It doesn’t matter how old I get, I’m still in thrall to the road trip. Some of my earliest (and best) memories start with me staring out the back window of a Chevy Vega barreling down US 10 in the middle of a Texas summer. It was the time of the Stuckey’s Stop–a magical land of cheap souvenirs, pecan logs and griddled cheeseburgers wrapped up tight for mess-free* eating in the car. If you’ve ever been a kid in the back seat of a car, road tripping in the 70’s, you know what a godsend those were–food, bathrooms, and if you were really lucky and had parents who smoked, an ashtray with the name of the current state fired across the top, proof that you were there, right there, in that strange place with a foreign-sounding name like “Arkansas” or “Wisconsin”.
I loved it all, the ever-shifting terrain, the big stash of Archie comics my mom would always give me as we were pulling out of the driveway, the way Tex-Mex tacos gradually turned into Navajo flatbreads as we wandered further away from home. And, yeah, the ashtrays.
Even though it’s been a minute since I last read an Archie comic, I’m still in love with road trips. In fact, I’m leaving on one next week. I’ll be heading down to Memphis with one of my besties. We’ll see Graceland and Beale Street, then spend a couple of days wandering through the horselands of Kentucky before making our way back home. And that’s how this site feels to me–like one long road trip. We’ll start in August with crab cakes, vinegar fries and birch beer in Delaware, and end in Hawaii with some Ahi tuna. I’ll teach you how to make (and not make; I’m a big believer in trial, error, calculated risk-taking, and the occasional hail Mary pass) regional favorites from each of the 50 states and explore the culinary traditions that are unique to each one. By the end, we’ll have taken one fine road trip.
See you soon!
*”Mess free” did not (and still does not) apply to me. I have the dubious distinction of being the messiest person in my family. This includes my 12 year old son, who’s pretty good at messes himself.