From 1979 to 1981, I was stationed at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, Japan. I truly enjoyed the 2 years I was there-I made lots of frends, I had an awesome street car, I had a race car (I raced with the Okinawa Sports Car Club) and generally had a great job and a wonderful boss. The first time I had ever lived through a Typhoon taught me many things. When you live in a Barracks (Or dormitory as it's called now), they lock you in and sandbag the doors shut during a Typhoon Emergency. We had a TV Station and a closed circuit movie channel. We had a beer machine, a soda machine, a snack machine, a pool table and a couple pinball machines and video machines (table top Pac Man). Everyone had an awesome 8 Trillion Watt Japanese Stereo System purchased at he base Stereo Store, but I digress.......
When a Typhoon is forecasted to hit the island, they prepare and evacuate athe airplanes and whatever support personnel they need to another location, the rest of us were locked in the dorms.....and 3 times a day (I learned the hard way) the dorm manager would unlock a closet and hand out C-Rations, known as C-Rats. These were a cardboard box with metal cans inside, you got a thing called aP-38 which wasa little can opener about an inch and a half long. The fun part was you never knew what you were getting-chopped ham? Spaghetti? god knows what else. I always got stuck with chopped ham-once you oened the can, you immediately scraped the 1/2 inch of congealed grease off the top, then eat.....nasty......there was peanut butter in a tin, the dryest crackers you have ever eaten in another-are you starting to get the picture? I think the final straw for me was looking at the bottom of the box and realizing the pack date on the box meant the pig died before I was born.........
Due to my work hours, I was on Seperate Rations-meaning I got paid money to supply my food needs, whereas meal card holders did not receive money-they ate for free when they showed their meal card. So, I teamed up with a buddy and put the Typhoon Emergency Plan in gear. We weren't supposed to cook in our rooms, but I kept some cooking stuff locked away in my locker and my buddy had an electric frying pan........but what to make? We would buy supplies before the 'lockdown'. It wa samazing-people would buy EVERYTHING form the commissary just in case-I swear-even stuff they didn't like.....but we grabbed our supplies and then when everyone else was gnawing on decades old crackers, we started really annoying the neighbors. Here's the recipe, from my memory:
1-2 pounds of burger, make burgers and cooke them, drain, leave burgers in the pan.
1 mediun onion, chopped, mix in
1 can of Cream of Mushroom Soup mixed in
1 large can or pre-cooked Spanish rice, mixed in
Simmer for about half an hour, serve on dry toast.
People would be pounding on the door-we just ignored them......I also learned how to do a steak in a toaster oven-neccesity being the mother of invention and all........BTW, C-Rats have been placed by MREs or Meals Ready to Eat-(known as 3 lies in one name by my friends still in the military)