I HATE planning what foods to bring to the playa!

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

I HATE planning what foods to bring to the playa!

Postby lemur » Thu Aug 08, 2013 10:00 am

GAH!! ok, so i mentioned this elsewhere. ..but damnit,.. perhaps the worst thing in terms of stress that I normally deal with in relation to burning man is: food.

ya gotta eat to feel well out there, with all that activity, and stuff, and damnit, its hard/impossible to keep the stuff i like at home fresh for the entire time im out there, usually 10-12 days, with the logistics of the way i gotta do the burn (no dry ice and no RV).

if it werent for this thing my burning man life would be a lot less stressful..

at home grocery trips are usually enough to survive every 3 days.. with a weekly trip for meat, much of which is frozen..

just planning for 10+ days is so far off my norm that it makes my head hurt.. im not used to it!.. plus, at home, theres the pantry of stuff that gets built up over time.. which helps a lot

man, i tell ya, some of this burning man stuff is fuckin annoying.

not long ago i developed a dental situation that makes eating real hard/crunchy foods difficult due to sensitivity..

along with being a bit of a picky eater (meat and potatoes midwestern type person) i end up in a lame situation of trying to figure out what the hell i can even get thatll keep me going for the event, even though my camp has a shared dinner meal each day.. im wary of relying on it because im a picky fuckin fuck.

ok yeah.

also, i hate shopping in strange grocery stores.. cuz stuff is always in different locations, why dont they standardize the aisles across the nation so that it doesnt take forever to find all the stuff you want?



anyways ok. yes, i just needed to share that.

anyone else got anything to add to the "omg this food thing sucks!!" rant?
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Re: I HATE planning what foods to bring to the playa!

Postby Elliot » Thu Aug 08, 2013 10:17 am

Although I enjoy tasty foods like anyone, I can function just fine on canned food eaten cold. It just needs to be safe to eat cold (pre-cooked, if needed), have adequate nutrients, and a pull-tab lid. I like Dinty Moore Hearty Meals Beef Stew.

Now a question: A 15 ounce can of the above has 10 grams of protein. Is that a good amount of protein, or should I go looking for slabs of roast beef?
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Re: I HATE planning what foods to bring to the playa!

Postby Savannah » Thu Aug 08, 2013 10:23 am

I normally grocery shop every other day very close to my home, because I like to have whatever I'm in the mood for, so--I hear that, Lemur. :)

I have my own peculiarity . . . food shopping actually takes me the longest of any Burn prep because certain (easy) foods are tradition, and I want them every time--but I only like to buy on sale. With coupons, if possible. :lol: Yet--I don't want anything going stale, or tasting like its packaging, or expiring at the event, so I don't food shop for the Burn 'til June.

And I don't have a car--which saves me thousands of dollars a year, but means my grocery haul is smaller.

So I end up on all these bizarre expeditions where I have three enormous heavy bags, or going to the store full of intent & finding that the crackers and salmon and fruit cups and shelf-stable milk that I want are all two dollars more than I KNOW they will sell them for and to hell with that, I'll wait 'til next week! . . . Even though I know exactly what I want, and if I didn't care about all of that I could get it all done in 1 day at 3 stores . . . or in Reno at one store, like goddamned Batman. One day I'll fly into Reno and do just that--I won't plan it at all, and I'll spend twice what I should, but it will take me 30 minutes instead of two months. :lol:

Elliot wrote:Although I enjoy tasty foods like anyone, I can function just fine on canned food eaten cold. It just needs to be safe to eat cold (pre-cooked, if needed), have adequate nutrients, and a pull-tab lid. I like Dinty Moore Hearty Meals Beef Stew.

Now a question: A 15 ounce can of the above has 10 grams of protein. Is that a good amount of protein, or should I go looking for slabs of roast beef?


10 grams of protein seems a little low for beef stew. Is it per serving, with 2 servings in the can?

If yes, that's a fine amount. :D
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Re: I HATE planning what foods to bring to the playa!

Postby FIGJAM » Thu Aug 08, 2013 10:43 am

Elliot wrote:Although I enjoy tasty foods like anyone, I can function just fine on canned food eaten cold. It just needs to be safe to eat cold (pre-cooked, if needed), have adequate nutrients, and a pull-tab lid. I like Dinty Moore Hearty Meals Beef Stew.

Now a question: A 15 ounce can of the above has 10 grams of protein. Is that a good amount of protein, or should I go looking for slabs of roast beef?


