Old Picnic Travel Food to Florida

Old Picnic Travel Food to Florida


Old Picnic Travel Food to Florida

Also Check Out Our…….

Old Florida Food (CLICK HERE)

for the foods you might like to eat while you are in Florida.  🙂

I spent my childhood summer’s on trips to Florida with my Grandparents, my Great-Grandparents, and my mother.  The car would be packed with our luggage, beach bags, beach buckets, and as always lots of picnic foods. 


Click Here For:  “Old” Miami


My Angel Food Cake in a Vintage Travel Container

There were always Angel Food Cakes on our many travels.



This is me on the beach, 1962.

My mother is washing my feet below, per my request at one of the many outdoor showers.



To me the journey has always been more favorable than the destination.  I think that is because of my Grandparents.  I always felt so safe with them.  I always loved to travel with them.  The car ride was always wonderful! I remember that they bought me games to play in the car while we traveled where I would look for things along the side of the road and then check them off if I saw them.  For example, a cow, a barn, a fence, a horse… and when I saw these things then I would slide a red or a blue plastic.  I think it was a Bingo game.

Auto Bingo

There were other games as well: 

Old Maid Card Game

I loved playing Old Maid.  My Grandmother always kept me occupied in the car while my Grandfather would do the driving. 

My grandfather had a saying, “See America First.”  When so many people were traveling abroad and going to other countries my Grandfather Frank wanted to see as much of America as he could.  And he took us along with him.

Out of all the 50 states I’ve been to all of them but 11.  I have a red piece of paper somewhere around here lost on my desk where I list the ones that I haven’t been to yet.  It was my Grandparents that took me to most of them.

I miss those golden, olden days of traveling to Florida with my family.

I especially miss all the delicious foods that were in the car that my grandmother would bring along with us.  She would unpack them at our mealtimes where we would eat a picnic lunch at designated picnic areas along the way.

Here I am recreating the Old Picnic Travel Food to Florida

that I miss so very much.

Fried Chicken, Pimiento Cheese Sandwiches, Potato Salad, Deviled Eggs, Sliced Cantaloupe, and always Orange Juice, always at the Florida Welcome Center.  The new food item that we added here is a Tomato, Ginger and Honey Salad.

And sometimes there were Olive Egg Salad Sandwiches

The picnic basket belonged to my Great-Grandmother Honnie, same with the plates and cups.  There are also a few Florida souvenir items that they purchased on our trips to Florida as well that I have.

That blue thermos above sat on the floor board of the backseat of the car so many years that I cannot even count.  It usually sat in front of me as I was the youngest with the shortest legs.  It had the coldest water!  Everyone had a cup that we would drink out of when we were thirsty during our trip.


Everyone look at me. 

Grandmaw, Granddaddy, Honnie, Grandhopaww! 

O.K., now SMILE!

That is me with my Grandparents.  My Grandfather always had a camera in his hand and binoculars around his neck.  My Grandmother was always tending to me.  My Great-Grandparents in the photo above are my Grandfather’s adopted mother and her second husband, the man that mostly raised my Grandfather.


Fried Chicken

Our Typical Lunch Plate

Fried Chicken, Pimiento Cheese Sandwiches, Potato Salad, Deviled Eggs, Sliced Cantaloupe, and a Tomato Salad.


I no longer travel to Florida I do the next best thing, I live here!

I’m sure that those happy days traveling with my Grand-Parents have something to do with it. 

The memories that I carry with me of Florida are many.  Whether it be memories of my past, our present living here, or a hopeful nice future as we age.  I will always love Florida.


One of the many things I love the most about Florida are the flowers: 

On April 1, 1513, explorer Ponce de Leon came ashore and claimed the land for Spain.  They landed in St. Augustine.  Florida comes from the word Florido which means “full of flowers.”  I would say that Ponce de Leon was correct when he gave Florida it’s name.

