One of the best parts of Thanksgiving is getting together with loved ones and sharing our culinary creations. This gathering and sharing often requires a ride in the car with your food, which can be a bit terrifying! While some Thanksgiving foods lend themselves well to travel, others are downright car-phobic!
The following tips will help with transporting Thanksgiving foods of all kinds in comfort and ease!
Safely Transport Thanksgiving Food In the Car 1 of 9
With a little planning, you'll be able to easily transport even the messiest of Thanksgiving foods!
Use Towels! 2 of 9
Towels, especially big beach towels, are my best friend when it's time for me to transport food -- whether it's one dish or several. There are two reasons I love towels so much. First, they are a great tool for securing the dishes so they don't slide around. Second, if you do happen to have a spill, it's much easier to clean up a towel than the floor of your car! I always start by placing a towel flat on the surface in the car where I'm going to put the food. I then place the dishes on that towel and then wrap more towels around the dishes so they can't move around or bump into things. It's simple and extremely effective!
Use Flat Surfaces in the Car 3 of 9
This may seem obvious, but I can't tell you how many times I've set food on the seat of the car! The seat is a bad idea because it is so angled. Place food on the floor of the car or in the trunk. Those surfaces are always flat, reducing the chances of food spilling or dishes sliding around unexpectedly.
For Foods Like Soups and Sauces, Wrap and Wrap and Wrap Again! 4 of 9
When transporting foods like soups and sauces, don't be afraid to go crazy with the plastic wrap! I always store these foods in a container with a lid and then I wrap and wrap and wrap the container with plastic wrap. Between the lid and the plastic, the food should stay right where it belongs in the container and not on the floor of your car!
Make Gravy Ahead of Time 5 of 9
Hot gravy is definitely a tricky thing to transport. But cold gravy? No problem! If you're in charge of the gravy this year and have to bring it to someone else's home, make it ahead of time and make sure it is refrigerated when it's time to leave the house. Gravy is gelatinous when cold and much less likely to spill. Transport the gravy in a container with a tight-fitting lid and then throw a few layers of plastic wrap around the container for good measure.
Volunteer for Travel-Friendly Food 6 of 9
Do you have a choice of what to bring to the feast? Volunteer first and choose foods that are naturally easy to transport in the car. Rolls can be made the day before and can be stored in any kind of container, including bags. Stuffing is another Thanksgiving food that won't spill and splash in the car. Drinks are another great option for easily-transportable Thanksgiving food!
And, when you're quick on the draw and get the best travel-friendly food assignments, send your grumpy loved ones to this article for a few tips for transporting their less travel-friendly foods. ;)
Casseroles are Perfect for Transporting! 7 of 9
Casseroles are perfect for Thanksgiving for several reasons: they can be made ahead of time, you can prepare them in pans and dishes with covers to prevent spilling in the car, and they feed a crowd! I've transported both sweet potato souffle and corn souffle to several Thanksgiving feasts with great success! Go casseroles!
Dessert 8 of 9
The great thing about bringing dessert to Thanksgiving is there are so many desserts to choose from, so you can plan on bringing something that transports well. Pumpkin pie works really well, as do cookies, bars and cupcakes. If you really want to bring something that's a little messier, just remember to wrap it in plastic well and secure the dish in the car with towels. Carrying desserts like pies on a cookie sheet also helps with a safe transport.
Drive Carefully! 9 of 9
Now that the food is packed away, drive carefully! We can pretty much guarantee that Mario Andretti didn't have a bowl of cranberry sauce in the backseat when he was racing, so don't try to drive like him! This is the time to, well, drive like the grandparent you're visiting!