On fishing trips my dad would add a can of roast beef with gravy to the Dinty Moore to make it beefy.

Heated up and served over bread, it was a feast.

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Re: I HATE planning what foods to bring to the playa!

Postby Elliot » Thu Aug 08, 2013 10:44 am

Yes, this 15 oz can is labeled as 2 servings. *reads label again* Ah hah! 10 grams protein is per serving. 20 grams protein in the can.
Same with calories -- 200 per serving, 400 in the can. Shouldn't be too much to eat in one sitting for an active six foot man -- who may not remember to eat again that day. :D
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Re: I HATE planning what foods to bring to the playa!

Postby tamarakay » Thu Aug 08, 2013 10:53 am

The stallion could last the whole week on clif bars, pretzels and beef jerky. Not me. By the time we leave I am craving salad and fresh fruit. We've been trying various premade meals and though I won't by choice eat them in the real world the hormel brand of shelve stable meals are edible. On playa I think they will work fine. One package is a little too much for me, but is a little too little for stallion. So, it works out.

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Re: I HATE planning what foods to bring to the playa!

Postby Savannah » Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:11 am

FIGJAM wrote:
Elliot wrote:Although I enjoy tasty foods like anyone, I can function just fine on canned food eaten cold. It just needs to be safe to eat cold (pre-cooked, if needed), have adequate nutrients, and a pull-tab lid. I like Dinty Moore Hearty Meals Beef Stew.

Now a question: A 15 ounce can of the above has 10 grams of protein. Is that a good amount of protein, or should I go looking for slabs of roast beef?


On fishing trips my dad would add a can of roast beef with gravy to the Dinty Moore to make it beefy.

Heated up and served over bread, it was a feast.

Savannah, your time is worth more than you are saving. :lol:


It has occurred to me more than once, Figjam--but I think I'm deriving some sort of cheap, twisted thrills from it! :lol:

Elliot, you know what's really delicious out of the can? Hormel Turkey Chili: No Beans. i.e.: just turkey. Maybe a little garlic powder or hot sauce . . .

Tons of protein.
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Re: I HATE planning what foods to bring to the playa!

Postby lucky420 » Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:28 am

Thanks for starting this thread lemur!

I too hate grocery shopping and really dont enjoy preparing meals all that much. I dont really even like to think about it that much
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Re: I HATE planning what foods to bring to the playa!

Postby danibel » Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:45 am

Food is a deal. But I have to eat somewhat well out there or else I turn into a grump. Luckily our camp does have a daily dinner, so I only have to supplement. I always keep a cooler (we actually keep a few, since we cart out dairy for ice cream), and I buy fruits that last a bit longer, like apples, oranges, and hard avocados. My boyfriend likes cheese and yogurt, and for a quick shot of protein, I like hard boiled eggs with salt and pepper. They sell em sealed in 2 packs now at grocery stores, though for the past few years I boiled and peeled my own. The precooked TJ's lentils are good cold with a few slices of avo and crackers. My "pantry" consists of canned beans, box soups, raw nuts, dried fruit, and Lara bars. By the time I get to Reno I want a big green salad!
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Re: I HATE planning what foods to bring to the playa!

Postby BurnerBunny » Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:49 am

Don't your camp dues of $10k+ entitle you to gourmet catered meals 24/7? :P

I LOVE being over prepared, especially in the food department. This year my camp is doing the food prep and I'll just be helping out, but in past years and camping trips these are a few of my tricks for eating how I want when I want:

1. propane powered camping oven:
Image
this allows for prepared ahead meals from step 2. If you don't want to get super spendy you can replace the oven pictured above with a dutch oven, but then your cooking will be a bit more complicated and a little more limited (but still awesome, dutch oven cobblers are the best!). If your camp has a generator, then bring a decent sized toaster oven, those work in a pinch too :)

2. Frozen prepared ahead meals. You do all the work in the comfort of your kitchen, freeze them, then pop them in the oven while camping. Make sure what you are freezing is in portions that will fit in the oven you intend to use. My favorites are lasagne, homemade pizza (i have lots of tips for frozen homemade pizza if anyone is interested), chicken bakes, baked ziti, tuna casserole, and mac n cheese to name a few. I also do really yummy breakfast bakes this way, one is with onions eggs cheese and potatoes (and bacon/sausage if I'm not with veggy types). Another breakfast one is sliced apples, cinnamon, and egged bread slices on top. It bakes up just like french toast, when you flip over your serving you have a yummy baked apple slice on top. Super easy and amazing. I buy a dozen or so of those alimumun disposable baking trays (that fit in my oven), and go nuts the week before I leave. Just google or youtube for bake ahead frozen meals, the number of great options is truly astounding.

