Friday, March 12, 2010

The Perfect Raid Snack

” Nougat and tea”
”Meh. Lucky you!”

This is a typical conversation between me and Tessy of Reflections From The Pond. It always takes place around 10 pm, when we're having our ten-minute break half-way through the 3.5 hour long raid night.

Player rebuffing
It’s not only our toons that need rebuffing along the raid. The players need it as well. Stamina, spirit, power, all our stats have gone down in the drain after a couple of hours, especially if it’s been one of those progression nights, requiring our constant attention and focus.

Replenishment. Tessy and I both know that we need it – especially since we’ve got long experience from raising children. If you don’t keep the blood sugar curve on the kids at a decent, even level they’ll get cranky. And so will their mothers. That is why we’ll always use a couple of those ten free minutes to go for a snack hunt in the kitchen.

When we’re back we’ll report to each other, comparing our findings. The one who has found a hidden treasure – that chocolate box from Christmas that somehow was put on the wrong shelf and then fell into oblivion - will be the unchallenged winner of the food contest of the night.

To be honest, Tessy wins most of the time. She’s got a WoW-playing and very supportive family. I’ll never forget her wall-of-text application to Adrenaline, by far the most wordy and entertaining application I’ve ever seen. What stood out most was wen she described how her husband sometimes served her as she was playing, offering her pizza and a glass of wine to go with her game. How could I ever beat that?

What constitutes a good raid snack
Last raid we had a brief chat on what would constitutes a perfect raid snack. “We should make a Top-10-list”, suggested Tessy.

The question was what criteria we should use building the list.

We agreed that you needed to be able to eat it with one hand. And it must be rather clean. Sticky stuff won’t do it; you don’t want goo on your mouse. The ideal raid snack shouldn’t break into pieces too easily. You don’t want crumbs in your keyboard – they don’t only look disgusting, they also can make the keys get stuck. So crisps won’t make it into the Top-10- list.

Besides there’s more into crisps making them questionable as raid snacks. They don’t only spread a dirty look all over your gaming area, to put it blunt they’re poison for your body. I’m not a health prophet myself in any way. I believe I’m pretty average. Sometimes I train regularly and think twice before putting junk into my body. Other times I shrug at it, putting up a “Who-cares-and-I-deserve-a-treat-I’ll-think-about-my-health-tomorrow”-approach. I love crisps. But if I would have crisps with every single raid, I realize it would have a substantial impact on my life length. One crisps-and-a-glass-of-wine raid a week is fine and a part of leading a good life. Three or four of those raids are not.

Size and bio effects
Another aspect to consider is the size. The perfect raid snack is on the small side. I’m probably not the only one with a pretty cramped and messy desk. There just isn’t space enough to squeeze in a huge plate between my mouse, keyboard, screen and all those stacks of miscellaneous papers, including everything from important bills to printed how-to-spec-your-levelling-druid-guides.

You also have to pay a thought to the immediate physiological effects of the snack. It might have an impact on your performance as a player – in a good way or bad. Ideally you should eat something that keeps you feel energized, constantly providing you with fluid and fuel, holding your stamina and mood at a pleasant and even level, without huge spikes or dips.

A perfect snack doesn’t make you feel sleepy and lethargic and you also must make sure it doesn’t mess up your digestion too badly. The mid-raid break is our one and only bio break, so it’s wise to stay away from stuff that are likely to cause extra emergency visits to the ladies room.

Miniature carrots
It appears to me that that with all those requirements, there aren’t many alternatives left. Miniature carrots. That’s all I can come up with, and actually it has been on my raid menu more and more often lately. They’re juicy, a little bit on the sweet side, they don’t take much place and come ready-to-eat in a little plastic bag. They’re neat and clean and they satisfy my factual or imagined need to constantly munch on something as I’m playing, and they don’t harm me, on the contrary.

There’s only one problem. You can’t by any mean say that carrots will raise your spirits.

“Fresh homemade chocolate cake and a glass of port wine. My husband came with it.”
“Miniature carrots in a plastic bag. I took it from the refrigerator”

No one will envy you for having carrots. You can talk for hours about how good they are for you, but they’re useless in a food duel with Tessy. You’ll be owned.

