Bringing back Padkos
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Padkos is a nostalgic trip tradition that will fill your stomach while keeping your wallet from emptying.
Fuel up on homemade snacks to take the sting out of your next road trip.
When we brainstormed this article, we had in mind to focus on the fun aspects of bringing back travelling traditions. In the last couple of weeks with the uncertainty surrounding the 700 million barrels of Russian crude oil the world might no longer have access to, our motivation has changed somewhat.
Incidentally, the secretary-general of OPEC HE Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, stated that there simply is no global alternative available to alleviate the loss of Russian crude oil production.
The expected May petrol price for South African drivers might be going down a little compared to April, but will still sit at more than R21.20 per litre. Yes. You read that right.
With this in mind, we are changing our tune – padkos is not nostalgic, it’s necessary.
Remember when your mom or Ouma would pack large cooler boxes of padkos for those long car trips? The cooler boxes were full of sandwiches, fruit and home-baked koekies. In days gone by, this used to be a necessity. (and so the wheel turns).
Not only were there fewer petrol stations along our highways, but most of these stops also only sold petrol or diesel (for some variety). If you were lucky, there would be a dodgy public loo. And if you were really lucky they would maybe have a small kiosk with glass bottles of coke and old packets of Simba Chips. Most of us grew up in a time before Wimpy and Mugg and Bean made the smart business move of partnering with Engen or Total service stations.
Now, most of our children will live in an era where service stations will just be for using the loo. Paying more than R20 for a litre of petrol will mean that we can’t buy that R40 cup of coffee or the R70 burger as we make our way down to the coast or up to the bush.
Bringing Padkos Back.
So, we have the tried and tested basics, and they are still good. We’re talking hard-boiled eggs, buttered buns, cold cuts of cooked meat and flasks of pre-sugared coffee. Nostalgic, comforting and perfectly lovely.
Can we update padkos? Yes, we can!
You will need: A cooler box or bag, multiple re-usable plastic or glass containers, and a bit of time to prep the food.
Think about your journey and your travel mates.
If you’re travelling with kids, rather opt for crumb-free snacks and try to limit the sugar. A road trip is always fun, but having to clean up after messy, hyper-active kids can ruin any good time.
Also, keep in mind how much hydration is strictly necessary since stopping at each petrol station will influence your fuel efficiency.
If you’re travelling with anyone who has particular dietary requirements, make sure to keep their food in its own dedicated storage.
Our favourite updated padkos menu looks like this:
Freshly brewed homemade lemon iced tea (Rooibos)
This one ticks the hydration without caffeination box and the whole family can drink it.
- Brew a few pots of strong rooibos tea. Make sure you have enough for however many people in your party.
- While it is still hot, sweeten it to taste with a sugar replacement, honey or sugar.
- Squeeze in as much lemon juice as you want. For an added citrus kick add some peeled lemon segments to the bottles before refrigerating them overnight. (Lemon peel left in overnight will cause a bitter after-taste.)
- Replace the lemon with orange or berries to change it up.
Plaatkoekies (flapjacks) can be eaten cold and leave very little mess
- Buy a couple of pre-mix flapjack boxes and prepare the batter. Into one of the batches, add some extra vanilla essence and a few handfuls of chocolate or caramel chips.
- Into the other batch of batter add an extra egg, grated cheese, a dash of paprika, and veggies of your choice. (Grated zucchini, spring onions or about half a tin of sweetcorn works well.).
- Once you’ve cooked them, place them in two separate containers and allow them to cool down. Simply hand them out in the car the next day.
No mess, no fuss.
Fresh fruit cut up, pips and skins removed to limit the build-up of road trip-trash
This is self-explanatory. Whatever is in season and loved by the road-trippers will work. Make individual fruit cups for each member.
Additional padkos treats:
Small packs of pretzels or brown paper bags of homemade popcorn.
Biltong or droëwors sticks, or nuts and dried fruit.
A flask of hot, fresh coffee for the grown-ups.
Remember that a young child restrained in a car seat sits at a dangerous angle for choking. If you are eating on the go, have a grown-up sit next to a restrained child and watch carefully for signs of distress.
Enjoy the journey!
HOMEMAKERS would love to hear some of your favourite padkos items. Why not post to your socials, but remember to tag us at #homemmakerssa so we can share in the fun.