3.Freezer containment. If it's a <3 day trip, then the frozen items from step 2 + ice in a normal cooler are enough. However for burning man there is no getting around using an adequate amount of dry-ice and a very well insulated cooler. If dry ice isn't an option, then the only other way to make it happen is to have a generator or gas powered freezer. I go the dry-ice route (plenty of info on eplaya on exactly how much dry ice you'll need and how to do it properly, so I won't repeat here).

Yes, it's a lot of work. But i think it's worth it when I want to go gourmet. Throw in bacon and a camping french press for coffee now and then, and your campmates will love you forever :) If I'm only cooking for me and my partner, it's not really that hard. It's only a ton of work when it's for 4 or more ppl.
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Re: I HATE planning what foods to bring to the playa!

Postby BurnerBunny » Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:54 am

lemur wrote:...
not long ago i developed a dental situation that makes eating real hard/crunchy foods difficult due to sensitivity..


I totally sympathize. I have braces this year, and it hurts to eat anything harder than a slightly chewy piece of bread. Sucks because usually I like to have steak night once during the week, not happening this year. Oh well, I'm focusing on having gourmet drinks instead :)
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Re: I HATE planning what foods to bring to the playa!

Postby FIGJAM » Thu Aug 08, 2013 12:02 pm

There will be tender steak at the M&G! 8)
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Re: I HATE planning what foods to bring to the playa!

Postby illy dilly » Thu Aug 08, 2013 12:14 pm

BurnerBunny wrote:2. Frozen prepared ahead meals. You do all the work in the comfort of your kitchen, freeze them, then pop them in the oven while camping. Make sure what you are freezing is in portions that will fit in the oven you intend to use.

Another way, if all you have is a Propane stove or even a single burner, is to seal the same sort of frozen meals in those "seal-a-meal" type vacuum pouches. Get a big pot of water boiling, and drop the whole pouch of food in there and let it heat up. The pouches of frozen food also act as ice blocks at the bottom of your cooler. If packed right, the pouches at the bottom of the cooler will still be frozen 5 or 6 days later.
If you wipe down the outside of the pouches, before freezing, with Clorox wipes they become disinfected- or at least that's what I tell my self.
I haven't, nor anyone I know, had any trouble with the pouches breaking or melting in boiling water, even for long periods of time.
A couple of my favorites:
-Mac'n'cheese mixed up with sloppy joe style ground beef.
-Spaghetti or any pasta with what ever sort of meat you want.

Some of my buddies that hunt talk about doing
-mashed potatoes, turkey, and gravy.
-Hash browns and ground up sausage
-Lasagna
-Fajita Veggies and meat


lemur wrote:along with being a bit of a picky eater (meat and potatoes midwestern type person)

Same here.
One year, I made a post roast a few nights before we left. Ate half that night, packaged up and froze the rest. All the meat, carrots, potatoes, and onions. We found that boiling took forever to get the potatoes warm, not even hot, and the meat, carrots, and onions were scalding hot.
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Re: I HATE planning what foods to bring to the playa!

Postby Savannah » Thu Aug 08, 2013 12:14 pm

FIGJAM wrote:There will be tender steak at the M&G! 8)


That's really the only reason I show up to the Meet & Greet, or--as I like to spell it--"The Meat & Greet". I just steadily eat steak in tiny pieces with a cocktail fork and pumpkin-carving mini knife, for three damned hours.

Oh sure--sometimes I will hug & greet people, but you will notice that it's strictly when I temporarily run out of meat, and even then, I'm looking over your shoulder, following the scent (and with my tongue in your unattended champagne glass).
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Re: I HATE planning what foods to bring to the playa!

Postby geospyder » Thu Aug 08, 2013 12:33 pm

Elliot wrote:Yes, this 15 oz can is labeled as 2 servings. *reads label again* Ah hah! 10 grams protein is per serving. 20 grams protein in the can.
Same with calories -- 200 per serving, 400 in the can. Shouldn't be too much to eat in one sitting for an active six foot man -- who may not remember to eat again that day. :D


I was thinking the same thing. Each of my Mountain House freeze dried dinners states that it is two servings. Think I'll just have to make it one serving since I don't want to waste food :twisted:
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Re: I HATE planning what foods to bring to the playa!

