Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Themed Care Packages for Ranger School

Goooooood Wednesday morning, ladies and gents, it's a be-ee-ay-utiful day here in lovely Houston, where it's at 60 degrees with a high of 85. The trucks are revving and it's business as usual off of Beltway 8.

While it is still a while away, the [mental] deadline for sending care packages for the end of Mountain Phase is approaching (and none too swiftly, if ya feel me on this). I plan on mailing mine on the Saturday or Monday before the phase is done. A few things to consider before mailing, though.

  1. Airborne: B. is airborne certified. If he passes Mountain Phase, and the weather for take-off/jumping is good enough, he's gonna be jumping his exhausted butt into Florida. While that man has a stomach of steel (seriously, food poisoning does not happen to him), I seriously doubt that jumping out of an ever-living plane with a stomach full of sugar is what he really needs. Projectile vomiting while projecting yourself out of a plane can't be good.
  2. Time: Reports (::cough:: Facebook ::cough::) have brought back the info that he's only going to have 20-45 minutes to eat the food. So, while I would just love to send him 3 care packages with all of the stuff I want to send him, chances are he won't be able to gorge himself fast enough... Though, now that I think about it, 20 minutes is 4 times longer than he's had to eat for what, at that time, will be 6 weeks, and 45 minutes is 9 times longer than what he's had... so maybe he will have the time. Better to have too much in a care package than too little and have him licking the inside of the box... right? (Swear, that's what they do with the MRE packets... and instead of trading MRE's for flavor, they trade them for caloric content, the higher the better.)
  3. Collective Sweets: The thing I need to keep remembering is that every single wife/girlfriend/mother will be sending cookies/candy/brownies.... While I want him to have his favorites, more than likely he'll be able to poach the sweets off of his squad mates. That's not to say that I didn't include some sweets in these "themed" care packages... Just something I am trying desperately to keep in mind. The stuff he misses the most is fruit because I suppose MRE's don't have that kind of stuff (got the same feedback at LDAC, too.)

Now, without further blather, the themed care packages!

Tex-Mex in a Box:

  • Jar of chunky salsa
  • Jar of queso 
  • Tortilla chips
    • A good alternative to tortilla chips are soft tortillas if you're concerned with the chips breaking into a million little pieces
  • Fork/spoon 
    • This is especially good if you send the chips. B. has poured the chip fragments into a salsa container with a little bit of salsa in it, and eaten it like soup. I can see him doing this again...
  • Turkey jerky
  • Fruit twists (I found some at my local HEB... review from a mom's blog can be found here)
    • B. ate all of the ones I sent him in his Darby care package.... 18 of them. That's 18 servings of fruit. Well.... ok, he had 17. I had to try one. They're delicious.

Third Grade Lunch Box:

  •  Loaf of bread
    • you can put pieces of cardboard around it in the box so that it doesn't get smooshed... but, as B. always tells me, "It being smooshed doesn't affect the taste."
  • Jar of peanut butter
    • this is a stick-to-your-ribs staple. I swear, peanut butter is the only reason my picky-eater sister made it through childhood... well, that and pasta. Additionally, Rangers have frequently requested jars of peanut butter so they can dunk cookies in it... 
      • "Oreos and peanut buttah." <--- Parent Trap anyone?
  • Jar of jam
    • B's not a big jam eater, but I think if I got a type with enough hunks of fruit in it, he'll be all over it. His favorite fruit is cherry and strawberry, so I'll probably pick something like that. Y'all feel free to go crazy on this one.
  • Jar of marshmallow fluff
    • can be swapped out for the jam. Peanut butter and Fluff sandwiches are apparently a favorite of kids everywhere... I wouldn't know, Mom didn't let us have sweets as our main course. (SO DEPRIVED, Y'ALL!)
  • Jar of Nutella
    • ditto the subpoint of the marshmallow fluff.
  • Snack-size bags of chips
    • I'd say these are good candidates for shipping just because of all that air in each bag. They can also be easily passed around so that all those men are putting their dirty paws into one community bag.
  • Instant milk
    • "EEEWWW, Courtney, that is nasty!!!!" Hold your horses, ma'am/sir. Aside from fruit, the thing that B always headed for first is the gallon of milk. Which always makes me mad because no matter what cup I have set out for him, that man drinks FROM THE JUG. Thank you, sweetheart. Anyway, the powdered milk, while not necessarily the BEST alternative, still has all of the healthy essentials needed in milk. You can get the powdered milk in mostly the same variations of the liquid stuff -- I haven't done a ton of in-store research on this, but it's something for you to look at. After all... what's a healthy third grade lunch without milk?
      • I'm even considering putting a few tablespoons of chocolate milk mix into the powdered milk... so when B. mixes it with his water, he gets chocolate milk!!! He likes strawberry milk best, so if anyone reading this knows a powdered strawberry mix, please let me know in the comments. 
  • Cookies
    • need I explain even further? NO third grade lunch is complete without cookies.
  • Wet Wipes
    • sticky kid hands, dirty Ranger fingers, tomato, toe-mah-toe, right? These babies are like gold, especially if they're the kind with soothing aloe vera in them. 
  • Plastic knives
    • Something Rangers can get that third graders cannot -- CLEAN knives to spread the jam and peanut butter!

BBQ, Baby!

  • Beef jerky
    • I recently made a trip to Sam's Club... got a 1 pound bag of beef jerky. Can't remember how much it cost, but Sam's Club is the best.
  • Summer Sausage
    • You can sub this out for the beef jerky, but be sure to provide a knife for slicing
  • Jar of pickles
    • Seriously, what's BBQ without pickles?
  • BBQ sauce 
    • For dipping?
    • on that thought, maybe provide some little canisters for them to pour it into so they don't have to pass the whole bottle around? I assume sharing on all of this stuff.
  • Sweet tea mix
    • You can pack the Mio tea squirty thing, the Crystal Light powder, or whatever, but I firmly, FIRMLY believe that sweet tea is a requirement for barbeque.
  • Chips
  • Cookies
  • Fruit Twists
  • Wet Wipes

Phew. Okay, all, I'm about done with typing. I've got a call with Canada that's going on right now, and I have a sneaking suspicion they're going to start asking me questions about my work (I know, right, the nerve of them to interrupt my blogging to ask me about WORK!). 

I hope to carry on the rest of my ideas in the next post. Feel free to add your ideas in the comments and I'll post them on my next posting!

Stay classy.


Victoria Higgins said...

I know of a pretty good powdered strawberry flavored protein drink! GNC protein drinks. It will REALLY help keep a person going. Protein is extremely important in the body and is easy to get deficient in. People who work out a lot (or in my boyfriend's case runs through sand and 120 heat) need protein to help keep muscle mass up.

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