Food, Food, Food

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Food, Food, Food

Postby Beef_Pies » Sat Mar 15, 2008 1:57 pm

Hi. I'm new to the E-Playa. 2008 will be my virgin burn, and I'm awfully excited about it. I'm fortunate. I've been invited to travel out in a caravan with other Burners from Southwest Ohio, and be included in their camp, so that's one major hurdle out of the way. I think I'm going into this with my eyes open; I'm going to be as prepared as I can possibly be, I hope.

To that end, I'm finding that the biggest question that comes to my mind--continually--is "What are the best foods to bring with you to Black Rock City?" My thinking runs along these lines: There's so much to see and do, so many fascinating people to meet, so much to learn. While I understand that I'll have to have (at least) one good meal a day, the rest of the time I want to be able to eat quickly/on-the-go, so I can fit as much into the week as possible.

Any suggestions, or at least can someone point me in the direction of a web page that has that sort of list? I've been to a couple, and mostly what I've seen so far is people listing the clothes they wear, or the gear they bring.

And yes, I'm this verbose in 'real' life, too. If you meet me on the Playa this year, I may be one of the most boring people you've ever met. Or maybe kinda interesting. It's usually hard for me to tell.

Thanks in advance!
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Postby Dork » Sat Mar 15, 2008 2:15 pm

viewtopic.php?t=17132
http://tribes.tribe.net/08bmvirgins/thr ... 6dd4906a19

I agree - the less time you spend preparing food, the more time you have to explore. That doesn't mean you have to eat junk, though. You can eat quite well with little effort if you spend a little time planning and preparing ahead of time.
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Postby Beef_Pies » Sat Mar 15, 2008 2:36 pm

Thanks, Dork. I'll check them out. By the way, I'm planning on eating at least [i]SOME[/i] junk. I wouldn't be me if I didn't.
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Postby phil » Sat Mar 15, 2008 3:56 pm

Quick meals on the playa:
http://www.cieux.com/bm/quickMeals.html
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Funny thing...

Postby Lord Of Ruin » Mon Mar 17, 2008 4:00 pm

Last year was my first burn. I am, however, a fairly experienced traveler, former Boy Scout and backpacker....

I brought food for the group, who intended to cool elaborate meals....BBQ steaks, some breakfasts, etc.

I brought lots of energy bars, a bit of fresh fruit.

Also, the friend that was "guiding" me to my first burn was an experienced guy. Since we were coming from different places, we me in Reno the might before the final drive out. We ate a very, very nice steak dinner with wine.

We then left for the Burn very early in the morning.

Here's my overall take:

My impression of food is solidly colored by me quickly returning to "bachelor" status; before I was married I sorta ate whatever was quickest. I'm not a picky eater...I'll still eat cold pizza, etc if given the chance. Cold or room temp food does not bother me at all. This may or may not affect you.

By far my favorite stuff was the cooked meals. But, for all their trouble, they really weren't worth it. It was hard to corral everyone for a mealtime. Also, lots of camps offered food when you visit. This shouldn't be your food plan, but I'm saying that you'll likely have lots of little bits of tasty stuff all along.

I brought along pop-tab top cans of vegetables in water. Carrots, beets and corn. I ate these with a spoon and actually tasted pretty good after being left in the sun for about 15 min.

I brought along a sack of the small pop-top stews and such: Dinty Moore, Ravioli, etc. High in sodium I know, but it's only a friggin' week. These to are pretty good just above room temperature sitting in the sun for 15 min. or so.

They also make chicken and tuna in non-refrigerated packs for things like this, and they went over well.

I brought some jerky that I bought in Bishop along the way. This was a big hit in camp. No prep, and really flavorful, even to people that don't normally eat it. Likewise some summer sausage.

It's pretty easy to bring small amounts of fruit or cheese, even milk with you. Just plan on eating these the first few days so you don't have to maintain so much ice. Eat them and be done with them.