The chase for the perfect raid snack will continue. One day I’ll come up with something better. It will be neat, easy-to-eat and healthy as miniature carrots, but much more glamorous. Something that will make my fellow players envious.

A good snackscore will always top any achievement, damage chart or gearscore you can provide. Period.

Yes, this post is an exception from my general rule not to leave out and publish names of guildies on my blog. Tessy is a fellow blogger, and I’m pretty sure she doesn’t mind. I even hope that she might get inspired to pick up the topic and ponder a bit further on it. See it as a starting post for our upcoming Top-10-list of raid snacks!


Daergel said...

Now I understand Adrenaline! I know you explained in /gchat but I thought it was a figurative thing rather than the name of your guild!


theanorak said...

*woof* *woof* (from your first sentence)

Also this suggests, nay demands, an addon for WoW in the vein of FlagRSP but for snacking, with built-in SnackScore™ calculation and tracking.

It could open up a whole new series of shouts in the LFG channel... "link 5200GS, 4500SS and PoweredByCoffee/Motorhead achiv plx"

Leah said...

sliced apples and honey. you eat them with a fork, so its one handed and not messy.

come to think of it, fruit salad in general is a good idea, strawberries, cherries, sliced melon, pears. probably should stay from watermelon as it tends to be too juicy to satisfy no mess requirement. eaten with a fork.

chocolate obviously, those little individually wrapped pieces.

trail mix (pretzels, dried fruit, nuts) - its not messy like potato chips and generally you can keep your hands clean, especially if nuts are of unsalted kind (might still want to keep a damn towel nearby to wipe your fingers quickly on)

sushi, the kind that has seaweed on the outside.

bite sized cookies - oatmeal, chocolate, etc

Can't think of anything else at the moment.

I like food :P the only thing that saves me from blowing up like a balloon is that I like it snack sized.

Dorgol said...

Hah! I win!

I see the title "The Perfect Raid Snack" and the first thing that popped into my head was "carrots", followed closely by "celery".

But it was carrots first!

And, speaking for myself, I'd say mini-carrots beats out chocolate cake + wine.

mentalshaman said...

Miniature Carrots and low fat humus or plain green yogurt dip! NOM NOM NOM

Cantique said...

Little smokies (sausages) sliced with cheese cubes and a toothpick, small sweet pickles, grape tomatoes.

Erinys said...

I agree with MentalShaman. Homemade hummus or guacamole with raw carrot sticks. It can however be messy if you forget to use the carrot and end with hummus on your keyboard.

My last raid group could always tell when I was snacking on haribo though as my deaths seemed proportional to the amount of sugar I consume.

Cap'n John said...

Sometimes my wife brings me a sandwich or a snack, but a slice of freshly made chocolate cake and a glass of Port? Damn! That I'd have to get myself!

Never thought of baby carrots as a Raid snack, though. That's actually a good (& healthy) idea.

Koch (Aszune) said...

You are so right - snack food is neccessary (although I contest that cheese actually helps with your blood sugar).

We also do the 10 o'clock break for our raiding - and although several of our raiders use it for smoking, almost everyone grabs some nibbles. And alcohol ... I am not ashamed to say that either.

I did a post about the same subject a while ago and don't quite dare repost it here. So instead a sneaky link to generate more traffic. Wheee:

Diorinix said...

Popcorn - unbuttered or buttered (with a healthy amount of paper towels/napkins handy if you choose the buttered route) are my snack of choice whilst raiding. Goes good with a tall glass of ice water or iced tea.

Other favorites of mine are mandarin oranges (easy to peel), bananas and oreos-and-milk.

Rades said...

Reflections from the Pound? Someone was thinking of chocolate cake a little too much while writing this, methinks. ;)

I like pretzels or dried fruit...both non-sticky, non-wet, and can be munched or nibbled on in small bits at a time.

Anonymous said...

