love being different
Last week I started my four-part series on my personal tips for getting away on the weekend. I already tackled some driving logistics and gave some suggestions for how to choose a destination. Today, it’s time to discuss the yummy stuff!
Food. Food. Food.
Growing up, my parents always told me that a well-fed army is an effective army. My takeaway from this? Always have enough food to feed an army. And it better be good food too.
Now, if you’ve driven to a resort, then you definitely have to do research on nearby restaurants and look at your options. After all, you don’t want to be stuck with just resort food. If, however, you and some friends got together to rent a house somewhere or if you have a friend who has invited you to stay at their house out of town, then you have to plan a menu! And that is one of my favourite parts of planning an out of town trip!
Things to consider when menu planning:
1) What does everyone eat?
I find it really important that you check for allergies and dietary preferences. The last thing you want is to have to rush someone to the hospital because they’re allergic to something you least expected!
2) Give each meal a theme
If you don’t plan your menu correctly, you could end up serving spaghetti Bolognese with spicy chicken curry, which–not judging those who might thing otherwise–just don’t go. One of the best ways to make sure the dishes in each meal go well together is to give each meal a theme. This can make your trip even more fun because you know you have something new and different to look forward to each meal.
If you don’t want to work with themes, just ask yourself this question before adding any dish to the list: “does it go with everything else being served this meal?”
3) Consider local flavours
You can make the most out of the culinary aspect of your trip if you eat out or incorporate local delicacies into your menu. If, for example, you know that the place you are visiting is well known for fresh seafood, make sure you plan a meal that uses the catch of the day. Not only will it be delicious, but you’re likely to end up visiting the local market and that is always a nice thing to do as it gives you a great idea of what life is like in that area.
4) Think of desserts and snacks
Remember that every meal must be complete, and that they are often completed with dessert–and lots of it. What’s a vacation without indulging a little bit, right? Try to check for local delicacies, but also bring along some of your favourites. Same goes for snacks. Bring your favourites and bring enough for everyone!
5) Consider drinks
While I am a big fan of water, I do know that some people prefer drinking juice or soda with their meals. So having these options on hand is a good idea. Not sure what other people drink? Ask them! (Oh, and for the evenings, it’s usually simplest to tell everyone to bring their own booze. 😉 )
6) Consider cooking time
Whenever I plan a menu, I also consider how long it’s going to take to make any of these dishes. While having a turkey dinner sounds heavenly, if you don’t have the hours it’s going to need for preparation and cooking, you need to forget about it. So always consider how long prep and cook time will take.
Try to divide the kitchen duties among yourselves. You can take shifts when it comes to both cooking and cleanup. Make sure it’s fair and everyone does their share. You don’t want to spend your entire trip cooking, so take turns. I personally don’t mind cooking every meal for as long as someone else cleans up!
7) Remember that not every kitchen is complete
Keep in mind that you are not going to be in your own kitchen. There’s a chance that the things you usually rely on will not be in this kitchen you’ll be working in for the weekend. Make sure you bring condiments, cooking utensils, herbs and seasoning, oil, cleaning materials, kitchen towels, etc.
Basically, bring everything you will need to create your dishes. You don’t want to stress out over missing ingredients or materials!
Complicated, isn’t it? 🙂