In addition to our beautiful flowers the other thing we are known for, besides our white sandy beaches, are our Florida Oranges.

When I was young my mother would cut a hole in the top of an orange for me to eat while I was outside playing, and that would be my afternoon snack.  I would suck the juice out of the top, then split the orange open and eat the pulp.  I would usually leave a trail of orange peel as I would go. 

Vintage Florida Postcards

When my mother and I made a trip up to Vincennes, Indiana to do some research on our roots, we stopped off at an antique mall and had a blast doing some shopping.  I found so many beautiful vintage Florida postcards that I just had to have.  Here are a few of them.  The messages on the back are precious!

My Great-Grandmother Keith’s Antique Juicer

I do love the many ways to use a plastic beach bucket.

I love this Antique….

Nothing left but delicious pulp!


Florida Welcomes You

The Iconic Florida Welcome Center

It has always been a tradition of ours to stop at the Florida Welcome Center to gather up some brochures of things to do and sights to see while in Florida, and to get our free sample of Florida Orange Juice.  🙂

Some of the best orange juice in the world is here in Florida.

The souvenir tray above was purchased many years ago. 

Would it be Florida without a straw purse, a paperback book, sunglasses, and an orange?


This is a memory of my mother.  First of all, that is her beach towel in the photo above.  And second, when she was a young girl she and her friend Elissha would take the train down to Miami to spend the summer with Elissha’s Florida relatives.  My Grandmother would pack my mother a lunch in a shoebox that would consist of fried chicken and pimiento cheese sandwiches.


There was always Cantaloupe, my Grandmother loved it!


I miss those olden days of trips down to Florida but what I do miss the most is all the delicious foods that my Grandmother and Great-Grandmother would make and I wanted to recreate it all.

I enlisted the help of my husband to  help me make all that lovely food, and he did. 

Gordon with his Fried Chicken


Tomato Salad, Cantaloupe, and Fried Chicken

Delicious Florida Orange Juice

Deviled Eggs


I do love Deviled Eggs, as evidenced by the many photos.  🙂

Potato Salad

Pimiento Cheese Sandwiches

AND, don’t forget the…….

Olive, Egg Salad Sandwiches w/ Olives and Spring Onions

(Recipe Below)

Tomato, Ginger, and Honey Salad

The Salad is Picnic Ready


Food Ready for the Car


This was Mother’s Day weekend when we put all of this together and as I walked around our property I discovered so many lovely things in bloom.  I can’t help but think that perhaps they all bloomed for me. 

Our Pink Bougainvillea

Our Red Roses

And…..for the life of me I am forgetting the name of this lovely pink flower.  🙁

No matter, I appreciate their beauty each and every day.



My Pink Flamingo Cake

with Purple and Pink Orchids

This cake was my homage to Florida and the beautiful pink Flamingos.

If you would like to see how I made it, just click on the link below for my Cakes blog post.

Click Here for our:  Cakes


Chicken Salad and Bread in the Can


Yet another family travel food.  My grandmother’s chicken salad and the date nut bread from a can in which to eat it. 

Perfect Travel Food

Don’t forget to bring along a can opener.  🙂



My Grandmother, and my husband are exactly alike when it comes to a good Cantaloupe.  I think that he became that way because of her.  Cantaloupe was very important to my Grandmother and it had to taste good.  If it didn’t then she would get mad!  She would gripe, she would moan, she would complain.  And that is exactly what Gordon does as well.  

Here Gordon is scraping out the seeds.

I wanted him to slice it the same way that my Grandmother would.  Into these boats, or canoe’s rather.

Once Sliced, into the Tupperware they go!


Tomato, Ginger and Honey Salad

(I had an idea for a tomato salad that I wanted Gordon to make as an addition to our picnic foods.  I didn’t know exactly what I wanted but I told Gordon to add some ginger and honey and just go from there.  He did!  And it was so good!)

This is a salad that you just need to eyeball and taste as you go when you create this.


