Travel Food

It’s official: The Skipper and I are off sailing for the weekend!  It’s a first for us together; we’ve slept aboard once before, but I didn’t actually do the sailing part.  So this time we’re sailing briefly this evening, spending the night anchored somewhere, then making our way hopefully to Ganges (Saltspring Island) on Saturday, so as to do a bit of poking about on land before heading home on Sunday.  Not much wind expected, so it will be a slow sail, but calm seas make for happier sleepers, I expect :).

So today I’m contemplating the provisions.  The Skipper and I have done a lot of camping and other traveling over these many years, and I always say, somewhat sheepishly, that we tend to travel for the weekend, pack enough food for 2 weeks, and then when we get to our destination, we head straight for the pub. 😉  After all, eating in new places is part of the reason to travel, right?  Food memories are visceral memories, and they are the ones that we revel in later–for better or worse.

Those who’ve travelled with us will know that we chart our knowledge of the small communities around the province by what we know is good to eat there: we know that the best butter tarts on the Island used to be at a cafe in Qualicum Beach, that Port Alberni has some of the best fish and chips around, that the Crofton pub is best avoided, but the Crow and Gate (as much for the ambience as the food) in Cedar is worth its own trip.

Choosing food to travel with always feels like a vacation from regular eating to me too.  It’s my big chance to re-live my junk food habits: chips, Dairy Queen, soda.  Special foods that I don’t eat in my everyday life, but that match that feeling that I’m doing something different.  The problem is, I also always end up on an expensive run to the grocery store before the trip, and then we go to the pub. 🙂

We’re keeping watch over our pennies a little more carefully at the moment, so I’m trying to think a little differently about provisioning this time.  Plus, we’re not bringing a stove (haven’t quite figured out a way to cook safely at sea yet), so that simplifies things greatly.  Our standard fare for road food is good sandwiches: good bread, good cheese, avocados and sometimes tomatoes.  We usually snack on nuts and fruit too.  I don’t think I’ll upset that routine for this trip–sandwiches are easy over the two days for lunches, and we already have nuts, some chocolate-covered almonds (you know, health food 🙂 ), and I think there are some cherries left.  We’ve got some hummus, so we just need some foods for dipping.  I’m having flashbacks to road trips with my grandparents as a child and mason jars filled with cold water and carrot and celery sticks!  I’ve got carrots waiting to be pulled, peas waiting to be harvested, and a bell pepper in the fridge–I’ll skip the celery (didn’t plant any)–and maybe I’ll use that mason jar trick.  Cereal for breakfasts, but I’ll miss my fresh picked strawberries on them!  And we’ll PLAN to hit somewhere on land for Saturday dinner.

It’s been so long since it’s been warm that I’m reveling in how little besides food there is to pack–usually I’m rolling up wool pajamas and as much fleece as I can cram in a backpack.  Not during this heat wave!  Woot!  Enjoy the July weekend, and I’d love to hear your favorite road food stories…

4 thoughts on “Travel Food

  1. What stove do you have that you do not prefer to use on the boat? On ours, we have an alcohol stove and a barbecue we can attach to the deck railings. Cooking over an open fire this way has made some of our most delicious meals! I think these BBQ’s are easy to find, and secondhand is pretty reasonably priced.

    But I know what you mean about going away for a weekend and packing food for 2 weeks. Really, when we’re out on the water, what is there to do but sail and EAT!!

  2. Wow! That meal looks fabulous! We actually did inherit a similar bbq with our boat, but we have yet to dig it up and use it. We’re looking for a charcoal one for home, actually, for exactly the flavours you describe! You’ve got much more stable and roomy digs down below on your boat than we, too. Below decks there is no room to cook (or standing head room, for that matter 🙂 ), so we’ll likely go with a gas Coleman stove that will sit in the cockpit in front of the companion way. We’ve seen others with propane stoves that they use in the cockpit, but stability and windbreak look to be issues; the old-fashioned Coleman comes with that steel lid and sides that looks like it would work well. But have you seen what they’re charging for those these days?! (70-80$!) So we’ll be hunting around garage sales for a bit, I think! Thanks for the inspirational motivation to get it figured out, though!

  3. You eat at Dariy Queen? I’ve known you all these years and never knew that! Well good on you. It is a part of our culture, after all.

    I’m an hour’s drive away from the nearest one…

    1. Hee hee! When I was in Mexico last year I got all healthy (no junk food for MANY miles around), and when I came home, I said to Skipper, “I want to stay healthy and keep up this lifestyle.” The next day, we left on our road trip for my convocation in Edmonton. When we got to Hope, on a very hot day, we stopped for gas and I spied the Dairy Queen. I HAD to have a peanut buster parfait–a favorite from way back. I licked that plastic bowl and spoon clean LOL. It had probably been 3 or 4 years since I’d been, and I haven’t been since. But you know, ya gotta listen to the cravings! 🙂

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