Thursday, December 13, 2012

Mason Jars

Having prepared meals in a cooler made our trip to TN and back so much easier. It was amazing how much faster we were able to travel when we weren't stopping for meals and only hitting gas stations for fueling the car and using the bathrooms. We actually drove the entire trip down in a single day and the entire trip up in a single day which was fantastic and really hard. One way was about 15 hours and the other about 16 (different starting points) and we were stupid tired when we stopped driving. I mean truly stupid tired. But not adding meals into that timeline helped us tremendously and saved us some serious cash!

The best thing to pack travel food in? Mason jars! Here are a few of our favorites:

1.) Salad in a jar.

This was the best. Thing. Ever. I'd read a few suggestions online about salad in jars but they were mostly for people taking them to work. I wanted smaller jars with kids friendly ingredients. I'd read to put the dressing in the bottom of the jar and shake it up but that wasn't as successful for us. Throwing a bottle of dressing into the cooler didn't take up much more space so on the way back we just packed it separately. Common ingredients (varied based on personal taste) were lettuce, shredded carrots, cheese, avocado and cherry tomatoes. The avocado gave out on us after two days so I'd only use that ingrediant if the jar was to be consumed in the next 24 hours. 

2.) Lettuce wraps in a jar.

The photo above obviously is jarless. But I wish I'd used jars. The square sandwich containers were difficult to repack and I kept being paranoid we were going to loose the lids. For the wraps we did lettuce leaves with sandwich toppings that were very stable. So ham, turkey and cheese for my daughter. Pepperoni, ham and bologna for my son. Turkey and cheese for my husband and I. Rolled them up, put a toothpick through it and put it into containers. It was so easy to eat while sitting at a rest stop. The meal was complimented by precut apple slices in ziplock bags with individual peanut butter cups I bought at Walgreens. The disposable nature of the PB cups saved us from the potential disaster associated with children + car + open peanut butter. Husband also brought low sodium V8 and some almonds to round out his meal.

3.) Cupcakes in a jar.

So let's say you are a gluten free kinda person and while traveling you stop at your favorite ever gluten free bakery and bistro. You pick up a dozen amazing cupcakes and proceed to spend the week making an absolute pig of yourself. But the week ends and you have leftovers still in their perfect white boxes.

What to do? Obviously throwing them out is NOT AN OPTION and your blood sugar has maintained a level so high for so long you're praying no one has to check your A1C for months. (Did I just work a diabetic joke in there? Why yes, yes I did.)

There's only one answer. Put them in a jar!

Thankfully these cupcakes were almost exactly the same size as the jar and were being kept refrigerated so I could push a bit on the icing to get them into place. I could even flip the jars and they didn't move! (I had a few toothpicks ready just in case that was a problem.) And because they are glass and microwave/toaster oven safe I could gently reheat them! 

Honestly after figuring it out I yelled "GENIUS" and startled my family. But that's just how I roll. 

What about you guys? Anyone got any great travel food suggestions?

1 comment:

The Life of Mel said...

OOH! Have you seen these?
I got some!

That's the blog, the link is: