I did have a super exciting post on retirement savings written. (Australian retirement savings are called ‘super’, so that’s a play on words). So not really ‘super exciting’. But then, I just spent the weekend in Orange, NSW about 3.5 hours from Sydney. Given that I challenged myself to no eating ‘out’ for the month, I had to be super organised!!
Firstly, the no eating out challenge is largely a financial exercise, so I didn’t reject the dinner at the wedding reception. And I gave a gift, just in case anyone thought I might be cheeky enough to truly have a ‘free meal’!
We left Sydney at about 8am Saturday morning. Knowing the bf, I didn’t make breakfasts for him, but I did expect the need to stop off for coffee, repeatedly! So, within walking distance from my house, we stopped for his first cappuccino (in a keep cup!). He’s not really his charming self without a coffee, and he’s not in on the ‘no eating out’ challenge. Whilst he procured coffee, I munched on my granola parfait. That’s the fancy name for my layers of muesli (granola), yoghurt, grated carrot and frozen berries. It was a little dry, but certainly edible. I may have also sipped from the poisoned chalice of bought coffee too… I am weak. And coffee is strong!
For morning tea, I enjoyed a mandarin as I waited at the rest stop. For those non Australians, this rest stop involved a sturdy, new hut, with two ‘long drop’ toilets (google it for you’re game!). They kindly have picnic tables nearby but I settled for the car due to the biting wind and the smells it carried! For the bf, there was oven dried salami. It excreted so much greasy/oily muck, ewww… But it did crisp up nicely. I though the bf would enjoy it alone, but mentioned it’d be nice with cheese and crackers, so I happened so have some, and whipped them out!
Somewhere between the middle of the drive, and more open countryside, we stopped for the n’th time at a McDonalds. Mainly for the bathrooms. But also for the coffee. The bf might have broken my ‘no eating out’ rule when I succumbed to a coffee. I just didn’t want to be a sleepy/crabby lady any longer! But I didn’t pay, so maybe I’m safe on a technicality. (I did buy the bf a coffee on Friday morning, so maybe that voids the claimed technicality?)
Lunch happily coincided with our arrival at the hotel. It was lovely – if anyone wants somewhere swanky but relatively affordable (because it allows you to stay one night, rather than most places with a minimum stay of 2 nights) I’d highly recommend de Russie Suites in Orange (they are also in Mudgee). We had delicious turkey, cranberry, baby spinach and cream cheese croissants/gluten free wraps.
After the ceremony, there were some delicious hot finger food – like pork belly and gallettes (savoury crepes, which are the specialty of the region the bride is from in France). Not to be deterred though, on returning to our hotel, we had wine and cheese on crackers. Yes, I’d even made gluten free biscuits for myself! When that was all munched up, I moved onto some gluten free pear and walnut bread. And maybe some spiced nuts. Oh and some cut up carrots and capsicum.
The wedding dinner was lovely, in line with the delicious hors d’oeuvres after the service. The mains were lamb or pork, which is unusual. It always seems to be chicken and beef. In any case, it was tasty! And dessert was also yum – the bf and I diligently split it all down the middle – between a gingery/creamy/jelly topped something, and a caramel and chocolate tart (yes, I also ate sugar… sigh). We were surprised the wedding didn’t have a menu, so every dish was a surprise.
Sunday saw a repeat of my breakfast parfait, but the hotel provided a little breakfast pack. So from the pack, I made the bf some coffee and toast. The coffee was a start, but there were two further McDonald’s coffees on our journey – though none for me!
Sunday snack included walnuts spiced with egg whites and cinnamon, and sliced strawberries which I froze, and then thawed making them a nice soft stewed mess. There was also an apple too. Lunch was samosas, which sadly contain ‘the gluten devil’ as the bf calls it. I’m just not sure making gluten free puff pastry is worth the time! And that more of less ended the epic menu of DIY road trip food.
Now in list form
- Muesli parfaits with fruit and yogurt
- Dried salami
- Mandarins & apples
- Croissants with turkey, cranberry, cream cheese and spinach (she also has the most amazing choc chip cookie recipe)
- Spiced walnuts (I subbed pecans for walnut & the leftover egg white from choc chip cookies)
- Cheese and crackers
- Carrot and capsicum sticks
- Gluten free pear and walnut loaf
- Sliced stewed strawberries
Overall, I think we succeeded. The bf remarked how ‘cheap’ the weekend had been when we were sorting out dinner on Sunday night (with a $2 DVD from the store, yes, they still exist!). He reckons he spent a grand sum of $15 on coffees, and that was it! I covered the accommodation and fuel, seeing the wedding was for my friend. I’m so thankful to the bf and his lovely car, which he did all the driving in – all the way there, between all the wedding components (including in -3.5 C with black ice!), and back to Sydney. He was also a pretty good sport about eating all my inventions! I’ll leave you with a less than ideal photo of the married couple:
So there you have it, a self catered road trip! What’s your go to snack or rest stop meal when you’re on a long car trip (or even flying)?