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Old 06-07-2007, 09:50 PM   #1
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Safe Picnic Foods? No Cooler, No Grill

Hi All,

Hope this finds all of you well and enjoying great summer or winter weather, wherever you are hemisphere-wise.

I'm going on a wreck diving trip this Saturday off the coast of Milwaukee. I will be traveling by train and bus, leaving from Chicago. I've volunteered to bring food. Apart from snack munchies, are there any more substantial and/or healthy foods I can prepare that will be safe and tasty even with 6 hours or so with no refrigeration (and no heat?)

Can cold roasted potatoes survive?
Hummus?
What about BBQ pork buns and curry beef buns from Chinatown?

There will be about 5 hungry divers. For munchies, I'm thinking of baking cookies, rusks, and/or brownies. I've got Thai Chili Lime peanuts (Trader Joes) and plantain chips. Maybe I will bring flavored almonds, too. I'm thinking of bringing a mix of dried fruit (whole figs, apricots, apples, zante currants, ginger)

I like picnics but have never prepared food that must survive for so long before. I would appreciate any thoughts on this... many thanks!

Take good care,

P.S. Sorry if I've posted in the wrong sub-forum...

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Old 06-07-2007, 10:00 PM   #2
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I personally would not take the bbq pork buns nor the curry beef buns since you have no cooler to keep it cold. If you can bring ice packs, then I think roasted vegetables would be fine if they can remain cold. All of your other ideas are good, the dried fruit, nuts, but I see you and your friends would like something more substantial. I'm sure someone will be along soon to offer more suggestions. Have a great time!
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Old 06-07-2007, 10:02 PM   #3
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Why not a cooler? I take things in a cooler on an airplane all the time--checked through.
If you can't then I think you may need to think a lot more about high energy bars, trail mix, high protein and carbohydrate things.
Make sandwiches and pack with cold packs.
For divers it may be time tothink not so much about sophisticated food, but energy food.
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Old 06-07-2007, 10:19 PM   #4
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All you need is cash! When you arrive at the destination run by a grocery, pick up a cheap styrofoam cooler, a bag of ice, fill it up with goodies of your choice, and you are good to go!

Have fun and Enjoy!
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Old 06-07-2007, 11:00 PM   #5
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I find myself thinking about the Italian deli here.

Can buy the hard sausages, stuff intact that doesn't need refrigeration. You know the ones you find hanging in the Italiian deli. And hard cheese, wrapped it will last for several days at least.

When you get to your destination, or if you can carry the weight, get stuff for an antipast. This stuff is available at any supermarket.

Jarred or tinned olives, artichoke hearts, red peppers (pimiento), pickled mushrooms, anchovies, jars of pickled veggies, sardines, jarred baby corn (OK, not exactly Italian but you don't have to be a purist here, or at all). Just find what you like and be creative.

And Milwaukee is a great ethnic food city. If you can manage a trip to a shop or two when you arrive I am sure you can make a dynamite picnic menu.

And of course crusty bread. I gotta think about suggestions like this because I always forget the obvious.

Don't know what your limitations are regarding space, weight, that sort of thing so am just tossing out a few vague ideas.

Have a great time.
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Old 06-08-2007, 07:39 AM   #6
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Dear AuntDot, Uncle Bob, CharleysAunt, and Amber,

THANK YOU SO MUCH for your great suggestions and wisdom here. I will forego the Chinese goods - I like the Italian ideas. I'll be taking the Amtrak and then two city buses to get to the dive spot, so I am a little hesitant to bring a cooler with an ice block. But, do you suppose even a little soft cooler with a block of blue ice might work if I wanted to bring some cold cuts?

I sincerely appreciate your help! Sometimes, I wonder how everyone learns all these things in life... I am glad this forum exists and that you share your wisdom with me!

