Food - What works, what doesn't

What do you eat and drink on the playa? Share ideas, recipes and advice here.

Food - What works, what doesn't

Postby TheRealMsMo1 » Sun Apr 24, 2011 3:13 pm

Hey ladies and gents!

I couldn't find a discussion in this vein, but if there is one, please direct me to it.

So I'm a virgin burner this year and I would like to hear you thoughts on food!

A quick primer on me, I'm traveling solo, so my needs are pretty limited as well as the space in my car, and I'm not interested in doing dry ice playa freezers so I can have ice cream, (although that does sound divine.)
I'm planning on a single two burner propane stove.
I don't drink so don't say beer, (though I'm thinking of bringing some to gift.)

So far I plan to bring:
PB&J fixins
Frozen soup (doubles as ice!)
Freeze dried backpacker meals
Myriad of snacks, EmergenC, etc..
Lost of fruits and veg

I would love to hear about three things mainly, (but feel free to over-share!):

1. What foods and meals have worked out really well for you and your friends?
What stores well/keeps well/is something you still wanted to eat once you're out there.

2. What did NOT WORK? What food/meal was just an abject failure?
What didn't keep/store well or was just stomach turning in the playa environment?

3. What did the playa make you crave? What did you wish you have, or what was a something that you loved that someone else did food-wise?

Thank you in advance for your help,
Marissa
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Postby Bob » Sun Apr 24, 2011 3:20 pm

Have you ever been camping anywhere in your life? What did you eat, acorns?
Amazing desert structures & stuff: http://sites.google.com/site/potatotrap/

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Postby TheRealMsMo1 » Sun Apr 24, 2011 3:31 pm

[quote="Bob"]Have you ever been camping anywhere in your life? What did you eat, acorns?[/quote]

Well thank you Bob, that was not at all helpful or useful in any way.
Yes, I have indeed been camping, I have not however, done much camping in a harsh desert environment for a week.
What may work with casual car camping on the coast or a mellow weekend backpacking trip might be a horrible idea at BM, I've never been so I wouldn't know, and that is why I bothered to ask.

I hate it when people say if you haven't got anything nice to say then don't say anything at all, but dude, if you have nothing constructive helpful or of value to say then fuck off.
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Postby Sschade » Sun Apr 24, 2011 3:42 pm

Hello there! I'm also a virgin burner so I'm sure someone around here has better advice but here goes. I myself was thinking about boil-in-bag rice (good carbs) and possibly canned beans (protein) and some basic seasonings for flavor. I've read that produce and bread goes bad after about two days on the playa but again, seasoned burners probably know more about that. As for snacks, granola bars/ trail mix and/or nuts might be a good idea. Hope this helps!
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Postby Elderberry » Sun Apr 24, 2011 3:43 pm

Might not have been helpful, but it sure was funny.
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Postby Bob » Sun Apr 24, 2011 3:58 pm

Thanks, Jkisha, I'll be emailing you my sekrit souffle recipe.
Amazing desert structures & stuff: http://sites.google.com/site/potatotrap/

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Postby TheRealMsMo1 » Sun Apr 24, 2011 4:02 pm

Woo, chili at night! Another thing you could make and freeze in advance.
Yeah, I'd expect produce and more "delicate" food to crap out pretty quickly.

I imagine that my diet will probably deteriorate toward the end of the week, if worst comes to worst freeze dried meals always work.
This is one of those times when packaged food is your friend.

And actually it wasn't funny. It's not like I'm asking, "can I get wifi and cell reception out there?" Or "OMG! I have to pee in a porta potty??!!!"

I think it was a totally reasonable question to ask.
I don't understand what it is about online discussions that make people become total ass-hats.
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Postby Donna Matrix » Sun Apr 24, 2011 4:25 pm

Don't worry about all the snarks... they lurk and pounce... really - once you get used to it - they are hella funny.

Seriously about food...............................

This is my seventh year at the burn. I like canned fruits and vegies. So very easy. One must think of trash as well and the cans are easy to haul. Plus, I drink the liquid...no mess.

