Despite having been away from the US for more than two decades, Thanksgiving is still a holiday I celebrate.
And my wife, who is not even American, has cooked many turkeys over the years and seems to enjoy the holiday as much as I do – or at least that’s how she makes it look!
The morning after Thanksgiving this year, I had a long ride planned with a few friends. So why not bring a turkey leg or some corn on the cob as my ride fuel?
That might be a bit ridiculous, but here’s something also ridiculous, but actually feasible: Bring mashed potatoes and gravy.
Neighbor, American, and fellow Westerner Dan Hughes (I’m from E. Oregon, next to Idaho, and he’s from Utah, so it’s impossible for either of us to not be potato-eaters) chanced upon Idahoan brand instant mashed potatoes and McCormick Mushroom Gravy seasoning mix.
He found that they had all the right nutrients to rival any lab-tested, pro-endorsed endurance fuel.
Yep, the humble potato, under a bit of gravy, was going to go up against my Hammer, UCAN, and Precision Hydration.
Mixing it up was all pretty easy. I boiled a few cups of water, poured the instant mixes in (separately, of course) and put them in bottles.
I diluted the potatoes to make them liquidy enough to be consumed through a standard bidon. They ended up tasting more like potato soup than anything.
I poured the gravy into a small flask from Hammer, normally used to hold gel. That was perfect.
Then I brought one other food – was it corn, cranberries, apple pie, or turkey? Watch the video above to find out.
Overall, it worked. I did 158 km and this was sufficient. Here’s the breakdown of the potatoes and gravy:
Idahoan Butter and Herb Mashed Potatoes
2080 mg sodium
76 g of carbs
That’s the same as:
4 gels + 3 PH 1500s or 7 UCAN Hydrate sticks
McCormick Mushroom Gravy
1010 mg of sodium
15 g of carbs
That’s fewer calories and carbs than any gel but more sodium than any single sodium dosage of any endurance product.
Now if only I can figure out how to mix up a bottle of turkey meat…