Playa Cookery

Materials and expertise...whether you need them or have them to share, you can let folks know here.
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Playa Cookery

Post by KitsuneCaligari » Mon Apr 07, 2008 1:54 pm

So last year, as a gift, I wrote up a Playa Cookery book, printed out about a hundred copies, and dropped off handfuls of them at Center Camp Cafe and the various bars that I staggered into. They all seemed to vanish (the copies, not the bars) rather quickly, and one assumes they were used for their intended purpose, and didn't end up in the trash fence....

So, with some four months to go until this year's Burn, I offer the Second Edition of Playa Cookery, as a pdf. Much of it will be familiar to the veteran, parts of it will undoubtedly be susceptible to debate, but it will, on the whole, be one of the several good places to point a virgin to, when they ask that timeless question, "what do we do about food?". At the very least, I think it makes for an entertaining read.

Comments, suggestions, and fist-waving diatribes welcome, either posted here or sent to Your free download is here.

James Shearhart

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Post by mdmf007 » Mon Apr 07, 2008 3:45 pm

very cool thank you.

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Post by StevenGoodman » Mon Apr 07, 2008 3:46 pm

Interesting. Although I would only bring one third of what you list for a kitchen. Unless I was cooking for a lot of people (more than say 3). And probably wouldn't make any of the dishes you list!

A few ideas:

The Coleman Roadtrip (and similiar grills) are halfway between a stove and a gas grill. They are basically a stove with grill or girddles to replace the stove rings (although they actually come with the grill/griddle, and you buy stove rings as an add on). Basically a pumped up stove.

A big griddle that covers both burners on your stove is great for cooking.

Ignore all the great lists, expect as a basis for thinking about what you want. If you don't eat it at home you are unlikely to eat it on the playa!

Onions, garlic, tomatoes, peppers all hold up well on the playa; keep them out of the sun and DO NOT put them in your cooler.

Bring a big ziplock bag to put bagged ice INTO when you get it. i.e. the ice will melt in the nice clean ziplock, and you can use it for something else, instead of making a swimming pool in your cooler.

For eating a nice bowl (that you can wipe clean with a paper towel afterwards), a spoon and chopsticks is often all you need!

For me, dinner is often some frozen vegies, some onion and a pork chop. Cooks up nicely in one fry pan.

And it would be great to get Alton Brown out on the playa, to see him cooking in a dust storm... :)

Martini Steve
Playawaste Raiders and Megaton Bar and Grill

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Post by KitsuneCaligari » Tue Apr 08, 2008 11:00 am

The Coleman Roadtrip (and similiar grills) are halfway between a stove and a gas grill.

Just looked this up - looks interesting - lighter than a conventional gas grill, without the need for a table with standard camping stoves.

I've heard of bagging the bagged ice, will have to figure out a place to put it in the book.....


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Post by ragabashpup » Tue Apr 08, 2008 11:11 am

Thank's for this. I will be sure to read through it later tonight but I have been thinking meals for some time now. Just what I needed :)

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Post by dragonpilot » Mon Apr 14, 2008 11:23 am

Cooking? You've got to be kidding! I never cook on the playa...I always sponge hot meals off others...the rest of the time I make sandwiches and eat lots of salads!


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Post by skibear » Mon Apr 14, 2008 9:26 pm

Can anyone print this Playa Cookery book that
KitsuneCaligari so kindly posted.

It's great & I'd love to print a copy but can't -The "Print"
button in Acrobat reader is greyed out.
:?: :idea:
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Post by Captain Goddammit » Mon Apr 14, 2008 10:08 pm

EZ Cheese. What else do you need to know?!
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Post by KitsuneCaligari » Fri Apr 18, 2008 11:39 am

Thanks all for the comments, both here and emailed - the snark was less helpful, but to be expected.

The plan is to run off a few hundred copies and spread them around a few at a time over the course of the BM week, so if you see someone surreptitiously dropping booklets around Center Camp Cafe or maybe on the bartop where you are having a drink, it's probably me....

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Post by Isotopia » Fri Apr 18, 2008 1:11 pm

I have a pretty decent playa cookbook I can pass along as well. Anyone interested in it drop me a line via email.

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Post by PEZ » Tue Jun 03, 2008 3:53 am

Some great tips in there. Thanks!
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Post by Flammepus » Tue Jun 03, 2008 4:24 am

Wow, that is a super-good overview for an excellent playa kitchen!

Because we had about 48 hours to do all of my BM prep for last year (after flying in from Yurp), we went with take out food that we then froze flat and seal-a-mealed. We could have brought a stove as well, but the truck I rented had a black bumper and bed-liner, so food that was taken out of the dry ice cooler and put into the regular ice cooler the day before was generally warm enough to eat within 3 hours of sun time. We had bowls and forks to eat with, then wiped them clean with paper towels. We did no dishes, had little packaging, no food waste except for the food-sealer packs (which, all-together, fit in a quart-sized zip-lock when emptied), and a lot more time on our hands than in years past. Still, not everyone is up for that, and people dream of self-realised gastronomy on the playa. For them, this guide is a god-send. Nice job!