One thing I really have enjoyed is Anderson's Split Pea soup. I don't know why, but it just so yummy up there.

Pickles.... you need the calcium chloride in them.

Try not to bring to many sodium chemical products, like flavored chips. Bring plain chips. That way you don't get chloride deficient.
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Postby Fufa » Sun Apr 24, 2011 4:36 pm

If you keep stocked up on ice throughout the week from Arctica (and keep the cooler in the shade) most anything can be made to work.

My neighbours had cooked at home chicken thighs and wings in some crazy delicious marinades and sauces (one teriyaki-ish the other some garden herb) that they then froze before bringing out to the playa. When they thawed out, we all ate them cold as an afternoon snack. The same group also emptied out the pickles from a costco sized jar and spent the week pickling some hard-boiled eggs.

My group did alot of KD, hotdogs, burgers, noodle cups, granola bars, eggs, and bacon, but then again we were also pretty lazy last year.

Dry pastas with sauce in a sealed jar don't need to be refrigerated, and are easy to make. Deli meat and hard cheeses for sandwiches always keep easy in a cooler.

These are of course what I like to eat. Think of all the meals you really enjoy and that aren't ridiculously hard to make, and imagine how you could make this work on the playa. Perhaps you'll want to pre-mix or pre-cook things at home to save prep and messes when you get there. Just remember to bring some packup non-perishables in case your food spoils.
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Postby graidawg » Sun Apr 24, 2011 4:37 pm

there are many threads concerning food on the playa, what works what doesnt, theres one called non cooler based food or some such.
so basically if you cant be bothered to work through the 7 years or so of helpful advice dont get all pissy when people take the piss out of you.
i would direct you to the appropriate threads but i get seriously hacked off with the search function on here, and i dont no the clever ways people put the links up, so try having a look.
and my suggestion, tuna. healthy and nutricious leave it in the sun and its warm or soup whatever flavour floats your boat. course i'm a virgin too but i read the forums looking for advice before asking the same old same old questions.
and i still make mistakes and get the [s]piss[/s] snark taken out of me when i say stupid stuff.
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Postby Bob » Sun Apr 24, 2011 4:53 pm

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Amazing desert structures & stuff: http://sites.google.com/site/potatotrap/

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Postby Donna Matrix » Sun Apr 24, 2011 4:56 pm

Don't bring melons................ rots way to fast and smells.

Think of the trash you are creating while eating your food.

There are no garbage cans. And don't even think of throwing your trashy smelly food into the porta potties. Dont' even!
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Postby TheRealMsMo1 » Sun Apr 24, 2011 4:57 pm

@graidawg
Not that it matters but I DID dig through the forums and I still am.
I posted my question after I had failed to find to my satisfaction what I was looking for, after a 50+ page dig. I found bits and pieces of what I wanted but not exactly what I was looking for.

My initial question was devoid of piss and snark, it was an honest question that I had yet to find an answer to.
If you or anyone else think I or any other user is being lazy or pissy, they should A) Ignore them, B) point them towards the correct thread
and of course not be a dick.

Being rude does nothing but foul peoples moods and waste everyones time.
Just because internet gives us a level of anonymity does not mean we need to be rude and unhelpful to complete strangers.

If you don't like my questions then don't help me.
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Postby Donna Matrix » Sun Apr 24, 2011 5:03 pm

Burners don't take shit personally.

You will learn, grasshopper. All is well and no one here means any offense.

Have fun.... snark the snarks............. piss on the pissers............ etc.
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Postby TheRealMsMo1 » Sun Apr 24, 2011 5:08 pm

Haha, no worries, trash bags are the first thing on my shopping list. I am not so dense as to throw anything but bodily waste in the toilets. I know better.
It still blows my mind that people don't get the trash part of this event.
I'm pretty good about not creating too much trash anyway so I've got that working for me ;)
I am tempted to encourage someone to try that just so I can watch the service company folks beat them upside the head with the big hose, and then shove them in the porta potty.

