Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Travel + Food Reflections

My family and I recently got back from a crazy road trip to Texas; we're from East Tennessee, and we ended up in San Antoni where we proudly saw all the Davy Crockett "volunteer" paraphernalia!

But, our trip included 5 overnight locations, multiple meals away from home, and LOTS of car time. And I learned a few things I thought worthy of passing along to those of you who enjoy reasonably healthy food (as we do).

Reflection Number 1: Rest't price v. amount of veggies

The more expensive a restaurant is (and/or the smaller the portions), the more likely you are to find vegetables! Vegetables that are cooked well, not doused in loads of sauce, and which are non-starchy (or at least the option of nonstarchy) are hard to find on a steady diet of basic restaurant food. I was so starved for my CSA basket when we got home that I just wanted leaves for dinner. We ended up making our favorite pita sandwich with freshly acquired grocery store produce that first night home, and it was delicious. I'm looking forward to Thursday when I pick up my box of vegetable goodness from Caleb.

Reflection Number 2:  A little sugar goes a long way

OK, well, a lot of sugar on occasion. When you're dragging tired kiddos through a "historic" city in 100 degree heat, a giant sno-cone does wonders for morale. We brought lots of special treats (like candy!) with us, and these little fun surprises were just the thing sometimes. It's worth breaking out of your usual sugar-limits on trips.

Reflection Number 3: On the other hand, no dessert necessary

We were fortunate to be able to share a number of meals with family and friends we hadn't seen in a while. And, I must say, those who fixed us meals (7 of 'em) all made wonderful meals and not a one fixed us dessert for after the meal.* I loved it!!! Hear this, people: you don't "have" to make dessert every time you have folks over for a meal. Just sayin'. We had hot dogs, brats, hamburgers, lots of side salads, chili, bagels and lox, .... We had plenty, in other words. We didn't need extra dessert stuff. *We had one family fix us a special dessert, but we were also staying with them for a couple of nights/meals.

Reflection Number 4: Cultural kitchen spots are so much fun!

This isn't a "new" interest for me, but I thought I'd point this out: when you have the opportunity to go into older restored buildings that have kitchens, take a moment to look at them and ponder how folks must have cooked "back then." It's very eye-opening. Sometimes their stoves and cooking vessels look remarkably similar, and sometimes they're wildly different. The historic kitchens we saw in San Antonio were primitive, but they were also kitchens in which I could picture moving around and cooking as well.

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