Friday, 3 October 2014

Time for some cooking - Festivals

I haven't talked much about food have I? Maybe I have, whatever, here is some food chat.

This is primarily festival food chat today, I'll look out some 'proper' food and recipes for another blog post.

At festivals lots of people just don't bother to cook at all. After all, the place is usually full of eating places, and carrying stuff miles to your pitch is a pain, especially if it's heavy, even if you do have a trolley.

Bacon always the best option - Camp Bestival

Curry at the Out of The Ordinary Festival

Cake at Glastonbury
 And from experience taking some beer is nearer the top of the list than cans of soup!

We are over packers!!
 Another thing to consider is if cooking is allowed at all. Many festivals have restrictions on what sort of stoves/fires can be used on site so check before you go!

Camp Bestival for example bans open fires but allows small gas stoves. Wilderness allows enclosed 'real' fires and barbecues and solid fuel stoves, but no gas! And Glastonbury seems to just allow whatever.

Kelly kettle storm kettle cup of tea camping
At the very least I would suggest you need to be able to boil water. The Kelly Kettle is excellent for that if you can get it going, I take some dry kindling and try and collect twigs while I'm wandering the festival. I've also been known to use the pages of a (bad) book.

A small cheap gas stove with a kettle is of course another option.

Lots can be made from boiling water; from an essential morning coffee (using real coffee in bags - I'm not a Philistine) , to a pleasant afternoon cup of tea, to the ubiquitous pot noodle.

There are cup a soups too, and my personal favourite 'instant meal' the porridge pot. Some of the supermarkets also stock their own instant food ranges including instant mash with various flavour editions.

Another good (light to carry) option are packets of crisps, biscuits and breakfast bars. All handy as snacks and first thing in the morning when you are too hungover to stagger to the bacon butty van.

The more adventurous might cook their own bacon but a summer festival, in a tent with no electricity means food won't keep long, even with a cool box.

Which reminds me, coffee whitener is the best option for your coffee, or dried milk powder. You can also buy individual long life milk portions that require no refrigeration (also useful for the more wild camper). Don't forget sugar - I favour taking sugar cubes as you can't make such a mess in the tent, or lose them all in the grass, when you drunkenly spill them.

If you have kids then add a few healthy options too - oranges and satsumas keep quite well, and a banana or two, maybe apples. I've not tried Baby Bel cheeses kept out of a fridge, but they may also be an option. Try keeping food cool using the old evaporation/tea towel trick.

What are your favourite festival snacks?

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