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Old 05-11-2003, 09:01 AM   #1
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Meals on the road

Some time back, Charles asked what our favorite food was for the first night on the road. Now, I would like to know what all of you do for multiple nights traveling before reaching a camping destination.

Do you eat out? Do you have simple meals to prepare? Or do you just drive about three hours each day so you have time to have a bonafide camper's breakfast in one location and a fire-up-the-grill for steak and roasted veggies at night?

With camping season getting ready to step up into high gear this is important, so fess up: What do you do?



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Old 05-11-2003, 11:43 AM   #2
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Hi, Suz

My project is taking me from farm/ranch to farm/ranch and I have planned it so that I have no more than 300 miles between stops, which are usually two to four days in duration. I pack my 17SD's freezer with as much good home-made chow as I can cram in. I select something for that evening and put it into the fridge or the sink to thaw during the day. I don't make much if any distinction between road-food and camp-food. An army travels on its stomach, doncha know!

My standard inclusions are... (frozen food, that is) my wife's chili, usually two pints in square sided containers; her beef stew, one or two containers; fileted pheasant breasts (three or four in individual packets)--these I like to cut into strips and do fajita-style in a low-sided iron skillet; small, lean round steaks, packaged by twos, usually three or four of these; a container of my wife's stuffed shells or manicotti. Lately I have started including some of those Morningstar Farms "spicey black bean burgers" and breakfast links (surprisingly good!).

The fridge carries a bag or box of organic salad greens (baby spinach if I can't get the mixed greens), mini-baguettes, whole-wheat loaf bread, orange juice, a six- or eight-pack of eggs, some no-fat margarine in tub(s), various cheeses, salsa, fresh peppers, etc.

The cabinet above the microwave cabinet carries dry cereal, dried milk powder, condiments (such as Coleman's English Mustard and a selection of hot sauces), instant oatmeal, grits, rice, tostados, coffee, that sort of thing.

The lower rear dinette cabinet carries what little canned goods I tote. Stuff like corn and "ranch" beans and that sort of thing. I try not to carry too much canned stuff as it is heavy and you can always stop along the way and get what you need.

Lots of really fine eats come from farmers' generosity. I also enjoy stopping at markets along the way to pick up items that I have run out of or just to see what they have that might be fun. If I know what I want I will try to stop at a larger market, such as a W/M supercenter. If I'm "just looking" I like to stop at the little mom-and-pops that look like they're serving a whole small rural area. Great stuff in there sometimes and lots of good conversation, too.

I'll also confess that, when I am the road for longer hauls, I will sometimes stop around noontime (usually a little after 1PM to avoid the rush and slow service) at "one of those places" for a portion of grease and fat. Murph loves these stops best as he always gets a plain burger (about $.80 most places) and some of my fries. I try not to do that too often, though, because he is definitely starting to recognize the golden arches!

OK. That's probably MUCH more than you wanted to know, but I'm sorting out my larder for my next trip on the 19th and it was on my mind anyway.



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Old 05-13-2003, 01:54 PM   #3
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A few of my faves

Most of my solo travel until now has involved way too many five-minute drive through meals. But on camping trips I have brought along or purchased supplies for a few of my favorite camp meals. Yes, I do believe garlic is a food-group. While I am not quite wild enough to add it to ice cream or chocolate as do the folks at the garlic festivals, I do believe it belongs on or in almost all non-desserts. Keeps the mosquitoes away and it prevents colds! After all, if you eat enough, you won't be close enough to anyone to catch anything.

*Summer Tomatoes and Mozzarella
You really need to either buy fresh or do this the first day, but it is easy and great for hot days when you can't look at a heat-producing device without wilting. Take one or more cloves of garlic (depending on how many people will be speaking to you later!) and mince or chop well. Put that on a plate with some chopped fresh basil, black olives (the good ones!), salt and pepper, a dash of red pepper flakes and olive oil. Add balsamic vinegar if you choose. Add FRESH mozzarella balls or slices. You can subsitute farmer's cheese. It works well with any soft white cheese. Then slice a nice loaf of soft white bread and enjoy a little bit of heaven. If you must have meat to consider it a meal, add some thin slices of roast beef.

