Roadside Picnic Fare

With the long weekend coming up, many of you are packing up the car and heading somewhere–to the lake, to the beach, to the mountains–to enjoy the fleeting balmy nights. While going through old photos recently, I stumbled upon this photograph of my grandparents (right), my great uncle, great-grandfather, and great aunt on a picnic in West Virginia, and it reminded me of all the fantastic road trips my grandparents took us on as kids. They had the roadside picnic down to a science. In the ’70s it seemed like every billboard from Michigan to Florida was a four-letter-word–FOOD, with a tiny Stuckey’s or truck chalet underneath. But Grandpa never stopped when I sang out “Food!” He’d stop when he got hungry at a rough picnic table at the rest stop. They were thrifty folk. Grandma would pull out the cooler, which by that time would be filled with water instead of ice. Grandpa drank black coffee from an ancient Thermos, while we munch on soggy sandwiches, and if we were lucky, some greasy potato chips. That would be it until we made it to a motel. Then we’d head out for an early bird special at the local diner. At the time, I wasn’t thrilled about those roadside picnics. But now I realized that they were lessons in family and togetherness. And thankfully, cooler technology and our appreciation of food have both increased exponentially. I’d happily pack a cooler lunch for a 12-hour drive, provided these recipes were in the mix: -Picnic Menu -Picnic-Friendly Foods What’s your go-to road food?

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