No matter how I try, I always manage to bring way too much food to a festival. It gets hot and you’re not hungry…you get busy and skip a meal or two…friends invite you for a meal…and you end up with too much food. Someday I will go with just the right amount of food, and eat the very last morsel on Sunday morning before packing up to drive home, but this was not that year. We brought back quite a bit.
We did try a couple new things, though.
First, I bought 10 lbs. of dry ice for the cooler (about $12). I’m so sick of using regular ice, and no matter what the strategy—Tupperware, Ziploc bags—the food always ends up getting wet as the ice melts, and you get soggy meat, dissolving egg cartons, and wet cheese. Ugh. Anyway, the dry ice lasted a couple days—we had to buy a bag of regular ice on Saturday morning—and despite a layer of cardboard, it ended up freezing a lot of our food solid. Next year, either go back to a block of ice, or use better insulation between the dry ice and the food.
We also got a couple cans of the “Batter Blaster” pancake-mix-in-a-whipped-cream-type-spray-bottle. Weird, right? But it’s entirely organic, and tons faster, easier, and less messy than making pancake batter from scratch out there. Only disadvantage is you have to keep the can refrigerated, even before you open it. We also got some spray cooking oil, which was easier for greasing the pans than liquid oil or butter.
Other meals: spaghetti Bolognaise (ground beef, spaghetti, canned sauce); salmon quesadillas (canned salmon, bagged shredded cheese, tortillas); eggs and bacon and pancakes; chicken salad; and PBJ sandwiches. Plus the usual chips, Corn Nuts, veggies, and other snacks.
- Do dry ice again, but be better about insulating the ice from the food. Maybe styrofoam, and put the ice on the side rather than on top?
- Pre-cook the spaghetti and sauce; keep in a Tupperware, and just dump in a pan and re-heat. Saves water and cleaning pans.
- Pre-make things like chicken salad, and keep in the cooler. It’s only a three- or four-day festival; it’s not like trying to keep fresh food out at Burning Man for ten days.
- Quesadillas are always awesome. Simple, fast, easy, minimal cleanup.
- Par-fry the bacon, so less cooking necessary once there.
- Batter Blaster works great. Need only one can, though.