* Asparagus or Greenbeans and Salmon

I love roasted veggies and these roast quickly. Just toss in olive oil with salt and pepper (garlic if you choose) then roast in foil or on the grill with a grill basket. My favorite salmon recipe is simply to spread a thin layer of dijon mustard on top of the fillet, sprinkle with thyme or tarrogon and either cook in foil or on the grill.

* Spinach, Sage or Basil Pesto
You can freeze pesto easily. Find a good basic recipe for pesto and start experimenting with different nuts and herbs. Walnuts work well, pecans are good too. You can also experiment with greens and herbs. Spinach basil pesto is good (half and half each). Sage is amazing if you use half sage and half parsley. Freeze it or put it in airtight jars for up to 4 days in the fridge. Toss with pasta, add sliced cooked chicken or spread on chicken breasts as you grill. Also makes a good spread for bread or a sauce for pizza.



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Old 05-13-2003, 03:01 PM   #4
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I tried spreading mustard on salmon once and it didn't work. the crumbling was awful. I opened the can dumped into a bowl, and the crumbling began. Well, Oklahoma is land locked. Makes really good patties though. :)

The best salmon patties I ever had was when we cooked some real honest to goodness salmon fillets. Baked them or something. (yours are problably better) Didn't care much for the fillets, but couldn't throw them away so crumbled and made patties. delicious



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Old 05-13-2003, 03:48 PM   #5
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Landlocked. Urgh! Forgot that part!

I have purchased fresh or frozen salmon in many grocery stores, but I admit most were between Florida and Maine. I keep trying to forget that I am moving west to a landlocked state.

My friends on the East Coast are shocked to findout that I only recently developed a real taste for seafood. I had to explain that 20 years ago in Utah, fish was pretty much what come in a can or what come in a rectangular breaded patty. On the other hand, they do have EXCELLENT rainbow trout.

Do you have a good recipe for salmon patties? I tried them once, but wasn't impressed. Now I have two cans of salmon someone gave me and no idea what to do with them.



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Old 05-13-2003, 05:59 PM   #6
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Suz ... I'll give more details later ...

But we really have two "on-the-road" eating styles ... depending on whether or not you are planning on having electricity when you stop that night.

Obviously the most efficient way to eat on the road is eat like you do at home.

In fact, for a couple of weeks before you leave home ... make double portions and freeze half of the food to be microwaved or warmed up in a pan when you stop on the road.

Even if you don't have the freezer space in the trailer, you can put 2 or 3 frozen packages in the regular refrig to thaw out and help keep things cool enroute. Stuff will thaw and last a couple, 3 days.

But if you are planning on stopping somewhere where you won't have power (Flying J, Walmart) ... or even if you are stopping someone after a long hot day of summer traveling ... we really enjoy a simple meal of "fake crab" (Surami?) and cocktail sauce, crackers, carrots and celery, and a couple of cold beers.

Another hot weather, no service (or just a hot summer night) on the road ... Pam makes up a container of cold vegetable pasta salad before we leave home ... cold cooked spagetti mixed with lots of cut-up veggies and light Italian dressing. After a long hard hot day of traveling, it's a cool dinner, along with a loaf of french bread (dry, because Pam won't let me eat butter), and a couple glasses of wine.

And of course, as I've posted before, breakfast ... enroute and while camping is always a glass of juice and a bowl of high fiber cereal, laced with skim milk.



