The Richmond Register

Lifestyles & Community

August 20, 2013

How the armed forces fix their meals in the field


MADISON COUNTY — Peanut butter cannon balls

Back in the early 1980s, when the troops were opening up the first MREs, Tabasco cooked up “The Unofficial MRE Recipe Booklet.” While most of the recipes are long since outdated, this little Rees’'s-like gem is still a winner.


1 packet of peanut butter (This would equal about 2 tablespoons)

2 packets of sugar

MRE crackers, finely crumbled (This would equal about 10 crackers)

1/2 packet cocoa beverage power (This would equal about 2 tbsp)


Combine peanut butter and sugar: stir in crackers and mix well. Shape mixture into 1 inch balls. Add a few drops of water if necessary. Roll balls in cocoa powder. What a clever idea.

If the troops found out they were going to be deployed, this is a recipe some of them would make to take with them. A high-protein snack was a great idea.



1 1/2 to 2 pounds flank steak

2/3 cup  Worcestershire sauce

2/3 cup soy sauce or teriyaki sauce

2 tbsp honey

2 tsp ground black pepper

2 tsp onion powder

2 tsp Tabasco sauce

1 tsp liquid smoke

1 tsp red pepper flakes


Trim the flank steak of excess fat, place in a zip-top bag, and place in the freezer for one to two hours in order to firm up.

Remove the steak from the freezer and thinly slice the meat with the grain into long strips.

Place the strips of meat along with all the remaining ingredients into a large, one-gallon plastic bag and move around to evenly distribute all of the ingredients.

Place the bag in the refrigerator for three to six hours. Remove the meat from the marinade and pat dry. Evenly distribute the strips of meat onto three trays of the dehydrator. Follow the dehydrator directions for drying meats.

The research I did on the meals in the military really hit home for my being part of a military family and not realizing what all they have to deal with on deployment.

We are all so blessed for the men and women who do risk their lives so that we do not have to heat our bread on an engine or mix a dessert in a cup.

Arritta Morris holds a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and a master’s degree in counseling from Eastern Kentucky University. She is certified as a food service specialist by the School Nutrition Association.


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