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Jan 5, 2014 12:02 PM

Cooking on vacation

Some folks think I'm crazy, but I really like cooking on vacation, particularly camping but really anywhere where there's a cabin and a decent kitchen. Part of this is, many places we go have terrible or overpriced food choices (Delta, UT comes to mind first) but also, I just like it. In a couple weeks we are going to a cabin in the (hopefully) snow and I'm looking forward to preparing out meals after hiking and snow play.
Does anyone else feel the same? Do you enjoy cooking outdoors? Or in unfamiliar kitchens in a new setting?
By the way, it's different when you're visiting someplace with great food like SanFran or NYC.
What do you like to make? Am I the only one who feels cooking doesn't detract from relaxation?

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  1. Every summer we rent an apartment in the South of France. I cook most every night. During the day we are at the beach or pool or out and about sight seeing or doing day trips. When we come "home" we stop off at various shops and gather our dinner makings. I love cooking the fresh fish or meat and great produce..and we relax on the terrace overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. I also enjoy cooking when we are in makes me feel like a local...and I have more money to spend on shoes.

    4 Replies
    1. re: jarona

      This sounds great - where in the south of France?

        1. re: jarona

          Gorgeous place! We found this town driving around last summer and fell in love. Spent a day there on the beach, walked the seaside path by the cliff and had lunch (and too much rose!) at one of the cafes along the path. The view is beautiful and it felt like a breath of fresh air, away from much of the commercialism of the area. I envy you, my friend.

          Aside from that, I love cooking and shopping for food on vacation. It is one of the many pleasures of travel. My favorite meal during our stay in the south of France last summer was a simple roast chicken and salad that we prepared and enjoyed outdoors on our terrasse

          1. re: Kat

            It's heaven on earth..and the I know our vacay has truly arrived when we drop our belongings off , get in the car, and drive to the Geant hyper marche in Mandelieau to stock up on the!

    2. Definitely! I love staying somewhere with a kitchen and bonus points if it's walking distance to a market. I have find memories of family vacations to the Outer Banks and the huge meals my dad would make for dinner and breakfast. Plus, it's so much easier and less expensive. Sometimes, after a full day, I just want to eat in my pj's. And I hate having to go out for breakfast!

      1 Reply
      1. re: Hobbert

        That's another reason! I don't usually enjoy breakfast out, very often it's overpriced and something you could make better at home.

      2. I like cooking on vacation if I am some place where the local ingredients make cooking a treat, where doing the necessary shopping is part of the fun. I've only ended up doing cooking on vacation while in Italy, and I loved it. Plus, it gave me the chance to drink with dinner, which I couldn't do if I was going to have to drive the Amalfi coast road to get us home from dinner, as I did on one trip.

        1. You are not alone. Nothing beats cooking outdoors especially if there is an abundance of regional/local ingredients, freshly acquired fish, foraged blackberries etc. If we are staying in a time share location that we travel to by automobile we bring favorite foods/booze and staples with us but look for great fresh foods to purchase and make a party out of.

          3 Replies
          1. re: MamasCooking

            Your mention of foraged berries takes me back to one of the best breakfasts ever, a Cape Cod camping event of blueberry pancakes (after picking the berries up above Highland Light) and scrambled eggs with linguica, the local Portugese sausage. You ask if anyone else likes to cook on vacation. I would go so far as to say that people who eat only in restaurants on vacation and do not venture into local markets and use local materials and COOK miss about 25% of the experience.

            1. re: Querencia

              But those people are super happy not cooking. I have multiple friends who like nothing better than to go to all-inclusive resorts (Hawaii/Mexico) and never so much as make a cup of coffee. To each their own. Not for me but still wouldn't the world be boring if we all liked the same thing.

              1. re: Querencia

                I still forage for blackberries and if we had wild blueberries here in N California I would be out there gathering away. Right now I am trying to figure out a way to nab some loquats from the next door neighbors tree without being detected this coming spring:)

            2. Add me to the list of people who love to cook on vacation! It probably stems from my childhood - we would rent a beach cottage (really, a plywood shack) for a week every year and cook out almost every night. One or two nights of those weeks, we'd go out for a meal, but for me, the best meals were eaten off paper plates while still in my bathing suit and wrapped in a towel. Our vaca spot was close enough (1.5 hours driving) that we would have family friends come up and visit, and it would be a huge day and a half long picnic. It was awesome.

              Next month, my husband and I are going to Costa Rica with a small group of friends and renting an apartment/condo thing. I've been there before, he hasn't. We have a full kitchen, a grill, and a well-stocked local supermarket a 5 minute walk away. I can't wait! We'll go out to eat a couple nights, but I'm looking forward to all of us cooking friend who organized the trip also loves cooking and is really good at it (she worked in restaurants for over 10 years), so it's gonna be awesome...and delicious.