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Old 05-14-2003, 09:46 AM   #7
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Well, foot, I forgot to tell my favorite travel food. memory lane causes me to want cheese, bologna, green peppers, bread and sweet pickles. that's what mom always had handy when going down the road. Now days I usually have ham in place of bologna, and carrots in place of the peppers, but the rest remains the same. I also seem to crave fresh fruit when on the road. peaches, apples, oranges. even dried stuff too. I love to stop at a rest stop and dig out all the sandwich fixings, tomatoes, lettuce, the works. pile it on and eat. at night we usually do the quick meal, like pork chops, and fried or boiled potatoes, pork and beans from a can. easy. Okay so I'm not a cooking genius



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Old 05-14-2003, 09:48 AM   #8
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Pasta Salad

Boy, that pasta salad sounds like a real winner, and it should keep a couple of days. I have been known to open a can of chicken breast mix with a few things to hide the canned taste (i.e.,basil, thyme, oregano) then throw over a bed of baby greens with some Calamata olives and feta cheese, then drizzle with just a tad of Greek olive oil. That's not bad in a pinch, but that pasta sounds cool, refreshing and delicious. The fact that it's prepared ahead and you can just open it up, put it on a plate and it's ready to eat, makes it even better.

So, it seems that the key to easy, good, and delicious is to prepare ahead.



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Old 05-14-2003, 11:26 AM   #9
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I just finished up for lunch a batch Pam made a couple of days ago ... she took some to work and left the rest for me to eat ...

Cold cooked spaghetti
Diced green and red peppers
Diced cucumber
Diced red onion
Diced broccolli
Mix vinegar/oil to taste, lightly coat (don't overdo it!)
Chill in big container with lid ---

Not sure "diced" is the right word, but stuff cut up in little pieces. And you could probably substitute stuff you like, in quantities you like. Keeps easily for 3 days ... I think it gets better as it "ages."

It really is a good "cool" meal to eat on the road after a long, hot day, especially with a chunk of bread and a glass of wine ... after you take a quick swim in a KOA swimming pool.



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Old 05-14-2003, 12:26 PM   #10
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Pasta Salad

Thanks, Charles, that sound great. And you're right: It does taste better after a day or two. It gives time for the flavors to meld.

That's a definite 'do' for my next trek!



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Old 05-14-2003, 01:24 PM   #11
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MREs

My son who is an Army cook currently in Kuwait gave us a case of MREs (Meal Ready to Eat) for our upcoming trip to Alaska.There is a large variety of entrees, they are nutritionally balanced and they are suprisingly tasty.



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Old 06-01-2003, 05:45 AM   #12
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Eggs

Nobody's yet mentioned hard cooked eggs: They are cheap, easy, and can be cooked at home. When you add them to many types of food they are a pretty garnish and add lots of protein and little saturated fat.



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Old 06-01-2003, 07:46 AM   #13
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When I was much younger, I traveled a lot in a van with the engine compartment next to the driver. I would punch a tiny hole in the top of a can of chili and lay it on the exaust manifold for a while . After it was warm enough it was time to pull over and eat, usually followed by a can of peaches.
As I have aged my diet has ,I hope, improved. now I like to bring a couple of prebaked potatoes, and ziplok bags of "fixings". If I have electric I nuke the potato, if not I heat them in a small steamer on the stove.
When I actually arrive at destination I like a fruit salad, or some other cool light meal.
And at least one breakfast must include pancakes, prefferably blueberry.



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Old 06-01-2003, 07:59 AM   #14
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Heat 'n Eat

I chuckled when I read some of the elaborate meals a few have cooked while camping. I'm a heat-n-eat kind of gal. If it can't be put on a paper plate and heated in the microwave...it doesn't get taken. (alright, pasta salad isn't heated!). One particular weekend, I absolutely had to get out of town, but hadn't done a single thing to prepare. Got home from work on Friday, grabbed some clothes, 5 pounds of grapes, a gallon of milk (that was already opened), a box of cereal, hooked up and on the way out of town bought a bucket of chicken at Kentucky Fried Chicken. That's it, that's all I ate for three days. So, maybe I just about grew pin feathers, but I've discovered, it's not what I'm eating, as much as where I'm at, WHILE I'm eating. I also didn't eat any chicken for a couple of weeks afterward!:o



