Pre-Playa Food Testing

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

Do you pre-test or sample food choices before you get to the Playa?

Yes, and I keep an itemized list of the results because I'm OCD
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I intend to, but never do
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Total votes : 23

Pre-Playa Food Testing

Postby Clar-i-ty » Sat May 21, 2011 6:58 am

At the bequest of a friend, this thread is to share your pre-Playa food testing and it's outcomes.

Many of us test foods, freezing methods, recipes and methods before we hit the Playa. Often those from the Default World don't understand why we would spend so much time planning meals for what to an outsider is an extreme camping trip.

But, those of us who call the Playa home know that everything is magnified on the Playa, including food, and anything we can do to make our food more enjoyable or easier to prepare (or not prepare at all) makes a difference.

Are you sampling or testing foods for the Playa? Tell us about it.
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Postby unjonharley » Sat May 21, 2011 9:20 am

/

Why should I get out in the middle of nowhere and find I don't like the food I packed???

I just pack food out of my pantry and go.

Stop by a quicky Mart and grab some comfort junt on the way..
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Postby Minxy » Sat May 21, 2011 9:26 am

:D :D :D

I love you, have I told you that yet? :D :D

Ok, so I can't tell you how many times my kids have sat in the kitchen and stared at me with their heads cocked to the side and a blank, uncomprehending stare on their faces.

They are watching me whip up (for example) TWO teriyaki marinated chicken breasts, TWO marinated teriyaki steaks and TWO marinated teriyaki shishkabobs. I carefully place one of each in a freezer ziploc bag and start cleaning up. Then I take one of each and cook them...and without eating them FREEZE those individually too.

Now my kids are starting to look concerned as if I've gone off the deep end.

Of course at the same time I'm making a batch of homemade scones (my bacon ones weren't NEARLY as good as I thought they would be) and homemade chocolate chip cookies and doing the same thing. Freezing some of each cooked and uncooked...AND NOT LETTING THEM HAVE ANY OF IT!!!

I make entire antipasto plates and practice the presentation and taste combinations. Buy all sorts of weird canned foods that I've never tried and eat them on really hot days sitting in the sun. I go to great lengths (and fun!) to practice with foods for the playa.

It might sound silly but for me it's a kind of art. I look at it as what a hostess might do to prep for a cocktail or dinner party...except I won't necessarily know who my guests will be! I often will make stuff for our lil camp or just make food to walk down the street with offering it to neighbors and people passing by.

Anyone else?
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Postby Elorrum » Sat May 21, 2011 9:27 am

(not mocking. I was really curious bout what a worse case scenario dust out meal might be) After hearing Johnny Cash sing, "cold beans for breakfast" I tried a can of cold baked beans to see if it was really nasty. It wasn't bad.
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Postby TomServo » Sat May 21, 2011 9:44 am

I grilled some chicken kabobs, vaccuum seald em and froze them, just to see how well they reheated. Worked like a charm! The were just as good as when they came off the grill.
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Postby Rice » Sat May 21, 2011 10:39 am

I just look for foods that either require minimal cooking or none at all. It doesn't help that I have a 3000Km drive to the playa, so packing stuff from home just doesn't make sense.

In the mid-day sun, that can of ravioli sitting in my tent is certainly warm enough to eat. Ok, not exactly gourmet, but I eat when I need to.

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Postby Bob » Sat May 21, 2011 10:48 am

I left a jar of mayo open on the front porch in October. It's still there.
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Postby Rice » Sat May 21, 2011 10:50 am

Bob wrote:I left a jar of mayo open on the front porch in October. It's still there.


My initial thought was "thats Nasty", but my curiosity has me wondering if you may have created a new life form...
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Postby Mojojita » Sat May 21, 2011 12:35 pm

stretch80 wrote:
Bob wrote:I left a jar of mayo open on the front porch in October. It's still there.


My initial thought was "thats Nasty", but my curiosity has me wondering if you may have created a new life form...


You will have to check during the daytime...it's nocturnal and goes out to hunt at night.
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Postby Savannah » Sat May 21, 2011 3:37 pm

Minxy wrote::D :D :D

I love you, have I told you that yet? :D :D

Ok, so I can't tell you how many times my kids have sat in the kitchen and stared at me with their heads cocked to the side and a blank, uncomprehending stare on their faces.