Blueberries, strawberries and raspberries are my usual. When they're out of season and the Chilean airfreight berries look too dodgy, I like to eat slices of cheese and pepperoni. I went through an edamame phase, but it tended to upset my digestion about 12 hours later.

Gerrad said...

Cucumber with dip!

zetter said...

God everyone is so healthy with carrots, fruit and things.
Got to be pizza its able to be eater one handed so I can still heal while healing.


Sprink said...

Pickles. Pickles are the perfect WoW-playing snack for me. Just throw a small amount of them in a bowl, leave the bowl on the desk, pick at will. ^_^

Imperial said...

I like to go with some good sharp cheese, some hard bread, and a beer or glass of wine. Too many beers means extra bio trips though, which generally starts to wear on the raid leader's patience.

Dothraki said...

I'll rotate between grapes, cherries, pretzel nuggets and peanut M&M's... yum

Cold said...

Own you all with Pringles and Beef Jerky

Anonymous said...

pfftt Raid snacks need to be thought out...planned ahead...

Ritz biscuits (bite size) with 1 slice of cheese on...then some branston pickle...then another slice on top...

you get the crunch from the ritz and the savory from the cheese/pickle

Add the fruit juice/veg juice of your choice.


Mini pork pies with branston pickle...


(secret branston pickle fetish)

Ixobelle said...

Cracked Pepper and Olive Oil Triscuits are OMFG SO PEPPERY IT HURTTTTSSSS

Jakkru said...

My raid snack of choice?

Blackcurrant juice. I make some before the start, during the break and after the raid :D

Anonymous said...

I sometimes find myself making a snack prior to raid. Say about 20, 30 mins prior, and then sticking it in my fridge for breaks.

Ants on a log, cheese & fruit, eggrolls; most of what I make myself is heavy on fruit or raw veggies and all of it is small enough to eat with one hand.

Klepsacovic said...

Correctly eaten cookies will cause few crumbs. Or if they're very soft cookies. Add in a pot of non-caffeinated tea (don't want jitters or stay up late) and you're good to go.

Leah said...

I'll give you beef jerkey but pringles are yuck. sorry pringle lovers, but those things taste terrible. fake potato taste ftl.

pickles win though, how could I have forgotten them, especially since I tend to snack on bite sized ones a lot (gherkins)

Tessy said...

I seem to remember somone having home baked cinnamon rolls recently, and I know for a fact port wine have been consumed not only by me in our raids :-)

Too bad we live so far apart or I would ask you to come over and raid sometime, making sure of course that the house was stocked with goodies and a cake baking in the oven!

thebarrenschat said...

Chocolate and coffee!

- Ercles/Wabashaw

Llyrra said...

I'm with Leah on the sliced apples... I usually have them with Nutella but I've GOT to give honey a try. One of my guidies snack on toast with honey. Could be a bid messy but if it's cut up into bit size pieces....!

...and dill pickles and cubes of cheeses and meats; anything you can stab with a toothpick!

Anonymous said...

Oh heavens, I need to eat more healthy snacks, everyone's putting me to shame....we actually MADE a five minute chocolate cake and ate it in our raid break in another game once. The response was amusing. "No, you can' didn' did?.....Jealous!"

And no. I'm not sharing the recipe here. You're all far too healthy.

Wishart said...

10 minute Bio break equals:
Downstairs kettle on, back upstairs toilet (wash hands) ;).
Downstairs make coffee back upstairs sit down and wait for others. Whats this eating thing ?

Sacerdote said...

I've got to agree with Cold, and eith apologies to Leah. Pringles are for the win. They come in a nice tube (space-saving) and they're all the same size, so they're easy to handle one-handed.

Paired with rum and Coke which is both a stimulant and a relaxant, they make a fine raid snack. Just try not to think of them as being made from potato.

Llyrra said...

Remeber, it's not so much about snacking healthy as the parameters were: eat with one hand, no crumbs on the keyboard, bit-sized.... hell, if it was just a matter of choosing a snack, bring on the cookies, doughnuts and ice cream!

Llyrra said...

And no thanks to the Pringles; I like real potato chips (crisps)!