Cherry Tomatoes (We used an heirloom variety of red, yellow and even purple.)

2 T. Fresh Ginger, sliced

2 T. Rice Vinegar

2 T. Mirin (Sweet Cooking Rice Wine)

2 T. Honey

Some Shakes of a Salt (We used our Florida Blend)


These are Beautiful Tomatoes

Be sure to wash them.


You want to peel the ginger.  You can do this with a spoon, it comes off very easily.

Here Gordon is slicing the ginger into thin strips and placing them into the bowl.


You then want to start to slice your tomatoes in half.

The Kitchen is Looking Particularly Florida  🙂

Add Your Tomatoes to the Bowl


This is a Florida Sunshine Blend Seasoned Salt

(You can use whatever you like.)

You then want to add your Mirin, Rice Vinegar, and Honey.

Mix Together Well

Now Your Tomato Salad is Complete

We wanted to put the salad into these jars that are great for travel.

Not only beautiful, healthy, but also Delicious!!!


Pimiento Cheese Sandwiches

A Southern Staple

Although every family has their own version of Pimiento Cheese, including my Grandmother, believe it or not but whenever I try and make it mine just never tastes as good as I would like it to.  Don’t know why?  It’s like I have some disability where making it is concerned.  But not to worry, I have discovered this brand of Pimiento Cheese spread except it’s called Palmetto Cheese, and is it ever good! 

Pawleys Island Palmetto Cheese

(If it has a black woman on the packaging then you know it’s good!!)  🙂

I even cut the crusts off whenever I make one of these sandwich’s just because I like how delicate they are to eat.

Perfect little finger foods that you can eat in the car without making any kind of a mess.

Pimiento Cheese Sandwiches are such a big part of the south, even still, that my brother in Ireland asks us to send him pimiento’s in the mail so that he can eat the traditional Pimiento Cheese Sandwiches that they serve every year at The Master’s in Augusta, Georgia.

As always once the sandwiches are made, into a Tupperware container they go.

My Grandmother’s Method

of keeping the sandwiches fresh.

My Grandmother would wet a paper towel with water, then squeeze the water out, then place the moist paper towel over the sandwiches in the Tupperware container without the paper towel ever touching them.  This method would keep the sandwiches fresh and moist all along our journey in the car.  I tried it myself and it worked!  🙂

They Never Disappoint!


Olive Egg Salad Sandwiches w/ Olives and Spring Onions

This is actually the Egg Salad that I grew up eating.  It always had green olives in it.  However, when I married Gordon he didn’t like olives.  Oh, he does now.  But he didn’t when I first met him.  So, I had to substitute the green olives with a pickle relish so that he would eat it. 

(Shh…  Sometimes, when I wanted it all to myself, I would put olives in it just because I knew he wouldn’t eat it.)  🙂

I also used to use Thousand Island Dressing in place of Mayo on my Egg Salad Sandwiches.  It actually tasted pretty good too!

You know, I don’t actually have any kind of formal recipe here.  But, I can tell you how I make it and what ingredients that I use and the rest is up to you!

I use about 10 large eggs and hard boil them.  I always add salt to the water.  I’ve been told that if an egg cracks then it won’t spill out of the shell if salt is in the water.  I don’t know that for a fact, but I do it anyway.  Salt also helps to speed up the water to a boil.

Once the eggs are ready I have them sit in cold water to cool, then I place them into the refrigerator for at least a few hours before I start to make the egg salad.

When I am ready to make it, I use this little egg slicer to slice up all the eggs into a bowl.  Then I add some mayo, some yellow mustard, freshly ground black pepper, a few shakes of Tabasco Sauce, some chopped green olives, and some sweet pickle juice.  Blend together and then refrigerate until ready to eat.

I love Egg Salad on Pumpernickel Bread but I also love it on little ready made dinner rolls, as opposed to some sandwich bread.  This is actually quite perfect for me!  Just add a few spring onions and I am there!!


