Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and for a lot of us, that means gathering with loved ones to appreciate life’s blessings, watch football, and chow on an immense amount of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and pie. Often, when extended family and friends come together, different elements of the Thanksgiving meal are prepared at each household and brought to the meeting place. How does one safely and successfully transport the Thanksgiving Day necessities to and from its destination?
Even on Thanksgiving, safety is first. Loose items in vehicles can be both a cause and effect of auto accidents, causing injury in both scenarios. Just as it is important for passengers to buckle up, securing all delicious food is important, too. Here are a few ways to keep food fastened:
Use a laundry basket. This common household item will help to both carry multiple dishes at once and keep them from rolling or tipping during transport.
Secure with bungee cords. If you’ll be going on winding or rough roads, or are simply still worried about spillage with the laundry basket, bungee cords can provide an extra level of security to keep the basket from sliding or tipping.
Have beach towels handy. Beach towels can be placed between dishes to buffer any movement and protect against broken glass. But,beach towels serve more purposes than just safety. Dishes can be wrapped in beach towels for insulation and for easier carrying. Additionally, lining the trunk or seats with towels can protect your vehicle’s interior in case a spill does occur.
Hold dishes in your lap. If there are passengers on your trip and the dishes aren’t too hot, line their lap with a towel and have them hold the food themselves until arrival. Because they’re on a relatively flat surface and are being actively monitored, this is a good way to avoid spills. However, it seems to invite taste testers to sneak a sample before the meal begins.
For the turkey specifically, transportation can present a particular challenge – especially if you plan to cook it beforehand. Because the bird is so heavy and needs to be kept warm, it requires both stability and insulation. Here’s what we recommend for turkey travel:
Use a covered roasting oven with handles. These relatively inexpensive appliances will allow you to cook, transport, and serve the turkey in the same dish. Roasting ovens insulate heat well, so they will keep your bird warm for a decent amount of time before arriving at your destination.
Cook your turkey in a Reynolds oven bag. These bags store moisture , flavor, and mess, until opened. So, cook your turkey, grab the bag, and place it in any foil-lined, insulated, storage pan of your choice.
Transport in a cooler lined with foil. Though special hot/cold coolers exist and are pretty inexpensive, if you don’t already have one, a regular cooler lined with foil should do well for a short trip.
With these tips in mind, you are now more equipped to have a safe, spill-free, delicious Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends.