Have food, will travel

Several years ago I was tasked with making a cake for my brother’s wedding. The only problem was the fact that I lived an eight-hour drive away, and I would not have time (or equipment) at my disposal at the wedding venue to make the cake there. I decided to make and freeze the cake and buttercream, and just do the final assembly on site (thankfully the bride and groom wanted a simple design). Making the trip safely and without messing up the cake was a nail biter, which is why I sought solid advice in advance, similar to the guidance provided at Southern Living for traveling with food during the holiday season.

Triple berry pie from Food Network Magazine

The article provides tips on food safety, plus explains the ins and outs of flying with food. No one wants to show up at the airport with a prized family recipe only for it to be turned away by security personnel, so it makes sense to find out which items are allowed and what packaging may be required. For example, if you plan on using ice packs to keep items chilled in your carry-on, they must be frozen solid. “If it’s liquid or semi-liquid, it won’t be allowed through as a carry on, and better to not even try it with alcohol,” Craig said. (This is for US travelers, regulations may vary by country.)

Although the article doesn’t mention it, making sure your food items are properly secured in the car is also important. A sudden stop can mean the difference between being able to proudly serve your casserole and scraping it off the floor and seats of your automobile. I have witnessed a few car food disasters (thankfully only one in my own car), so do make sure lids are secure and serving vessels are placed in a spill-resistant box or other container. I’ve used my seat belt to secure boxes for an added level of protection (of course only in unoccupied seats!) As for the wedding cake, it survived the trip and was a hit with guests – and more importantly, pleased my brother and sister-in-law.

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