Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Taking Homemade Food on Vacation

If I eat all restaurant food for a few days, I don't feel good and I want to feel good on vacation!  Plus, eating out is expensive and can be a royal pain with kids.  So I pack food.

On this weekend, I knew the inn had a fridge, microwave, and coffeemaker in the room.  We also had access to a lounge with chairs and tray tables (nothing says makeshift more than sitting on a bed to eat!).
Apples al fresco on a hike.  I took apples and the paring knife in my bag.

Packed Meal #1: lunchmock tuna salad (made with mashed garbanzoes)
daily bread

Dinner at the inn's restaurant - only so-so.

Packed Meal #2: breakfastgranola

Lunch out at a BBQ place.

Packed Meal #3: light supper
lentil salad with spinach and Jerusalem artichokes
homemade French bread
goat cheese

Packed Meal #3: breakfast
the rest of the French bread

a hearty, yet elegant Sunday brunch in a chic restaurant.  Ahhhhhh.

Packed Snacks, for the drive or whenever:
Pink Lady apples
goat cheese
cut-up carrots, celery, and turnips
dried mangoes

Eating breakfast and keeping an eye on the trains.
non-food items I packed:  4 shallow bowls that doubled as plates, paring knife, 4 spoons, 1 table knife, 1 cup (for the children to share), 2 mugs, dish soap

Sampling Turkish delight from the historic candy shop.
I'd love to hear your ideas for easy, healthy, thrifty trip food.  It's a feat to hit all three criteria!


Polly said...

Love this! We do a LOT of packing/cooking ourselves--mostly due to Finn's inability to eat dairy/gluten, but also because, like you, restaurant food is only tolerable for so long. I much prefer home food. So let's see, what do we do?

*packing!!! We pack breakfasts and lunches (unless breakfast comes with the hotel, but even then, I like to have a few 'backup' items). Gingerbread still-in-pan, homemade bread, muffins....yogurt for those of us who will eat dairy....a jar of peanut butter for Finn....and plenty of rice and/or almond milk for breakfasts.....Lunches....beans and rice for Finn (his favorite)....if the trip is quick, pre-cooked things we can re-heat....bread and peanut butter...although I admit my husband prefers to dine out at lunch!

*staying at places where we can cook or have some control over meal prep. A fridge is essential, but it's really nice to have an actual kitchen. That's only happened once (our vacation at a state park last year) but we often travel near family and 'crash' their kitchen....cooking for the entire crowd, of course! :) Our state park vacation was perfect--we ate most breakfasts and dinners there, and usually had an 'outing' during the day when we'd get lunch elsewhere. We visited farmers markets (another tip!) to get local produce and meats and then cooked those for supper. I took one cookbook and worked from that and my own mad skillz. I wish I'd made a comprehensive list of what I took, because I had everything we needed except for a corkscrew.

*I talked about this in an old post--here, I think--http://trinitychronicles.blogspot.com/2010/05/tips-for-special-diet.html

I love posts like this from you, they are so practical and so inspiring. It is why you are one of my favorite places on the internet! ;)

Rebecca said...

For long distance travel food I have to turn to my childhood: sweet bologna sandwiches on homemade bread, chips, seedless white grapes (an exotic novelty at the time) and Oreos. Not particularly healthy or thrifty but so memorable. We only got those grapes and Oreos on trips. We would pull over to the side of the road where, in a more civilized era, the government provided green painted picnic tables.

Now my travel food comes out for Tuesdays when we're not home for supper. I make a usual supper that can stand room temperatures and pack it in our sealable glass containers. Tonight it's spinach and lentils with crispy onions and beets cooked with anise seed. (Never tried beets with anise before but surely Deborah Madison wouldn't lead me astray.)

Christian @ Modobject at Home said...

Your choices are so simple and easy, yet elegant!

Egg salad is a good staple to take in the cooler and keep in the frig (if you have access to one). It can work for breakfast or lunch.

Sew Blessed Maw said...

Such a wonderful idea!!

Nicole said...

Great post! As a large family we've always packed travel food; it's just to expensive and unhealthy to eat out all the time. Plus when you are travelling far, it's faster:) I make tortilla roll ups with a variety of fillings (beans, cheese etc.) Lots of cut up fruits and vege's; a hunk of rustic bread and old cheddar is nice too. Sometimes I make mini pies stuffed with vegetables, cheese and apples and other things. The kids always love these since they get there own little pie.

Margo said...

Nicole, I'd love to know your method or recipe for the little pies. That is a great idea.

Nicole said...

Margo here's a link to a post I wrote on travel food last August.
It mentions how I make the mini pies, thought I now make them with a whole wheat pastry recipe. Any pastry will work but I find the flakier the crust the more messy they are to eat!

Practical Parsimony said...

When my three were small, there was no way we could get dressed and to breakfast before we were all famished. I carried plast "party cups" and spoons for breakfast; boiled eggs, peanut butter and graham crackers; apples and knife, bananas, and raisins. We at breakfast In room, lunch when sightseeing, and dinner at a restaurant.

I bought a gallon of milk when we arrived, put a clean garbage bag in the wastebasket and let my son get ice and carry it back and forth from the machine to the room. By putting blankets, newspaper in the room, and luggage against and on top, the milk lasted us over two days and stayed frosty cold. We added more ice. Boiled eggs stayed cold with the milk.

Refrigerators in the room were not common forty years ago.

If we went to a street festival, we would buy food. We tried not to squelch all the fun and not break the bank. AND, restaurant eating is not fun with three kids who are feeling cranky because of not so healthy food.

For vegetables, the kids at carrots and celery. At restaurant dinners at night, we highly encouraged some salad eating.


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