Ritsuka said...

Ahaha i need to be on these's topics i have quite afew food tips for you ladys! :D

Brian 'Psychochild' Green said...

My typical snack is pistachio nuts. Although, I will admit that the inner skin does sometimes get all over the place, so perhaps not the most neat snack ever. :)

Trondheimsveikja said...

Never having raided, ever, I do think that apple pieces and cheese might be a possibility. Especially if the cheese is a good cheddar.

Beromalann said...

For myself, I prefer apple slices, some Dubliner cheese, and a bowl of grapes. Towards the end of raid time my loving wife is more than willing to bring me some dark chocolate (74-78% range) and a couple of fingers of single malt Scotch.

Anonymous said...

Cellery cut into appropriate pieces with a dip and a glass shandy works wonders.

Curd stops the dip from dripping (Try, 50/50 Yogurt/Curd, Salt, and fine cut onions or garlic (don't press the garlic unless you love living alone).

During the cold seasons:
a glass of red wine, Espresso and dark chocolate, but that's probably more for the serotonin affine.


Anonymous said...

I rather like 2-Bite brownies.
Although, pizza is better if it is around.

Larísa said...

@All: Good heavens! The commentary section of this post has turned into a little recipe collection with loads of great suggestions for good raiding snacks! It’s a fantastic start for a Top-10-list of snacks, actually it will rather take a top-100-list to make room for all those ideas.

@Daergel: It is… I single them out with a special section.

: yep: there isn’t anything you can’t compete in, right? We need something that can pretend to be a scientific way of quantifying the snackscore impact.

@Leah: Honey??? Good lord, it would drip on my keyboard. I’m like a child, dropping food everywhere. But yeah, I guess fruit would be a more viable option with a fork as a tool, so you won’t get sticky fingers. Good idea.

@Dorgol: celery. Hm… I never have that at home but it’s not a bad idea. I’m a huge fan of liquorice and it reminds me a bit of that.

: Dip! Yay. Not a bad idea. I bought some for this over the weekend. Will make a try next raid to see if it will make my carrots more glamorous.

: susages: no thanks. Cheese: yes please. Pickles, no way. Grape tomatoes: yummie! (yeah, I’m sort of picky)

@Erinys: how was it corresponding? More sugar = more deaths?

@Cap’n John: you’ve raised your wife well! I’ve never ever gotten anything brought to me as I’m raiding.

@Koch: That was a fantastic post you linked to. Much better than my ramblings. Well worth a read. Thanks!

: popcorn – noooes. I would have it all over my keyboard! How do you manage to eat them without dropping?

@Rades: that was a typo. Corrected. Thanks for pointing it out. Pretzels… yeah, why not. But you need something to drink with it I think.

: Those berries sounds very luxurious, although it’s hardly finger food, you need a tool not to get it all over the place.

@Gerrad: noted!

@Zetter: You cut them in very small pieces I presume? To me pizza sounds a bit tricky to eat by the pc tbh.

@Sprink: Bah. I don’t like pickles. But if you liked them I guess they’re good.

@Imprial: Sharp cheese, yay! I hate mild cheese, it’s just fat and blend. But sharp… yummie.

: a good rotation between healthy and non-healthy, salt and sweet. A bit of everything.

Larísa said...

@Cold: hm… Pringles and Beef Jerky? Not on my menu I’m afraid. Or maybe I should be grateful about that.

: I definitely lack planning. But I could live without those pickles that everyone is suggesting. Cheese and ritz are fine with me though.

: what do you drink with them though? Sounds risky to get so thirsty during the raid.

@Jakkru: juice is fine but I’m no fan of blackcurrent tbh. A mixture of orange and grape fruit works fine with me.

: Ants on a log??? I have to apologize for my lack of English knowledge, I guess it isn’t what it sounds like.

: non-caffienated? Oh noes. Need the caffeine to stay sharp in those late hours. (yes, I’m an addict). And how do you eat a cookie correctly and crumb free? Put it all into your mouth at once?

