The Prologue: A Road Trip to Alberta

“Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road.”
― Jack KerouacOn the Road

Edmonton Road Trip | The Laughing Table

This is an old post from Gabrielle’s food blog, The Laughing Table, that describes our first road trip adventure; a loop through the British Columbia Okanagan, up and across the border to Banff, over to Edmonton, down to Calgary and back to BC through Lake Louise. This amazing jaunt last April was our little trial run before we take off on our two month road trip across America this year.

On the road to Alberta, we traveled from a burgeoning summer where trees are laden with newborn and glossy leaves into a trailing winter of stale grey skies that are beautiful only in the fresh dew of morning when the ceiling is pearlescent with dawn. As the pavement grows steep along highways blasted into the sides of slumbering mountains, the wind becomes frigid and tossed with snow only to still suddenly on the other side Rockies where the trees thin and the Prairies unroll before us. It is like driving through a snow globe, the sky is a massive dome of the palest blue and no hills or urban heights scar the horizon.

Edmonton Road Trip | The Laughing Table

The mission was to pick up Belle’s brother from university in Edmonton but who could pass up the opportunity to turn it into a best friend’s road trip? Especially when road trips have always held a mystical, gypsy-like enchantment for us. Long before reading On The Road or seeing the advertisements for Free people or watching Stephen Fry in America, we have dreamed of rambling across countries in a gently heaving car that we prefer to think of as vintage rather than just plain old. You stop at roadside fruit stands and gorge yourself on fresh, pulpy stone fruits at local orchards. Time means something different on the road and you stop at odd times to indulge at a popular BBQ shack or throw on your only serviceable dress to dine at that restaurant you’ve read about and lusted over for years ( *cough cough* French Laundry).

Edmonton Road Trip Trains | The Laughing Table

Our week long road trip involved some of those things, but mostly it was just a lot of driving, some terrible grocery store sandwiches and not a lot of sleep. Those things didn’t matter though because there were also country bars and fields of gracefully complacent cows, oddly moving tableau’s of rusted farm equipment in overgrown fields, and hump backed mountains furred with all kinds of green. We were best friend and Belle’s amazing hipster younger brother. It was one of the happiest weeks we have ever spent in our lives and we had enough homemade snacks to temper the effect of the infrequent bad food.

These sumac roasted chickpeas were a lifesaver when we were suddenly peckish at strange hours or in the middle of a four hour stretch of nothingness and I’ve already made another batch to have on hand now that I am at home. They are crunchy, salty goodness that replace the traditional chips (which you inevitably lust over at every gas station you stop in) and they are ridiculously easy to make. We will be making these babies again to take with us on our TTTroadtrip across America on April 24th!

Sumac Roasted Chickpeas | The Laughing Table

Sumac Roasted Chickpeas
Author: The Laughing Table
  • 1 large can chickpeas (or two small cans; approx. 3 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons sumac
  • 1 teaspoon za’atar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Drain the canned chickpeas in a strainer and rinse thoroughly with cold water. Pat dry with paper towels and add to a dry bowl with the remaining ingredients. Toss or stir gently until well coated and transfer to a baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes or until crispy and golden.


Lake Louise | The Laughing Table