When our family comes home from a day of skiing, we are:
A) happy B) hungry C) tired or D) all of above.
We answer it with “D.” We are definitely “all of the above,” and usually in that order.
As the mom, I have to answer this question as well: Mom, I’m hungry. What’s for dinner? This question can be especially challenging to answer when we’re on a ski vacation.
While enjoy dining out as much as the next family, eating out every night of a ski vacation can get old, not to mention, expensive. During busy times, such as on weekends or during the holidays, restaurants are often booked or have long waits. And while your five year-old may be game the first night, by night three, he’s asleep in your lap before the entrees arrive.
If you’re staying in a hotel, you don’t have many choices, so you’ll be eating out. My best advice is to make reservations for the coming week as soon as you arrive. But if you’ve booked a condo, you’ve got a kitchen. Now all you need is food: Good, easy food.
We are skiers first and cooks second (or maybe third). We don’t want to spend a lot of time prepping or making complicated dishes on vacation (or anytime). What we want is a good hot meal, as delicious as any you’ll find in the best restaurant, but that doesn’t require us to leave our cozy condo. Here’s how to do it.
1) Be Prepared. Before you leave home, plan several meals. Make a list of the ingredients you’ll need to buy. If you need spices, measure them, bag them for each recipe and bring them along. Don’t assume that the condo will have anything more than a frying pan and sauce pan. Keep it simple.
2) Shop Before You Ski. If you can, shop when you arrive. Try not to wait until after a day of skiing. It is so much more fun to return to your warm condo after a day on snow and have hot chocolate, adult beverages, snacks and your dinner ingredients waiting for you. You can relax, not rush.
3) All Hail the Crock Pot. If you’re driving, bring a crock pot. Recipes abound on the Internet. Find some good ones and gather your ingredients. Assemble everything in the morning, flip the switch and dinner is done. You’ll be your own hero.
4) Bring a cookbook. I am devoted to The Ski House Cookbook by Sarah Pinneo and Tina Anderson (read my review). Written by skiers for skiers, the recipes are rated green, blue and black and cover everything from breakfast to cocktails. The green and blue recipes (I’ve not ever tried a black — too lazy!) are quick and fresh, and taste as sophisticated as anything you’ll find in most restaurants. We take The Ski House Cookbook everywhere, winter and summer. Spaghetti carbonara or maybe blue-cheese stuffed burgers, anyone?
Portions of this post originally published at the Liftopia.com blog on January 4, 2012.
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