Does anyone pack Padkos anymore?

When I think padkos for a road trip I want hearty, food that will heat me up from the inside out, and that will help me forget about the many kilometres ahead. A flask or two filled with a robust meat-flavoured, smooth, lentil soup works for me.
— Jackie Cameron
 Chef Jackie Cameron

With regular stop-over options on the highways does anyone pack padkos anymore?

I have happy memories of a trip that my sister, Sheldeen, and I did with our Uncle Alistair and Aunty Norah. Their son, our cousin Shaun, was competing in the Two Oceans Marathon in Cape Town. We all - including his brother and sister Peter and Kim - were the support team. The day before, my dad took us to the shops so we could stock up on sweets for the trip and that evening I helped my aunt make meat balls, chicken wings and other convenient, delicious, travelling nibbles. These were happy times.

I feel like going on one of those road trips again. It's a long time since time allowed such frivolous, carefree adventures - yet they are so important. And the padkos would have to fit the occasion - nothing mundane. The usual combinations don't do it for me anymore so I have a few interesting options; nothing over the top.

When I think padkos for a road trip I want hearty, food that will heat me up from the inside out, and that will help me forget about the many kilometres ahead. A flask or two filled with a robust meat-flavoured, smooth, lentil soup works for me.

Instead of the normal rusk-with-coffee option, I suggest my grandmother's jam-drop biscuits. I remember these coming hot out of the oven and the jam still bubbling in the centre. They are deliciously decadent and so simple to make. They weren't Sheldeen's favourites so I always had two helpings!

As we all do, I have gone through stages in life. As a teenager I always wanted the chicken breast - I can even remember giving my dad the crispy skin. That wouldn't happen today! I then moved onto always having a chicken thigh and drumstick - this being the tastiest and juiciest part of the chicken. More recently I have been choosing the chicken wings. I no longer eat huge amounts at one time but rather many little meals throughout the day so I consider a chicken wing the perfect savoury, crispy snack - in fact it can be an indulgent light meal. So, in my cooler bag I'll have a container filled with crispy oat-coated chicken wings with a green-herb mayonnaise. This is just perfect for any trip.

Mince balls are a favourite snacks or finger foods so I thought I'd make it proudly South African - bobotie rolls with traditional fruit blatjang came up trumps. I don't eat enough bobotie at home the slight spiciness and sweetness combines so well with a fresh green salad. (Note to self:  Bobotie for dinner when next I’m off).

I enjoy any food that is slow cooked inside a paper packet - such exciting aromas burst out when the packet is opened. It's an exhilarating experience even before the tasting. Aromas that promise to help you forget you are sitting in a stuffy car include rosemary, mushrooms, roasted garlic and sundried tomatoes. This makes a healthy option to snack on.

Gooey and sticky make a tantalising treat so remember your wet wipes on this trip. My chocolate-dipped pumpkin seeds covered in loads of good-quality cocoa powder are irresistible; and they make an interesting sweet-and-savoury combination.

On your next journey, plan your packing time to allow you to cook up these recipes. Your family will feel a lot healthier - fit and ready to take on the holiday when arriving at your destination.  Once again, I suggest we cast our minds back to what our grandparents did - they knew a thing or two - and encourage family involvement, just as my aunt did.

Here's to happy foodie travels - hamba kahle.

Recipes

Mince Bobotie Rolls with Homemade Chutney
Lentil Soup
Oats Coated Chicken Wings with Herb Mayonnaise
Veg In A Bag
Chocolate Coated Pumpkin Seeds
Jam-Drop Biscuits

Send comments and food-related questions to jackie@jackiecameron.co.za. I always look forward to hearing from you.

Explore my website and find out more about my women's and kids' chef ranges, JACKIE CAMERON COOKS AT HOME and all my foodie adventures. I always look forward to hearing from you. Jackie Cameron (Head Chef: Hartford House - 033 263 2713). For the latest on local foodie news add me as a friend on FACEBOOK. Find me on Twitter - @jackie_cameron.

Photography courtesy of : Karen Edward's Photography / 082 441 7429 / karene@bundunet.com
www.karenephotographysa.com / www.midlandsphotographers.wordpress.com