Cooking in the wilderness was always a challenge, but the real secret to our success was the famous freezer box – a David Silcox invention – which allowed us to transport so many culinary delights into the far north.
It was a strong heavy duty cardboard container insulated on the inside with styrofoam, fortified with durable padding material and sealed tightly with strong duct tape. Among its virtues was that it was virtually waterproof and if unexpectedly ejected from the canoe, it floated, riding high through rapids.
Filled with dry ice, the container allowed us to preserve pre-cooked frozen gourmet dishes and ingredients for up to 8-10 days – all the stuff for mulligatawny soup, spicy pasta dishes, rabbit stews, fish chowders, tuna kebabs, among other heart-warming fare. Imagine after a hard week on the river, sitting down to a gourmet meal topped off with cherries jubilee – warmed bing cherries in juice over vanilla ice-cream covered with cognac en flambé. Can’t get much better than that.
So there was Silcox at mealtime making us believe he actually concocted these wonderful meals on the fly. Only he and I knew the truth. Much of what came out of the ‘Box’ was inspired by his talented wife Linda. With the advent of the freezer box, there were never any complaints about the food.