Food/Drink: What worked - what didnt

What do you eat and drink on the playa? Share ideas, recipes and advice here.
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Re: Food/Drink: What worked - what didnt

Post by Eric » Thu Jul 10, 2014 4:54 pm

bluemiragemi wrote:thread bump, I'd love to hear more about what DOES NOT work on the playa!
the only "DOES NOT work" that are going to matter to you are general container & packaging stuff. The actual food is a great place to get ideas, and some basic truisms already covered in the thread, but that is mostly going to be up to your personal palate. I can't stand some stuff that others swear by (Trader Joes "indian" food), love other stuff that makes some people gag (kim-chee).

Modifications to your regular diet: plan on more salts (pickles - brined ones are better, chips & salsa, potato chips, however you like), more "replenishing" drinks (I prefer coconut water, and drink 16-32oz a day out there, some people stay with pedialyte or gatorade), more water (start getting your body used to it now).

I swear by my pre-made breakfast burritos (I make them at home & freeze them) - caveat, I have a freezer & a microwave on playa. Have no idea how these would work in a cooler & cooked in a skillet. Probably not worth it.
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Re: Food/Drink: What worked - what didnt

Post by bluemiragemi » Fri Jul 11, 2014 6:55 am

Mmm breakfast burritos sound amazing. Thanks for the additional suggestions! Salt from pickles would work. I have to be careful of too much sodium in canned goods, it just makes me feel terrible.

I think bringing the burrito shells, canned beans and accoutrements, would work just fine to make it without the microwave. But, I bet having a microwave kicks ass :)
~ Em

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Re: Food/Drink: What worked - what didnt

Post by unjonharley » Fri Jul 11, 2014 7:28 am

WINCO foods have dried refried beans in bulk..

I use then all the time.. About the same price as caned..

The gas is just as good also..
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Re: Food/Drink: What worked - what didnt

Post by FIGJAM » Fri Jul 11, 2014 7:53 am

Prison burritos.

1 can refried beans.

1 small can green chilies.

1 can roast beef.

1 package of tortillas.

Easy cheese and salsa.

Put all the ingredients ,except the cheese and salsa, on the dash of your car for 2 hours.

Stir everything together and build your burritos. 8)
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Re: Food/Drink: What worked - what didnt

Post by tahiti_treat » Fri Jul 11, 2014 7:59 am

We use Southwestern-style Egg Beaters in our breakfast burritos on playa. Works like a charm and no eggshells to deal with.

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Re: Food/Drink: What worked - what didnt

Post by stratdax » Mon Jul 14, 2014 7:08 pm

Seems like this is the right thread to ask. First burn here - I'm thinking a two cooler system, one for cold food and one freezer with dry ice. Instead of buying bags of ice every day, I'm thinking of using some Ice Packs, and rotating them back and forth from the cooler to the freezer once a day to re-freeze them. Any obvious issues I'm not seeing here?

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Re: Food/Drink: What worked - what didnt

Post by BeeWeeDee » Tue Jul 15, 2014 9:32 am

stratdax wrote:Seems like this is the right thread to ask. First burn here - I'm thinking a two cooler system, one for cold food and one freezer with dry ice. Instead of buying bags of ice every day, I'm thinking of using some Ice Packs, and rotating them back and forth from the cooler to the freezer once a day to re-freeze them. Any obvious issues I'm not seeing here?

The dry ice consumed in re-freezing the Ice Packs would be better utilized if you had enough Ice Packs (and total freezer volume) to do a "once through" the system strategy. ie. Once an Ice pack has melted in the cooler - set it aside for the trip home. I like to use half gallon polyethylene milk jugs filled with water (ice) and when it melts it goes into making coffee, soup,...etc.
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Re: Food/Drink: What worked - what didnt

Post by EmilyD » Fri Aug 01, 2014 12:31 am

To keep food dry inside a large ice chest (good for egg cartons, alternative milk containers, anything you don't want to get water in) I stick my delicate foods into one of these and put it into the ice chest. Works like a charm.

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Re: Food/Drink: What worked - what didnt

Post by kittyrodriguez » Fri Aug 01, 2014 4:08 am

You know what doesn't work in real life, and still doesn't work on the playa?

Vienna sausages

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Re: Food/Drink: What worked - what didnt

Post by Fidget » Fri Aug 01, 2014 9:31 am

kittyrodriguez wrote:You know what doesn't work in real life, and still doesn't work on the playa?

Vienna sausages
Cornish game hens?
Never rub another man's rhubarb.