All in all I'd say that I spent far too much time worrying about food than I should have. I was never, ever hungry. I brought back a bit of food, and TON of alcohol and mixers back. I will add a bit of variety to the food this time, but plan on going almost exclusively away from fresh food.

I will likely throw a few bones in with friends that are planning big barbecues so that I can partake if I feel like it.

Some people revel in eating well on the playa. For me it feel svery much like when I was in Boot Camp; more of a thing to just get handled expediently. It's not a conscious thing, but just what sort of set in.
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Re: Funny thing...

Postby Dork » Mon Mar 17, 2008 4:26 pm

Lord Of Ruin wrote:Some people revel in eating well on the playa. For me it feel svery much like when I was in Boot Camp; more of a thing to just get handled expediently. It's not a conscious thing, but just what sort of set in.

For me, it's more a matter of trying to get the best of both worlds - little to no prep time, cleanup, or waste, but still eating food that will keep me in good spirits (which includes some junk food, of course!) It just takes a little experimentation and planning.

Too bad they don't seem to sell the boxes of chili anymore - those were much more convenient than cans.
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Postby Dato » Mon Mar 17, 2008 4:43 pm

I'm with LOR on this one. The other 51 weeks of the year, I love food. I love cooking, and I don't eat much junk.

On the playa, however, all that goes out the window. I find that it's far too hot, and I'm far too lazy to cook. I found that canned soups, chili and the like are my best friends. Canned fruit is a nice treat also. Sandwitch meat and bread are a good treat, and beef jerky is a life-saver.

The first couple of years I tried bringing elaborate meals to cook, and never cooked them, so now I just stick to the above plan! Then again, everyone's different!
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Postby Beef_Pies » Tue Mar 18, 2008 12:10 am

Thanks hugely, L of R. That's the sort of practical, no-nonsense advice I was hoping for. Like you and Dork and Dato, I have a feeling that my tendency is going to be for the sorts of things you mentioned. Quick, easy, little prep time and cleanup. I hadn't thought about jerky, but now that you mention it, I'm having a hard time thinking about any food more suited for the circumstances than that. I won't try to subsist on beef jerky alone, though. But, as has been said, it's only one week. With all the wonders to be seen, I want to make food a low priority, and even I can do that for a week.
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Postby Teo del Fuego » Tue Mar 18, 2008 9:40 am

my best food experience was in '06 when I camped with Astral Headwash. They had a burrito making party and we froze an abundance of beef, chicken and veggie burritos. They tasted really good and each morning someone placed a dozen or so on the grill to thaw them out. I tried this on my own last year but without the big ice chest found my burritos were becoming more like meat-flavored slushies by the end of the week.

Try those non-refrigerated Indian curry meals in a foil pack called Tasty Bites. They are pretty darn good and dont require refrigeration, though I would recommend keeping them out of the hot sun, and all ya need is either some boiling water or a place in the sun.
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Postby Dato » Tue Mar 18, 2008 10:01 am

Oh, and on a [i]slightly[/i] related note.....Indian tacos!

I swear, I look forward to the indian side-of-the-road tacos almost as much as I look forward to burningman itself. I'm salivating right now. I think I've stopped by the same stand for the last four years. It's the first one you see on the way back past the towns. The lady knows my by name at this point.

After a week in the desert, the packing up, the dropdeadtired been eating crap for a week, these are incredible. mmmmmmmmmmmm
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Postby DrPeffer » Tue Mar 18, 2008 10:15 pm

I like to think in terms of light-packing, mostly dry foods that pack a lot of calories (which you'll burn much quicker on the playa, no matter WHAT you're doing there). Clif bars, dried fruit, jerky, crackers and peanut butter are good. And for maybe one meal a day (or more if it's not too pricey for you), there's a lot of benefits to freeze-dried camping food:

1) that shit tastes pretty daggum good. Really...All the major brands.
2) all you gotta do is boil water and pour it in the bag. Eat right out of the bag. No pots or dishes to clean with precious water, making stanky gray water. Let the bag dry out for a bit, and it won't stink in your garbage.
3) you can pack a whole week's worth of food in a box that weighs as much as a pair of shoes.
4) since they generally serve 1 or 2, they usually get eaten up all at once...No worries about leftovers rotting away, turning into an instant liability to the happiness of your burn.

