Hassle-free cottage cooking

The cottage is supposed to be a place for relaxation and enjoyment, but we often forget this when it comes to hosting our friends and family. While all families have their own cooking routines, as well as food preferences and diet restrictions, there are some general tricks you can follow to make the most of your time spent at the cottage.

The first step is to stock up on the essential items. The initial shop at the beginning of cottage season tends to be the priciest. Purchasing meat, bread and other freezable items in bulk will save you both time and money. Store your beef burgers, chicken breasts, sausages, hot dogs, veggie burgers and other versatile meats in your chest or upright freezer, along with buns, bread, bagels, frozen veggies and whatever else you prefer. You also want to have certain pantry items on hand, as well as spices, condiments and dressings (items easily stored, with longer expiration rates). For those who enjoy an alcoholic beverage now and then, it’s also a good idea to buy your liquor, beer and wine in bulk. Often, guests will bring a bottle of wine or other beverage as a hosting gift and this can help contribute to your selection.

Everyone loves to barbecue at the cottage. And you may be surprised with the array of possibilities a barbecue brings to your cooking regime. Try out some new recipes for barbecued potatoes or corn on the cob. You can even barbecue bacon for breakfast and save the leftovers for BLTs for lunch!

For families spending time together at the cottage (specifically those with adult children), try to get everyone involved in the preparing and cooking of meals. Designate specific meals to certain individuals to help share the responsibility and fun. And those who aren’t necessarily skilled in cooking can take on other tasks, such as clean up duty. To split on cost, you could also suggest each couple or individual brings the food they will need for the meal they are cooking for the group.

Planning ahead and sharing responsibility will not only mean a hassle-free holiday, but it will also help make the cooking and preparing of meals a fun part of your stay.

For more ideas that can help make your entertaining easier, visit www.scratchanddent.ca or stop by the store at 407 Gage Avenue, Unit #4 in Kitchener. A friendly staff member would be happy to help you or take your questions at 519-743-3623.