They are watching me whip up (for example) TWO teriyaki marinated chicken breasts, TWO marinated teriyaki steaks and TWO marinated teriyaki shishkabobs. I carefully place one of each in a freezer ziploc bag and start cleaning up. Then I take one of each and cook them...and without eating them FREEZE those individually too.

Now my kids are starting to look concerned as if I've gone off the deep end.

Of course at the same time I'm making a batch of homemade scones (my bacon ones weren't NEARLY as good as I thought they would be) and homemade chocolate chip cookies and doing the same thing. Freezing some of each cooked and uncooked...AND NOT LETTING THEM HAVE ANY OF IT!!!

I make entire antipasto plates and practice the presentation and taste combinations. Buy all sorts of weird canned foods that I've never tried and eat them on really hot days sitting in the sun. I go to great lengths (and fun!) to practice with foods for the playa.

It might sound silly but for me it's a kind of art. I look at it as what a hostess might do to prep for a cocktail or dinner party...except I won't necessarily know who my guests will be! I often will make stuff for our lil camp or just make food to walk down the street with offering it to neighbors and people passing by.

Anyone else?


I am anxious to make your acquaintance. :mrgreen:
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Postby MyDearFriend » Sat May 21, 2011 5:02 pm

Savannah wrote:
Minxy wrote::D :D :D

I love you, have I told you that yet? :D :D

Ok, so I can't tell you how many times my kids have sat in the kitchen and stared at me with their heads cocked to the side and a blank, uncomprehending stare on their faces.

They are watching me whip up (for example) TWO teriyaki marinated chicken breasts, TWO marinated teriyaki steaks and TWO marinated teriyaki shishkabobs. I carefully place one of each in a freezer ziploc bag and start cleaning up. Then I take one of each and cook them...and without eating them FREEZE those individually too.

Now my kids are starting to look concerned as if I've gone off the deep end.

Of course at the same time I'm making a batch of homemade scones (my bacon ones weren't NEARLY as good as I thought they would be) and homemade chocolate chip cookies and doing the same thing. Freezing some of each cooked and uncooked...AND NOT LETTING THEM HAVE ANY OF IT!!!

I make entire antipasto plates and practice the presentation and taste combinations. Buy all sorts of weird canned foods that I've never tried and eat them on really hot days sitting in the sun. I go to great lengths (and fun!) to practice with foods for the playa.

It might sound silly but for me it's a kind of art. I look at it as what a hostess might do to prep for a cocktail or dinner party...except I won't necessarily know who my guests will be! I often will make stuff for our lil camp or just make food to walk down the street with offering it to neighbors and people passing by.

Anyone else?


I am anxious to make your acquaintance. :mrgreen:


You guys are already Sisters of the Ribbons (or you will be on Monday, anyway). 8)
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Postby theCryptofishist » Sat May 21, 2011 5:10 pm

MyDearFriend wrote:
Savannah wrote:I am anxious to make your acquaintance. :mrgreen:


You guys are already Sisters of the Ribbons (or you will be on Monday, anyway). 8)

Is that some sort of breast cancer thing?
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Postby International Incident » Sat May 21, 2011 5:18 pm

Elorrum wrote:(not mocking. I was really curious bout what a worse case scenario dust out meal might be) After hearing Johnny Cash sing, "cold beans for breakfast" I tried a can of cold baked beans to see if it was really nasty. It wasn't bad.


I did this the other day.... I wasn’t going to admit it but now I have!

Coming in from a foreign country, and having eaten USA food before, I have been trying to find (on-line) the nutrition panels so i can work out what the closest beans, corn and tuna to what I can get here is. Now THAT is lame!
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Postby MyDearFriend » Sat May 21, 2011 5:28 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:
MyDearFriend wrote:
Savannah wrote:I am anxious to make your acquaintance. :mrgreen:


You guys are already Sisters of the Ribbons (or you will be on Monday, anyway). 8)

Is that some sort of breast cancer thing?


Nope, it's a "gotta buncha free ribbons in the mail sister" thing, and, you are one too!

