The meals that you cook on your vacation greatly depend on your preferences. We have done it two ways – very basic with very little actual “cooking” (hot dogs, sandwiches, cereal) and also much more gourmet with bbq tri-tip, full heavy breakfasts, hot meals at lunch – but have now settled somewhere in between.
We have found that if your meals are too plain and repetitive, you get very bored by the end of the week. But if you plan for too much prep & cooking, people are stranded in the kitchen too long! And that kitchen can get HOT at certain times of the day! We suggest utilizing the BBQ as much as possible – especially for dinners.
Every adult & every child helps cook at least twice during the week. Each meal is broken down into whether it is “easy”, “medium” or “hard” to cook. If someone prefers to BBQ, I’ll make sure they are on that meal. If someone an admitted poor cook, I will make sure to put them on an “easy” meal.
We try to pre-cook and freeze any of our meats. We also pre-cook any salads (macaroni, potato, tuna). We splurge and buy pre-cooked bacon as well. This is more expensive but so much more convenient!
Something that is of great debate is whether to bring paper/plastic utensils. Again – we have done it both ways and now only use the provided dishes. Paper/plastic makes so much GARBAGE! That garbage either has to be stored on the front of the boat where it attracts bees and bears or you have to take a half hour trek to the marina to dump it. Is it so bad to do dishes 2 meals out of 20 during the week? We have never run out of water and we have never filled up our holding tank doing it this way. We use the hot lake water to wash and the hot fresh water to rinse.
We do bring large styrofoam cups that we label with everyone’s names and we re-use those for cocktails throughout the week. Our group is particularly fond of blended drinks such as Pina Coladas or Mudslides. The styrofoam helps keep them insulated as you sip them on your floatie 🙂
However you plan you food, I suggest you go over your quantities with a fine tooth comb. There is very limited shopping sources on the lake and you will pay a pretty penny for anything you forget or run out of! It is always better to have more than you think you need.
We did discover “Lakeshore Villa Market” last year, which is off of I-5 on Lakeshore Drive on the opposite side of the freeway from Antlers Road. This is still more expensive than you will want to spend but definitely cheaper and many more options than you will find in any of the marinas! We are planning to bring only the first half of the weeks fruits and veggies and then make a trip up there on Wednesday to buy the 2nd half.
Remember that the refrigerators and freezers are “swamp” style and do not keep things as cold as at home. And if you are opening and closing them constantly, they will never catch up. Add to that the 95-100 degree sun shining on the side of the boat and you will want to be very careful about the types of food you bring. Anything frozen that we bring is usually thawed by the time we are ready to use it for the meals, and that is keeping it in the freezer!