@Tessy: oh yeah, the cinnamon rolls… That was quite a treat! Doesn’t happen every raid though I’m afraid. Hm… too bad I’m playing on such a huge machine. Moving it to raid together seems like quite a big project. It would be tremendously fun to raid in the same location one day. Can picture the snacks we’d have…

: That never gets out of date

@Llyrra: toothpick… yeah… I could do with one of those. But honey by my computer is a no-no.

: it’s just an image we put up. We’re junkies for goodies in reality. So come on, give us that five minute chocolate cake recipe now.

@Wishart: eating… sugare levels… habit… addiction…. Some have it, others apparently not. I have it.

: No, I agree that pringles aren’t really crisps. They’re something else. But too much of industrial feeling to fit with my taste. Rum and coke… yeah…It’s yummie. not four times a week though.

@Ritsuka: bring it on!

: That doesn’t sound neat at all tbh. At least you could get them peeled?

a. Many good cheeses around. The best cheese in the world according to me is a Swiss one, Appenzeller.

: awww… what a loving wife! Quite a treat!

@Usiel: more of that celery… I really have to try it out. But shandy? Hmm… I never understood the point of that tbh. That could season treat sounded yummie… but not quite so healthy. :)

: brownies and pizza… not in combination I suppose?

Anonymous said...

Okay, you asked for it!

4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
A small splash of vanilla extract
1 large coffee mug

Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well. Add the egg and mix thoroughly. Pour in the milk and oil and mix well. Add the chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla extract, and mix again. Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts (high). The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don’t be alarmed! Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired.

EAT! (this can serve 2 if you want to feel slightly more virtuous). And why is this the most dangerous cake recipe in the world? Because now we are all only 5 minutes away from chocolate cake at any time of the day or night!

We replaced the oil with butter, used chocolate chips, and have, on occasion, added a dollop of raspberry jam and a splodge of cream.....

(If you want to berate me for this, it's Twangerine over at SAN!)

Anonymous said...

My apologies Larisa forgot to "swedenise" it.

You are correct, Shanty is British, so Ale and Lemonade/Fanta.
Instead take one of the Swedish Lager, I have no idea which one, there is actually one with München+unexpressableswedishname in it's, that might do as well, mix it with Lemon + Mineralwater or Fanta.
After a hot Summer bicycle tour, you know why it is called Radler (Cyclist).

Serves best with dark bread, covered with cream cheese, chives and salt.


Stumps said...

Jaffa Cakes....hands down, best raid snack ever =p

Sponge - good
Dark chocolate - great
Layer of orange jelly - wonderful

Put all three together into a small biscuit-sized cake and you have snack-genius!!

Rohan said...

I'm a fan of mini carrots.

Also good is dried fruit, such as dried apples, raisins, dried peaches, or even prunes if you like them. They're sweet, but dry, so there's no mess at all. And they're reasonably healthy, or at least you can persuade yourself that they are.

Zack said...

Almond biscotta with either a glass of good, inexpensive wine or a cup of good coffee (decaf if you raid at night).

And if you make the biscotta yourself you can make it as junky or healthy as you want.

Bruschetta margherita is also a good choice, as far as finger foods go.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Katlya here I really need to create an account somewhere... Anyways back in the day I used to snack on Combos, usually the little pretzel ones with cheese and pizza flavor. I always have a water bottle nearby and I also like the Quaker Oats mini rice cakes in a variety of flavors.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Katlya here I really need to create an account somewhere... Anyways back in the day I used to snack on Combos, usually the little pretzel ones with cheese and pizza flavor. I always have a water bottle nearby and I also like the Quaker Oats mini rice cakes in a variety of flavors.

warrior guide said...

Nice one!

Although I don't recommend eating snacks in small portions (because the stomache has a hard time reacting to small portions) I know the problems of having little energy after hours of raiding.

I think you need both sugar and coffee. Sugar to replenish energy and coffee to actually stay away.

joey said...

OMG thank you for linking to this post recently! I have got to try the cake recipe, but as much of a chocolate lover as I am... I could get ugly :)

For me, coffee and copenhagen gets me through the day.