Well, I’m back in NE Ohio after spending an enjoyable Thanksgiving weekend in Dataw, S.C. And no complaints: two peaceful and nearly pain-free runs around the three-mile gated community of an island, temps in the mid-60s with ample sunshine, and no incidents coming or going via U.S. Air.
Saying that, we were fortunate. I didn’t try to board the airplane with a loaf of cranberry bread stuffed in my computer bag as originally planned. My wife, Mary, placed it gingerly in our suitcase — we paid $20 for the privilege of having our bag, clothes and assorted food items accompany us on the journey — and hoped for the best. And my hat’s off to the Department of Homeland Security, the cranberry bread (and everything else for that matter) made it safe and sound. Woot.
I’ll admit it. I’m accustomed now to walking through the airport in my bare feet. And hey, at my age, the strip search at security is kind of invigorating. But it seems kind of silly that you can’t carry a loaf of bread — or a fruitcake — on an airplane. Maybe X-rays and other scanning methods won’t penetrate a fruitcake. Is a fruitcake more indestructible — and impenetrable — than Superman’s cape? Beats me. Has Congress ever investigated that?
And this isn’t just one of those academic musings that I am becoming more inclined to engage in these days. My friend Walter had to relinquish a jar of organic peanut butter at either the Orlando or Austin airport a few months ago. Go figure.
So for those of you who are traveling today — or during the remainder of the holiday season — here are the guidelines from the Transportation Security Administration concerning food and gifts:
From the TSA: Not sure about what you can and can’t bring through the checkpoint? Here’s a list of liquid, aerosol and gel items that you should put in your checked bag, ship ahead, or leave at home.
- Cranberry sauce
- Creamy dips and spreads
(cheeses, peanut butter, etc.)
- Gift baskets with food items
(salsa, jams and salad dressings)
- Maple syrup
- Oils and vinegars
- Salad dressing
- Wine, liquor and beer
Note: You can bring pies and cakes through the security checkpoint, but please be advised that they are subject to additional screening. (My comment: Any clue as to what that “additional screening” could be? Sigh.)Remember! – do not wrap gifts you’re taking on the plane. Security officers may have to unwrap gifts if they need to take a closer look. Please ship wrapped gifts ahead of time or wait until your destination to wrap them.
* Items purchased after the security checkpoint have been pre-screened and can be taken on the plane.