Of course it's only in my mind, but, still... y'all are my Ribbon Sisters now, sorry!
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Postby theCryptofishist » Sat May 21, 2011 5:38 pm

MyDearFriend wrote:
theCryptofishist wrote:
MyDearFriend wrote:
Savannah wrote:I am anxious to make your acquaintance. :mrgreen:


You guys are already Sisters of the Ribbons (or you will be on Monday, anyway). 8)

Is that some sort of breast cancer thing?


Nope, it's a "gotta buncha free ribbons in the mail sister" thing, and, you are one too!

Of course it's only in my mind, but, still... y'all are my Ribbon Sisters now, sorry!

I figured that. I'm one of those insecure assholes who makes everything into a joke to avoid real pain. I better go swimming in a pago pago octopus right about now.
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Postby MyDearFriend » Sat May 21, 2011 5:58 pm

Ha!

(((Fishy)))

I'm just a sentimental fool who writes people's names in my heart.
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Postby Clar-i-ty » Sat May 21, 2011 8:15 pm

stretch80 wrote:I just look for foods that either require minimal cooking or none at all. It doesn't help that I have a 3000Km drive to the playa, so packing stuff from home just doesn't make sense.

In the mid-day sun, that can of ravioli sitting in my tent is certainly warm enough to eat. Ok, not exactly gourmet, but I eat when I need to.

Love Rice


Uh Rice, I know how you eat. Bachelor food doesn't count. (WE)
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Postby Trishntek » Sat May 21, 2011 11:39 pm

We cook a big-ass ham and bag it into 5 pound packages. Throw in some other meats, dried fruits and veggies. Tons of snacks and drinks. Then on the playa, we all throw whatever together whenever and eat it! There are some peculiar combinations, but it is all good!

As for testing food pre-playa,,,, I think it works pretty much the same as it would at home,,,, doncha think?
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Postby graidawg » Sun May 22, 2011 2:39 am

MyDearFriend wrote:Ha!

(((Fishy)))

I'm just a sentimental fool who writes people's names in my heart.


+3

ribbon sisters is cool. you should where them and use them as tokens for the mighty warriors who charge to battle in your name - be it fizzball or the thunderdome
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Postby Minxy » Sun May 22, 2011 6:17 am

RIBBON SISTERS!! :D Love it!! <3 Thanks MDF, I'm excited for Monday!

Trishntek, NO NO NO, you're ruining all my fun. Not everything that we eat everyday freezes well. Especially yummy treat type items (cookies scones etc) that I don't bake all that often.

I like to test it and how things freeze so I know I won't be opening a pack o' nastiness out of my cooler to feed people. :P

And thanks, Savannah, I've always wanted to meet you, too. :)
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Postby tamarakay » Sun May 22, 2011 6:18 am

I've read through the food themes etc. and we have experimented with the dry ice cooler thing. We eat a LOT of fresh fruit/vege and fish at home, fish freezes so easily, but no matter what you have that stinky packaging left. We have been eating some quick energy bars and snacks. Ken's is picky/has a sensitive tummy so don't want to buy a bunch of stuff and then end up hating them. So far good old cliff bars seem to be winning.
We are planning on getting out the vacuum sealer we bought five years ago and used for packaging cookies for a friend in Iraq and expermenting this coming week.
We don't have a Trader Joe's around here, but the Indian Bits (or something like that) sound interesting. BUt since we are wandering our way there over the course of a week, being there, then wandering home another week, we have three different trips to plan food for. Hopefully part of our wandering will route us by one so we can give those a whirl. Since we know we feel better and have more energy eating real food we are only going to have the canned stuff as plan p.

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Postby Elorrum » Sun May 22, 2011 7:19 am

Good Morning Tamarakay. back porch coffee and dogs, sounds amazing. There's a trader joe's in Reno. I know I talk about that store a lot, because it is sort of like a food toy store for me. They have decent prices on dairy, and low prices on bread, and their pre-made and packaged foods are so interesting. I get my staples, and then do a last run there to see what might be fun to try before heading out for the playa. They do have a three bean salad in a can that is super easy for potlucks. just chill and open.

