Trail Cooking

Gear Find: Portion Control and Making Your Own Minis

Ever noticed the tiny cups that Chinese (and similar) restaurants use to put sesame seeds, hot mustard, sweet chili sauce and similar in? They are small, clear and have a lid. Only issue is they are often flimsy and if you can find them at a restaurant supply store, you are looking at buying a couple hundred of them. I noticed a line from Diamond™ (yes, the match company) of reasonably priced 50-cup sets:


I found them tucked in near the plastic cutlery and zip top bags in my local Safeway. Unlike the ones from take out places, these are actually sturdy. The lids go on tightly and both parts are recyclable.

So why be interested? Some things just carry better in small containers. Butter, fancy nut butters you buy in big jars, nuts and candies you don’t want crushed, Parmesan cheese, croutons for topping. Many, many things. Pack up the items you need, slip the containers into a zip top bag and go. No worries about finding single serving packets of shelf stable items that way, and certain items you just have to make your own!

And if you have small children like we do, you can make them your own snacks instead of paying through the nose for tiny packets. Kids love seeing the treats, and these little clear cups work snazzy at that. Fill a bunch up with mini Goldfish, chocolate covered candies, fruit snacks and more…and dole them out while hiking. Each little 2 ounce cup is a new treat. The empty cups can be stacked together to save space. They also make great water/sand/gravel/rock collecting devices when the little ones are playing during breaks. Multi-purpose and all!


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