the local supermarket. So,
      when reading on the Trafford website that Steven worked as a chef in
      the late 70s I thought I might find a few new dishes or ways to
      prepare trail food to add to my kit. I was also intrigued by the fact
      that this book on food dehydration for trail meals is billed as being
      something special as "Few books, if any, have dealt with the subject
      in its entirety." A quick search on Amazon shows 1,585 titles for the
      search "food dehydration camping"; and the first page of results has
      several listed which I have that I thought dealt fairly well with the
      topic. I'm interested in what Steven is going to add to this topic.

      The Guide has a few pages oriented toward convincing the reader that
      dehydrating food is a good thing as well as another few with
      dehydration tips. Fortunately I have an Excalibur dehydrator, several
      books that deal with the subject, and enough experience using one that
      I'm aware of misstatements: like vacuum-sealing dehydrated foods is
      "an absolute necessity" and simply "placing dried meals in a plastic
      bag is a cardinal sin." To be honest I only use the vacuum sealer when
      I'm going to do "boil in a bag" meals or when I'm going to store
      something for months. I've not found any problems with keeping food
      for reasonable periods (days/weeks) in Zip-loc type bags. I'll even
      admit to keeping cooked bacon in baggies for up to an entire week on
      the trail and not suffered from eating it! Steven's advice might be
      appropriate for the thru-hiker who prepares six months of meals for
      drop shipping along the AT, but shouldn't dissuade the casual weekend
      hiker from dehydrating food without a vacuum sealer (which Steven says
      will cost up to $140 USD).

      Fortunately I have both the recommended dehydrator and vacuum sealer.
      I also have a copy of Deanna DeLong's book on "How to Dry Foods" which
      Steven suggests referring to before beginning to dehydrate foods. In
      that regard, I can say I learned nothing in The Guide that was not
      covered in more detail and far more satisfactorily in DeLong's book.
      If her book is to be referenced before beginning to dehydrate food,
      then the little information contained in The Guide is entirely
      unecessary.

      I do not however, have the recommended stoves needed for the recipes
      in the book. Yes, I said stoves. Plural. As in more than one. Yes,
      that's two. Two stoves. Not two pots. Two stoves. Not that I don't
      have two stoves but I don't have one of the specific ones needed -- a
      Sierra Zip Stove. Well, okay, at least with a Zip (a 1 lb/.5 kg stove
      by the way) I don't need to carry a fuel canister. Oops, strike that.
      According to Steven, I also need to bring charcoal (natural not
      briquettes) that is "cut in one by three inch peices, and three pieces
      are good for one cooking session." Also a "one-inch piece of Diamond
      Strike-A-Fire" is also needed to set the charcoal burning. Visions of
      whatever weight savings I've found in dehydrating being consumed by
      extra gear & fuel are beginning to really put a damper on my appetite.

      Now to be fair, Steven does say that only a single stove may be used
      and that pretty much any stove will do, but that's not recommended.
      What's recommended is two stoves, fuel for both, some bowls,
      Strike-A-Fire, vacuum sealers, etc. Just the ticket for the
      lightweight hiker.

      The Recipes:
      Moving on, I figure "at least he's got a lot of recipes." Diving in I
      start to look for my first trial candidates. Of course I'll build the
      oven (a rather clever idea by the way although heavier than a
      BakePacker) but first let's look at what we can do with basic
      dehydrated food. First off in the book are breakfast recipes (there
      are no lunch ones as Steve doesn't believe it's worth the time to
      rehydrate & cook for lunch; the book focuses on breakfast and dinner).
      Fairly traditional scrambled eggs, omelets, hash browns and the like.
      But "hash brown scramble" and "ham and cheese sauce over hash browns"
      stick out and may offer something new. Overlooking the odd
      abbreviations (tablespoon is abbreviated "tblspns." rather than the
      traditional "T" or even "tbsp", teaspoon is "tspn." rather than "t" or
      "tsp" and package is "pckg." instead of "pkg" -- just where was he a
      chef?) the recipe for Hash Brown Scramble looks tasty enough. However,
      the instructions are fairly minimalistic -- cook the ingredients and
      then "dry and package." Do the same for the eggs and "dry and
      package." To prepare out in the field, "rehydrate each item" and reheat.

