When I was young and we went away for any extended amount of time, my mother would empty the contents of the fridge so we didn't come home to any surprise science experiments. This also meant coming home to no food whatsoever and having to suffer until someone went to get the groceries. My mother tossed items like bread and butter into the freezer. In later years later she learned the milk could be frozen so that while we might not have any food, she'd be able to have milk for her morning coffee. Summer travel can be brutal... long lines at airports and never-ending traffic can frazzle our nerves and leave us on edge, to have to add a run to the grocery store on top of that, when you just want to get home and relax can seem downright daunting. I've curated a list of items to keep on hand so that you'll be able to feed hungry and weary travellers and the food shopping can wait a day or so. With the items below you'll be able to quickly put together a couple of quick meals and snacks allowing the weary traveler in you to relax in the comfort of your own home.
In the Fridge:
- Organic milk has a longer shelf life due to its ultra-pasteurization and will remain fresh in the refrigerator if unopened for 40 to 60 days compared with the 15 to 17 days for milk pasteurized the regular way, according to Consumer Reports.
- Yogurt, according to Eat by Date, is safe to eat for up to 2 weeks past the expiration date.
- Apples, oranges, grapefruits, lemons and limes will keep for a couple of weeks in the fridge
- Hard cheeses last a long time, and should you see a little mold, simply chop it off
- Parmesan cheese, shredded or grated
- Eggs can safely be kept for up to 5 weeks past the sell by date, according to The Kitchn
- Vegetables such as onions, garlic, potatoes, carrots, beets
- Condiments such as mustards, mayonnaise and ketchup
- Seltzer water
- White wine
In the Freezer
- Bread, assorted
- Assorted fruit (for smoothies)
- Assorted vegetables
- Pizza - (We love Trader Joe's frozen pizzas and flatbreads)
- Stir Fry veggies and stir fry veggies with Shrimp. Also from Trader Joe's. These are excellent.
In the Pantry
- Dry cereal
- Beans, canned and dry
- Pasta sauces, jarred
- Dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, dates, apricots, etc)
- Peanut Butter or other nut butters
- Boxed milk, such as Parmelat
- Boxed tomato sauce such as Pomi
- Canned vegetables such as tomatoes
- Assorted Nuts (though check them for freshness often as the oils can go rancid more frequently in the summertime
- Olive oils, vinegars
- Assorted Spices
- Assorted liqueurs - Scotch, Bourbon, Gin, Vodka, etc