Traveler's Pack Foods
by Juliette de Bairacli Levy
When planning long travels far from shops, there is a selection of basic foods which can be taken along, all long-keeping and light in weight. They should be packed individually in brown paper bags, not in plastic, and then finally in a water-proof rucksack.
Dried fruits. They are a blessing for travelers and for those who dwell far from shops (which seems to be my placement on the world’s maps!). Presentday, in addition to the usual raisins, figs, dates, prunes and apricots, all of the delicious, healthful and concentrated nourishment, one can sometimes get dried banana (in thin, circular slices), pineapple and bitter-type cherries.
To me, possibly because I am Oriental in my parentage, the best of the dried fruits is the golden date. On the island of Djerba, famed for its date palms, I ate dates fresh from the tree. Here is a nostalgic poem to a date palm, from that famed, mysterious book, The Thousand and One Nights.
Fed with the light of our gold father [the sun],
We are loved of the free-tented,
The sons of space, the hall-forgetters,
The wide-handed, the bright-sworded,
Masters of horses.
(I hope the swords were for use against the animals, especially wolves and the big cats, which attack the herds, not against man.)
The Bedouin and Berbers, who have much control over the date trade, wisely do not let the dates ripen fully on the date palms, possibly to be spoiled by birds and rats, They gather them before they sweeten, and pack them into flat containers woven from date-palm fiber. They test the dates for ripeness by pressing with their hands. When the dates within are soft to the pressure, the containers are opened and the dates are ready for eating and for selling worldwide. Thus no harmful sprays need to be used for the dates’ protection on the palms
Almonds. For sure, the almond is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, of health foods and medicines. For the almond is unique in its power to fortify the immune system. The almond is safe and sure, whereas the vaccines pushed upon the world--especially the children--by the vast drug companies, as powerful as the armaments vendors, are neither sure nor safe in the action--often in fact, dangerous.
The almond is one of the strongest of the trees. It is hard work sawing through almond wood, as I well know, having for the past twelve years had a grove of almonds to care for, which needed trimming of their branches. Those trees cared for organically have given me many sackfuls of healthy nuts every summertime.
I really learned the value of almonds from Berbers on the island of Djerba, Tunisia. Their healthy children greatly impressed me, and I learned that when only weeks old they were given almond milk to protect them from all diseases, in fact to fortify their immune systems by natural methods. I did the same for my son, born on Djerba.
The recipe for all-powerful almond milk: Blanch shelled almonds by pouring over them water hot enough to allow removing the outer brown skin (not so hot as to harm the almonds). Now pound up very small. To every tablespoon of crushed almonds add three tablespoons warm water or milk. (I prefer milk.) Allow to stand for seven hours or so, then strain through a sieve, squeezing the pulp very well to extract all the almond milk.
The average amount for a baby would be two dessertspoons of almond milk first thing daily. The older children and adults eat the pulp. I give my hounds daily a tablespoon of finely grated almonds. (I keep this in a jar.) It is given to fortify the immune system. They are never ill and are never given vaccinations of any kind.
Roasted, often salted, almonds are good-tasting, but very indigestible. They are simply a good food spoiled!
All of the flaked cereals, oats, barley , corn, etc.; toasted wheat flour (ready to eat, merely to be mixed with milk or water); grated raw carrot, sterilized by roasting, and packed into jars, dried fruits, especially raisins, dates, apricots, and prunes; (also the dried dom fruits, from the dom tree or Christ-thorn, a small berry-fruit which is almost always on the dom trees, and which keep indefinitely after easy drying. It is carried by the Bedouins on their travels, and was used as a travel food by Christ. A shrub-tree, it is abundant in Galilee.); shelled nuts and pine kernels; sunflower kernels.
Black olives (dried); a jar of honey; wholewheat biscuits, or sundried or fire-rusked slices of wholewheat bread; dried powdered spices as flavor and tonic for use with the cereals, etc., such as marjoram, thyme, sage, rosemary; raw groundnuts (peanuts) and also raw peanuts ground into flour; carob pods; and of the dairy products, dried milk--dried milk in cones (sold in Arab shops for travelers) keeps indefinitely, and when crushed into water makes a good milk mixture for eating with the flaked or powdered cereals; also hard cheese and Balearic type cheese (described earlier in this chapter and very long-keeping); salt and cayenne pepper and the common peppers, and a can or jar of sugar molasses, so rich in minerals.
Juliette de Bairacli Levy was a world renowned herbalist, author, breeder of Afghan hounds, friend of the Gypsies, traveler in search of herbal wisdom, and the pioneer of holistic veterinary medicine.
Juliette was born on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1912 in Manchester, England.She was educated at Lowther College, one of the best girls schools in Britain, and went on to study veterinary medicine at the Universities of Manchester and Liverpool. Find all of her books here.