      Spartan, but this is only breakfast after all. I do know how to cook &
      dehydrate. The ingredients are interesting, if fairly standard. I do
      appreciate the use of olive oil rather than the more typical vegetable
      oil. Olive oil lends a certain nutty/fruity flavor to foods that's
      certainly welcome in the field. Other than that we're talking hash
      browns mixed with scrambled eggs, onions, peppers, ham, and cheese. No
      great shakes, but not a bad sounding breakfast. The other intriguing
      breakfast item follows a similar pattern. This one is called "Ham and
      Cheese Sauce Over Hash Browns". This is a combination of cheddar
      cheese sauce, eggs, mustard, spinach and some seasonings cooked
      together and dried. In the field this is rehydrated by adding boiling
      water and simmered (it doesn't seem to strike him that maybe adding
      less water would eliminate the need for simmering) until thick before
      pouring over hash browns fried in a pan. Okay, so at least the name
      still sounds good.

      Pressing onward I skip through the rest of breakfast items and cross
      through the land of soups (19 of them) as I usually find the dried
      ones in the market more than adequate for the trail and I just don't
      eat that much soup. I'm not sure I'd normally go through the effort to
      cook soup from scratch and then dehydrate it but I'll try that for the
      long-term review of this book. Perhaps Knorr soup mixes will be as so
      much dust after I've tasted my own dehydrated soup.

      Past the soups I come upon gravies and sauces. I am definitely in the
      "what is this filler?" mode by now. I mean, maybe if I were in some
      country where I couldn't buy a package of McCormick gravy mix for 59
      cents this would be interesting. But, come on now. How much will it
      cost to run my dehydrator to dry a cup of gravy? Seventeen gravy
      recipes seems like an author looking to fill pages. Sample sauce
      recipe: Stir-Fry Sauce - chicken stock, soy sauce, sesame oil,
      teriyaki sauce, cornstarch, sugar. Dissolve ingredients in hot water,
      simmer over low heat until thickened. Dehydrate. This is not to be
      confused with Beef Stir-Fry Sauce whose entire page (!) is consumed by
      "Same as regular stir fry sauce, only two tspns. of Knorr beef
      flavored broth is used instead of chicken bullion." Reviewing the
      recipe for Stir-Fry Sauce I see no reference to chicken bullion. Is it
      missing or does this recipe's reference to it mean the chicken stock
      that's in the other recipe? They are different things but maybe not
      for these purposes (and in fact both chicken broth from a can and what
      I presume is chicken bullion from Knorr are used in Chicken Gravy).
      These aren't complicated recipes so it shouldn't be hard to make them
      correct and consistent.

      On to my earlier favorite "Delectables". These are recipes for rice
      and noodles and my personal favorite food - tofu! I won't eat it on a
      bet. Who thinks that dehydrating and rehydrating tofu will make it
      better? Come on a show of hands. No one? Okay, false alarm. Seems
      Steven doesn't think it will either as he recommends packing it in its
      sealed store container and then since it "is subject to
      bacteriological deterioration" after opening, packing out and
      discarding anything not eaten for that meal. Hah! I knew it was nasty
      stuff.

      Down the home-stretch to Meats and Vegetables. My favorites! Four or
      five pages of general preparation text (including a meager attempt at
      outlining dietary guidelines that cannot do the subject justice in the
      two or three sentences allocated -- "protein is certainly a great
      benefit...carbs are good") and into the meat of things. Thirty recipes
      for my favorite meal. We're cooking now. I'm liking the potential for
      chicken fingers, fettuccine and hamburger, ham and swiss pasta but am
      crinkling my nose at polish sausage, pasta with tomatoes, and shrimp.
      I mean recipes for "shrimp". Just shrimp. (Turns out that's actually
      shrimp, shrimp sauce and water.) I can't say that Fettuccine Alfredo
      that consists of a package of fettuccine, a serving of parmesan sauce
      and basil holds much promise for making dehydrating the parmesan sauce
      worth the effort over grabbing that package of Lipton's Fettuccine
      Alfredo in the grocery store. But I press on.