Southern Fried Chicken

Would it be the south without Fried Chicken?

Sadly, I don’t have some southern fried chicken recipe passed down to me from my Grandmother.  My main memories of fried chicken were of my Grandparents picking up a bucket of chicken from Kentucky Fried Chicken after church on Sunday’s.  I remember that it would take the kitchen staff forever to cook it.  It was never ready made, they made it right there in front of you and didn’t start cooking it until a customer came in to order it.  And as I recall there was never a long line.  It was usually just us ordering the chicken. 

I think that when Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants started sprouting up everywhere and gained popularity, people like my Grandmother quit making their own because it was easier to just go out and buy it.  The quality of chicken in the restaurants today are not very good, but that was not the case back then.  The chicken was delicious!

THIS Chicken is Delicious!!!!

Hmmm… now let me see…..  THAT ONE!  I want that one!

Southern Fried Chicken

Waiting to be placed in the picnic basket for the trip to Florida.


Gordon’s Southern Fried Chicken

Note:  We have 2 recipes here for Fried Chicken and Chicken Strips

1st. is for a Whole Chicken

When I was a young girl chicken came only one way at the grocery store, it was whole!  The women had to cut it up in order to fry it.  And fried chicken was a staple in southern cooking, and in our travel food. 

Here is the Whole Chicken, Fried Chicken Recipe

The Ingredients:

1 Whole Chicken

~2 Cups Peanut oil for frying

1 Cup Flour

¾ Cup Corn Starch

½ Tbsp Fresh Cracked Pepper

1 tsp Roasted Garlic Powder

1 tsp Paprika

1 tsp Onion Powder

½ tsp Florida Brand Salt mixture

4 Large Eggs – Whisked

Tabasco Pepper Sauce to taste


Open the whole chicken within the plastic bag

Wash your chicken inside and out under running water.  Doing this will rinse away any old blood on the chicken.  You can also pull off any loose feathers still stuck on the chicken.  Place the rinsed chicken into a colander to help it to drain and dry.


How To Cut Up A Chicken

NOTE:  I did the best that I could in photographing Gordon cutting up this chicken.  In some photos it is a bit difficult to understand what is happening, and exactly what you are looking at.  I apologize for that.  Sometimes you just do the best you can.)  🙂

Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel and then place it on a cutting board on its side as shown.

Using a sharp knife cut the skin between the breast and the leg about 4 inches long.

Now, pull the leg and thigh away from the breast to reveal the joint and cut down the back of the skin to separate it more as shown.  Cut away at the front of the leg and thigh getting what is called the oyster meat, keeping it with the thigh.  

While pulling the leg and thigh away from the rest of the chicken, slice thru the rest of the skin and meat keeping the section attached to the main chicken.

You should now have the thigh and leg sections fully detached.  Looking at the picture on the right, you will see a line of fat between the leg and thigh.  This is exactly where you will need to place your next cut, slicing thru the joint. 

Holding on to the leg as shown, slice thru the fat line and the leg joint.  Set the two sections aside for later.

Pull the wing sections away from the main chicken to reveal the joint.  Slice down the center of the joint detaching the wing sections.  Then slice off any attached skin.

Place the entire wing on the cutting board and slice thru the center of the joint that holds the wing and drumette together.  Then slice off the wing tip from the wing. As shown below. Set the wing sections aside for later.


Turn the chicken over and slice off the leg and thigh as I explained earlier.

Here you can see where you slice between the fat line of the leg and thigh meat.


Here are some good pictures of slicing off the wing from the main body of the chicken.


Cute Pug Break


Place the chicken upright as shown with the main part of the breasts facing down.  Slice down the back of the breasts thru the rib bones following the edge of the breast meat. 

Pull the back away from the breasts and slice thru the skin holding it on.



With the breast meat down on the cutting board, make an incision just thru the center of the breast bone.  Flip the breast meat over and using the palm of your hand, press down on the breasts.  You should hear a crack.