The whole trash situation is very much in my mind in all my planning. It's also another great excuse to install the roof box, so I don't have to have a weeks worth of desert trash to keep me company on the 5 hour drive.
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Postby Elderberry » Sun Apr 24, 2011 5:18 pm

TheRealMsMo1 wrote:
Being rude does nothing but foul peoples moods and waste everyones time.
Just because internet gives us a level of anonymity does not mean we need to be rude and unhelpful to complete strangers.

If you don't like my questions then don't help me.


You sound like a winey little baby. Lighten up.

As far as the anonymity of the board, if you'd been a bit more observant you would have discovered that the majority of us have either met most of the people on this board or will be meeting them at the next meet n greet. Which you are more than welcome to attend, by the way.

Trying to lecture us on our Internet manners is not the way to win friends and influence people here until maybe you have more than ten posts to your name. Now grow up, stop trying to lecture us and get with the program.
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Postby Donna Matrix » Sun Apr 24, 2011 5:20 pm

A top rack would be great. Plus a bike rack..

Ah............... just get a bus and have all the room you like.

But wait! Gas is getting pretty high.................... do you have a budget?

I don't. Can't. I get what I need [and want] for BM. It's my luxury. HA!
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Postby graidawg » Sun Apr 24, 2011 5:26 pm

http://eplaya.burningman.com/viewtopic.php?t=38531&highlight=food

theres one heres the one i mentioned.

http://eplaya.burningman.com/viewtopic.php?t=35430&highlight=cooler

took a couple of minutes searching sorry if thats not more helpful but hey Radical self reliance and all that. get used to the snark and mickey taking and if you need help trying to work out what to eat perhaps you need to also think about things like shade and camping arrangements, from what ive read eating is usually the last thing on peoples minds

edited to add "what jk said too" so ner ner no anomity here ive got a t shirt with my name on it so everyone knows. (thanks MDF)
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Postby FIGJAM » Sun Apr 24, 2011 5:39 pm

Make your favorites at home and put them in individual serving containers, then freeze them.

When at BM take one out about 2hrs before eating and put it on your dash.

Hot meals are easy.

I like good ziplock bags. Easy to use and dispose of, and no dishes to wash.

Hope this helps.
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Postby TheRealMsMo1 » Sun Apr 24, 2011 6:39 pm

Thank you FIGJAM and Donna Matrix, you've both been very helpful.
And Fig, Ziplocks are where it's at!
I've been leaning towards freezing lots of single serve stuff, now with the dashboard bit, (that's brilliant, btw) I'm definitely doing a lot of that.

Thanks to everyone again!
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Postby Elliot » Sun Apr 24, 2011 7:03 pm

:D
Not to be contrary, but I have had perfectly good luck with watermelon. We just keep it on ice and then enjoy watermelon late in the week. Of course, your mileage may vary -- we may have been lucky.

My contribution: Milk can be frozen. But when it thaws, make sure it is all melted, then shake well, before serving.

Slightly green bananas become ripe later in the week.

Produce waste like melon rinds and banana peels can be hung to dry in a mesh bag. No mess or smell once it is dry -- which doesn't take long.
:D
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Postby Elorrum » Sun Apr 24, 2011 7:22 pm

A few things you may not expect that will impact your food situation.

1. You might not be so hungry in the heat for a big meal if you are planning them.
2. You will experience some very dusty windy events that might coincide with meal time, making preparation or cooking a no go.
3. you might not want to go back to your camp and two burner stove to make a meal.

have easy, light, portable, not needing cooking options available. Take pocketable snacks with you when you leave camp... plus of course, WATER. I never can say I know for certain what I'lll see or do or when I might return. I make a big bowl of gorp and put it in small bags.

canned foods are easy, non-perishable, and you can bring 'em home if you don't eat them. I like soup. Some say, leave the canned food on your dashboard all day, and it's hot at dinner time. no stove, no bowl, easy.