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Re: Food/Drink: What worked - what didnt

Post by theCryptofishist » Fri Aug 01, 2014 9:23 pm

Fidget wrote:
kittyrodriguez wrote:You know what doesn't work in real life, and still doesn't work on the playa?

Vienna sausages
Cornish game hens?
Virginia hams
The Lady with a Lamprey

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Man, no wonder they always win....." Lonesomebri

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Re: Food/Drink: What worked - what didnt

Post by BoyScoutGirl » Fri Aug 01, 2014 10:19 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:
Fidget wrote:
kittyrodriguez wrote:You know what doesn't work in real life, and still doesn't work on the playa?

Vienna sausages
Cornish game hens?
Virginia hams
Vegemite
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Re: Food/Drink: What worked - what didnt

Post by theCryptofishist » Fri Aug 01, 2014 10:27 pm

Oops. I thought the game was "food with place names".
The Lady with a Lamprey

"The powerful are exploiting people, art and ideas, and this leads to us plebes debating how to best ration ice.
Man, no wonder they always win....." Lonesomebri

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Re: Food/Drink: What worked - what didnt

Post by Jovankat » Fri Aug 01, 2014 10:49 pm

BoyScoutGirl wrote:
Fidget wrote:
kittyrodriguez wrote:You know what doesn't work in real life, and still doesn't work on the playa?

Vienna sausages
Cornish game hens?
Vegemite
LIES!! :evil:

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Re: Food/Drink: What worked - what didnt

Post by BoyScoutGirl » Fri Aug 01, 2014 10:51 pm

Jovankat wrote: LIES!! :evil:


...cake?
When he lights his streetlamp, it is as if he brought one more star to life, or one flower.
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Re: Food/Drink: What worked - what didnt

Post by maladroit » Sat Aug 02, 2014 11:55 am

Lies work very well on the playa, just saying.

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Re: Food/Drink: What worked - what didnt

Post by brcprincess » Sat Aug 02, 2014 3:30 pm

What never worked for us was anything that required actual cooking - rice, vegetables, pasta dishes, stir fries etc. Basically anything which required us to do any prep work or turn on the stove or oven. In the early years, we'd bring all kinds of ingredients to cook big meals and they would go unused.

Another thing we gave up on was family size frozen meals like lasagne. They would take an hour to cook in the low watt RV microwave and by the time they'd be ready, everyone had forgotten about them and ridden off. The individual frozen dinners are okay but with five people in our RV, the freezer fills up with a couple each. Also we'd rather utilize the freezer for ice for our drinks.

We scaled back and now go with fast microwave type meals. For brunch, baked beans on toast, egg and bacon bagels (we cook the egg in a microwave egg cooker and use precooked bacon), Bisquick shake and pour pancakes (just add water and instant pancakes - a real treat but don't forget the maple syrup), cereal. For lunch/dinner, microwavable noodle boxes, canned soup (minestrone is a good way to get some veggies into you - always feel better after eating it), simple sandwiches eg. ham and cheese, microwavable veggie burgers, microwavable pasta meals. We also do BBQs with hamburgers and pre-made potato salad.

For snacks, lots of potato chips, corn chips and salsa. Also nuts, trail mix and beef jerky. The big treat is Magnums from the freezer on a hot day (we bring one box).

We also use plastic cutlery, paper plates and bowls now. We used to use our regular ones and wash them but it ate up our water and created lots of work.

The rule of thumb for us is to keep it simple.

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Re: Food/Drink: What worked - what didnt

Post by pink » Fri Aug 15, 2014 1:55 am

We have had luck in pre-cooking a lot of foods and bringing them up either frozen or chilled, depending on what they are. Nothing like bacon wrapped meatballs, just warmed up on the grill! A lot of foods can be made into boil-in-bag, using either freezer bags or a vacuum sealer. Easy to heat on the playa, and no mess to clean up.
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Re: Food/Drink: What worked - what didnt

Post by tatonka » Fri Aug 15, 2014 5:27 pm

tried to reheat a omelet , it got all rubbery :(
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Re: Food/Drink: What worked - what didnt

Post by tamarakay » Mon Sep 08, 2014 6:06 pm

You know those salad kits? Each gets it's own ziplock bag. You can open it up, mix in the bag, and eat from the bag. Ken and I split one for lunch everyday. Then all the trash from that meal gets zipped up in the ziploc. Easy peasy. And there is nothing better than a crunchy cold salad every day right about 2:00
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Re: Food/Drink: What worked - what didnt

Post by lucky420 » Mon Sep 08, 2014 6:49 pm

tatonka wrote:tried to reheat a omelet , it got all rubbery :(

Eeeewwwwww :x
tamarakay wrote:You know those salad kits? Each gets it's own ziplock bag. You can open it up, mix in the bag, and eat from the bag. Ken and I split one for lunch everyday. Then all the trash from that meal gets zipped up in the ziploc. Easy peasy. And there is nothing better than a crunchy cold salad every day right about 2:00
And I was jealous almost everyday at about 2 pm :wink:
Oh my god, it's HUGE!

