I guess we’ve seen the last of summer for this year as autumn rears it’s blustery head through the turning foliage. My only reminders of summer are my rapidly fading tan, the semi-deflated pool in the back yard, now full of leaves, and the still clear and lovely memories of my summer vacation—though at the start, I wasn’t sure how lovely they were going to be.
My husband, Frank, and I were equal parts determined and wary of our plan to forbid any electronics on our two week road trip down through the States this summer. No video game consoles or iPods for the kids. The plan, admittedly, made me a little scared.
I recalled how my brothers and I managed to pass time during the epic over-land journeys with our parents. Sure, there was the quiet contemplation, the stirred awe of the natural surroundings we passed, but that maybe lasted for about 15 minutes until the petty conflicts. Some of our back seat territorial battles would last for hours and over a few provinces. Eventually we kids would realize peace could only come from the united effort against a common enemy. That enemy sat unsuspectingly in the front seat, eyes on the road.
It wasn’t long before our stir craziness would spill over the border of the backrest into parent territory. They made the perfect victims of our restlessness as they were forced to face away from us, focused on keeping us all alive! And because it’s not a child’s job to really study the implications of projectile mummified seat-crack candy in a moving vehicle, the mischiefs continued.
So as Frank and I created our itinerary, the threat of karma coming to hit me in the eye with a crusty wine gum was always in the back of my mind. I made a quick calculation and estimated we would be stuck in truck for approximately 56 hours during our trip. That’s more than ample time to completely wreck my nerves. As for Frank, his nerves wouldn’t last the city limits. But we were still determined to play out this lengthy experiment and see where it would take us. Hopefully back home, eventually.
The road trip was not without it’s hiccups, delays and detours, but I can tell you with relief and a great deal of pride that our family did wonderfully. What I feared would be the downfall of our trip proved to be the great joy. The situation pushed us to relate to and entertain each other. We made up songs and games and took in the natural beauty of our surroundings for much longer than 15 minutes.
Home Away from Home
The other concern Frank and I had was a budget. Road trips can be pricey when there are so many variables you can’t control. Because we were hauling our trailer behind us, pricey hotels would not be an issue. It was also a great way to have better control over what my kids were eating. Having to rely on chain restaurants all the time would ensure at least one of my children subsisting on a steady 2-week diet of chicken fingers and fries.
Our trailer allowed us the intimacy of a quiet family dinner on the road. The kids were eager to help out with food prep as the cramped micro kitchen in our trailer gave an exotic food truck flair to the cooking experience. Our modest mobile meals became the anchor in our brief nomadic life. Wherever we stopped at the end of the day, the shared effort in meal making gave us the feeling of home.
I feel when you share in the making of a meal you’re making more than food to eat. It strengthens the connection in all who participate. That’s one of the reasons we started our Little Chef Program earlier this summer. To get kids excited about learning more about cooking and enjoying good, healthy food.
Little Chef Casting Call
The Little Potato Company has partnered with The Marilyn Denis Show and CTV to create The Little Chef Casting Call. We’re inviting Canada’s keenest Little Chefs, aged 8 to 13, to create and share a video showing them preparing their original recipe using small potatoes. The two finalists will appear on the show for a cook-off, and the winning Little Chef will receive a grand prize family adventure for three people in Paris, including airfare, accommodation, two-day park passes to an entertainment resort, and a surprise ultimate culinary experience.
This is a chance for you and your Little Chef to have some fun, show your passion and creativity, share a favorite Creamer recipe and potentially win a fabulous vacation.
Even if you don’t have a budding Little Chef in your house, videos of kids having fun with food are almost always irresistible—and you can “like” your favorites to show your support. To enter, or give the Little Chefs some love, visit The Little Chef Casting Call contest page .
For those of you in the U.S. who can’t enter, we hope you enjoy our tips and Little Chef Approved recipes, too. We are planning to expand the program and create more ways to get involved, so please stay tuned. If you have any suggestions or comments about the program or anything else related, I’d be delighted to hear from you.
Thanks for reading,
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