Not your typical low-calorie meal . . .

Following my discussion of emergency preparations (see the list of articles on that topic in the sidebar), a reader e-mailed to ask whether I was familiar with a possibly mythical episode where a military veteran had prepared a horrifically calorific meal for his girlfriend using ‘survival rations’.

As a matter of fact, I was familiar with the story.  It’s been published in many forums over many years, so much so that I have no idea where it first appeared.  The earliest I’ve been able to locate through an Internet search dated from January 2005, and even there it was quoted from another source.  Anyway, it’s very funny, and too good not to share with those who’ve so far missed it.  If anyone knows its original source, I’ll be more than happy to give credit where credit is due.

“Chez Ranger”

by Frank Rodgers

I had a date the other night at my place. On the phone the day before, the girl asked me to “Cook her something she’s never had before” for dinner.

After many minutes of scratching my head over what to make, I finally settled on something she has DEFINITELY never eaten.

I got out my trusty case of MRE’s. Meal, Ready-to-Eat. Field rations that when eaten in their entirety contain 3000+ calories. Here’s what I made:

I took three of the Ham Slices out of their plastic packets, took out three of the Pork Chops, three packets of Chicken-a-la-King, and eight packets of ehydrated butter noodles and some dehydrated/re-hydrated rice. I cooked the Ham Slices and Pork Chops in one pan, sautéed in shaved garlic and olive oil.

In another pot, I blended the Chicken a-la-king, noodles, and rice together to make a sort of mush that looked suspiciously like succotash. I added some spices, and blended everything together in a glass pan that I then cooked in the oven for about 35 minutes at 450 degrees.

When I took it out, it looked like, well, ham slices, pork chops, and a bed of yellow poop. I covered the tops of the meat in the MRE cheese (kinda like Velveeta) and added some green sprinkly thingys from one of my spice cans (hey, if it’s got green sprinkly thingys on it, it looks fancy right?)

For dessert, I took four MRE Pound Cakes, mashed ’em up, added five packets of cocoa powder, powdered coffee cream, and some water. I heated it up and stirred it until it looked like a sort of chunky gelatinous organism, and I sprinkled powdered sugar on top of it.

Voilà–Ranger Pudding.

For alcoholic drinks, I took the rest of my bottle of Military Special Vodka (yes, they DO make a type of liquor named “Military Special”–it sells for $4.35 per fifth) and mixed in four packets of “Electrolytes – 1 each – Cherry flavored” (I swear, the packet says that). It looked like an eerie Kool-aid with sparkles in it (that was the electrolytes I guess… could’ve been leftover sand from Egypt).

I lit two candles, put a vase of wildflowers in the middle, and set the table with my best set of Ralph Lauren Academy-series China (that sh*t is f*cking EXPENSIVE… my set of 8 place settings cost me over $600), and put the alcoholic drink in a crystal wine decanter.

She came over, and I had some appetizers already made, of MRE spaghetti-with-meatballs, set in small cups. She saw the dinner, saw the food, and said “This looks INCREDIBLE!!!”

We dug in, and she was loving the food. Throughout the meal, she kept asking me how long it took me to make it, and kept remarking that I obviously knew a thing or two about cooking fine meals. She kind of balked at the akeshift “wine” I had set out, but after she tried it I guess she liked it because she drank four glasses during dinner.

At the end of the main course, when I served the dessert, she squealed with delight at the “Chocolate mousse” I had made. Huh? Chocolate what? Okay… yeah… it’s Chocolate Moose. Took me HOURS to make… yup.

Later on, as we were watching a movie, she excused herself to use my restroom. While she was in there, I heard her say softly to herself “uh oh” and a resounding but petite fart punctuated her utterance of dismay.

Let the games begin.

She sprayed about half a can of air freshener (Air Freshener, 1 each, Orange scent. Yup. The Army even makes smellgood) and returned to the couch, this time with an obvious pained look.

After 10 more minutes she excused herself again, and retreated to the bathroom for the second time. I could hear her say “What the hell is WRONG with me???,” as she again send flatulent shock-waves into the porcelain bowl. This time, they sounded kinda wet, and I heard the toilet paper roll being employed, and again, LOTS more air freshener.

Back to the couch. She smiles meekly as she decides to sit on the chair instead of next to me. She sits on my chair, knees pulled up to her chest, kind of rocking back and forth slightly. Suddenly, without a word, she ROCKETED up and FLEW to the bathroom, slammed the door, and didn’t come out for 30 inutes.

I turned the movie up because I didn’t want her to hear me laughing so hard that tears were streaming down my cheeks.

She came out with a slightly gray pallor to her face, and said “I am SOOOOOO sorry. I have NO idea what is wrong with me. I am so embarrassed, I can’t believe I keep running to your bathroom!!” I gave her an Immodium AD, and she finally settled down and relaxed.

Later on, she asked me again what I had made for dinner, because she had enjoyed it so much. I calmly took her into the kitchen and showed her all the used MRE bags and packets in the trash can.

After explaining to her that she had eaten roughly 9,000 calories of “Army food” she turned stark white, looked at me incredulously, and said “I ate 9,000 calories or dehydrated food that was made 3 years ago?” After I concurred, she grabbed her coat and keys, and took off without a word.

She called me yesterday. Seems she couldn’t sh*t for 3 days, and when she finally did, the smell was so bad, her roommate could smell it from down the hall. She also told me she had been working out nonstop to combat the high caloric intake, and that she never wanted me to cook dinner for her again, unless she was PERSONALLY there to inspect the food beforehand.

It was a fun date. She laughed about it eventually, and said that that was the first time she’d ever crapped in a guy’s house on a date. She’d been so upset by it she was in tears in the bathroom while I had been in tears on the couch.

I know, I’m an a$$hole, but it was still a funny night.



  1. Sounds about right though… 🙂 And if you've ever eaten MREs there ARE parts you can identify with… Just sayin…

  2. While my time in service pre-dates MREs, I definitely recognize the, ahem, after-effects. Sounds about right.

  3. Years ago, I was with the Australian Army, ( I was R.A.A.F.), we were near to the top of Cape York, east coast of OZ.
    Our Ration Packs, (nicknamed 'RatPaks) were not as modern as today's are, the small can of cheeze was mostly not eaten.
    One Army bloke had a strong attraction for it, and he ate all he could get. For nigh on four-five days, no 'movement' at all.
    Our Corporal acquired a box of peaches, and we ate the lot.
    The Army bloke mentioned did also, and within about an hour, he was having seriously impressive 'movements'.
    We later told him that's why the cheese is nicknamed 'PLUG-HOLE'.
    From then on, his appetite for cheese pretty well disappeared, dunno why.:)

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