Cottage Cooking

We will be vacationing en masse as a family of 17 shortly.  My parents have splurged on three cottages at a lakeside resort in western Ontario and we (assorted family units spread across three generations) will be soaking up the sun, fishing off the dock, swimming in the lake, making s’mores by the campfire, and trying to give each other space when necessary.

I’m all about keeping things simple on vacation.  The cottages come with basic furnished kitchens (woohoo) but not with grills (sigh).   I’m a don’t-turn-on-the-oven type of girl in the summer – unless the temperatures have dropped a bit.   We don’t have air con in our home at the moment and these days that feel like 40C leave you sweltering.  *If* I even drum up the energy to cook (we eat a lot of fruit and veggies and salads and sandwiches in the summer) – if I cook, it’s done over the BBQ or involves a quick pan-fry – no fuss, no muss.    It also involves a fully stocked kitchen… and it still requires time in said kitchen.  We’re going to have to think outside the box – err… oven – for some simple to serve meals that keep everyone satisfied.

I don’t want to spend tons of time prepping while we’re away – I want it easy, peasy, but tasty and delicious.  I’m not into a week of hot dogs or sandwiches on repeat… so today I spent the morning finessing our vacation meal plan and prepping freezer meals.  All I’ll have to do while we’re away is thaw in the fridge while I’m lakeside and pop on the grill at dinnertime.  (Oh wait… didn’t I mention they don’t have grills?  Why, yes, I did!  We found a great little tabletop propane grill at Walmart on clearance for less than $20.  It will be added to our camping stash when we return.)   If I’m not grilling, I plan on plopping the whole frozen mess (mmm…. appetizing!) in the crockpot for even less work!

Here is a week (almost) of cottage meal-planning – I’ve asterisked (is that a word?) the meals I’ve prepped in advance and possibly frozen.  The odd meal I won’t prep until right before we leave, but I did a big chunk of it today.


  • Cinnamon Rolls* (prepared, but frozen – thaw & bake)
  • Smoothies* (I froze into individual packs and will bring my personal blender along)
  • Blueberry Pancakes* &  sausage (mix measured into a jar, blueberries frozen and bagged)
  • Bacon, eggs, pierogies & fruit
  • Granola Parfaits* (prepped in jars, granola measured in top cup)
  • Breakfast Wraps


  • Cheddar smokies & veggie sticks
  • Nibblers – salami/pepperettes, cheese, fruit, crackers
  • DIY subs
  • leftovers / munchies
  • Burgers* (prepped and frozen)
  • Pulled Pork* (prepped for crockpot)
  • Turkey Chili* & Cornbread* (my chili will be partially prepped and frozen for the crockpot.  I haven’t decided whether to bake and freeze the cornbread, or just freeze the batter and bake later.)
  • Tacos* (meat prepped for crockpot – we’ll go light on the toppings)
  • BBQ Chicken Packets* (prepped & frozen)
  • Chicken Caesar Wraps* (chicken seasoned & frozen – will slice after grilling)
We also have some classics to bring along (s’mores anyone?) and lots of fresh fruit/veggies – a friend of mine is away and has offered me here half-share CSA order from one of the local farms.  (This makes me happy… very, very happy!)   I also expect additional veggies will be ready for the picking from my own garden – we froze a bunch of fresh picked produce last week because we’re just not going through it fast enough.   Yum!   My last culinary experiment will be a batch of Spiced Peanut & Cashew Caramel Corn to share – I found the recipe in the current summer Food & Drink magazine at the LCBO. 
What are your favourite camping/cottage/getaway meals?

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