With Redneckhunter's family in the military, we'd of course heard all about MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) aka military rations. Redneckhunter's brother is well adept at the art of MRE cooking - mixing bits and pieces of various parts together to create whole new flavors.
Well, he saved a bunch of them after his last tour for us to try, though as newbies, we just stuck to the directions and didn't try any creative cooking. The cooking is actually quite ingenious. Adding water activates the heat element (phosphorous, I believe) - like the "handwarmer" technology only much hotter and much longer-lasting.
You pack your sealed foodbag in with the heating element into the carton it came in, keep it slightly elevated, and wait for things to heat up.
Redneckhunter was wise, and chose to go for the Chili Mac - the hands-down favorite among servicemen, according to his brother.
I was awed by the cool graphics of the packaging and chose the meatloaf with gravy. The congealed meatloaf was positively tasty though next to the accompanying mashed potatoes (which had that metallic can taste) with sprinkled on powder ButterBuds.
What I really liked though were the accompanying snacks and desserts, which I was able to bring home for the plane ride home from Tampa (now that airlines don't give out any snacks at all anymore).