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cooking on vacation...

We are going away for a week. We will have a kitchen. I want to cook most of our meals. What should I buy? I plan to get eggs, milk, bread, cereal, bacon for breakfasts. Lunches will be sandwiches with chips, pickles. Dinners, maybe stuff for salad, dressing, spaghetti, chicken breasts with some veggies, turkey chili, quesadillas. What else?

What does your grocery list look like when youi are on vacation and have a kitchen? Remember, there will probably be just salt and pepper. Ihave to buy the other seasonings.


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    1. re: Captain Gingersnaps

      We are going to be around san diego and we are flying there and then renting a car.

      1. re: lilmomma

        When I've traveled by air to a destination where I had a kitchen I take a good knife and small cutting board. I then look to see what's available at the condo I'm staying in and buy local ingredients that look good. I don't plan an menus but let the market be my guide.

    2. I don't know I'm huge into finding unique foods to that area, depending on where you are vacationing.

      examples: Central and South Florida have a lot of Latin grocery stores. You can pick up Latin food there and make a Latin inspired dish.

      Pacific Northwest - Oysters, Salmon, Dungeous Crab, If in Seattle get some beechers cheese at Pike place.

      etc. Anything grown locally would be tasty.

      1. Just go through your day and week, writing down what you are cooking and using as condiments or spices.

        Then, ask on the San Diego Board. Tell us the part of town you are going to be staying. We can direct you to the less expensive markets in that area. We have plenty of ethnic markets (Asian, Mexican, Mediterranean) and there are over 50 Farmer's Markets in the county each week { www.sdfarmbureau.org } . We'll know what is in season and where to get it at a good price.

        As far as the regular/chain grocery stores, we have Ralphs, Vons, Albertsons, Trader Joe's, Fresh and Easy, Henry's, Whole Foods, Bristol Farms. You can look online to see the weekly sales or proteins, dairy, bakery products.

        Unsure if you are cooking in on a budget or aren't adventurous with food.

        1. I tend to cook more when I'm on vacation... because I finally have time and it helps me relax. So for me, I'd pick the more time-consuming recipies, like stuffed boneless chicken. If you are planning to be out and about, then you'd plan something quick.

          Also, it could be a time for the whole family to finally sit down for a nice evening meal, something that can be unusal for most busy families. It wouldn't work in my family, however, because the kids would be on a weird schedule, staying up all night, then going out to the moives at the dinner hour, etc.

          1. If I can't bring my laptop I copy the recipes I think I might be interested in. I always bring "Timing is Everything" since I am not good at remembering time or temp for dishes.

            I bring mini zip-locks of herbs/spices, a good knife, an instant read thermometer and a micro-plane, coffee and filters and thats about it. Sometimes I get small samples of olive oil and will bring that too. Condiments and spices are expensive, most of the rest is easily available and not worth schlepping unless you are in a remote area or lacking transportation. Plus I always go to groceries, farmers markets, ethnic markets when I travel - I really enjoy it! (Maybe this belongs on the "does your family think your weird" thread!)

            1 Reply
            1. re: meatn3

              thanks. that is great advicce about the spices and oil.

            2. I've started bringing Asian Home Gourmet spice packets last few times I've gone away (even to my son's place in San Fran! He does not have a complete cabinet of spices, that's for darned sure!)...all you add is the meat or fish or tofu and vegetables...no MSG! Don't know if you have them near you..I find them in our Asian food market. You can find them on line for descriptions of their spice pastes...not sure if it's up your alley.

              1. We honeymooned in Hawaii in May and we packed a few small bags of our favorite go to spice mixes and speciality salt. I also packed my pepper mill. It isn't that big and fresh ground pepper can't be replaced by Morton's picnic set in our opinion. I agree with the markets being your guide. Also, if you have a blender or food processor in the condo, consider making a pesto or chimichurri - because those come in handy either over pasta, in your eggs for breakfast, or over left over chicken. Have fun and enjoy your vacation!

                1. My vacation cooking looks exactly like my home cooking - the best local and or ethnic ingredients I can find. When I travel I take a selection of spices from home, a couple of my chef's knives, and a roll-up "Chop Chop" cutting board.

                  1. I bring a pepper mill with black pepper corns when I can (vacation places often have shakers of dried-out black pepper powder).

                    I also bring my favorite spices and kosher salt, to save buying expensive jars for only the small quantities needed.