Can you help?
We received this query from Kathy in Florida and wonder if you have any suggestions for her.
“I have a family reunion in Illinois coming up. Everyone who attends travels some distance. I’m looking for new food ideas that are easy to travel with and fix. I can’t count on an outdoor grill at this resort. Can you send me some ideas of food that can travel, be different and good and easy to fix?”
We responded that we had no recipes specifically that can travel other than sweets and desserts. We suggested she check into catering, carry-out and deli foods. Rather than not counting on an outdoor grill, check and tell them it’s important.
What are your ideas? Email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Getting there with food
We received the following question in anticipation of a summer reunion.
I live in Florida and have a family reunion in Illinois coming up. Everyone has to travel some distance. I’m looking for new food ideas that are easy to travel with and fix. I can’t count on an outdoor grill at this resort. Can you send me some ideas of food that can travel, be different and good and easy to fix? Kathy
We shared the question with readers and received this genuinely clever idea family reunion tradition.
To Kathy in Florida,
We have a family reunion at Pickwick Landing State Park Lodge on the border of Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama every two years. We rent a suite in the lodge for the weekend. It has a full size refrigerator and microwave.
We make a list of food for everyone to bring. We plan the meals and menu well in advance, and email what and how much each family should bring.
Our favorite meal is the “Southwest Extravaganza.” I usually bring the fajita meat and my big electric skillet with a lid. I buy pre-marinated fajita meat (beef and chicken) and cut it up before we travel. I freeze the meat in ziploc bags, then put them in the cooler. The frozen bags help keep other food cold and the meat is partially thawed by the time we arrive. Everyone else brings cheese, sour cream, guacamole, tortillas, taco meat, shells, queso and chips, hot sauce and tomatoes. After I cook the meat in the skillet I throw in green peppers and onions. The whole sixth floor of the lodge smells wonderful!
From Diane Richmond, Denton, Texas, Jones Family Reunion.
Recipe for a great family reunion
Patience, persistence, planning and favorite dairy foods, according to Wisconsin’s Dairy Council. Like no other family celebration, a reunion is a special time to celebrate heritage and kinship. It’s a time to take a break from the sometimes frantic pace of life to reconnect with your past while looking ahead to the future.
Once you’ve managed to get everyone together, you must feed them. With over 500 mouths to feed, the Seidemans of Newburg, Wisconsin, offer a variety of mealtime options. Refreshment stands provide hot dogs, bratwurst, beer, candy, popcorn and ice cream. Some families bring their own picnic lunches. Others join together for an old-fashioned potluck meal. “Some of us make family favorites like potato salad or shrimp salad,” says Phyllis Naumann. “It’s tradition.”
Vera Brooks of Richmond Township, Wisconsin, helps plan two family reunions each year. The Helling Family Reunion, in its 50th year, brings together relatives from her father’s side. On the fourth Sunday of every July, the Klug Family (Brooks’ mother’s side) gets together. Each reunion includes from 30 to 50 people and a potluck meal is the norm. “You get a good variety of food with a potluck and because everyone makes just one dish, there’s not a lot of expense involved, either,” says Brooks. When deciding what to serve at your family reunion, the trick is to choose a menu with something for everyone. Think hearty, wholesome and home-cooked, not fussy and fancy.