Ok.....since I'm not cooking this year I have been asked to post some of the "Road Trip Essentials" from the chef.
If you have been on a road trip with yours truely, you know I know my caca! References: Amy Weaver, Colin Gilbert, Konnichiwa Zach, GNO, Jason Carney, Millitant X, Rock Baby, Brianna LA (NPS '03-'07, SwSo '04-'07, AK Grand Slam '04)
Tip #1 Two coolers are better than one (if you have room)
One small cooler to keep beverages (A). One med cooler for food(B).
Cooler A keeps drinks cold for the road and the hotel room. Gets opened often. This is why you keep food in cooler B. Your not digging in ice and messing up food packages. Only ice down 5 or 6 beverages. Keep the rest in a corner of the trunk or van out of the way under a seat etc..., you use less ice cooling stuff down and you don't have to dig your hand in cold ice water @ 3am.
Keep drinks simple. NO SODAS! Water, Water, Water....did I say Water? If your on your way to perform, soda is not your throats friend. NO ALCOHOL (during the road trip). Don't transport beer hundreds of miles and drink it on the way. Many states have open container laws and a DWI on your way to poetry bliss will ruin your groove. Besides, if your traveling from say Oklahoma (no offense to my northern bros) why would you want to carry 3.2 beer when you can get 5.0 at your destination.
Cooler B Food Cooler. Glad Reusable plastic containers are your friend. Seal up any lunch meat, cheese, veggies, cut fruits in these reusable containers. They stack neat in the cooler to save space, keep the water off your food so you don't waste your hard earned cash on water logged grub, can be washed and used for any leftovers from the diner that you bring back from late night poet grubbing (the styro/paper boxes don't do well on ice). Keep this cooler out of the way and only open at pit stops. Keeps your stuff colder longer and makes for good rationing.
Costco/Sam's/Walmart is your friend! Bulk bags of chips, that enormous jar of PB, cases of water and family packs of cheese and lunch meat, huge plastic jars of salsa (Colin) will be found in abundance. Another option is getting to know someone in the restaurant business that can get you stuff at cost or donated. Samples and donations can be had by these people at no cost. How do you think I fed 400 poets for 5 days on less than $75 budget per day two years in a row and did BBQ in ABQ? Aaaahaaa!
Last little tid bits. DO NOT buy condiments. The Quick Trip Gas Station, mini mart or any place that sells coffee and roller hot dogs has that stuff. DO NOT buy ice! Scope out a local hotel in your neighborhood, or ask that restaurant friend for a hook up and try to fill up there before leaving town. Same thing on the return trip, Madison Concourse ice machine should be empty on Sunday. You'll save a few bucks and plastic bags in landfills.
And the bonus, I did cook an entire roasted chicken dinner with potatoes and carrots in foil pans on top of the engine block of a Ford Expedition on the road trip to Chicago NPS '03. Started at Shreveport LA and by Memphis TN it was lunch! If your that adventurous, hit me up back channel.
always and gratefully the chef of poets,
Bob Whoopeecat Stephenson