Using your knife, slice thru the breast bone of the chicken to separate the breasts.


Save the back meat for chicken stock.


Pour your peanut oil into a large cast iron skillet.  Begin to heat the oil to a medium temperature.

Get out two large bowls


In one bowl add all of your spices… the flour…

The corn starch…

Onion powder and roasted garlic powder.

Paprika and pepper


Now add your salt…

(This is a Florida blend that we like.  But you can use any kind of salt you prefer.)

Whisk your dry ingredients together.


In the other bowl add your eggs.

Add the Tabasco sauce if desired.

Whisk your eggs together well.

Once your oil is hot and ready to go, dip your bone in chicken breast into the egg mixture coating it well.  Shake off the excess egg and then place it into the seasoning mix, coating it well.

Shake off the excess seasoning mix

Gently place the large side of the breast into the center of the hot oil keeping the tip away from you.  Now, ease the tip of the breast into the oil.  Placing the breast into the oil this way keeps the hot oil from splashing on you.


The Chicken is Frying!

Repeat this for the other pieces of chicken being sure to not overload the pan, as that will quickly reduce the temperature of the oil causing uneven cooking.

Place a splatter screen over the chicken if needed.

When the side of the chicken becomes golden brown, turn the chicken over.


You can hang the tongs over the handle of the microwave,like Julie does.  🙂



Turn the chicken over to fry the other side.

Fry the chicken until the internal temperature reaches 160’F.  When done, remove the chicken and place onto paper towels.  As the chicken rests, the internal temperature will continue to cook the chicken to 165’F.  Lightly salt your chicken when the frying is done.

Continue to cook the other pieces of chicken using the same process.

Monk, Our Kitchen Helper!



The cooked chicken on a paper towel to drain off any excess oil.

Turn your oven onto low and place the chicken on a cookie rack and sheet pan to keep the chicken warm until serving.


Next Up:  Chicken Strips

I, Julie, didn’t want the Chicken Tenders cooked in the same way as the whole chicken, from above.  I got the idea to recreate the Extra Crispy Kentucky Fried Chicken recipe that was so popular from long ago, where they added corn flakes to the chicken to give it that extra crispy taste and texture when fried.  However, we didn’t have any cornflakes so I rummaged in the panty and found the Rice Krispies cereal, and the Panko, and the French’s Fried Onions, and Jalapeno Onions.  Viola!  We have our CRISP!!!!

We didn’t even know what it would taste like until we fried them and BOY! were they good!

NOTE:  We did one batch with just the Rice Krispies Cereal and Panko, and the PLAIN French’s Fried Onions, then we did a second batch using all of the ingredients that I mentioned, while adding the Jalapeno Onions.  Here is what we did……

The Ingredients:

4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts

~2 Cups Peanut oil for frying

1/2 Cup Rice Krispies

1/2 Cup Whole Wheat Panko

¼ Cup French’s Fried Onions – crushed

¼ Cup French’s Fried Jalapeno Onions – crushed

1 Cup Flour

¾ Cup Corn Starch

½ Tbsp Fresh Cracked Pepper

1 tsp Roasted Garlic Powder

1 tsp Paprika

1 tsp Onion Powder

½ tsp Florida Brand Salt mixture

(You can use any Salt that you like.)

4 Large Eggs – Whisked

Tabasco Pepper Sauce to taste


Remove the Chicken Breasts from the package and rinse them off.


Our Secret Ingredients

(The Jalapenos is a flavor to the fried onions, just to be clear.)


Slice the chicken breasts into strips as shown.

Crack your eggs into a large bowl and add your Tabasco Sauce if wanted.  Whisk your eggs together well.

Place the slices into the egg mixture

In another large bowl place your dry ingredients to include your Rice Krispies cereal……

…….your Panko – Asian Bread Crumbs


……the crushed French’s Onions….

then crush the ingredients together…

Mix Together Well

Then add your Cornstarch

Pour your peanut oil into a large cast iron skillet.  Begin to heat the oil to a medium temperature.