If you are solo, think of a neat food you can bring to a pot luck with your neighbors. I try to avoid having leftovers. nothing like making a big qty of something that no one else eats. :(

I haven't brought perishable food. I freeze water for cold water to drink, and keep sodas, and canned fruit in the coolers as well.
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Postby Elderberry » Sun Apr 24, 2011 9:31 pm

Elliot wrote::D
Not to be contrary, but I have had perfectly good luck with watermelon. We just keep it on ice and then enjoy watermelon late in the week. Of course, your mileage may vary -- we may have been lucky.

My contribution: Milk can be frozen. But when it thaws, make sure it is all melted, then shake well, before serving.

Slightly green bananas become ripe later in the week.

Produce waste like melon rinds and banana peels can be hung to dry in a mesh bag. No mess or smell once it is dry -- which doesn't take long.
:D


Ya, we always bring a watermelon too. Which is a big hit towards the end of the week when we serve it. It keeps just fine in a cooler.
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Food and the playa

Postby uncle sticky » Sun Apr 24, 2011 9:34 pm

I do drink, and I get kind of wrung out after a week or so, so pinch of salt with recommendations.

Tasty Bites, or other ready to eat in foil pouch meals. I leave them on my dashboard, or someplace else, and they get nice and warm. I eat them out of the pouch, so waste is minimal.

Deli meat and rollup items. Meat, cheese, tortilla. Let the tortilla warm up, smear it, good to go.

Snacks with dips/smears. Very satisfying. Cookies. Nuts. Salt and protein.

Sugary cereal. I don't eat this anywhere else, but on playa, Capt. crunch, and lots of it.,

Hard boiled eggs, with miracle whip. Tangy, protein, easy to digest. Excellent.

I find that you don't eat that much, and when you do, it's usually a bit of this and a bit of that. Cooking stoves, hot water, anything that requires a clean cooking environment, not recommended. The dust goes everywhere, so the more you can open up a sealed package and eat, the better off you are.
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Postby FIGJAM » Sun Apr 24, 2011 9:51 pm

Hard boiled eggs are great, but I like mine with tobasco.
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Postby ibdave » Sun Apr 24, 2011 10:04 pm

Watermelons 101:
Bring only seedless. Yes less true flavor but seeds=mOOp

smaller size fits most mid size cooler.

Store melons in shade, they grow in 100+ heat and sit in the loading yards for days.. no big deal. Cantaloupes no so well but use 1st and that's cool. Clean your cutting blade well after.

When you have a empty ice chest, clean it and then place melon in it. Now all along you should be practicing safe ice chest habits right? if so use the cool clean water when you re-ice everyday. In 3-4 hours, cold melon each day.

Now, I bring lots and gift clean cold melons out front of camp and to the neighborhood. I have a clean platter and cut the melon meat out. No mess other than lots of finger sucking and that can be very sexy.
:shock: 8) I do have a way to bring lots of crap, I have had people bring me melons that they didn't know what to do with. We chill it and cut it up and let that person have the fun of handing out juicy cold watermelon's.

Now, I do dry the rinds out on black plastic and when dry, I add to the burnable's that we take to the burn barrels each day. 8) 8)
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Postby Packoderm » Sun Apr 24, 2011 10:20 pm

If you have a portable grill, you can make some stuff taste pretty good.

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Put a the whole canned ham on the grill and put the heat on low.

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I've never personally tried cooking this canned chow, but you never know - maybe wrapped in foil with a dash of butter and put on the grill...

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Postby Packoderm » Sun Apr 24, 2011 10:24 pm

The secret to good corned beef hash is to first get a little bacon grease going in the pan, and then add a little bit more bacon grease right before it's done. That's the secret.
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Postby gaminwench » Sun Apr 24, 2011 10:44 pm

re: melons

pre-playa... cut melon into rindless, bite-sized chunks
Put into quart sized ziplocs...
*Optional* add 2 shots quality vodka...
Freeze ...
Serve (topless, with a smile)...
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Postby dragonpilot » Sun Apr 24, 2011 11:48 pm

I never bring my own food...I get others to gift me theirs! Their booze, too.
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