      To the one section I find can rescue the most insipid cookbook --
      Desserts. What's that? There isn't one here? No dessert? Long
      anguished coyote howl in the night! Dessert is critical! I'm surprised
      at the lack of a sweets section. I find dessert after dinner can make
      even the longest day feel good. The oven design presented in Chapter 1
      would be perfect for desserts. I'm thinking a simple muffin or cup
      cake...or even S'mores --- crumbled graham crackers topped with a
      couple of squares of chocolate and a marshmallow heated in the oven
      until everything is melted...yumm!

      Summary:
      Having progressed through the book I'm disappointed. If Steven was a
      professional chef he doesn't demonstrate it here. The recipes are not
      unique nor are they presented in any compelling way. If I had no other
      cookbook and this was my first introduction to dehydrated cooking for
      the trail I don't think I'd bother. Very few of the recipes actually
      require anything I cannot buy at the local supermarket already dried
      in convenient foil packages. The remainder are primarily egg & meat
      additions to meals I can buy in the prepared food aisle in the grocery
      store. I certainly couldn't justify the price of a dehydrator and
      vacuum sealer for the occasional egg dish (as I would be able to use
      jerky & foil packaged tuna for most meat needs). There is certainly
      nothing in this cookbook that would justify the addition of another
      stove and fuel to my kitchen. I'm intrigued by the oven and will be
      making a couple of versions (one for my gas canister stove & one per
      the directions for a Sierra Zip Stove) to see if there's anything I'm
      missing there. Overall though, this is a very lightweight cookbook
      that has little to distinguish it from far more complete references in
      any bookstore in the country. Having made a couple of dishes to try
      them in the kitchen (omelet, polish sausage -- aka kielbasa...both of
      which I've been able to cook for 30 years) I found nothing of note to
      set them apart and expect the rest to be the same. If this were the
      only trail cookbook I was to buy I'd return it. If it were given to me
      as a gift, it would gather dust. After two weeks with it, I can find
      nothing to recommend it. There are several that deal with the subject
      better, with more detail on the mechanics of dehydration, of meal
      planning, of ingredient selection, and with more diverse and
      interesting recipes. In fact, one of my favorites includes
      instructions on how to make a simple & inexpensive dehydrator.

      On the positive side I applaud Steven for taking the plunge and trying
      his hand at self-publishing. I hate to squash that spirit. I also
      think the oven design he presents has some serious potential. It's a
      fairly clever design and we'll see if it's up for the rigors of the
      trail. Cool thing nonetheless.

      Future Test Plans:
      However, that being said, I will be testing many of the recipes over
      the next four months. I will be taking several multi-day as well as
      week long backpacking treks in the New England hills and the White
      Mountains of New Hampshire. This will give me experience with
      preparing the food on a variety of equipment and in a variety of
      conditions. I will be testing to see if the ingredients hold up well
      on the trail, if the food tastes better after a long day's trek, if
      the recipes can increased to serve more people (no real serving
      information is provided in The Guide) and if they can be easily
      modified to suit changing food desires while on the trail (mixing &
      matching different entrees with side dishes).
    • cmcrooker
      ... Jim. I enjoyed reading your report! Amusing and well written. I was wondering what this cook book would be like. I look forward to reading about your
      Message 2 of 11 , Mar 30 11:04 AM
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        --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, "colonelcorn76"
        <colonelcorn76@y...> wrote:
        > Here it is. And I so wanted to like it. Oh well. Edit away.
        >
        > Jim
        >
        >


        Jim.
        I enjoyed reading your report! Amusing and well written. I was
        wondering what this cook book would be like. I look forward to
        reading about your oven experiments.
        Carol
      • SF Nazdarovye
        Enjoyed your review as well (though I will note that not liking a particular ingredient - e.g., tofu - doesn t seem like a particularly valid review point for
        Message 3 of 11 , Mar 30 2:21 PM
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          Enjoyed your review as well (though I will note that not liking a
          particular ingredient - e.g., tofu - doesn't seem like a particularly
          valid review point for a cookbook).