Once your oil is hot and ready to go, remove your sliced chicken breast from the egg mixture.  Shake off the excess egg and then place it into the dry mix, coating it well.  Have your splatter guard handy.

Carefully place some of your egg coated chicken strips into the heated oil being sure not to overcrowd your pan.  4 to 5 chicken strips is a good number to fry at one time.

When the side of the chicken is brown (about 3-4 min.), turn the chicken over to cook the other side.  When the chicken is fully cooked, remove them with your tongs…


And place it on some paper towels to drain off the excess oil.


This was an experiment for us so we were adding more of this, and more of that as we went.  But, the correct measurements are listed above with the ingredients.

This batch we used the French’s Jalapeno Fried Onions for a HOTTER taste!

Add more seasonings if you think they are needed…

Then add your French’s Jalapenos

Crush the Fried Jalapenos…

Then mix with the other ingredients.



Now, place some of your chicken strips from the egg mixture to your new dry mixture and fry them as before.

Enjoy your delicious Fried Chicken Strips!


I could just devour all of this right now! 

Actually, I pretty much did!

Eating Memories are the BEST Memories


Southern Potato Salad

I have this recipe on a few of our website posts and I hate to repeat it, but it wouldn’t be a trip down to Florida without it.

As always, Idaho Potatoes, shaved of their skins and boiled to tender on the stove top with a little bit of salt in the water.

Be sure to poke holes in the potatoes before boiling.

When done, remove and set on a cutting board to cool.


In the meantime…….

Let’s Start to Boil all of our Eggs

Eggs for the Potato Salad, and Eggs for the upcoming Deviled Eggs

The Ingredients Are:

Idaho Potatoes

Yellow Onion


2 Hard Boiled Eggs


Yellow Mustard

Freshly Ground Black Pepper

7 Shakes of Tabasco Sauce

Pickle Relish

Spoonful or so of Sweet Pickle Juice (to sweeten)

(I do not list amounts above because every batch I make is different.  I use my eyes and my taste buds to judge and I make it according to what I want and need at the time.  Sometimes I need to make a lot, and other times I just want to make a little.)

Ready to Make the Potato Salad

Once the Potatoes have cooled, chop into small bite sized chunks and add to a bowl.

You next want to chop some onion and add to your bowl.

( I changed bowls from the photo above because I realized I would need more room.)

Now chop up some Celery and add to your bowl.

When we get to this point I like to add some Mayonnaise and some Yellow Mustard.

Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Next comes the Sweet Pickle Relish, the Tabasco, and the Pickle Juice

Then Add 2 Hard Boiled Eggs, Chopped

Potato Salad is Ready!


Deviled Eggs

My Old 80’s Deviled Egg Travel Container

The Ingredients for my Deviled Eggs:

Again, I really don’t have a formal recipe for these.  I just eyeball everything and taste as I go.

You do need Hard Boiled Eggs though.

As many as you like.

You want to slice them in half and remove their yellow yolks.

I always seem to be scolded by whomever when they see the green ring around my yellow yolks of my deviled eggs before I make them.  Apparently that is something of a tragedy.  However, no one has ever insulted my deviled eggs.  They are gobbled up and consumed with or without the “green ring.”  So, shut it!!

You do want to place the yellow yolks into a bowl and mash them up.  You next want to start adding the ingredients.  Mayonnaise, Yellow Mustard, Freshly Ground Black Pepper, several shakes of Tabasco Sauce, Sweet Pickle Relish, and a spoon full of Sweet Pickle Juice.

Mix Together

With the empty shells in place start to spoon in the mixture.

Next add a bit of Paprika sprinkled on top.


They now need to be refrigerated before your trip down to Florida.

Have a Wonderful Time on your Vacation!

See you when you get back home!