10/11/08 – 10/17-08: This week encompassed our five-day trip to the Ozarks, and so the menu setup is a bit different. We feel strongly about sticking to our food ethics when we travel, which often means feeding ourselves. This is particularly true down in the Ozarks, where even the higher-end tourist towns seem to have no concept of real food. The highest-end restaurant that we could find in the region still has a generic Sysco-sourced steak & seafood menu showing no culinary skill whatsoever. We’ve learned the hard way about taking chances on restaurants; for us, the aftereffects aren’t worth it. So we feed ourselves.
This is something we’ve developed a lot of experience in. There are times in spring when Joanna is sent up to work on the Missouri river for a week or more at a time, based in rural Nebraska. I spend the day before she leaves cooking, and send her up with a cooler and box of food for three meals a day that are far tastier, healthier, and cheaper than anything she could buy up there or purchase as processed meals. We did the same thing on our honeymoon, packing bags of our own food for the multi-day train trips in order to avoid frighteningly bad Amtrak dining service. It works like a charm, and is always worth it.
So for this week, I’m not going to list all the meals, but a rough list of the foods we brought with us, which took about half a day to put together and fed us for five. I think this stands as an excellent example of the value and ease of eating fresh and local, as this method could just as easily work for a very busy family prepping meals to eat during an upcoming busy week with little time to cook on weekdays.
Saturday: Fresh pasta (tomatoes, herbs, cheese) and bread
Sunday: Roasted tomato soup
Breakfasts: our granola, our yogurt, oats, raisins, boiled eggs.
Lunches: breads and cheeses, crackers, apples, applesauce, fennel-apple-greens salad, some dinner items (see below)
Dinner: several quarts of vegetable soup, several quarts of zucchini soup, cooked rice, one quart pasta sauce, pasta.
Snacks/other: home-dried apples, chocolate, nuts, etc.
Three coolers in the back of the truck, some basic pots and camp stove and other kitchen stuff, and we’re all set for a week of real food that was mostly farm-sourced, and far cheaper and healthier than either eating out at bad restaurants or eating packaged/processed “camp food”. Much more enjoyable, too.