Help me plan camp food for a big, tipsy, crowd.
June 6, 2014 5:10 AM Subscribe
I’m organizing an event in early July and I need help figuring out the easiest way to provide five meals to 70 to 90 people at a campground.
Our location is booked- it’s a great campground with showers and bathrooms and a pavilion and a fire pit. Our planning is moving along nicely, but but as with previous years, food is the challenge. Details follow:
We need to serve five meals: Friday dinner, all three meals Saturday, and Sunday breakfast. There are six of us manning an event that 70 to 90 people will attend. Lunch is easy, Sunday breakfast is probably easy, it’s dinners and Saturday breakfast are the troublesome ones.
Friday dinner is often grilling burgers and the like. People roll in to camp over the course of afternoon and evening, so there’s not just one time to serve a meal. We’re planning on doing the same again, since we can keep meat and vegetarian option cool that long easy enough. However, we have one fewer grill this year, and it's always a bummer to be chained to a grill on the first night. So, I’ll take whatever other suggestions you have.
Saturday is the hangoveryest meal of the weekend, and something hot and greasy would be best. We’ll definitely have sacks of bagels and cheese. I liked the idea of boil in a bag omelets but the other folks managing this with me are less sure and expressed worry about boiling plastic.
Saturday is the day when the most action happens. We’ll spend the afternoon on a long hike, and people will start pouring beer as soon as we’re back to camp, so dinner needs to be substantial and plentiful. I’m at a loss for this meal right now. Previous years with other organizers have had a half dozen borrowed crockpots of chili (I'm not sure we can borrow that many), pasta, a huge amount of pre-made falafel (organized by someone with access to a restaurant kitchen) kabobs (also restaurant kitchen) and just another night of grilling.
The campground is easily car accessible, there’s one small room with a tiny fridge and tiny stove, one grill, an electrical outlet in the pavilion and a fire pit. The tiny stove is certainly not a big enough kitchen to even heat up food enough for that many people and the tiny refrigerator isn’t big enough for more than our coffee cream.
We might be able to get another grill or two out to the location, and previous organizers of this event have done a pretty good job at borrowing things like slow cookers and electric griddles from the attendees in the past, so we could put out word again, if needed. We also have access to plenty of coolers.
We will have vegetarians and at least one gluten-free attendee.
Our budget is not huge- though I don’t have the exact number yet. We’ll have enough to buy whatever we need, but not enough to hire someone to cater the event. (We did last year thanks to an inferior, but much cheaper location)
So, Metafilter, what can you suggest for easy ways to feed this many people, given the restrictions of food storage, heating, and the fact that everyone- including those of us running the event- will be a little drunk the entire time? I’ll take recipes, suggestions, places to look, ideas, anecdotes or anything else you’ve got.