Alpine winter journeys open up a whole new world of food for a bushwalker or ski tourer. Freezing evening temperatures and a surrounding of ice allows one to take foods that may not normally last the distance on a summer walk in the same place. Meats, cheeses and other perishables, if stowed correctly, can last the duration of a short trip, and in some cases even the lengthiest of journeys.

Shorter daylight hours mean it is likely you will be cooking in the dark, so simplicity is a consideration most of the time. Additionally, standing around waiting for a lengthy breakfast or lunch to cook usually means cold and uncomfortable feet.
There’s also a need to eat more in the bush in winter; the calories burned while pushing through snow need to be adequately compensated, so bulk up on a hardy warming meal and then bring on dessert.

Pea and ham risotto by Andrew Davison.

The final product: A delicious, hearty ham and pea risotto.

Simple Pea and Ham Risotto
This is an easy all-in dish. Traditionally when cooking risotto the stock is slowly added to the rice over a lengthy period. Here I have used risotto rice for that heavy, creamy and warming texture by simply adding enough water to let it simmer and cook without much fuss, you can add more water if you want to make a soup. The bacon, butter and cheese in this dish will keep the calorie count up, warm the body and they’re also suitable for carrying in winter conditions.

1 large dessert spoon of butter
½ an onion diced
½ a cup of risotto rice
150g of ham or bacon
¼ cup of dried peas
1 chicken stock cube
30g of grated parmesan

In a large pot heat the butter over a medium heat and add the onion and fry for a few minutes. Now add the rice, diced ham, peas, two cups of water and the stock cube. Cover and gently simmer until the rice is cooked, the peas are rehydrated and the liquid has reduced to thick and creamy. Stir in grated parmesan and serve.