I have a taste before sharing rule now. I gave some folks coffee out of a thermos that had some silicone parts that retained a very strong soap flavor. Ever have the experience of seeing people's faces tasting the bad taste you are tasting, and they don't say anything about it? What are they thinking? I apologized profusely, and they looked relieved to know that I understood that soap was not a regular coffee ingredient.
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Postby theCryptofishist » Sun May 22, 2011 7:23 am

Elorrum wrote:...they looked relieved to know that I understood that soap was not a regular coffee ingredient.

Is that why he never has a second cup of mine?
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Postby ygmir » Sun May 22, 2011 7:27 am

theCryptofishist wrote:
Elorrum wrote:...they looked relieved to know that I understood that soap was not a regular coffee ingredient.

Is that why he never has a second cup of mine?
*wails and runs off thread.*



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Postby AntiM » Sun May 22, 2011 8:33 am

I've done the chicken teriyaki/freeze thing. Yummy indeed. The problem with our camp is logistics, cat herding, and dietary restrictions. It is rare we are all in camp for meals, making portion size a problem. Second, we have food allergies, others have food preferences, a vegan who does raw foods some years, and our AncientBurner is kosher (I think).

We don't like fuss and bother, so dry ice is out (really, it was more of a hassle). Keeping people out of the "deep freeze" food only ice chest is yet another hassle, no matter how you arrange and label the damn coolers, there's always someone who has to look inside to see if thats where the last cold beer is. ARGH. Leaves them all open and uncovered while perusing the contents. ARGH. Smaller argh, doesn't put the cooler cozies back on.

Yes, my first year, I sewed covers for all the coolers. Excellent idea which has saved us days on ice (when put back on).

We eat a lot of dry goods, granola bars, power bars, raisins, canned chicken, heavy on the whole grain chips, tuna, and couscous. Turkey jerky and cheese crackers. Cup o noodles. We also bring and bake premade cookies and biscuits. I make custom trail mix and put it in individual ready to grab bags. Our other camp mates bring canned soup and raviolis. We just aren't a cooking camp. Less clean up makes me happy, because Larry and I have to do the cleaning up.
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Postby AntiM » Sun May 22, 2011 8:35 am

A lot of what we eat on the playa is what MyLarry carries on the truck for meals when he can't get to a fast food place.
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Postby mudpuppy000 » Sun May 22, 2011 8:42 am

I always test my EZ-cheese pre-playa to make sure they haven't changed the formula. ;)
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Postby TomServo » Sun May 22, 2011 9:26 am

tamarakay wrote:I've read through the food themes etc. and we have experimented with the dry ice cooler thing. We eat a LOT of fresh fruit/vege and fish at home, fish freezes so easily, but no matter what you have that stinky packaging left. We have been eating some quick energy bars and snacks. Ken's is picky/has a sensitive tummy so don't want to buy a bunch of stuff and then end up hating them. So far good old cliff bars seem to be winning.
We are planning on getting out the vacuum sealer we bought five years ago and used for packaging cookies for a friend in Iraq and expermenting this coming week.
We don't have a Trader Joe's around here, but the Indian Bits (or something like that) sound interesting. BUt since we are wandering our way there over the course of a week, being there, then wandering home another week, we have three different trips to plan food for. Hopefully part of our wandering will route us by one so we can give those a whirl. Since we know we feel better and have more energy eating real food we are only going to have the canned stuff as plan p.

Sunday morning ramblings. Everyone else is asleep, just me, my coffee, and the dogs out on the back porch. Life is sweet.


Seal A Meal is awesome! you can save pre-cooked food, freeze it, and just reheat in boiling water. Its also great for infusing marinades in uncooked meats and vegetables.
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Postby Trishntek » Sun May 22, 2011 9:54 am

Fresh fruit is a waste of space on the playa IMHO. Get dried fruits that will endure and leave no core or peel behind to rot.

This may be heresy to many, but we only have one big hot meal each day on the playa. The rest of the day we snack on dried fruits, nuts, chunks of ham and other snacky things. Playa time is just too precious to spend hours of each day cooking,,,,, of course, I could be wrong!
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Postby TomServo » Sun May 22, 2011 10:12 am

alcohol infused fruits? like cherry bombs? kill two birds with one stone.
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