… what to eat on the road? That’s the question.
I love road trips, loooong road trips. Having just driven here to NYC from San Diego through the breathtaking vistas of Montana, Wyoming, and North Dakota I was appalled at the multitudes of heavy weight/obese people filing in and out of the fast food eateries abounding along the Interstates. Why was I at these travelers’ ‘watering holes’? I wasn’t. But because I didn’t prepare our travel cooler the way I usually do with the delicious abundance of homemade and natural goodies, I had the opportunity to scout out the local supermarkets and groceries often side by side with the eateries. That was eye opening. And many of these people were not on the road but local residents. It saddened me that so many people have so little regard for their health that they allow obvious ill health to become perceived good health simply because everyone starts looking the same from eating the same — the herd mentality. Those spare tire midriffs used to be associated with a small segment of our society. Now it’s the norm on or off the road. For here, for now I’ll stick to ‘on the road’.
Somehow in the car foods that you might not ordinarily think that much about as staples, become not only important but even more delicious especially when you bring your favorites. A long picnic on wheels. A chance to have your favorite natural sandwiches, snacks, and munchies mostly made by you and the kids. Flexibility is the key so some junk food is also fun. Sometimes you stop at a fast food eatery just for a change, and then you realize why you prepared and brought your goodies…as you reach for an antacid exclaiming: “Yuk! That stuff can kill you!” “How do people do it!?”
Make it and take it! The fun starts in your kitchen culling through the family’s ideas before you even get into the car. Even tailgate your dinner if you can. It’s so much better quality getting what you want and so much more fun. I’ve been making and taking for years with my family through the primary school years and into college. It has always paid off big dividends.
I know the travel days of summer are over, but this magazine being virtual gives you the opportunity to retrieve the info anytime you want. So here is what to and how to for you to morph into what you want:
A couple of days before leaving prepare and containerize natural, homemade salads, sandwich/snack fixings.
An adequate sized cooler with side drain for water and with a flat top, good for staging a small cutting board, condiments, servings. Holds: containers, greens with cheeses, fruits, meats all in ziplocs, cold drinks, etc. And don’t forget the ice!
Two shopping bags: 1) non-food for one small real serrated cutting knife, plastic utensils, reusable plates and cups, paper towels, disinfectant wipes, etc. 2) chips, cookies, dry snacks, loaves of sliced whole grain bread (hopefully homemade), etc. and it’s a good time to recycle those plastic supermarket shopping bags as your car waste bags. Have fun!
I usually put all of this which takes up surprisingly little room, in the seat/floor behind me, so I can scutch back to get to it or turn in my seat. Just reach in, enjoy the passing scenic wonders and replenish your soul with food from home. Get to where you’re going feeling refreshed and alive!
For our trip back to LA to visit our son, I’ll follow my own advice and do a better job of packing our portable larder so the pit stops are not for food.