I’ve had all sorts of food travel disasters at the holidays. When I was in college, my girlfriends and I were having potlucks pretty much every month. So when it was time for our Thanksgiving potluck, I was volunteered to make the ham. I made a ham with cloves, pineapple, cherries and brown sugar. It was so pretty! I let it cool, and for some reason decided I had to take the whole baking pan with the drippings, because what’s a ham without those fabulous sweet and spicy drippings at the bottom of the pan? So guess what, someone in front of me stopped short and my defensive driving trying to avoid an accident sent ham juice all over the seat and carpet of my car. The ham was intact, but that juice went everywhere! I never got the small of ham out of that car, even after shampooing the carpet several times.
Now I’m much more careful when I travel with food. I’ve developed several tips and tricks to prevent spillage, broken plates and save your carpets and car upholstery.
My best travel hack when trying to transport foods where liquid is involved, is to place the dish in a container that will fit in your cooler. Coolers aren’t just to keep foods cold, they will also keep them warm and prevent messy spills. Just pick a dish that fits in your cooler, make your recipe, wrap it as best as you can with aluminum foil, and then place it in your cooler before putting it in your car.
If you don’t have dishes that will fit in your cooler, just line the trunk of your car or back of your SUV with a large garbage bag that has been split open. This will save your carpet if you do accidentally spill anything. Then gather all your big beach towels and make little nests for your dishes. Make sure the towels are under and all around each dish. This will keep your items safe and sound during transport.
But do you want to forget about these hacks and take something as simple as the cups but still a fancy food item? How about this cranberry chutney appetizer! You can make this the day before and place it in jars. To pack this recipe for travel, just place a jar of chutney (tightly sealed), a block of cream cheese and a box of Ritz crackers in a shopping bag. The chutney can be served at room temperature and the cream cheese will have to be at room temperature too so that you can spread it on the plate, so you don’t have to worry about keeping any of these foods cold or hot! Then when you arrive at your destination, just borrow a plate from your hostess and assemble.
Yield: Serves 4
1 12 oz package fresh cranberries
1/2 cup chopped apples
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup tropical mix dried fruits (such as pineapple, apricot, papaya)
1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
2 cups water
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
softened cream cheese
Add all ingredients to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce to medium heat. Continue to cook until cranberries have burst and chutney has thickened.
Let cool and place in a glass jar for transport. When ready to serve, spread room temperature cream cheese on serving dish and top with some of the cranberry chutney. There will be chutney leftover.
Serve with crackers.
Were you asked to bring dessert? Sweet potato and pumpkin pies travel especially well. So do brownie pies and eggnog pie. You might like this sweet potato pie. It makes the perfect treat to travel with when going to friend’s or family’s homes this Thanksgiving holiday. You can bake this pie Thanksgiving morning or even the day before. Then just cover it with plastic wrap after it’s cooled.
These crescent rolls are great for traveling on Thanksgiving too. You can make the dough for these the day before, refrigerate the dough and then make the rolls Thanksgiving morning. Then just package them in a bread basket and you’re all set to travel. These rolls are perfect at room temperature, but are also good reheated in a warm oven.
We’ve got two great prize packs to give away from Alamo today that would be perfect for your upcoming holiday travels! The first prize is for the best travel-friendly recipe ($167).
The second winner is for the best food travel-hack ($180).
To enter in the giveaway just leave a comment below telling me your favorite travel-friendly recipes and your favorite travel-food hack.
Don’t forget to sign up for Alamo Insiders which gives members a guaranteed 10% off their rental, and use the Alamo Deal RetrieverSM to find all of the best currently available Alamo deals.
This post and prize packs sponsored by Alamo. All opinions 100% mine.