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Tragedy Ann Talks Tasty Travel Tips

Put an Italian gal in a travelling folk duo and what do you get? High snack standards. 

My name is Liv Cazzola, and I am the food-loving, hanger-susceptible member of Tragedy Ann: a forward-looking folk duo from Guelph ON, comprised of myself and my partner, Braden Phelan. We love sharing meals with the friends that we meet along the way, as breaking bread fuels both body and spirit. 

After travelling across Canada together for the past few years, we’ve learned some of the best (and worst) ways to eat on the road on a budget. As we set out on our Matches in the Middle Tour (see dates below), we thought we’d share with you some of our top tips to date.

My weakness is definitely overpacking. On our first tour, we set out with essentially our entire pantry and fridge in tow, only to find that a few days in, the cooler had failed us (or rather, we couldn’t keep it cool) and most everything went bad. It breaks our heart to throw things out, so we try to only pack what we’ll need for the current and following day, with a few long-term snacks that won’t spoil. A few packing staples: 

  • Car Snacks: homemade granola (see recipe below), apples & peanut butter
  • Tools: Can opener, knife, plates, cutlery, tupperware, cantene (say no to single-use plastics!)
  • Extras: pepper, oil, vinegar, dried herb sachets

Which leads me to: buying local. Braden and I feel it’s important to support the communities that welcome us into them along the road. A quick internet search can uncover local markets, grocers, and cheap eats. Here are some quick and tasty prepared favourites that are no more expensive than the unhealthy, poor-quality, rich and rampant fast-food chains:

Whip it up yourself! Buy a couple of  groceries for a cheap and healthy meal:

  • Liv’s Lemony Lentils: combine 1 can of  lentils, 1 lemon squeezed, 1 clove of garlic minced, 2 tablespoons  of olive oil, three to four dill pickles cubed, and lettuce. Optional: diced onions, dijon, pepper, and tuna.
  • Braden’s Best Baked Sweet Potatoes: Bake for 1hr at 445F then slice ‘er open and add warmed black beans, diced tomatoes, coriander, cumin and chili powder.
  • Bean Salad: mix one or more cans of six-bean medley with any combo of diced carrots, onion, celery, broccoli, or lettuce, then add oil, vinegar and pepper

(Warn travel companions of post-bean toots)

A couple more favourite recipes:

Tragedy grANNola [prep pre-trip]

  1. Heat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together 4 cups of rolled oats, 1 cup of nuts, half a cup of seeds, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.
  3. Pour in 1 teaspoon of  vanilla, half a cup of maple syrup or honey, and half a cup of olive oil [or coconut oil] and mix.
  4. Pour onto baking sheet, spread evenly, and lightly press down.
  5. Bake for 21-24 minutes, stirring halfway.
  6. Let it cool completely (approx 45 mins).
  7. Crumble into a bowl and add 1 cup of dried fruit and half a cup of chocolate chips.
  8. Keep in an airtight container, ideally refrigerated. Omit the chocolate chips if it’ll be sitting in a hot car for a while, unless you like melty granola mounds.

House-Concert-Host-Loving Pancakes [for extra special mornings]

  1. Combine three quarters of a cup of milk and 2 tablespoons of white vinegar and  let the mixture sit for five minutes
  2. Mix together a cup of flour, 2 tablespoons of  sugar, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, half a teaspoon of salt, and one cup of love.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk one egg and 2 tablespoons of butter, melted. Then combine the wet and dry ingredients and add two handfulls of chocolate chips (choose the person with the biggest hands).
  4. Fry in butter and eat ferociously with berries, syrup, or any other sweet treat.

There you have it!

We hope to meet some of you along the road! Here are some towns you’ll find us in this month:

Matches in the Middle Tour Dates

  • Aug. 6 – House concert, Kimberley ON        
  • Aug. 7 – Maja’s Gourmet Garden, Mindemoya, ON
  • Aug. 8 – Downtown Street Party #2, Sault Ste-Marie, ON
  • Aug. 9-11 – Live from the Rock Folk Festival, Red Rock, ON
  • Aug. 14 – House concert, Onanole, MB
  • Aug. 15 – Sanctuary of Sound, Saskatoon, SK
  • Aug. 16 – Fisher Creek Trading Post, Candle Lake, SK
  • Aug. 17 – House concert, Flin Flon, MB
  • Aug. 20 – Rock Island Lodge, Wawa, ON
  • Aug. 21 – Art in the Park Series, Temiskaming, ON
  • Aug. 22 – La Fromagerie, Sudbury, ON
  • Aug. 23 – Coffin Ridge Winery, Owen Sound, ON
  • Aug. 25 – House concert, Leith, ON  

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