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Post by unjonharley » Tue Jun 03, 2008 8:39 am

I bring climbers cooking ware and stove and preperpted baggies of food..Small cans of fruit and morning muffens.. Coffee is down the street a block.. Along the 8:30 street.. See Rudy Two, Bill and kids.. Best coffee and friends on the playa

I cook enough at home.. Less camp more fun time..

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Post by Gage » Tue Jun 03, 2008 5:38 pm

Very informative... thanks!
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Post by CrazyPirateGirl » Wed Jun 04, 2008 9:07 am

It's all about raviolis and spaghetti-o's. You leave 'em on the top of a car for about 15 minutes and they're good to eat right outta the can :) I swear I shit tomato sauce and Captain Mo whenever I feel the rare need
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Post by KitsuneCaligari » Tue Aug 05, 2008 9:12 pm

Thanks to all who have emailed contributions - the Second Edition of Playa Cookery is going to the printers this week, and a few hundred editions are going to be at hand for distribution, mostly at Center Camp Cafe and Various Bars that I wander into. Hope to see y'all there....

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Post by MissNev » Wed Aug 06, 2008 4:06 pm

This is wonderful! Thank you so much. I do hope you wander into my bar with a copy! I've made Gazpacho each year (pre-playa and frozen) and it's always a big hit. I also make a big batch of bean salad to feed my campmates for my first day arrival. 2 cans each of various beans, drained (i.e., garbanzo, butter, kidney, pinto, black, white, caneloni, etc.), mix with salad dressing (I've used Italian, Ceasar, balsamic, etc.), add feta cheese and chill. Beef jerky is always a hit...let me know if you'd like some more recipes..I have a ton. Alton Brown is my dream man!
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Post by hunter S » Wed Aug 06, 2008 5:12 pm

I like it! thanks.

Always store pot's & pan's up side down...dust!
Always tarp over the kitchen...dust!
Always close the ice chest NOW! ... or I will kill you!
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Update for Playa Cookery....

Post by KitsuneCaligari » Mon Aug 03, 2009 1:40 pm

Seems some folks were asking for this, and unfortunately, the one email account I set up for this is deleted, and the link went down, and, well, here's a new link for the pdf:

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Post by Homiesinheaven » Mon Aug 03, 2009 4:44 pm

what an awesome gift, thanks so much!

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Post by mykidsdaddy » Mon Aug 10, 2009 9:47 pm

Thank you for taking the time to put this together! I have started to read it but will have to read more later. Very good so far!
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Post by Lilli » Mon Jun 07, 2010 5:30 pm

The PDF is copy-protected. It's a long document, would be very nice to be able to print it. It's nice that you're going to share paper copies, but would be nice to have a paper copy beforehand!

You could always add a watermark or something to keep your copyright clear.

I don't understand why it's a protected pdf. Doesn't seem necessary.

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Post by ohCarie » Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:49 am

Love it! thanks for my first BM gift! :D
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Post by shiva_dance » Thu Jun 17, 2010 3:06 pm

link has been removed! did this work for y'all recently? i was excited...

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Post by KitsuneCaligari » Fri Jul 09, 2010 11:05 pm

This may tread on the edge of the No-Commerce Edict of the forum, but hear me out....

For two years, I had spent roundabout $3000 to print out hardcopies of my Playa Cookery, all of them handed out or left for distribution in Center Camp Cafe and Points Beyond. Over the past two years since, I've had over 300 downloads of the pdf of the Playa Cookery (thanks all!), so it seems to have a use for folks....

To that end, I present a hardcopy of Playa Cookery, available via here:

There is also the downloadable version, that can still be had for free:

So there you have it, those of you that wanted a hardcopy of Playa Cookery. And to address those questions, yes, I want my name associated with this work, I spent four months working on this, and I really don't want it diluted into the ether without attribution, as is wont to occur with things sent out onto Teh Internets, and this seems the best way to assure that. I make next to nothing on the hardcopy, and the work is still available for free as a pdf, so I suppose it's up to the moderators to decide if this post violates the No-Commerce point of the forum, and their decision I will comply with....

Thanks again all that downloaded my offering, and emailed me with suggestions and bits of help....

James Shearhart

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Post by theCryptofishist » Sat Jul 10, 2010 8:19 pm

I'm not a moderator, so I don't knwo what weight my words have. But, I see a price that's not outrageous and it's in a thread where it's a natural part of the conversation and it's available free if people prefer, and of course you want your name on it. Heck, art is just another way of showing off.*

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Post by shiznicks1 » Sun Jul 11, 2010 12:36 pm

a very nice book indeed, thank you
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