DIY food for festivals

By Charlie Clapp

It’s a Glastonbury year this year – which means another June of torrential rain, mud and newspapers regaling us with images of girls in pink wellies and short shorts floundering up to their elbows in mud. OMG I sooooo wish I was going!

I had an idea to help those off on a festival adventure this year, by providing festival survival kit advice. Not the “sun cream, paracetamol and sunglasses” kind but the foodie kind – the most important! Not all festivals take their food as seriously as Jamie’s Big Feastival, so why feast on burnt burgers and plastic hot dogs when you can enjoy lovely homemade goodies all weekend?

So, let’s start with the kit essentials – what to take:

  • Foldaway knife
  • Little chopping board
  • Forks
  • Plates
  • Mixing/serving bowl
  • Medium pan
  • Small gas hob or trangia
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Bin bag
  • Cool box

On the first day you’ll be tired from putting up the tent, so for your first meal, have a go at this delicious chilli at home, then do as Jamie does and wrap with lots of blankets (the ones you intend to sit on whilst eating) and eat for supper. Have it with bread or tacos, and even chop up a few tomatoes on your board and sprinkle over with a little coriander. You will be the envy of the campsite! Plus, because you have done all the hard work before even getting there, you saved more time for exploring, drinking and dancing. Great.

For the rest of the weekend – think of fresh ingredients that don’t need refrigerating, like tomatoes, avocados, lemons, garlic, mushrooms, onions, apples, bread and even some cured meats – as long as they are kept in your cool box they’ll be fine. I would also recommend packing your cool box with a lots of frozen water bottles. These melt much slower than normal ice, prevent the bottom of your cool box from getting wet and provide you with ice-cold water when things get hot.

A couple of your favourite condiments are absolutely essential too and perk up pretty much anything – so if you do end up buying a cheap burger on your way back – a dollop with your favourite chilli jam can save almost any sorry looking snack. Just remember many festivals won’t let you take glass in, so you may need to decant glass bottles.

With the right, simple ingredients you can make any kind of amazing sandwich to keep you going, and any kind of salad too. Add a packet of dried couscous and one of pasta and you have yourself a feast –you have boiling water thanks to your pan and gas hob or trangia, so go beyond a cup of tea or coffee!

But the time you’ll probably appreciate your own food the most is the morning, when you wake up with a sore head. Here are a couple of ideas to inspire you and help speed up your recovery.

  • Smashed avocado on toast with a fried egg and hot chilli sauce
  • Garlic mushrooms on toast with scrambled eggs and crispy chorizo
  • Crispy chorizo and apple sandwich

The smell of these recipes in the morning will be enough to get everyone up and about. It’s so much better than queuing for miles for a greasy fry-up, and none of the recipes would require anything more than a frying pan.

So there we have it – the food survivor’s guide to a festival. Have fun and remember, if you can’t be good be careful.


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