I enjoy having my family visit me for a longer period. A few decades ago, we started spending a whole week together on the beach in North Carolina with my brother’s and my family. We rent an apartment and just relax with the family. It’s been a fantastic time! It’s because I love to cook (and eat) that I usually focus on this area. Planning ahead has helped me to be able to spend more time with family members, rather than just focusing on food meal of seafood.
The following tips have helped us make our beach trip more organized and stress-free. There are many things you’ll need for the beach. You will have wine, sodas and water to drink, toiletries like tissues and paper towels, as well as toiletries such as foil and napkins. Create a master list, then decide what you would prefer to buy and bring from home, and which items you’d rather purchase in the grocery stores at the beaches. But let’s concentrate on the food. Then, I list the menus for those nights where we will not be dining out, but instead cooking together. Since the sun can be so tiring, don’t forget about the appetizers and desserts! Breakfasts are important, as well as lunches and evening meals. Let us begin with breakfasts.
I like to take a couple recipes with me that can easily be made at the destination. These include a breakfast casserole, coffee cake or muffins. Consider cereals, bagels and juices. All depends on the group. And don’t forget the coffee. Sub sandwiches, pasta salad, nachos and peanut butter & jelly or grilled cheesy sandwiches are the most common lunch items. You can buy the majority of your lunch items at the beaches, but you can prepare the pasta salad and beef for tacos ahead. Beef can be frozen. Dinners are next. The main dishes, sides and desserts are discussed. We dine out at restaurants half the nights, but the other three to four will require us to cook in our condo.
We prepare and buy at least one meal of seafood because this is always our beach vacation. I always buy shrimp and scallions and deep-fry them using the local breading. After a long beach day, we always have a huge appetite. So pasta with meatballs is a great choice. We can make meatballs, pasta sauce and even freeze them. Also, I bake a few bagsuettes that I then freeze. A grilled teriyaki version of chicken breasts is another idea. We choose to have fresh seafood as a 4th dinner. Shrimp are a favorite of our group. In the past, I have made steamed and fried shrimp for this meal. You can find great cocktail dressing at your local fish market, or you can make it yourself.