One of the sweeter parts of our camp is our group dinners. Each evening, around sunset, we provide a warm, delicious meal for our campmates. This is the one meal each day provided by the camp. And while you’re free to be about the playa, eating dinner wherever you choose each night (save Monday night when we have our opening ceremony dinner), we have very high percent participation in our group meals each night. Here’s what you need to know —
- We provide dinner to all of our camp mates each night we are on the playa (Sunday through Sunday).
- You’re on your own for breakfast and lunch.
- Dinner is provided by the cooking team that is making the meal for that night.
- Each Carrot needs to be on one cooking team to cook dinner for one night. Sign up now and here.
- Cooking teams are responsible for the entire meal, from planning, to purchasing, to cooking, to cleaning.
- Monday night is the only night we request that all Carrots are at camp for dinner.
- Meals must provide a range of options for meat eaters, vegetarians, gluten-free and so on. Span and layers are the name of the game.
- We provide a basic kitchen set up with prep areas, cooking and serving utensils and containers, heat, light and a dishwashing station.
Sign up for a cooking night/team
Our camp opening dinner on Monday night, 2012.
Please find a group of about three or four Carrots with whom you’d like to provide one of the camp dinners. You’ll need to sign up for the night you’re cooking. As you decide your meal plan, the general menu that you’re offering will need to be posted by one of your team members. A Mexican-themed may be great, but three in a row is not so great. While everyone needs to be on at least one cooking team, there are people who will help cook an extra night at our Very Important Carrots dinner. The camp contributes for the food costs above and beyond a normal meal that night.
We don’t charge for a “meal plan,” per se. Each person pays their share of their cooking team’s costs, and in so doing, then “eats for free” all the other nights our camp offers dinner. Expect to pay around $45 +/- per person for your cooking team contribution.
Start to finish
All cooking team are responsible for —
- organizing into a team,
- planning a meal that satisfies meat eaters and vegetarians alike,
- shopping in Reno to cook a meal for approx 30 people,
- bringing or purchasing any specific spices and condiments you need,
- prepping (some teams cook and freeze food) and de-mooping in Reno where possible,
- storing all your food on the playa, including any food that requires coolers,
- cooking your meal,
- serving and — really —
- cleaning up the kitchen *fully* afterward (including grey water being dumped, all clean dishes put away, trash bags taken to the trash tent area … the whole kit-and-caboodle); and
- Making sure the kitchen is “leftover-free” when you are done cleaning.
Extra food left in pots and serving dishes after the camp finishes its meal are potentially tomorrow’s MOOP … and wet, heavy, stinky trash during Exodus. It can be a challenge to make the right amount of food, but it’s pretty easy to find people camping nearby, or even passer-bys, who may wish for a plate of hot delicious food.
If you do choose to leave food out overnight, please do so in a way that supports night-time snacking: clean, organized spread of the food. If any food is not eaten overnight, and/or if there are dishes in the morning, it’s your cooking team’s responsibility to clean them up.
Cleaning the kitchen
Overall, it’s important that you leave a very clean kitchen when you are done, particularly, though not exclusively when the farmers market is open the next day. The ready-to-eat market needs a clean, uncluttered space to start prepping food at 7 a.m. So help them (and yourselves) out by leaving a clean kitchen.
Think about what you are cooking and then think dishes and clean up. Oily food makes for oily dish water. Tomato-based sauces are hard to clean even with dishwashers and lots of soap. How many pans will you use? What can you prepare ahead of time — either in Reno or earlier in the day — so that you can reduce the amount of dishes to do once the meal is finished? Some teams get together in the early afternoon, do much of their prep, clean up and then do final assembly and cooking. You inherit your own clean up, so plan ahead.
Be “home for dinner” Monday night
Do what you want any night of the week (though we do hope you’ll have many meals at camp), but on Monday night, the first night we are all together, be home for dinner. We have an opening ceremony that night, and it’s one way we launch the week together.
You’re cooking for a group of approximately 30 people with a diversity of meal preferences. Meat eaters, remember the vegetarians. Vegetarians, remember the meat eaters. Each meal needs to include —
- A robust and plentiful form of meat. M-E-A-T plus,
- A generous form of vegetarian protein plus,
- A thoughtful and varied set of side dish options so that every person can find a full and satisfying meal in what your team offers.
Some teams offer drinks (alcoholic drinks such as wine or beer, theme-based drinks or aperitifs and/or coffee/teas). Some offer dessert; some don’t. Some have themed events. Some don’t. The main thing is that our Carrots are all able to get a satisfying, yummy and healthy dinner each night and to have the choices that work for their dietary preferences … not yours. 😉
Allergies and Sensitivities
The Kitchen Team will provide a summary document of the food preferences and allergies that camp mates provided. Stay tuned for that information.
All cooking nights are not the same
Take note, each night for being on a cooking team is a bit different. On the earlier part of the week, fresh vegetables and meats will be easier to handle and store. Toward the end of the week, keeping the same ingredients in good condition could be more challenging.
- Sunday, camp set up — Minimal kitchen set up available; smaller team for prep; smaller team to feed.
- Monday night — Opening ceremony. Big (and special) meal. Much prep to be done in Reno. Think fresh and extravagant.
- Tuesday night — Normal cooking night.
- Wednesday night — Normal cooking night.
- Thursday night — Our Countless Carrots March is earlier in the day in the late afternoon. The Carrots will come home right around dinner time and be hungry. We are considering doing a late lunch or big brunch that day for the camp meal rather than a dinner. TBD.
- Friday night — Normal cooking night.
- Saturday night — The Man Burns. A big kitchen clean-up means you’ll probably be late to the Burn. If you don’t want to be late to the burn, plan ahead.
- Sunday night — Think leftovers, using up what’s around. Maybe have a base meal and then ask for donations and unused food. And it’s our “last supper” together. Some ceremony and celebration. By Sunday, keeping food fresh might be more challenging.
And most importantly,
Cook with love!