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Re: Food/Drink: What worked - what didnt

Post by GreyCoyote » Mon Sep 08, 2014 7:11 pm

Worked:
- Steaks, ribs, chicken breasts
- Gumbo, jambalaya, rice
- Skin-on baked salmon slabs
- Texas-sized hamburgers
- Bacon tamales! :mrgreen:
- Biscuits, gravy, link & patty sausage, scrambled eggs.
- Powdered gatorade and real perked coffee.
- Sadie's Crack Mix (addictive!)
- Taco Tuesday
- Chocolate martinis
- Watermelon w/chili-lime salt

Not So Much:
- Hunter Stew (still working the bugs out)
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Re: Food/Drink: What worked - what didnt

Post by Elorrum » Mon Sep 08, 2014 7:21 pm

I put my salty snacks in their individual bags in one big zip lock and left it in the middle of my table. I offered this to people who were sitting around my table, and let them choose what interested them. It was easier than rummaging through the zipped up put away food totebag, and saved me from asking "wouldja like...?" for each silly little bag I uncovered. I kept my big cooler mug as a pitcher, filled with a quart of cool drink (lemonade, gatorade, tang, varieties thereof) on the table too. It helped keep me drinking and gave me something cool to offer friends. This was also the first year I used a 5 gallon water cooler/dispenser. I started it full of ice from home, and bought two blocks of ice, and was gifted one bag of ice... enough to have ice water all week, adding water as needed.

I made something that I thought would be the absolute maximum of prep and mess, and it turned out to be sort of fun, and not that much bother.
sushi from canned kipper snacks.
I made a pot of rice, and mixed in a little vinegar, and put it in a ziplock and into the icy water in the cooler. chilled that. rolled the sushi on one of those thin plastic cutting boards.

I found that a lot of messy comes from the serving and the serving utensils. Finger food is easy to transport, and easy to clean up after.

The trickiest thing about playa food/feeding is timing. It cannot be controlled. If everyone is hungry and the food is there, it's a magnificent thing. Saying you are thinking of cooking something and would anyone want to stay and eat is likely to have an iffy outcome.
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Re: Food/Drink: What worked - what didnt

Post by spacetime » Mon Sep 08, 2014 7:48 pm

I'm pretty sure everyone in this thread ate better than me. With the exception of home made hummus and beers I picked up at the BxB rest stop, I had only shelf stable food and no stove. (I was able to keep my hummus cold on the bus and using a small soft cooler from a neighbor through monday until Ratty (who is some kind of angel) hooked me up with the cooler which made a big difference for me as I had cold beer the rest of the week.)

I was truly packed to capacity and thought it would be good to focus on survival food. I'll post this in my guide to noob 7 day solo burn, but here goes:

- 4 cans of Ravioli or similar, 1 accidental can of chick peas
- 6 packets of prepared tuna saled
- 1 jar of peanuts
- 1 bag of dried mangos
- 1 bag of craisons
- 4 things of water sweetner / vitaminer
- 2 bowls of prepared rice
- 2 packs of wheat pocket bread
- 1 home made hummus split into two small ziplocks
- 6 bags of jerky, various types
- 1 jar of salsa

That's it. That is enough calories to make it through the burn. I came home only with some of the peanuts and two packs of the jerky. Also the water sweetners were a waste of money. I did get a warm meal from a friend who showed up Thursday, and another pal at his camp. Also a f'n fantastic donut from Porn and Donuts.

This probably is not appetizing enough for most folks, and frankly I gagged on one of the ravioli meals once. But it packed super small and I was completely taken care of for food out there which was the original goal. I would probably not do this again, but if anyone is doing a similar trip, it works.

Cheers to whoever suggested pouring salsa on the rice and its a meal. Found that idea on here.

Image

Only by re-reading this and looking at this set of food do I realize just how unappetizing this must appear. :oops: For whatever reason it didn't seem that bad to me at the time. I prepared for the burn in under 40 days, and food was basically my last task before leaving.

