Cooking at home…on vacation

| 2/17/2013 12:28:37 PM

What do you pack for your tropical vacation? Sundress, sandals, sunhat, toothbrush, bathing suit, pancake mix, herbs, sprouting seeds. Wait … what?

Yep, I did this. And I’m aware, some of you think I’m nuts. You’re thinking, "Loosen up, take a cooking break, go to a restaurant." But some of you, and you know who you are, pack like this too. Or want to pack like this for your next trip.

I like to cook on vacation. I want to eat and feel healthy on a trip, I want to save money, and I’d rather spend time in the kitchen than in a restaurant. So we try to rent a place with a full kitchen and hope that “full kitchen” means baking pans and the works. But even if they think no vacationer will ever want a rolling pin on their trip, the improvising is half the fun of cooking in a rental kitchen.

Your list of essentials may look different, but here are some highlights from my culinary suitcase:

A Ziploc of herbs and spices — little jars of garam masala and curry powder, and rosemary and oregano from the garden. I could live without them, but rental kitchens often only stock salt and pepper. I have eaten very plain meals on previous trips for this reason. But not this trip! Twice we prepared fresh, local-caught red snapper, once with garam masala on the grill, and the next day with a curry rice and onions. The herbs were a great accent that linger on my memory in a spicey way. Spices were worth their suitcase space and more.

Sprouting Seeds: Grow your own on vacation? Yep! I sprouted my own sprouts in a glass drinking jar. This makes me grin, but the tasty healthy salad was worth it. If you are staying in one location for three days, you have time. I brought sprouts and a little cotton mesh bag to strain the sprouts. Just add water. HERE are the details on how to sprout.

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