It’s time for summer vacation! Whether that means a road trip from Texas to Tennessee, or trip across the river to grandma’s house, there is no need to depend on fast food to feed your brood. Here are a few tricks to start your voyage off right!
Pack a Cooler
The first thing to invest in when planning a trip is a good cooler! Make sure you have enough room for essentials, but don’t try to turn your back seat into a concession stand.
Worried about ice thawing and sloshing around on your leather? Instead of packing your cooler with ice, freeze water bottles and juice boxes. They keep your snacks cold, and when they thaw, you have ice cold beverages.
Notes from the kitchen:
1) Always use plastic bottles, not glass.
2) Open your water bottles and pour a little out of the top, then make sure the lid is securely back on. This will keep the bottle from deforming and exploding due to the expansion in freezing. Juice boxes are fine as is.
3) Stay away from carbonated beverages; they tend to expand even more than water in your freezer, might cause the bottle to explode.
Some Assembly Required
Once you have your cooler set up, it’s time to decide what to pack! A lot of great foods for travel are ones that you can build at the last minute. The standby is the trusty sandwich, but don’t forget about staples like potato salads and pasta salads! These two: Red Potato Salad, or Paula’s Italian Pasta Salad are great examples of elements that travel well on their own, and are easy to prep ahead of time and toss in a zip-top bag for easy storage. Keeping your elements separate not only insures that your salad will be fresh, but also that your meal will be safe and bacteria-free! Another option for quick safe ingredients is saving individual packets of things like mayonnaise and mustard from the grocery or take-out. Just use what you need without worrying about keeping it cool! Once you have all your ingredients packed, make sure you bring a bowl (or a large zip-top bag) for tossing your salad when the time comes.
Don’t Be Afraid of the Cold
The easiest tip of all? Don’t be afraid to serve hot dishes cold! Dishes like Oven Fried Chicken or Roasted Chicken may not pop into your mind when you think of foods best served cold, but they are just as tasty and much easier to pack up cold! Make your dish the night before and refrigerate it. Transfer it to the cooler to stay nice and chilled. Take it out when you are ready to dine. No heat required!