          PS - you misspelled "bouillon" several times ;)


          On Mar 30, 2004, at 11:04 AM, cmcrooker wrote:

          >> Here it is. And I so wanted to like it. Oh well. Edit away.
        • Fuzzy
          Jim, Here you go. Nice work. As usual, [EDIT] = must do. [Edit] = probably should do, [Comment] = my thoughts. After you ve made your changes, please follow
          Message 4 of 11 , Mar 31 1:40 PM
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            Jim,

            Here you go. Nice work. As usual, [EDIT] = must do. [Edit] =
            probably should do, [Comment] = my thoughts. After you've made your
            changes, please follow the link below to find your folder and
            upload. Remember to select the "Initial Report" radio button.

            http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/Books/Cook%20Books/Home-
            Cooked%20Meals%20on%20the%20Trail/

            Fuzzy
            Mroz Cookbook Monitor

            Hiker's Guide To Preparing Home-Cooked Meals On The Trail
            [EDIT] As this is the book title, and therefore the official product
            name, the title-case version of the title is "The Hiker's Guide to
            Preparing Home-Cooked Meals on the Trail"

            Initial Report
            March 29, 2004

            Cooking Style: Former Betty Crocker Award winner
            [Comment] Way cool, Jim!

            The Guide arrived in a standard padded mailing envelope in excellent
            condition along with a brief note from Steven Mroz (the author)
            letting me know the book was a "proof copy" and that there are "ten
            typos or misspelled words" that are being corrected by the publisher.
            [Comment] Perhaps his abbreviations will be corrected?

            A couple more readings and I got the jist of constructing the oven.
            [Edit] My spell checker didn't like jist. Perhaps gist?

            Sideline Note:
            [Comment] Thanks for this info. Quite interesting.

            To be succinct, Steve needs an editor...badly.
            [Comment] Opinion. Likely true from what you say, but opinion.

            Whatever they say about lawyers representing themselves applies
            equally to authors who are their own editors.
            [Comment/Edit] Ouch! Was it really that bad?

            I'm only on the second page and I can't read without mentally
            twinging with nearly every sentence.
            [Edit/comment] My spell checker complained again. You are welcome to
            keep twinging if you wish, but cringing might be better understood by
            those not from our neck of the woods.

            Although I enjoy good food, I'm just as happy with meatloaf as I am
            with Chateaubriand (I only cook the latter on the trail when I'm
            showing off).
            [Comment] Feel free to show off around me any time. :->

            I was also intrigued by the fact that this book on food dehydration
            for trail meals is billed as being something special as "Few books,
            if any, have dealt with the subject in its entirety."
            [Question] Do you mean "his book on food dehydration", or "this book
            on food dehydration"?

            If her book is to be referenced before beginning to dehydrate food,
            then the little information contained in The Guide is entirely
            unecessary.
            [EDIT] unNecessary

            According to Steven, I also need to bring charcoal (natural not
            briquettes) that is "cut in one by three inch peices, and three
            pieces are good for one cooking session."
            [EDIT] "three inch PIECES", unless it's Mr. Mroz's spelling.
          • colonelcorn76
            ... I ll recheck it but there are many spelling & grammar issues in the review as they are native to the source material I was quoting. Rather than sprinkling
            Message 5 of 11 , Mar 31 5:49 PM
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              --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, SF Nazdarovye
              <nazdarovye@y...> wrote:
              > Enjoyed your review as well (though I will note that not liking a
              > particular ingredient - e.g., tofu - doesn't seem like a particularly
              > valid review point for a cookbook).
              >
              > PS - you misspelled "bouillon" several times ;)

              I'll recheck it but there are many spelling & grammar issues in the
              review as they are native to the source material I was quoting. Rather
              than sprinkling the [sic] editing convention throughout, I just went
              with the quotes as they were in the book.

              Also, the tofu comment was a mixture of joke & pointing out the
              overboard nature of some of the author's comments. I really don't
              think using tofu over a couple of days is terribly disasterous but it
              seems to be in Steven's mind (similar to his advice to never use
              baggies). There is little science behind much of his advice.