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Old 06-02-2003, 09:12 AM   #15
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Simple, simply delicious

I keep it pretty simple when we're on the road. I always have a large container of salad prepared, either pasta, potato or three bean. So for lunch it's salad and either a sandwich or guacamole and chips for lunch. Sometimes we stop at a restaurant. Then for dinner, my favorite is smoked salmon with cream cheese and onion on an onion bagel. Wickedly good! :wub I always start a trip with a pound of smoked salmon in the freezer, it travels well and thaws quickly. I get it at Trader Joes for $10/lb, and that makes 6 to 8 lox & bagel sandwiches. Or sometimes we just BBQ hamburgers.

And we always use paper plates so there is very little clean up.



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Old 06-02-2003, 01:00 PM   #16
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Keeping it simple (where're camping!)

Canned chicken (Swanson) - make chicken salad (can do it in the dark or romantic 12-volt) with bread and the little jar of mayo from home and Utz potato chips (best chips in the world). The further we get from home the less likely we will find Utz - furthest South we found them is Cape Hatteras - what a shock seeing the Utz truck from Hanover Pennsylvania at the Hatteras IGA! Doesn't matter if we have hook-ups or not or whether to bother with them - dinner is ready in less than 5 minutes - paper plates only (we're camping!) And any leftovers from home refrigerator that can be eaten cold.

(Non food news flash)
Carol - three falcon chicks have hatched in Hamilton - what a lovely sight!!



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Old 06-02-2003, 07:20 PM   #17
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Chicks (off topic, I know)

Hi Ronnie,

Yes, I'm hooked on that site so I've seen the Peregrine chicks. They are sure growing fast. Another nesting site I like is the Resplendent Quetzal in the Monteverde Rainforest in Costa Rica. Two chicks just fledged there. http://www.cloudforestalive.org/tour/qcam/



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Old 06-17-2003, 08:42 AM   #18
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Food and Chicks, too

http://www.dep.state.pa.us/dep/falcon/

Carol - thanks for the link! fantastic!! I've got the Raptor thing pretty bad! The 4 chicks in Harrisburg PA are flying this week, too - so exciting!

BACK TO FOOD!
If we get to where we are going and it's still daylight or whatever, then I pull out the grill - portable kind with removeable legs - charcoal - and cook whatever I brought from home - chops, chicken, shrimp - whatever - salad. Nothing too fancy - WE ARE CAMPING.
We were in PA (Lake Erie area) last summer and because we have this adorable Casita with a kitchen! I decided I would make a real lunch - Hot dogs and Macaroni & Cheese. We stopped at a National Park that used to have camping, but no longer did. It was open for motocross and snowmobiles. The camp spots were roped off (seeded to wildlife) It was hot, so we pulled out the awning for the dogs and I proceeded to cook my pasta. People driving by would yell out "NO CAMPING ALLOWED" and such like that. It was 12:30pm! Anyway - the Ranger soon shows up and says "NO CAMPING ALLOWED" and I said - I'm just making lunch and it's hot, the dogs need some shade! "OK, BUT I'M GOING TO CHECK BACK IN A LITTLE WHILE." Sheesh - We ate our wonderful hot lunch but people continued to give us ugly looks and make comments while driving by, kicking up dust. They certainly weren't the usual friendly camping types we always meet.



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Old 06-18-2003, 05:57 PM   #19
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Road Food

Sardines, crackers, jack cheese , sliced tomatoes and red wine are great when dry camping.



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Old 06-21-2003, 01:18 PM   #20
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Quote:
Orginally posted by Ronnie Martin
Sheesh - They certainly weren't the usual friendly camping types we always meet.
Too bad. They probably have many who try to stay over, but your the one that got picked on. and to think the park is for our enjoyment. yeah, right. NOT. :wak. I'm sure there was a prettier place down the road just waiting for you.



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