Reality Check: Vacation Food

Making Sausage Gravy on Our Camping Trip

My husband making ‘stone soup’ sausage gravy for breakfast while we were RV camping.

I’ve been thinking about beginning to do regular ‘reality check’ posts where I tell about how real food meets real life in my kitchen for the week, and give you some highlights and lowlights of our food. After packing food for a week of vacation last week, this seemed like a great time to start.

To give you a little context, our vacation was a family reunion at a place my husband describes as a time share for hillbillies. We were RV camping (which is not real camping in my mind, but that’s another topic) with a full fridge and freezer, small stove and oven and a microwave (which my husband used once or twice to reheat leftovers and I never used at all).

The Healthy:

*Grapes: The organic grapes at Kroger were more expensive than I expected and looked like they were about to go bad, so I went with the conventional grapes, which were on sale, and it was worth it. Grapes made a great quick and healthy snack, especially for times when we needed a little burst of energy anyway.

*Baby carrots: We only ate these for a couple of meals, but I did also snack on them a few times between meals, and as with the grapes, the convenience of eating baby carrots was key to the fact that we ate as many vegetables as we did on this trip.

*Alfalfa Sprouts: We had these on our sandwiches for lunch, which we ate about the half the days we were gone. Simple and yummy, and a little easier to transport around than lettuce.

*Odwalla smoothies/juice: I don’t normally buy such things, but for this trip I made an exception. I really enjoyed the smoothie flavors I got (green superfood and mango tango), to the point that I almost put them in the ‘yummy’ category instead of the ‘healthy’ category, and they were another very easy way to get a dose of fruits into a meal. (Especially toward the end of the trip when the rounds of hot dogs started making me crave a salad, the green smoothie was really nice to have in the fridge.)

The Meh

*Fudge Striped Shortbread smores: This seems like such a good idea, using the chocolate coated cookies instead of chocolate and graham crackers, but it really wasn’t quite a smore. Maybe I’m just a traditionalist, but if I’m going to eat a gooey marshmallow I’d much rather make a real smore with it.

*Dawt Mill sandwiches: This is the place we went canoeing one day, and went back for lunch a different day to try their sourdough bread… which turned out to not be available. Their fries were okay, and I did enjoy my Rueben sandwich, but overall it was very ordinary food, and my husband said his burger wasn’t as good as he would get at his favorite burger place near our house. The highlight of that meal was the onion rings we got for an appetizer.

The Yummy:

*Sausage gravy: One day for breakfast we made what I started calling ‘stone soup sausage gravy’. My husband’s aunt had some sausage and canned biscuits, his grandmother had flour and we had milk and hot sauce. The gravy was quite good, but it was really the whole experience of pulling together to make it that made it one of the highlights of the trip.

*Hot dogs: We didn’t take any hot dogs on the trip, but as hot dogs were freely flowing and being offered around we did eat them several times. Once we made them into chili cheese dogs, and another time it was all beef hot dogs with a really good sweet pepper relish. I rarely buy hot dogs, so I consider them a very special treat and quite enjoyed them every time we ate them.

*Potato salad: I was originally planning to take fried potatoes to the big family meal on Friday evening, and at the last minute, instead I threw together a potato salad with the ingredients I had brought with me. I did have mustard and a little mayonnaise (but not enough for the amount of potato salad I was making), but no onion or garlic powder or olives or pickles or things like that. I added a good dollop of my homemade french onion dip and some capers that I happened to have brought with me, and it all made a surprisingly good potato salad.


Chime in below in the comments and let us know something especially healthy or surprisingly yummy, or unexpectedly meh that you ate this week.

One comment

  1. […] at that point, but it didn’t really matter. (For more details on our vacation food, read my Reality Check blog […]

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