By Heather Hogeland & Kim Grimm
One of the things most of us look forward to this time of year is getting outside and firing up the barbecue. After the long, cold winter nothing beats getting out and grilling your favorite; whether it is a steak, burger, hot dog, chicken, or a pork chop.
On the weekends a backyard barbecue brings friends and neighbors and it becomes a party. Break out the grill in a truck stop, and we have seen that same party you would have at home happen in a parking lot. Drivers will all chip in and buy the ingredients for the perfect barbeque. Friendships can be made, not to mention that it’s really nice to spend time with other people who do the same thing you do and really understand what you are doing for a living. When you are on the road it helps to bring just a little bit of the normalcy of home.
If you have the space to store a small grill and a bag of charcoal, you can buy a nice little Smoky Joe Weber for about $30, or tool box size propane fueled gas grills are also readily available. We carried a cool little collapsible charcoal grill that folded completely flat and fit into a carrying bag that measured about 12”x12”. It was perfect for the truck and was less than an inch thick when flat. We used pre-soaked charcoal so we had less stuff to tote. If you don’t have the space to store something disposable, one time use grills are available. They come complete with charcoal and you can purchase them almost anywhere. With this style, after you use it, be sure to let it cool down or soak it completely before throwing away. Likewise, if you purchase a grill you can reuse ALWAYS make sure it’s completely cool before you clean it up and put it away.
It doesn’t take up much space to carry along a few spices, the necessary tongs (which will probably handle anything you would ever cook on the grill) along with a metal brush to clean off the grill and you’re all set! Paper plates and plastic utensils are your friend here, easy clean-up is a must when you are having fun!
We would like to share a yummy summer recipe from our dear friend Bette Garber. Years ago she was at our house after the Jamboree and we were having a barbecue. She decided to put a little twist on the traditional cucumber salad. I’ve been making it ever since. It’s always a hit.
Bette’s Cucumber Salad
- 2 Cucumbers
- 1 medium onion
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes or 1 large tomato
- 1 small can jalapeno sliced black olives
- 1 small jar of artichoke hearts
- Bottle of Balsamic Vinaigrette
Slice the cucumbers and onions. Cut up the tomatoes. Drain the juice off the olives. Cut up the artichokes do not drain the juice. Mix everything all together including the artichoke juice pour on the balsamic vinaigrette to cover. Enjoy! This is a great dish to take to a summer potluck. Make it the day before. It’s even better after the flavors mix!
Here is another easy and healthy recipe that you can keep in the fridge and use at your barbeque or as a snack.
Summer Cottage Cheese
- 1 tub of cottage cheese
- 1 medium tomato
- Fresh Basil (dry if fresh is not available)
Cut up the tomato. Chop the fresh basil. Mix everything together add pepper to taste. This is better if you let it set and the flavors mix before serving.
Both of these recipes are easy, healthy and ingredients are readily available, plus they can be easily made in your truck. We would also suggest using a can of baked beans which are very healthy, delicious and can be heated either in your microwave or on your grill right in the can (once you’ve opened it, of course!) Eating like this gives drivers the opportunity to get outside, enjoy the fresh air, and meet other drivers. It promotes camaraderie that you don’t otherwise get; trust us! Breaking bread with fellow drivers in a parking lot can be a very rewarding and really fun experience!
Stay Safe Out There And Keep It Shiny!
Heather Hogeland and Kim Grimm are CDL holders and longtime friends with a combined 75 years and 7 million miles of driving experience. Both are writers and have a love for everything trucking, as well as, furry, four-legged friends. Kim is currently a full-time owner-operator and part-time writer. Heather writes for various trucking publications and enjoys traveling with her husband Roger.