- 19 Apr 2015
- Local time
- 6:01 PM
- Maidstone, Kent, UK
One year we were heading to Paignton, Devon. My dad was driving our car with my sister and me (must have been someone else also) and mum was driving my aunt's car behind with her. Mum managed to roll it (Ford Popular) and luckily it ended in a field and no-one was hurt. If I remember correctly (I was probably 7 at the time) we found every item except for a tin of pilchards.I haven't been on a "self catering holiday" since I was a kid. The family always did back then; we even took a second car (my aunt's) full of provisions (my mum didn't believe you could buy "proper food" down south).
You wouldn't do that journey in 5 hours these days. I'm a good 2-3 hours south of Leeds, and it took me 4.5 hours to drive to Plymouth a couple of weeks ago,One year we were heading to Paignton, Devon. My dad was driving our car with my sister and me (must have been someone else also) and mum was driving my aunt's car behind with her. Mum managed to roll it (Ford Popular) and luckily it ended in a field and no-one was hurt. If I remember correctly (I was probably 7 at the time) we found every item except for a tin of pilchards.
It took two days to drive from Leeds to Paignton back then; in 1978 I was driving from Leeds to Plymouth in just over 5 hours.
When our kids were small we used to go camping at quinneys bush. About 4 to 5 hrs north of here. I used to cook on a three burner gas cooker. My kids still talk about my roast chicken and veges even today. Cooked in the awning. My kids said they were the best holidays ever, breky then gone til lunch then gone til tea time. Rides on sacks pulled by local farmer. Wouldn't get away with it now.I travel a lot, but rarely for vacations. When I have time away from airports and hotels, I tend to spend it at home, or visiting close friends.
If I am visiting close friends who cook, I love to cook with them. There is always some alcohol involved, and we have a great time cooking, eating, drinking and laughing.
When I travel, for business or pleasure, I stay in hotels, so I can't cook. I always gain weight. A salad at a restaurant has 1,500 calories.
But, when I have a chance to travel to certain destinations, I go in search of local foods. If I am on the coast, I look for local seafood. If I go somewhere new, I look for recommendations from the locals. I discovered Walleye that way in South Dakota. Wow, that was good. When I'm in NYC, I usually stay in Brooklyn (a lot cheaper than Manhattan), and have my list of places charted out. New Orleans, I stuff myself with cajun and creole food. New England in the summer, I'm sitting at a dockside bar eating little necks and sipping a cold beer after my work is done.
My vacations used to be camping trips, but I haven't done that in a while. I always cooked on camping trips. There is just something special about cooking over an open fire, and food always tastes better in the fresh country air.
In my twenties, I did backpacking and wilderness camping. I brought frozen meat and fresh veg to cook on the campfire. As I got older, the backpacking gave way to tent camping out of my truck. I could bring a cooler full of food to cook over the campfire, or on a grillI brought with me. When I got too old to sleep on the ground (and not hurt in the morning), I built a Teardrop Camper. I don't know if those are a thing down there, but there is a pretty big following up here.For us, holidays were always either camping or self catering cottage. We rarely if ever ate out even when we could because back then being vegetarian was hard enough in the locations we went to on holiday. Just going to Scotland wasn't really enough, we would be off to the Outer Hebrides (always a camping holiday) or to the Orkney's (again camping). A lot had to do with our budget and more to do with the fact I love camping.
Nowadays, well nothing has changed really. When we camp, we always cook. We have 2 trangia stoves though generally we only ever needed the one. The second one was an upgrade over the years from the very basic model I bought when I was 13 years old (so back in the 80's) and it didn't have the ability to take the gas conversion kit, so many many winters ago whilst camping in the Lake District when it got too cold for methylated spirits to light, we upgraded from the smaller older model (which suited 1-2 people) and bought the next size up (3-4 people) but it had that all important gas conversion hole. It was too cold at -18C (roughly 0F) for the meths. Mind you even the toothpaste and washing up liquid had frozen at that point (and most vehicles wouldn't start except for our strangely, it got used to start up quite a few other vehicles on the campsite that winter)...
Anyhow cooking. Yes I cook, but I often still to recipes or meals I know inside out, that can be done quickly and easily. But when self catering I have been known to take pretty much the entire spice rack so that we can just cook as normal.
Now, is pretty much no different. I guess hubby probably does more cooking than he would normally. I know he misses not cooking (he's actually quite a good cook provided the recipe does not have any mistakes in it or is one that benefits from being tasted as you go along to adjust herbs/spices/seasoning... He has been known to blindly follow recipes and not question typos and put tablespoons of salt into the soup instead of teaspoons, despite knowing that I hate the flavour of salt because I used to have to brush my teeth in it as a child).
So for us, cooking on holiday is normal but I guess when you have major dietary restrictions that make eating out difficult in the first place, you get used to it and just regard it as normal. I will however to prefer some meals in advance so that we can get away with only reheating for a few nights rather than cooking right from the moment we arrive.
If I remember correctly I used the M1, A38, M6, M5 and A38 again. Should I hit the M5/M6 junction at the wrong time it could easily add another hour. But I tried to plan it so that would not happen.You wouldn't do that journey in 5 hours these days. I'm a good 2-3 hours south of Leeds, and it took me 4.5 hours to drive to Plymouth a couple of weeks ago,
these are commonly seen on the roads around here. I've just thumbnailed them for those not interested, so you'll have to click on them to view the larger version. They don't take caravans lightly here. Motorhomes are just the same. In fact, I'm not certain I have even seen the equivalent of a British caravan...In my twenties, I did backpacking and wilderness camping. I brought frozen meat and fresh veg to cook on the campfire. As I got older, the backpacking gave way to tent camping out of my truck. I could bring a cooler full of food to cook over the campfire, or on a grillI brought with me. When I got too old to sleep on the ground (and not hurt in the morning), I built a Teardrop Camper. I don't know if those are a thing down there, but there is a pretty big following up here.
You have a sleeping chamber, and a galley. I did lots of cooking on those camping trips. I had a stove in the galley, and brought a small grill with me, or big grill or smoker along when I was camping with other teardroppers.
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We never eat in hotel restaurants, other than maybe breakfast since it's usually free and decent. Learned that lesson really quick.Much prefer self catering holidays. I find hotel food gets boring very quickly, and it's nice to shop and cook with local ingredients. Limited cooking facilities add another level to the challenge!