Snacks

Food for the road

As a kid, we spent a lot of time on the road, traveling either to Hilton Head for vacation or Detroit to visit family. My parents knew how to travel in style too–RV and all. We’d play games, listen to Neil Diamond and Harry Chapin, and of course, stuff our faces with gas station food the whole way there.

Now when I travel with my own kids (albeit, not in an RV), we’re doing much of the same. Still listening to Harry Chapin and stuffing our faces. But the food’s not from the gas station.

Here are some ideas of kid-friendly food for the road.

SMOOTHIES
I make these ahead and freeze them. On the road, they thaw out. We bring a few paper cups to slurp them up.

GRANOLA BARS
A big batch of these lasts the round trip. As long as I don’t get a hold of them.

POPCORN

HOMEMADE PIZZA
I make these ahead and freeze them. Then, the night before we leave, I start to thaw them in the fridge. By the time we eat them for lunch, they’re room temperature. It’s not for everyone, but we don’t mind.

PIZZA CRUST (from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian)

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, plus more as needed
2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 teaspoons coarse kosher or sea salt, plus extra for sprinkling
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Combine the flour, yeast, and salt in a food processor. Turn the machine on and add 1 cup water and the oil through the feed tube. Process for about 30 seconds, adding more water, a little at a time, until the mixture forms a ball and is slightly sticky to the touch. If it is still dry, add another tablespoon or two of water and process for another 10 seconds. (In the unlikely event that the mixture is too sticky, add flour a tablespoon at a time.) Turn the dough onto a floured work surface and knead by hand for a few seconds to form a smooth, round dough ball. Put the dough in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap; let rise until the dough doubles in size, 1 to 2 hours. (You can cut this rising time short if you’re in a hurry, or you can let the dough rise more slowly, in the refrigerator, for up to 6 or 8 hours.) When the dough is ready, form it into a ball and divide it into 2 or more pieces if you like; roll each piece into a round ball. Put each ball on a lightly floured surface, sprinkle with flour, and cover with plastic wrap or a towel. Let rest until they puff slightly, about 20 minutes.

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