Veggies?

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Veggies?

Postby peyote2004 » Fri Nov 01, 2013 7:55 am

I was wondering about veggies on playa ...

My idea is to clean and cut up peppers and onion ahead and put them in containers (likely empty water bottles) in the cooler to use for quesadillas, nachos,omelets, etc.

Has anyone tried this, and if so, how long did they last?
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Re: Veggies?

Postby CaffeineGirl » Fri Nov 01, 2013 8:05 am

Try it in your refrigerator first. I think you will find damp vegies + non-breathable container = mold.
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Re: Veggies?

Postby peyote2004 » Fri Nov 01, 2013 8:21 am

I do prep veggies ahead each weekend and keep them in the fridge for lunches/cooking each week... that's what gave me the idea.
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Re: Veggies?

Postby FIGJAM » Fri Nov 01, 2013 8:26 am

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Re: Veggies?

Postby GreyCoyote » Fri Nov 01, 2013 8:33 am

I have never done this expressly for Burning Man, but I've done it plenty of times for camping. It works fine for anything that will be cooked. Note that if you need them perky and pretty (like for a salsa), then this isn't such a good strategy, but when you intend to cook them up then being all perky/pretty isn't really a requirement and they should be fine. :mrgreen:
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Re: Veggies?

Postby ygmir » Fri Nov 01, 2013 8:58 am

I've had good results extending "shelf life" of chopped veggies by adding some white vinegar to the bag. I think the acidity helps control spoilage and mold.
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Re: Veggies?

Postby GreyCoyote » Fri Nov 01, 2013 3:27 pm

ygmir wrote:I've had good results extending "shelf life" of chopped veggies by adding some white vinegar to the bag. I think the acidity helps control spoilage and mold.


In the South we call those "pickles". :mrgreen:
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Re: Veggies?

Postby peyote2004 » Fri Nov 01, 2013 3:48 pm

I don't like the taste of vinegar, so although it might help, I won't do it.

I've done the veggie in bottles here, but in the fridge ... I'm wondering of the ice in the cooler would make them too cold/freeze them. I'll try it out when I go camping next summer.

But as Grey Coyote said, they may no be so nice raw, but they'll be fine for cooking.
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Re: Veggies?

Postby Ulisse » Sun Nov 03, 2013 11:08 pm

The veggies will get a little limp but they won't freeze if you are using ice. As long as ice is melting, even slightly, it is at 32 degrees.
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Re: Veggies?

Postby unjonharley » Mon Nov 04, 2013 10:33 am

ygmir wrote:I've had good results extending "shelf life" of chopped veggies by adding some white vinegar to the bag. I think the acidity helps control spoilage and mold.


A little (white) vinegar when drying foods.. The food keep the natural color and freshness while drying..
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Re: Veggies?

Postby asr9754 » Tue Nov 05, 2013 11:09 am

I kept veggies in a tight tupperware in the cooler with no problems, they lasted 4-5 days.
Ziplock bags do not work in cooler water, they leak water in.

Don't take broccoli or cauliflower, it REEKS and infiltrates the rest of the cooler! Even when kept cold. Worst mistake of 2013.

I had good luck with baby carrots, snap peas, celery sticks, cucumbesr, cherry tomatoes, baby bell peppers. Opened the tupperware once a day to let them breathe for a minutes. Fresh veggies were awesome to have in the desert.
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Re: Veggies?

Postby trilobyte » Tue Nov 05, 2013 11:24 am

If you have a half decent cooler and think you and your campmates can keep it in the shade and filled with ice (and drained of meltwater) throughout the week, it will behave a whole lot like a refrigerator. When in doubt, see how well something lasts in your fridge for a week.
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Re: Veggies?

Postby unjonharley » Tue Nov 05, 2013 11:38 am

I freeze my own ice in one gallon containers.. Six fit nicely in the cooler.. No food-water mix.. Can use the melt water for cold drink..

Use it once.. Use it twice..
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Re: Veggies?

Postby peyote2004 » Tue Nov 05, 2013 1:55 pm

Hi... thanks for all the suggestions/advice. I've gotten some good ideas and will test them when I go camping next summer.

I will be flying in, and likely camping solo, so I will be the only one using the cooler. I will make sure it's not directly on the ground, and I'm planning on some sort of cover to insulate it. As for keeping it in the shade ... that's the plan, but I havn't decided what I'm going to do for shade yet.
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Re: Veggies?

Postby Mia » Sun Dec 22, 2013 9:13 pm

What about frozen veggies ( if you cooler will have dry ice) you can get pre cut onions and pepper that way.
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Re: Veggies?

Postby BBadger » Mon Dec 23, 2013 9:26 am

You'll keep your ice longer if you: 1) have good insulated cooler, 2) have "coldness batteries" such as solid ice blocks that keep the temperature stable, 3) prevent air leaks, which will slowly sap the cold air in the cooler, 4) refrain from opening up the cooler too often, though this is often mitigated by having more ice blocks.

Before you try any "tricks" like keeping your cooler above the ground, covering it in blankets, finding shade, etc. you need to buy a cooler that is actually insulated. All these additional layers of protection are really just bandaids for the typical low-quality coolers with hollow walls. Personally, I only bother with keeping the cooler in shade, away from moving air sources so that it reduces the effects of convection.

Elevating the cooler means that you have a shoddy-ass cooler that is conducting a lot through the bottom surface. It may even facilitating the movement of air under and along the sides of the cooler, which could further degrade the insulating capabilities because of convection. If you're going to elevate your cooler, put it on a solid, poor heat-conducting surface such as on wood. Don't create an open hollow space below the cooler, because while you may think that the air is insulating, the fact that it is mobile means that it will convect.

Most of these good insulated coolers (from Igloo, Coleman, Yeti) use insulating foam that is better than styrofoam. The foam also gives the cooler structure, which is nice if you want to sit on them, or bump them around. Such coolers are not too expensive depending on the season. I got a huge 165qt MaxCold Igloo cooler at Costco for like $60-70 if I recall; it has a nice small door on top for grabbing drinks and avoiding having to open up the entire top. We used that as our main food cooler for about 5-6 of us, including all the vegis we had to bring for a dinner. Sure, we bought ice, but that was because we weren't all that diligent about not grabbing drinks as we wanted them, and we were dumping ice blocks into our water dispenser anyway.

Often a single cooler like that can replace all the multiple smaller, poorly insulated coolers that you bring. Plus, the cold air is shared throughout the entire cooler, and you can often compartmentalize the cooler with your ice blocks. They often have handles on the side for dragging them around, and maybe even wheels. If a 165qt cooler is too much, Costco also sells the smaller MaxCold coolers too.
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