              Jim
            • SF Nazdarovye
              ... I was referring to its use in what appeared to be your text, rather than a direct quote (though, given your other comments on the book, I d certainly not
              Message 6 of 11 , Mar 31 8:39 PM
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                On Mar 31, 2004, at 5:49 PM, colonelcorn76 wrote:

                > I'll recheck it but there are many spelling & grammar issues in the
                > review as they are native to the source material I was quoting. Rather
                > than sprinkling the [sic] editing convention throughout, I just went
                > with the quotes as they were in the book.

                I was referring to its use in what appeared to be your text, rather
                than a direct quote (though, given your other comments on the book, I'd
                certainly not be shocked to hear it was misspelled there as well.)

                > Also, the tofu comment was a mixture of joke & pointing out the
                > overboard nature of some of the author's comments. I really don't
                > think using tofu over a couple of days is terribly disasterous but it
                > seems to be in Steven's mind (similar to his advice to never use
                > baggies). There is little science behind much of his advice.

                Yeah - and, again, I appreciated your review. Sloppy editing and
                poorly-thought-out instructions are pet peeves of mine, too -
                especially in published materials. Hopefully your comments will help
                the author take another hard look at the manuscript before final
                publication, if it's not too late.

                - Steve
              • colonelcorn76
                ... I don t think it s ever too late with an on-demand book. I think he just submits a new PDF or EPS file and that s what gets printed. I have another one
                Message 7 of 11 , Mar 31 8:47 PM
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                  --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, SF Nazdarovye
                  <nazdarovye@y...> wrote:

                  > Yeah - and, again, I appreciated your review. Sloppy editing and
                  > poorly-thought-out instructions are pet peeves of mine, too -
                  > especially in published materials. Hopefully your comments will help
                  > the author take another hard look at the manuscript before final
                  > publication, if it's not too late.
                  >

                  I don't think it's ever too late with an on-demand book. I think he
                  just submits a new PDF or EPS file and that's what gets printed.

                  I have another one oriented toward the backpacker (Trail Food by Alan
                  Kesselheim) that is 1/3 less in price & 50 times better. It even
                  includes a section on how to build your own inexpensive dehydrator if
                  you don't want to go out & get a big $ one. The dehydration cookbook
                  he recommends (DeLong's) is also way better as is the one that came
                  with my dehydrator.

                  At least he has an opportunity to fix it.

                  Jim
                • colonelcorn76
                  ... ### No, the way I typed it is correct exactly as on the cover. I agree it s incorrect in terms of traditional book titling but that s how he wrote it. ...
                  Message 8 of 11 , Mar 31 9:01 PM
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                    --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, "Fuzzy" <ckime@n...> wrote:

                    > Hiker's Guide To Preparing Home-Cooked Meals On The Trail
                    > [EDIT] As this is the book title, and therefore the official product
                    > name, the title-case version of the title is "The Hiker's Guide to
                    > Preparing Home-Cooked Meals on the Trail"
                    >

                    ### No, the way I typed it is correct exactly as on the cover. I agree
                    it's incorrect in terms of traditional book titling but that's how he
                    wrote it.


                    > A couple more readings and I got the jist of constructing the oven.
                    > [Edit] My spell checker didn't like jist. Perhaps gist?

                    ### Good catch.


                    > To be succinct, Steve needs an editor...badly.
                    > [Comment] Opinion. Likely true from what you say, but opinion.

                    ### Correct. Backed by the facts as represented in the quotes included
                    in the report. Opinions are only bad when they are not backed up by
                    factual evidence in support.

                    >
                    > Whatever they say about lawyers representing themselves applies
                    > equally to authors who are their own editors.
                    > [Comment/Edit] Ouch! Was it really that bad?

                    ### This is without a doubt the worst written book I've read (from a
                    clarity/grammar/spelling perspective). I wasn't expecting glowing
                    prose as it's only a cookbook, but this was over the top. It was kind
                    of like the literary version of the folks who got desktop publishing
                    for the first time & had documents with dozens of fonts just 'cause
                    they were available. It was like he was brain dumping literary
                    allusions, historical minutae and punctuation.