Postby geospyder » Thu Aug 08, 2013 12:36 pm

FIGJAM wrote:There will be tender steak at the M&G! 8)

Forgot about the M&G - one less night I have to plan a meal for :D
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Re: I HATE planning what foods to bring to the playa!

Postby Conduit » Thu Aug 08, 2013 12:43 pm

For a more enjoyable shopping experience I wear a red cape, go at night. cover my cart in El wire and use the one that looks like a race car for hauling kids. If I really want to liven up the experience, I make race car engine noises and skid sound effects while making sharp turns around the corners.
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Re: I HATE planning what foods to bring to the playa!

Postby Krokodyle » Thu Aug 08, 2013 12:44 pm

If only they made shelf-stable broccoli.

Oh, wait... :D
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Re: I HATE planning what foods to bring to the playa!

Postby Sic Pup » Thu Aug 08, 2013 12:52 pm

illy dilly wrote:One year, I made a post roast a few nights before we left.


Look I understand the need for adequate fiber in one's diet but THAT, my good man, goes too far.

I'm going to supplement my normal fare of cheese, eggs, bacon, peanut butter, nuts and rice this year with some pasta (3 minute variety) w/tomato sauce and I'll probably get one of those squeeze tubes of anchovy paste to do another pasta dish and to mix it up a little. I'm also thinking of bringing some frozen burgers to have the first few meals (and to share since I'm a solo camper).

I inevitably end up donating excess food and booze :shock: to DPW on the way out because I purposely err on the side of caution and I never want to be caught with my pants down in case company drops by (at least not initially, anyway).
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Re: I HATE planning what foods to bring to the playa!

Postby Eric » Thu Aug 08, 2013 12:58 pm

I have the convenience of a microwave & freezer in the RV, but I'm still a lazy cook out there. My main meals are Trader Joes soups - I eat them almost every day for dinner, occasionally for lunch. Faves are the garlic-onion, & the udon. I love kimchee ramen at home, so I'm going to try a couple pre-made brands the next week or so, and bring the best out with fresh kimchee from a local vendor to add to it.

Other than that, I bring a one frozen pasta-something as a treat dinner (TJ's has a great vegan penne Arrabiata), lots of pickles and snack-foods, and lots of chips & salsa, plus I'm thinking of making my own frozen breakfast burritos this year, since finding a decent brand of vegan ones has sucked, and I can't risk cheese on the playa. :shock:
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Re: I HATE planning what foods to bring to the playa!

Postby lemur » Thu Aug 08, 2013 1:14 pm

in another thread greycoyote mentioned shelf stable beef... and.. i went right outand got some.. a succesful mission

i'll be cooking a batch of tacos up in not so long to give it a good test..

but omg! you got no idea how awesome it is.

(see above 'i hate planning')

something shelf stable that i can put in my luggage with me out on my trip to the playa that wont rot and represents a big portion of my normal diet? hellz yeah.

(plus while not shelf stable.. they got pre-cooked sausage that will keep ages longer than raw breakfast sausage,.. for some reason i never see this stuff in day-to-day shopping because i go at the stuff i normally get.. it all become News To Me. hooray for eplaya)

Image
Image


things are looking up on the 'i hate planning what food to bring to the playa' front.

every little thing helps ;-)
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Re: I HATE planning what foods to bring to the playa!

Postby tatonka » Thu Aug 08, 2013 2:04 pm

I broke out my vacuem sealer and made a bag that would fit one portain of the red beans and rice I made. I froze it , and later thru it in some boiling water.
It worked out great :)
Going to do Spagetti and meatballs also .
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Re: I HATE planning what foods to bring to the playa!

Postby illy dilly » Thu Aug 08, 2013 5:22 pm

lemur wrote:something shelf stable that i can put in my luggage with me out on my trip to the playa that wont rot and represents a big portion of my normal diet? hellz yeah.

O shit, yeah flying in does add a whole mess of extra food planning issues.

Sic Pup wrote:Look I understand the need for adequate fiber in one's diet but THAT, my good man, goes too far.

You've never soaked and roasted a 4x4 in the crock pot with some potatoes, carrots, onions, celery, garlic, and tons of other spices?
You clearly don't know how to live :wink:
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Re: I HATE planning what foods to bring to the playa!

