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The Dreaded "travel With Catered Food"
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I've got a wedding of two friends to attend this weekend, and with my husband in the wedding party and myself playing photographer, we've got a fair amount on our plate. Besides the wedding rehearsal Friday afternoon, the rehearsal dinner Friday night, the wedding Saturday evening, and the brunch Sunday morning, we may need to help out Saturday morning and might look around the area to see what houses are like on Monday, and - of course - the plane flight up after a long day of work, and the evening plane flight back. Another pair of friends in the area are letting us stay at their house, so I'll nominally have kitchen access, but that's a lot of time away from a kitchen, and a fridge/microwave/campfire! Since I also have hypoglycemia issues, let's say I've been a bit concerned. (I've opted not to call the wedding caterer.) So I'm packing a lot of food with me, and I thought I'd share what I've made and packing into a fairly small space (plane flight, carry-on only) for ideas for others going on trips:

The homemade stuff:

  • beef jerky
  • dried apples
  • dried mangos
  • dried beets
  • dried carrots
  • dried zucchini
  • dried green beans
  • apple-cinnamon flax crackers
  • savory flax cracers
  • cinnamon baked crackers
  • sun-dried tomato baked crackers
  • cranberry-walnut hemp bars
  • breakfast cereal mix - quinoa flakes, flax meal, cream of buckwheat, cream of rice, fructose, cinnamon, vanilla

The store-bought stuff:

  • Clif Bars (they have new ones that are Gluten-free Casein-free)
  • Lara Bars
  • Trader Joe's Rice Milk Chocolate
  • 12 (I kid you not) varieties of tea bags
  • dried blueberries
  • packaged soy milk

It's taking about one and a half shoe boxes worth of space. (Good thing I otherwise pack pretty light! ;-) ) And I expect to share some of my goodies with my friends. I'm pretty sure I've overpacked, but I'd rather be over prepared than under! ;-)

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Wow Tiffany you are so on top of things!!

Do you have a food dehydrator or something? I noticed a lot of foods under the "homemade stuff" category. That's so cool :) I love the dehydrated vegetables at the health food store (like "just peas" or "just ... some other vegetable ;)" )

I envy your husband ;) Wish I had a wife like you! :P

- Michelle :wub:

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Yep, I got a dehydrator so I could make all that stuff. ;-) Though I make the beef jerky in the oven...

I wish I could make stuff like the "Just Veggies". They're freeze dried, and I looked into how you might set up a home system for freeze drying... I'm an engineer, and I "just said no!" :-) lol!

(Ironically, my husband doesn't like a good portion of the food I eat. He likes some of it, but not a lot of it. Ah well. At least he's not a big pizza fan! ;-) )

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Tiffany - what's your jerky recip? I have been looking for a good oven one.

Thanks!

Stephanie

PS when I buy jerkey - this is the stuff I get: http://jerkyusa.com/jerkyusa/

I buy the mild or hot jerky. Very simple and super tasty.

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Tiffany-

I thought of asking for a dehydrator for X-mas this year. I get annoyed how it is so hard to find dried fruit w/o added sugars etc. Any recommendations on a product?

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As for a dehydrator, I did a fair amount of research into it, and though it's expensive, I decided to go with an Excalibur. You can check out their dehydrators at their factory website. There are a couple reasons I went with this one:

1. it's square, so it's easier to make fruit leather or other bar-type food

2. the fan in the back in a bit better of an airflow design than the "push air up the middle" that a lot of "donut" type dehydrators have

3. the reviews I read of a number of dehydrators led me to the conclusion that this one was the most reliable with respect to having decent temperature regulation

4. my yoga teacher has one, and discussed how well it worked in comparison to other models she's had in the past

5. they have a model with a 24-hour timer on it; I didn't get that one as it's expensive, but it's a very nice option and I now wish I had gone with it

There's a lot of information and opinions to sort through if you have the time to do the research into the decision if you want.

I have to say that dried apples, made at home, sliced really thin, with the skins on, and soaked a bit in lemon juice are far tastier than the ones you can buy from the store! And it's the easiest way to make flax crackers which are - if a little fragile - great for travel because they've got a good fat/protein/carb combination. Using the dehydrator takes a lot of time - the apples are around 8 hours, and the mango I did today was about 16 - but it's worth it for a treat!

As for the beef jerky recipe, this is the original I got from my sixth grade teacher. I haven't made it this way in years, and this time I used lot of extra liquid smoke, and fajita spices, a little hot sauce, a little lemon juice, and no season salt.

1 London Broil

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup worchester sauce

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon liquid smoke

1 teaspoon seasoned salt

Slice meat approx 1/4" thick across grain

combine all maranade ingrediants

place in glass dish

cover

place in refrigerator for 24 to 48 hours

stir whenever you think about it

place meat on oven rack

100-125F (warm setting on electric oven)

keep door slightly open

bake for 3 hours or until meat is dry

EAT!

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Ooooh, I've been thinking about food dehydrators :) Which model do you have/recommend? I planted a fig tree last year just because I couldn't find a decent dried white fig anywhere! (other than the moroccan place I *used to* dance at....)

TIA,

Merika

BTW, Tarnalberry, where in SoCal are you? I'm in Hollywood.

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I have an Excaliber (the link to their website is in the reply previous to yours) and I'm pretty happy with it.

(I'm in OC... though I don't know how much longer... ;-) )

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Hey, well, I've just ordered a dehydrater :) Wheeeeee!

If you move up near Hollywood, give me a holler :)

Merika

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