When you are faced with a meal-requiring plane flight of more than a few hours, what do you do for food? Do you:

a) stay up late the night before stir-frying chicken thighs with bok choy and black bean sauce for a healthy mid-air repast?
b) make a last-minute dash to the airport sandwich bar and grab the roast beef?
c) or (presuming you’re flying an airline that still serves it) take a chance on the air fare and see what the warmed-over trays bring you?

Before a recent flight to Taiwan, a few of my coworkers were kindly but assuredly horrified that I’d voted for option c. As I dashed out of the office to catch my flight, they urged me to pause in the Test Kitchen to prepare a sandwich, at the very least. But ever since I was little, I’ve had a fascination with the little boxes of food that come out of those mysterious metal wheelie boxes the flight attendants push through the aisles. I was doubly curious for this flight—I had never flown Cathay Pacific before and had heard rumors of exotic ingredients and a ramen-noodle bar in the galley. Cups o’noodles were indeed available for heating for all 19 hours of the flight, and while the meals were not spectacular by any stretch, I was tickled to find dragon fruit in the fruit salad.

So I am honestly curious: What do you do? I’ll post the best preflight food ritual next week.