Thanks also for your fun wishes. Have a great weekend,

BP
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Old 06-08-2007, 08:10 AM   #7
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Cold cuts can be kept forever!!! Yes, you could even freeze some juice instead of the blue ice and then drink them. Take some cheese and bread (when you get there--Uncle Bob nailed it!). Take a knife --think about the "tools" needed. Have fun.
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Old 06-08-2007, 08:19 AM   #8
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Wink

If you buy pkg'd cold cuts -freeze them tonight- I do all the time, then put into your soft-side cooler. Have a great trip and be safe.
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Old 06-08-2007, 10:05 AM   #9
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You know what this screams for? Cold Italian sub sandwiches. Buy some sliced ham, salami, cheeses, some jarred marinated vegetables & roasted peppers, some bagged lettuce, & a couple of loaves of Italian bread or crusty rolls. Can fit creatively in a soft cooler & will easily stay fresh that way.
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Old 06-08-2007, 10:08 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BreezyCooking
You know what this screams for? Cold Italian sub sandwiches. Buy some sliced ham, salami, cheeses, some jarred marinated vegetables & roasted peppers, some bagged lettuce, & a couple of loaves of Italian bread or crusty rolls. Can fit creatively in a soft cooler & will easily stay fresh that way.

Good choice ! Plus you could even buy them already made !!
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Old 06-08-2007, 10:14 AM   #11
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When I go out riding motocross on the weekends, I pack ice cubes in zip-lock bags and pack them around my lunch. In a soft cooler they last from 9am - 3pm sitting in my car. When I sit down for a snack, I'll dump one bag into my drink.
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Old 06-08-2007, 11:21 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BluePlate
Hi All,

... I will be traveling by train and bus, leaving from Chicago. I've volunteered to bring food. Apart from snack munchies, are there any more substantial and/or healthy foods I can prepare that will be safe and tasty even with 6 hours or so with no refrigeration (and no heat?)

Can cold roasted potatoes survive?
Hummus?
What about BBQ pork buns and curry beef buns from Chinatown?

I like picnics but have never prepared food that must survive for so long before....
Are you planning on eating the food while in transit (within six hours), or when you arrive at your destination?

If it's the former, you could pack up any sandwiches of choice, i.e. sliced turkey, chicken breast, roast beef, ham & cheese. Omit anything soggy like tomatoes or lettuce, and mayo salads & put the sandwiches in ziplocks. Stay away from tuna. Use crusty bread or (onion) rolls.

I would forgo a cooler, ice etc. Fresh fruit is another option - oranges, apples etc. I'm a fan of cold pasta salad & cucumber salad (cucumbers, tomato, red onions, black olives, red wine vinegar), but you would need to pack enough for 5 in plastic containers & bring plastic forks and napkins.

If the food will be consumed after your arrival, you can pick up what you need when you arrive, then put it all together. I'm with Uncle Bob, bring cash just in case.
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Old 06-08-2007, 11:50 AM   #13
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DH always froze a couple of bottles of water to put in his lunch. Just don't try to freeze anything carbonated, or you'll have a mess.

I like the idea of the salami, hard cheese and crusty bread. Transfer dill pickles and olives into ziplock bags to go with.
You can also buy tuna, salmon, chicken, and other items in the foil bags now, and they are more convenient and easier to pack than the cans.
If the grocery store has a salad bar or deli, ask to buy some individual packets of mustard, mayo, etc for your sandwiches.
In addition to a knife for slicing, don't forget to carry a roll of paper towels.
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Old 06-08-2007, 12:22 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BluePlate
Hi All,

Hope this finds all of you well and enjoying great summer or winter weather, wherever you are hemisphere-wise.

I'm going on a wreck diving trip this Saturday off the coast of Milwaukee. I will be traveling by train and bus, leaving from Chicago. I've volunteered to bring food. Apart from snack munchies, are there any more substantial and/or healthy foods I can prepare that will be safe and tasty even with 6 hours or so with no refrigeration (and no heat?)

Can cold roasted potatoes survive?
Hummus?
What about BBQ pork buns and curry beef buns from Chinatown?

There will be about 5 hungry divers. For munchies, I'm thinking of baking cookies, rusks, and/or brownies. I've got Thai Chili Lime peanuts (Trader Joes) and plantain chips. Maybe I will bring flavored almonds, too. I'm thinking of bringing a mix of dried fruit (whole figs, apricots, apples, zante currants, ginger)

I like picnics but have never prepared food that must survive for so long before. I would appreciate any thoughts on this... many thanks!

Take good care,

P.S. Sorry if I've posted in the wrong sub-forum...
Good idea to forego the pork and beef buns as they are best eaten steaming hot for their softness. As for hummus, refrigeration is necessary unless you want to bring it frozen and let it thaw along the way.

All in all, it's best to bring cold cuts, pickles, fresh bread, cookies etc to have a good time.
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