For breakfast, I bring cereal and individual milk box dealies (cow or soy). They don't need refrigeration, so you don't have to babysit them all week. Just stick one in your cooler each night for the next morning (or, since they're so small, nobody will much complain if you stick it in theirs).

One thing I noticed last year was how much I craved salty foods after a few days. Even though I'm careful about keeping my electrolytes up with drinks and all that, I still felt extra-happy to be eating something as simple as a slice of deli meat or a hot dog, or cheese. But you don't need a lot of those must-be-refrigerated things compared to the dry stuff. So you can have a relatively-small cooler for that stuff, saving you lots of hassle with ice and mess.

If you keep things simple like that, then you can spend your time and energy doing things that everyone will REALLY appreciate: Like making a bomb-ass pot of coffee in the morning.
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Postby Beef_Pies » Wed Mar 19, 2008 2:46 am

Thank all of you very much. I think I have a lot better handle on, and feel a WHOLE lot less anxious, about the food thing. I'll take all of your suggestions and wisdom, and make some much more informed decisions.
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Postby robotland » Wed Mar 19, 2008 4:57 am

At the Wheatland Music Festival, which happens every year IMMEDIATELY after Burning Man, I discovered...The Walking Taco. Take one snack-size bag of Fritos Corn Chips, add seasoned taco meat (or chili) and whatever taco veggies you like, and consume directly from the bag. Better when you're prepping a few at a time considering the chopping of the fresh stuff. You get Meaty, Salty AND a Veggie Hit, and no dishes except for the meat pan and cutting board.
I'm one of those people that you DON'T want to grocery shop with...I get distracted in the "ethnic" aisle and by the canned meats. Burning Man makes a wonderful excuse to pack some unusual food item to try, especially something small that you can share like stuffed olives or smoked oysters. I've started bringing homemade jerky too, and find that I can ramp up the spice and heat somewhat for playa consumption. Cut it small, and pack it into multiple smaller bags that you can simply empty and stow instead of trying to reseal and keep playa-free.
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Postby BitterDan » Wed Mar 19, 2008 10:33 am

Like Dato said, we bring mostly canned soups/prepared foods. We also bring things to cook but they rarely end up actually being cooked since none of us have the energy or brain cells to go fire up the stove. I will tell you one thing though, when I was gifted a Hamburger last year it was the best tasting thing I'd ever eaten. Not sure if that was because my body was sick of canned soup and crackers or that there was some Crack-rock in the burger!

I am going to bring some freeze dried stuff this year. I was going to just get #10 cans but I like the idea above of no dishes if you cook in the bags.
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Postby Teo del Fuego » Wed Mar 19, 2008 10:46 am

I will say this despite all my talk about pre-prepared frozen shit. I ALWAYS bring bacon. Ya gotta have a good injection of grease to sop up what ya drank the night before!
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Postby AntiM » Wed Mar 19, 2008 10:48 am

The Walking Taco? I know her.
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Postby BitterDan » Wed Mar 19, 2008 10:51 am

I ALWAYS bring bacon


Precooked, sure, but there is no way I am cooking bacon on the playa. I don't want to haul out nasty bacon grease...
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Postby Token » Wed Mar 19, 2008 9:10 pm

Bacon Grease burns just fine.

Bacon grease redneck soccer:

1. Wrap twine around a roll of toilet paper. One or two ply is fine.
2. Soak up all bacon grease with toilet paper roll.
3. Ignite toilet paper roll.
4. Commence to play soccer with lit toilet paper roll.







Warning: Open Toed footwear not recommended.
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Postby Teo del Fuego » Thu Mar 20, 2008 7:43 am

BitterDan wrote: I don't want to haul out nasty bacon grease...