I do have a further tip for someone replicating this. Bring a light shoulder tote reusable grocery bag to put all of your food items in. This keeps them manageable and collected in your tent. There is no question of how much food you have left or what is where. Food is here, it is ready: consume.

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Re: Food/Drink: What worked - what didnt

Post by tahiti_treat » Mon Sep 08, 2014 8:29 pm

Spacetime, that's about what my first burn food looked like. I made the mistake of listening to all the advice that said "You won't be hungry or want to cook out there!" I stepped it up a little in my second year, but there was still a lot of packaged stuff. This year I'd say I ate as well as I eat at home.

Here's what worked for me this year:
Shelf-stable milk and granola
Breakfast burritos again
Frozen quiche, wrapped in foil and heated up in a frying pan (only stayed frozen up to the 3rd day, but a good meal for early in the week)
Dehydrated hash browns
Onion Crunch - this stuff is magic. Sprinkle on anything that's bland.
Fajitas
Quesadillas
Avocado on everything
Thai Curry
Quinoa and sweet potatoes
Canteloupe
Tasty Bites
Chips and salsa
Going to the BRC Farmer's Market mid-week when everyone was craving a salad!

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Re: Food/Drink: What worked - what didnt

Post by geospyder » Mon Sep 08, 2014 8:46 pm

For a couple of my dinners I used the Mountain House dehydrated meals. While they tasted fairly decent, volume wise they were a bit too much. After reading the label I saw why. They were meant for two people. Next year I'll buy individual packages from somewhere other than Costco. Decent price but a bit too much for one sitting.
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Re: Food/Drink: What worked - what didnt

Post by spacetime » Mon Sep 08, 2014 9:48 pm

tahiti_treat wrote:Spacetime, that's about what my first burn food looked like. I made the mistake of listening to all the advice that said "You won't be hungry or want to cook out there!" I stepped it up a little in my second year, but there was still a lot of packaged stuff.
Thanks for the support. I also took this advice. I think it was probably mostly correct. However, packaged, ready to go foods have come a long way in the past decade I think. Also, it is really worth doing water boiling to heat foods packaged foods for dinner. If it didn't add so much complexity and increase the packing, I'd say a propane tank, burner and boil pan are mandatory. My pack just had too much jerky and ravioli. :P

I appreciate these suggestions. I think in my guide I'll describe a minimalist pack for solo week-long and then a "better" version that has either more costly or harder to procure in a short time pack. I'll look to your post for that part.
Last edited by spacetime on Mon Sep 08, 2014 10:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Food/Drink: What worked - what didnt

Post by sadie » Mon Sep 08, 2014 9:51 pm

Just say no to "pudd'n pouches" - I like the concept...pudding...in a pouch! Not necessary to keep cold, but even chilled it was pretty gross.

I came back with most of the food I took due to Sunbeam's excellent kitchen being just steps away!

What worked well: Pizza. Vacuum sealed individual slices, frozen to start with...stayed perfectly edible until I ran out on Thursday. - Also, vacuum sealed and frozen Kung Pao Chicken and Orange Chicken from my favorite take out place - reheated it boil-in-a-bag style and it was delicious.

The squeezy pouches of apple sauce worked great. Apple/Peach, Apple/Cinnamon.

Never touched my peanut butter or nutella. Didn't eat a bite of my Honey Nut Cheerios. Never opened a can of Ravioli.

For electrolytes, the squeeze bottle concentrate worked well. Only downside is that orange flavor looks like pee, and berry flavor looks like porto-jon water...
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Re: Food/Drink: What worked - what didnt

Post by spacetime » Mon Sep 08, 2014 10:13 pm

sadie wrote:The squeezy pouches of apple sauce worked great. Apple/Peach, Apple/Cinnamon.
Forgot Pope hooked us up with a jar of home made apple sauce. It was a treat out there, I took the time to ice it down. Recommend!

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Re: Food/Drink: What worked - what didnt

Post by 666isMONEY » Mon Sep 08, 2014 10:27 pm

Real simple -- no ice, no cooking:
  • Cans of vegetarian soup (lentil, bean & noodle, vegetable), refried beans, rolled oats (added to the soup), one tin of herring
    Large box of fruity wine
    12-pack of IPA (Sierra Nevada)
    V8 juice
    Canned peaches in 100% juice
Lost weight but that was part of the plan.
Last edited by 666isMONEY on Mon Sep 08, 2014 10:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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