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On the road

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I need some help. First emotional support and then ideas.

I just got a part in a touring children's theater company and I am leaving in a few weeks to travel in a van for about six weeks. I'm going to have to eat out every single meal. So the emotional support is needed in realizing that I don't get to cook for six whole weeks.

On top of that, I don't want to eat at nasty chain restaurants the whole time and am going to use chowhound to find local places where I can chow down. What I'm wondering is if besides fruit and nuts, do you have any ideas of things I can prepare that won't go bad and I can take with me to keep me healthy and energized (it's an INSANE schedule).

I'd love to have jerky, but I only eat organic meat (also gonna suck on the road) and have no idea if this is something i can make myself.

Someone should start a 'restaurant' where you do your own cooking...you bring in the food and your friends and you get a small station to mix, puree, saute and bake to your hearts content. Sigh....

Thanks in advance!!

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  1. I travel by car alot for work. Not for six weeks..but a few days at a time. I'm assuming that you'll have a cooler? If you can, invest in the coolers with the adapter that plugs into your cig lighter, then, you won't have to mess with ice or cold packs.

    I always bring granola bars, veggies and hummus, fruit and jerky. Jerky won't go bad, so bring it with you. Individual boxes of rice or soy milk don't need refrigeration. Same with small boxes/bottles of juice. Cereal for b'fast doesn't need to be cool, so that's easy.

    Alot of places that have a free continental b'fast have microwaves that you can use anytime. Good for heating up stuff.

    This is a great opportunity to stop at farmers markets, co-ops and natural/organic shops along the way!

    Congrats on the part! Break a leg!
    Gayle

    3 Replies
    1. re: Gayle

      I did a two week road trip a couple of years ago and to stay on budget, we packed some basics to keep us from having to eat out at every meal.
      One of the major PB brands sells PB in squeeze tube (think a really big toothpaste container). We used that, grape nuts, apples and whole wheat wraps and made really yummy (and filling) breakfast/lunch sandwiches. Individaul size servings of applesauce were a big hit, too.

      1. re: CeeBee

        A friend of mine did that exact same thing a couple years ago! A strict vegetarian who didn't give a toss about food...oy.

        There is organic jerky made of salmon and other stuff at my food coop, so it's out there. Of course dried fruits and nuts. But . . .

        the thing that made me happy in the wilds of america was having a box of Total breakfast cereal and a pack of those disposable tupperwares for bowls. You can find milk at any gas station (I don't love parmalat, but if you like that or little boxes of soy milk, all the easier for you)

        If you're going to be in the South, remember that pool halls have the best BBQ.

      2. re: Gayle

        BTW, those coolers that plug in to the lighter socket do require some ice packs and the food to be cold when it goes in. I bought one (Igloo) this spring under the same assumption and while it was better than a regular cooler but it does not really chill things.

      3. a cooler is an excellent idea. keep it stocked with ice. shop @ cool places for fresh stuff just don't buy too much at one time! bon voyage and asalam alekum abdul :)

        1 Reply
        1. re: furryabdul

          Buy a "high end" cooler. Use block ice. Vacuum seal and freeze what you can in anvance and then as you go. We lasted 2 weeks of camping easily that way. Ask companies who do float trips on rivers for advice. Recreational Vehicles websites? Have a great time!

        2. Might whole foods (at a price, I know!) sell organic beef jerky? Good luck - if I think if anything creative, I'll post - right now so obsessed with new puppy that I barely cook myself.

          1. Jerky is easy to make yourself. I bought a dehydrater just for jerky. You can also make it in the oven, but I haven't tried that. If you have a butcher where you buy your organic meat, tell him to slice whatever cut you use for jerky. I've used flank steak, rump roast, even sirloin. I like the mileage you get from a rump roast. You can buy rubs for jerky, or make your own. I like to marinate the meat overnight in Louisiana hot sauce or Teriaki, rub with equal parts salt and sugar, a little cayenne and whatever else appeals to you.
            I have no idea what organic jerky cost, but I would guess you would save more than the cost of a dehydrater in the first few batches.

            1. Lots of good advice. When we travel, I take my blender with me to make sure I can get my soy milk/yogurt/fresh fruit drink in the morning. At least I know I've gotten in a good breakfast. Of course that will only work if you can bring along a cooler. Good luck and enjoy the ride!