                    >
                    > I'm only on the second page and I can't read without mentally
                    > twinging with nearly every sentence.
                    > [Edit/comment] My spell checker complained again. You are welcome to
                    > keep twinging if you wish, but cringing might be better understood by
                    > those not from our neck of the woods.

                    ### Actually while I might physically cringe, mentally I twinge so
                    it's correct (American Heritage Dict., 4th edition). I'll rewrite it
                    so it's "twinge" though for clarity.

                    > I was also intrigued by the fact that this book on food dehydration
                    > for trail meals is billed as being something special as "Few books,
                    > if any, have dealt with the subject in its entirety."
                    > [Question] Do you mean "his book on food dehydration", or "this book
                    > on food dehydration"?

                    ### "this"

                    >
                    > If her book is to be referenced before beginning to dehydrate food,
                    > then the little information contained in The Guide is entirely
                    > unecessary.
                    > [EDIT] unNecessary

                    ### Correct. See, we all need editors.

                    >
                    > According to Steven, I also need to bring charcoal (natural not
                    > briquettes) that is "cut in one by three inch peices, and three
                    > pieces are good for one cooking session."
                    > [EDIT] "three inch PIECES", unless it's Mr. Mroz's spelling.

                    ### Good catch. He made enough of his own I shouldn't be adding to
                    them. I also have to go back & check on "bouillon" to make sure I
                    haven't mistreated him there as well.

                    Jim
                  • Fuzzy
                    ... product ... to ... agree ... he ... I grabbed the title from the publisher s page. Yo no gots the book, señor. If dat s what de book say, den dat s what
                    Message 9 of 11 , Apr 1, 2004
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                      --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, "colonelcorn76"
                      <colonelcorn76@y...> wrote:
                      > --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, "Fuzzy" <ckime@n...> wrote:
                      >
                      > > Hiker's Guide To Preparing Home-Cooked Meals On The Trail
                      > > [EDIT] As this is the book title, and therefore the official
                      product
                      > > name, the title-case version of the title is "The Hiker's Guide
                      to
                      > > Preparing Home-Cooked Meals on the Trail"
                      > >
                      >
                      > ### No, the way I typed it is correct exactly as on the cover. I
                      agree
                      > it's incorrect in terms of traditional book titling but that's how
                      he
                      > wrote it.

                      I grabbed the title from the publisher's page. Yo no gots the book,
                      señor. If dat's what de book say, den dat's what de book say.

                      > > To be succinct, Steve needs an editor...badly.
                      > > [Comment] Opinion. Likely true from what you say, but opinion.
                      >
                      > ### Correct. Backed by the facts as represented in the quotes
                      included
                      > in the report. Opinions are only bad when they are not backed up by
                      > factual evidence in support.

                      Agreed.

                      > > According to Steven, I also need to bring charcoal (natural not
                      > > briquettes) that is "cut in one by three inch peices, and three
                      > > pieces are good for one cooking session."
                      > > [EDIT] "three inch PIECES", unless it's Mr. Mroz's spelling.
                      >
                      > ### Good catch. He made enough of his own I shouldn't be adding to
                      > them. I also have to go back & check on "bouillon" to make sure I
                      > haven't mistreated him there as well.

                      I saw you use bullion exclusively, which my spell checker is quite
                      happy with.
                    • ra1@imrisk.com
                      ... Unfortunately, bullion has to do with refinded precious metal. Bouillon is the soupy sort of broth. Rick
                      Message 10 of 11 , Apr 1, 2004
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                        >
                        > I saw you use bullion exclusively, which my spell checker is quite
                        > happy with.
                        >
                        Unfortunately, bullion has to do with refinded precious metal. Bouillon is the
                        soupy sort of broth.

                        Rick
                      • Fuzzy
                        ... Bouillon is the ... Kudos, sir... I had not yet checked Webster s http://www.m-w.com Fuzzy
                        Message 11 of 11 , Apr 1, 2004
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                          --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, ra1@i... wrote:
                          > Unfortunately, bullion has to do with refinded precious metal.
                          Bouillon is the
                          > soupy sort of broth.

                          Kudos, sir... I had not yet checked Webster's
                          http://www.m-w.com

                          Fuzzy
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