Friday, August 24, 2007

Feeding a Family of Four on the Playa

Countdown to Burning Man: 3 Days

I got a lot done today, including decorating my bike, planning our meals, and getting most of the food shopping done. I'm going to end up spending about $200 total for our food and drinks, not including water.

We plan to be on the Playa for five full days and one half day. That's six breakfasts, five or six lunches, and five dinners to prepare for a family of four. I'm definitely not going to make gourmet (i.e., from scratch) meals, but I do want to eat better than I did last time I went when all I brought was a case of spaghetti-o's. Pair that with Mike's carton of Tasty Bites, and I get a little depressed just thinking about it.

This recent Google video taught me how to set up a temporary kitchen on the Playa. We are lucky to be in an RV with a refrigerator but very little of what we're bringing requires refrigeration. We also have a stove so I will be able to heat water and do some one-pan meals. I don't want to do anything more elaborate because it's the clean-up--whether you're in an RV or not--that's a nightmare. I'll be using a spray bottle to spritz dishes and wiping them with paper towels. We'll use a plastic dish pan instead of the sink and an evaporation pond to get rid of gray water. The best trick is to clean up immediately after eating to avoid food becoming caked on dishes.

BurningBeach has a ton of Playa recipes. I got lots of ideas there. I also thought about the heat and the kids's needs. I'm figuring we'll eat three meals a day: breakfast, a light meal, and a bigger meal. We'll also have healthy snacks on hand and lots of water, juice, sparkling sodas, and natural sodas.

Here goes...


Dehydrated strawberries and/or apricots
Milk (Horizon Organic, no refrigeration necessary)
(may be repeated)

Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Oatmeal (Quaker Oats, instant)
Dehydrated Strawberries and/or apricots and/or raisins
Milk or juice
(may be repeated)

Scrambled eggs with Whole Foods cooked bacon bits
Permesan garlic & herb Pita Chips (Stacy's)
Milk or juice

Strawberry Toaster Pastries (Nature's Path)
Milk or juice

Pancakes (Bisquick Shake-n-Pour)
Dehydrated strawberries and/or apricots
Syrup (Mrs. Butterworth's -- couldn't find maple in plastic)
Milk or juice

Light meals

Gazpacho (Sierra Rica)
Smoked Oysters (Crown Prince) on crackers (Ritz)

Salami with Monterey Jack cheese on Triscuits or Wheat Thins
Corn (canned)

Miso noodle soup (Dr. McDougall's, instant)
Crackers with salami and Monterey Jack cheese

Pasta in Tomato & Cheese Sauce (Annie's, canned)
Beef jerky, regular (Whole Foods)
Mango slices (Trader Joe's, canned) or applesauce (Trader Joe's)

Rice noodle soup bowl, garlic or spring onion (Trader Joe's, instant)
Beef jerky, teriyaki (Whole Foods)
Mango slices (Trader Joe's, canned) or applesauce (Trader Joe's)

Peanut butter on rice cakes
Green beans (S&W, canned)

Big meals

Bengal Lentils, Kashmir Spinach, Tandoori Pilaf (Tasty Bite)
Puppodums (Indian flat bread by Tiger Tiger)

Burning Ham Salad (homemade)
Crackers (Ritz)
Corn (canned)
Pineapple (canned)

Ground turkey tacos (ground turkey with Bearitos taco seasoning)
Crispy taco shells (Whole Foods)
Monterey Jack cheese

Creamy tomato soup (Pacific Natural Foods)
Steamed rice (Annie Chun's, ready made)
Hot dogs (Hebrew National, low fat)

Cheesy Ravioli (Annie's, canned)
Hot dogs
Baby corn (canned)

Fruit leather
FruitaBu smooshed fruit
Dry roasted, unsalted almonds
Chocolate chocolate chip cookies (Newmann's Own)
Chips (Garden of Eatin') and salsa (Various)
Pita chips (Stacy's) and spinach dip (homemade)