|We just got back from a much needed vacation in the Outer Banks of North Carolina and I am so proud of the delicious and nourishing meals we prepared throughout the week. We ate out once (and had a really nice meal at the Urban Kitchen in Corolla), but otherwise relied upon high quality ingredients and the kitchen in our rental to prepare a ton of food.|
We thought it would be a great idea to share a few tips you can use on your next vacation:
- Cooking is not a chore. It is an opportunity. There is not much more rewarding than to truly nourish someone you love through the food you made with your own hands.
- Remember how much money you are saving by cooking yourself! It is okay to splurge on high quality ingredients – you are still saving money compared to eating out. For instance, it costs less to buy enough grass fed steak to feed four people than it does to buy a feedlot steak cooked in a mediocre restaurant for one.
- The beauty of cooking from scratch, even on vacation, is having the ability to make food as safe and nourishing as possible. Employ techniques such as fermentation, sourdough, soaking, etc. whenever possible.
- Bring the salt, pepper, and spices you use all the time at home with you. Plan ahead and pack some small mason jars from your kitchen. Spices at the grocery store are insanely expensive and the cost is compounded when you are only using a little during your vacation. Don’t rely on the spices at the rental house or Air B & B. Even if the kitchens are well stocked the spices are probably years old.
- Make the condiments ahead of time and bring them with you. Mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard and dressings are all easy to make. When you make them yourself they can be incredibly healthy. When you rely on store bought versions they are almost always filled with tons of sugar, industrial nut and seed oils, preservatives, and artificial ingredients.
- Meal plan ahead of time and do as much prep as possible. Having recipes handy (whether electronic versions on your phone or printed out of paper), pre-measuring ingredients, and basic prep all help save time while on vacation and can be the difference between a beautifully executed meal and breaking down and ordering pizza after a long day.
- Bring your favorite kitchen tools. Do you have a sauté pan you are really comfortable using? Bring it. Do you have a Vitamix? Bring it. Do you have a good knife? By all means, bring it! Kitchens in rental units are usually ill-equipped and, even when they do have kitchen tools they are usually very cheap or worn out (especially knives!!!). If you have enough room for that extra beach chair and boogie board you can fit a few knives and a cheese grater in the trunk too.
- Bring some extra sourdough mother with you. Even if you don’t plan on making bread you can use it for pancakes, waffles, and even batter for fish at a moment’s notice.
- Involve everyone! The kitchen should be the center of activity – even on vacation. Get everyone involved in the cooking (even the kids) and make it an event! Some of our favorite vacation memories over the year were made around the kitchen (or campfire when we were cooking during camping). Cooking together can be as nourishing for the soul as eating together can be for the body.
Make sure you tag us in your vacation posts when you are cooking with your family!! @drbillschindler and @modernstoneagekitchen