I am not necessarily a healthful eater; the 30-or-so extra pounds I carry is living proof of that. But I do try to keep certain foods out of the house 95% of the time to keep that extra 30 from become an extra 50.
Even if I do bring certain things like potato chips, Red Vines, chocolate chip cookies and salted nuts into my house, it is rare that these particular delights ever share my pantry at the same time.
So what is it about a 5+ hour road trip that gives me the right to stock up on all this shit at the same time, bringing it along on said road trip, and devouring a good portion of it all along the way?
Notice in the junk food still-life above that there is a Diet Coke, a couple of apples and some string cheese. I will also be packing Chuck and me a couple of roast chicken & Muenster cheese sandwiches. No harm, no foul there, but with the exception of the beverage, it is doubtful we will tear into those items first thing.
Blame it on the road trip, when all thoughts of calories, fat grams, salt overload and even indigestion get all thrown out the proverbial car window.
Vacations themselves are often good reasons to delve into most culinary vices with gluttonous abandon; but at your destination you hope to indulge in a decent restaurant here and there, where you’ll perhaps enjoy more gourmet-type fare.
Road trips aren’t really about gourmet food; it’s more about portable snacks, and sometimes forbidden ones that aren’t allowed very often. Perhaps it has something to do with childhood; riding in the back of the station wagon with a sibling or two, while salty-crunchy and sweet-chewy treats get passed around from Mom (usually riding shotgun), Dad (driving), to the kids in back, then rinse and repeat.
Not that I went on a lot of road trips as a child. Maybe the ones I did go on were a bit more turbulent with less love felt in the car. Mom and Dad weren’t real close, and although most kids fight in the car, (“Dibs on the last Red Vine! Give it back! Mom…..!”), there was nothing too eventful there, either.
Maybe the road trips I have taken with Chuck or friends over the years have been about recreating something, but doing it better this time, with great conversation and a mutual love and respect for one another. Salty and sweet takes on a whole new meaning.
But seriously, I don’t want to over-think it; that would take the fun out of it. It’s a road trip. Let there be junk food. The only thing missing from the stash is beef jerky. I may pick some up when we gas up at Shell in the morning. No road trip for me is complete without beef jerky.