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May 26, 2009 07:10 PM

Road Trip Menu Ideas

Ok so we're heading out on a road trip soon. Last time, we only took a couple of bagels w/cream cheese--for a 6 hour trip. Not good. Not enough food. There are places to stop along the way (no place all that great within 10 minutes of the highway), but we've decided to take a proper picnic feast. We've also decided that the theme will be a "southern picnic". I'm actually thinking of wrapping sandwiches in wax paper. We may take some fried chicken, a mason jar of iced tea, maybe some homemade biscuits. What other food items travel well in the spirit of a southern picnic road trip? We'll have a small cooler and a few ice packs. All ideas welcome.

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  1. when we were away at summer camp as kids, they served the same fried chicken lunch for Parents'/Visiting Day every year. it came in a red & white checkered cardboard box lined with waxed paper, and the best thing about it was *always* the brownie. your post instantly conjured up that visual for me...thanks for the trip down memory lane :)

    anyway, if you're doing a fried chicken picnic, you've gotta have brownies! preferably with a fudgy center, cakey/chewy exterior, and cracked top...

    1 Reply
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      So many wonderful ideas here in this chain. I think we'll need a bigger cooler! Thanks to all above and below this post (for some reason my post landed in this weird spot, instead of the very bottom)!

    2. The NY Times had an article about 100 or 101 great picnic foods. It was written by Bittman and had some really great suggestions. Its a truly comprehensive source for what you are looking for. Here is the link for it, but, sorry, I don't know how to make it highlighted to just click on it from Safari (I know its off topic, but how do I do this?). Just paste it into your search bar or it comes right up if you do a google search. Have fun!!

      1 Reply
      1. re: doughreme

        ooh, i forgot about that article. excellent call!

      2. oops!! LOL. I guess it forms the link when you reply. Please ignore my previous stupidity. Not very computer savvy.

        2 Replies
        1. re: doughreme

          You did fine!

          I'm diggin it..
          His ideas:

          40 Mix cooked couscous with olive oil; add pimentón, cumin, salt and pepper, chopped shallot or red onion, toasted slivered almonds and orange zest and juice. Cooked cauliflower is good, too.

          41 Toss a load of chopped parsley with a little cooked bulgur — say three to one in favor of the parsley. Chopped seeded tomatoes, olive oil, salt, pepper and lots of lemon juice. Call this real tabbouleh.

          42 Make tabbouleh as above and embellish with more vegetables — like cucumbers and radishes — and/or crumbled feta, or bits of cooked chicken. Or smoked tofu, or bacon, whatever you can think of. How can you go wrong?

          1. re: doughreme

            doughreme--Thanks so much for that article. I don't think I saw this Bitten piece. I loved it! Chock full of ideas. Thanks again!!! This is the type of thing I was looking for :)

          2. You could make Poor boy sandwiches.

            Coleslaw to go with chicken.

            2 Replies
            1. re: salsailsa

              I was going to suggest a muffelatta too.

            2. I love roast chicken sandwiches. A hearty sub with roast chicken a simple aioli, some grilled mushrooms, lettuce and tomato which is hearty but still very tasteful. You can make ahead or but together on the road. A NON mayo potato salad is a great flavor and keeps well, desert is a must, brownies I love and takes no room or fresh made cookies. Also appetizers. Sounds funny while driving somewhere but I love simple cajun seafood spread some crackers and some veggies. Healthy and easy to pack. But filled with healthy alternatives but still have the crackers. Dips are great for trips. Not just chips and onion dips, but cajun seafood, a good fresh onion dip, you can also cut up peppers, cucumbers which are great. I also like bread sticks which are easy and munchy. Sweet tea is great. I have a big travel cooler, but at any party store you can buy a large disposable one or basically any Walmart. Use and throw away if you want. Party stores are great resources for simple disposable quick serving dishes. Pudding is also another good go to. I make a vanilla pudding. Put them in a small tupperware and top with M&M for kids, granola or just fresh fruit or nothing. Sweet easy treat. Fresh bananas are great.

              Anything works, many options.

              4 Replies
              1. re: kchurchill5

                No mayo for the potato salad but dips and seafood spreads are okay? I don't understand this at all.

                1. re: KTinNYC

                  Dips are in my smaller containers and be kept colder. Potato salad to me is usually in a much larger container and I just prefer taking a non mayo is all. Take mayo if you want. I just prefer NON mayo for traveling. But dip containers are usually very small and keep very cold. By all means take mayo. Not any big deal, I just prefer non mayo.

                  1. re: kchurchill5

                    Large containers hold more mass so it will hold it's temperature better then small containers. Anyway, I don't see how, seafood and sour cream is less prone to spoilage then mayonnaise, especially a commercial mayonnaise.

                    1. re: KTinNYC

                      Keep in mind that most of the "warm mayo" food spoilage stories you were told by your gramma usually had more to do with the potatoes providing a great growth medium for bacteria and not spoiled mayo. any pre-packaged mayo you are going to buy these days will be fine even in a warm car ride for quite a while.