Postby delle » Thu Aug 08, 2013 5:32 pm

lemur wrote:.
Image
Image


May I ask where you found this???? Plane-taker my own self, I'd love to add this to the menu!!!
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Re: I HATE planning what foods to bring to the playa!

Postby lemur » Thu Aug 08, 2013 6:31 pm

i found the above image right where graycoyote said itd be.. in the prepared foods/canned meat aisle ... near the pouches of tuna and spam at the wallymart.. the brand name, which i removed for some reason is 'libbys' that stuff is shelf stable and doesnt need a fridge/cooler ..... i havnt looked, because i knew from their website that it was at my local store, but this item might not be easy to locate at tons of stores (im just guessing)

the breakfast sausage also got at wallymart.. it was in the fridge section.. and needs to be kept cold, but, it will last way longer than raw meat.. and the package tells you that ya got 7 days to use it after opening... my guess is that this item, jimmy deans brand.. its probably available at tons of places


i plan to bring the precooked shelf stable stuff with me on the flight just to be sure i have it.. as every year i bring a few shelf stable things that i know i want to have, but am unsure if i will find in reno

i will look for the precooked sausage stuffs in reno.. along with the normal shelf stable pre-cooked bacon and my normal shopping
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Re: I HATE planning what foods to bring to the playa!

Postby tamarakay » Thu Aug 08, 2013 6:46 pm

Savannah wrote:
FIGJAM wrote:There will be tender steak at the M&G! 8)


That's really the only reason I show up to the Meet & Greet, or--as I like to spell it--"The Meat & Greet". I just steadily eat steak in tiny pieces with a cocktail fork and pumpkin-carving mini knife, for three damned hours.

Oh sure--sometimes I will hug & greet people, but you will notice that it's strictly when I temporarily run out of meat, and even then, I'm looking over your shoulder, following the scent (and with my tongue in your unattended champagne glass).


Oh sweet girl. You do realize that now greidog will be following you around with steak and champagne right?
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Re: I HATE planning what foods to bring to the playa!

Postby Martiansky » Thu Aug 08, 2013 7:24 pm

Great thread!

I'm having food buying block lately......
I go to the store and walk down aisles (I even have a list) and nothing looks good!
Well, nothing that is in a can anyways.
I did find some of the beef crumbles and will probably get a few more, because tacos sound good.
I have picked up a few items but just cannot figure out what else to bring!

If you don't have a long drive to the playa you are lucky since you can make and freeze stuff at home before you leave.
Driving from MN I don't see this as possible for me.
I'm thinking about buying frozen steaks/burgers when we get closer to gerlach and dry ice to hopefully keep it frozen for a few days so I can have it near the end of the week if possible.
So the theme this year is like a giant camp out in the desert? With people bringing lots of shit from all over? uh.. -Marscrumbs
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Re: I HATE planning what foods to bring to the playa!

Postby Patsh » Thu Aug 08, 2013 8:00 pm

Couscous is fast and super easy, and so much easier than rice, to go with practically anything else.
I'm surprised it doesn't get mentioned much on ePlaya!

Measure water, bring to boil.
Measure couscous, add boiling water.
Cover, wait a bit, fluff with a fork (or what-have-you).
Ready.
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keep on triken' Mamma!
Triken' ma blues away....
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Re: I HATE planning what foods to bring to the playa!

Postby Elliot » Thu Aug 08, 2013 8:03 pm

All right, this afternoon I bought some of the stuff discussed earlier, or stuff resembling that.

Hormel Compleats Homestyle Roast Beef & Mashed Potatoes. This is an oval plastic tray with cardboard around it. I ate one straight out of the tray. It didn't taste much that way, but I found it acceptable as "battlefield nutrition", which is all I need this to be.

Will try to remember to report on another tomorrow.

Of course, I'm bringing canned fruits, mixed raw nuts, and other things I have always brought. The nuts I eat year round; fabulous food.
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Re: I HATE planning what foods to bring to the playa!

Postby BoyScoutGirl » Thu Aug 08, 2013 9:45 pm

Triken wrote:Couscous is fast and super easy, and so much easier than rice, to go with practically anything else.
I'm surprised it doesn't get mentioned much on ePlaya!

Measure water, bring to boil.
Measure couscous, add boiling water.
Cover, wait a bit, fluff with a fork (or what-have-you).
Ready.


I've got to second this. Simple, shelf stable, filling. I like to add artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, and olives from a jar.
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