Ever hear of a burn barrell?
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Postby Ugly Dougly » Thu Mar 20, 2008 9:32 am

Last time, I went to Trader Joes and bought a bunch of those Inidan meals in plastic bags. Heat and serve.
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Postby Lord Of Ruin » Thu Mar 20, 2008 2:00 pm

[quote="Dato"]I'm with LOR on this one. The other 51 weeks of the year, I love food. I love cooking, and I don't eat much junk.

On the playa, however, all that goes out the window. I find that it's far too hot, and I'm far too lazy to cook. I found that canned soups, chili and the like are my best friends. Canned fruit is a nice treat also. Sandwitch meat and bread are a good treat, and beef jerky is a life-saver.

The first couple of years I tried bringing elaborate meals to cook, and never cooked them, so now I just stick to the above plan! Then again, everyone's different![/quote]

Oooh...this reminds me. One AMAZING treat: buy some little pop-top cans of mandarin orange slices. Put them in a small zip lock and throw into the bottom of your cooler. Whenever you want a cool treat, pop out a can!

Also doubles as a party favor: open said can, fill with vodka and put ziplock over top secured with rubber band. Wait an hour or two and you have terrific little infused chilled mandarin slices. People kept asking...HOW THE F DID YOU DO THAT OUT HERE?

Cool reaction to get as a virgin burner last year!

LoR
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Postby Ugly Dougly » Thu Mar 20, 2008 2:26 pm

Most people notice their appetite goes down. Something light for breakfast: fruits etc. munchies during the day, then some roast animal at sunset.
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Postby skygod » Tue Mar 25, 2008 3:16 pm

My First year, which was a disaster btw, I brought a big potted basil plant, and ate a few leaves every day until it was gone, and it was nice. The greeness against the dry deserty dustiness was a beautiful contrast.
There is some value, I think, to having some ornamental type food.
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Postby gyre » Tue Mar 25, 2008 4:03 pm

I just tried SanPellegrino Chinotto.
Anyone have any advice as to what it goes best with?
It is definitely a strong flavor.
It does seem to contain synephrine and has a kick to it.

Anyone else try this?
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Postby robotland » Wed Mar 26, 2008 5:25 am

BitterDan wrote:
I ALWAYS bring bacon


Precooked, sure, but there is no way I am cooking bacon on the playa. I don't want to haul out nasty bacon grease...


I found some precooked, prepackaged bacon in resealable bags during one of my regular field trips to the Meat Aisle...It wasn't the yummysavorygreasedrippysearinghot treat that freshly fried bacon is, but it wasn't so bad AND easy to pass around fer sharin'.

A little hunk of smoked salmon is AWESOME out there, with its oilysmoky goodness. You can be the life of that five minutes of the party by producing that and some Triscuits. And as long as you're cleaning an oily plate, add some smoked oysters...and some feta-stuffed olives...and little slivers of Manchego with Landjaeger sausage.....glaurraghrrragggg.....(*Homerlike salivation ensues*)
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Postby Ugly Dougly » Wed Mar 26, 2008 9:59 am

How about some meat pies?
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Postby phil » Wed Mar 26, 2008 11:42 am

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Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Mar 26, 2008 5:51 pm

robotland wrote:A little hunk of smoked salmon is AWESOME out there, with its oilysmoky goodness.
Make sure it's wild caught, the farmed stuff is nasty on so many levels. Expect salmon prices to be high this year as well.
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Postby mdmf007 » Thu Apr 03, 2008 3:27 pm

Beef -

I find my appetite dwindles and my thirst rises at BM. I typically lose 5 pounds of body weight for the week.
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Postby Xtevan » Thu Apr 03, 2008 3:51 pm

I ate mostly canned & foil pouched type stuff with chips/crackers last year. Which was a good thing we arrived about a day later than planned, heavily stressed from car trouble and trip problems. my travel companion was mostly incapacitated for the first two days, the energy for cooking was not there

The monster cheese burger I was gifted one evening was like a religious experience.

This year will be interesting, the doctors think I'm gluten intolerant. So I suspect that I will be precooking, vacuum packing, and freezing a whole bunch of mini-meals.

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