My Great American Road Trip: Take the 101 to the 55 to the 5, Get Off On La Cienega
By the time you read this, I will be gone. Gone to that great deluxe apartment in the sky...
Just kidding. I'll be on the Great American Road Trip of my generation, and I don't want to brag but I think my Instagram feed will be on par with the greatest literary travels of Kerouac or Dos Passos or Steinbeck.
Just kidding! Two teens, a dog, and two weeks through the deserts and swamps of the Southern United States. It's going to be a nightmare!
The nightmare begins at the Grand Canyon, where we couldn't find a single hotel room under $400 because we didn't realize that it was 4th of July weekend. So we'll be camping in 100 degree heat with no access to water - and that's the beginning!
Luckily, on our last trip up the California Coast we stumbled upon what has turned out to be the best camping meal ever - "Mexican Steak in a Basket." It's a cheap, fast, clean way to eat some fajitas the old-old fashioned way and the cleanup is almost nothing - very important when you're camping in a mega-drought.
The first step is to send your kids to collect kindling. You definitely won't receive any kindling but at least that gives you some time to sneak a glass of wine and think about all of the bad choices you made in the real estate market.
Forty minutes later, when they are throwing acorns at each other and bothering the retirees, hide your empty wine bottle and just get the kindling yourself.
One cool fact I learned on this trip is that you can buy steak already cut in uniform strips - perfect for camping - no knives to clean up, no uneven cuts, no sanitation issues. This steak happened to be on sale - two pounds for $8.
Adobo seasoning costs $1.50 and is a blend of salt, garlic, onion, oregano, paprika, pepper, and "Latino spices." It's cheaper than seasoned salt and far more flavorful! Also, it's sort of Mexican, so you can call these Mexican-steak tacos.
The attached grill is perfect for warming a $2 pack of tortillas.
After crusting the strips with adobo seasoning, we used a grill basket to place them on the grill - the smoke alone gave them the perfect cook in about 10 minutes.
A bunch of fresh cilantro was 50 cents, and $1 worth of limes was all the dressing our tacos needed.
Because we're super self-indulgent Gen X-ers, we decided to splurge on this lavish condiment - 75-cent avocados, fresh and locally grown. It feels good to have saved up enough money to be able to really pamper ourselves out in nature!
We made around 15 hearty tacos for less than $15!
Full disclosure: Along with the tacos I tried a smoked baba ghanouj (hence the eggplant in the top photo) but it was an absolute failure so we're going to pretend that never happened!
More from the road in the coming days!