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Cooking for a week self-catering in the UK - how do you manage it?

(20 Posts)
Chestnutx3 Sat 22-Oct-11 17:41:41

I know DH will go on about how we need to self cater and not go out for lots of expensive meals while on holiday. But what sort of holiday is it for me if I have to cook breakfast, lunch & dinner.

Think my preference is to go out for a large lunch, then cook a light meal for us all in the evenings - baked potatoes, pizza, soup etc...

DH does not cook - well he can do beans and toast, cheese and toast and bacon sandwiches!

What do you do for food when away for a week?

WipsGlitter Sat 22-Oct-11 17:43:03

Ready meals.

Tinkerisdead Sat 22-Oct-11 17:47:28

I've done it before where i've batch cooked evening meals and frozen. Take in cool box. Ive taken the slow cooker and left that on or bought ready meals/frozen pizzas etc.

We have basic breakfast, picnic lunches so its only eve meal.

LucilleBallbag Sat 22-Oct-11 17:51:45

we don't cook much - agree this wouldn't make for much of a holiday.
we have pub lunch most days, unless picnicking, and then visit local farm shops for nice bread, cakes and local cheeses to pick at during the evenings.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 22-Oct-11 18:27:53

When we self-catered last year we had cereals/toast at breakfast. Lunch was sandwiches and soup. Supper was grilled steaks/burgers/chicken/skewers/fish with green and ready-made salads (coleslaw/potato/bean) or we ate out.

KatharineClifton Sat 22-Oct-11 18:29:18

Live on 'beans and toast, cheese and toast and bacon sandwiches!'

Why is your husband so lazy btw?

Hassled Sat 22-Oct-11 18:30:58

If your DH will go on about the need to self-cater while not actually doing any of the catering, you might need to point out that he doesn't actually have a leg to stand on. Or book him some cooking lessons for Christmas.

It's not a holiday for you at all if you're just cooking the same amount in a different setting - it's way more stressful with unfamiliar equipment etc. Bread and cheese and cold meat will be fine. I take it he does know how to wash up?

Chestnutx3 Sat 22-Oct-11 18:44:43

He insists on cottages that have a dishwasher grin

Chestnutx3 Sat 22-Oct-11 18:48:22

Think the problem is MIL did the same throughout his childhood and she always cooked and rarely went out to restaurants when away on holiday. We had two weeks self catering in the summer and it didn't feel like a holiday for me. Its the planning and buying the food that also gets to me.

HollyBollyBooBoo Sat 22-Oct-11 18:55:26

One pot wonders, shove them in the oven before you go out for the day and come back to a meal.

Go on the Good Food website and they have a whole section dedicated to this sort of meal.

scotgirl Sat 22-Oct-11 18:59:05

I've just returned from a week self catering. It wasn't too bad.

Waitrose arrived an hour after we did. I bought things like frozen fish pies and tins of sweetcorn. Sausage and I made mash. Lots of easy packed lunch stuff (mini pitas, houmous, crisps etc). Lots of tasty puddings (bought of course) kept the kids happy.

We ate out a few nights some nights be had a bigger lunch and a soup type dinner.

I always get my shopping delivered - someone will always deliver.Last year in Banburgh it came via Asda from northern Newcastle (and I had a free code!)

Book your slot, pour a glass of wine and plan 3 evening meals, lots of lunch things, breakfast stuff and lots of booze - job done!

Take a box of stuff from home - coffee, tea, olive oil etc as well.

dinkystinky Sat 22-Oct-11 19:05:52

Ready meals or local farm hops - plenty do nice meals you can reheat - are a good option. Do a smorgasboard dinner one night and slow cooker meal a couple of other nights and you're sorted.

wahwahwah Sat 22-Oct-11 19:06:11

We generally go to the whiles of wanee (so my mum used to day) so we get a smallis box and fill with the essentials - herbs and spices, pasta, rice, flour/yeast to make bread, crackers... And do a huge shop on the way for fruit and veg. Breakfast is generally toast, porridge, coffee (my expresso maker HAS to come too) and fruit. Lunch is generally out of a huge picnic , and dinner a big pasta or risotto of really thick soup (make loads and it wil do for lunch the next day). And lots of wine (keeps the midges away).

If we are abroad, we go to local markets and pick out the most unusual foods we can find and try to cook them.

wicketkeeper Sat 22-Oct-11 19:16:55

We did this years ago with DD, DD's friend (both aged 12), and DS aged 6. We did a night each - DD and friend did stuff they were capable of (heating up tins of soup, pot noodles, yogurt for pudding), DH did a BBQ, I cooked up something nutritious just to redress the balance, and when it was the 6 year old's 'turn' we went out for a meal.

A couple of years ago we did something similar -more kids and a different DH, plus an assortment of boyfriends. I sorted breakfasts (cereal or toast, help yourself), we had 'do it yourself' sandwiches for lunch. And in the evening we had couples taking turns - they were responsible for all the shopping, cooking and clearing away on 'their' day. Lord we ate a lot of pasta and pesto, but also a very passable risotto and DH again did BBQ and I made sure they had lots of veg when it was my turn (once a mother always a mother...). I found an amiable lack of interest in what was happening in the kitchen was best.

Insist on DH taking his turn - be reasonable about what he's capable of cooking (but surely even he could manage to put frozen pizzas in the oven and open a bag of salad??), and stay out of the kitchen while he's doing it. And never, ever stay anywhere that doesn't have a dishwasher.

Ephiny Sat 22-Oct-11 19:20:06

I don't believe your DH really can't cook anything at all (other than beans on toast etc). When are you going on holiday? Surely there's time for him to learn to cook a couple of simple dinners.

We tend to go out for one or two evenings, and on the others we take turns to cook. I sometimes cheat and make a big batch of something (stew, curry, bolognese or similar) to last us for two meals, and put the leftovers in the fridge!

For lunches we sometimes have a pub lunch, otherwise make a packed lunch if we're out walking and won't be near any source of food!

Can you compromise on cost by eating out some of the time, maybe two or three meals? You definitely need to get DH to pull his weight with the shopping and planning and cooking though. Say two dinners and two lunches are his responsibility - he has to decide what to make, work out what ingredients are needed, and either buy them or give you a list if you're doing the shop, and then actually cook them!

I'd stick with cereal and toast and similar for breakfast, keep it simple, no one wants to be cooking three times a day on holiday!

Chestnutx3 Sat 22-Oct-11 19:30:27

Ephiny he lived off ready meals for 15 years before he met me. He has no time before this holiday to plan, nor do I really except tonight let alone cook.
He is away with work until we go away, so I need to pack us all up, plan what to eat, order the online delivery, probably have to drive us all there (5 hours drive as he will be too tired as he will arrive home in the early hours of the morning we need to set off), then unpack me and DC clothes, unpack the online delivery and cook dinner. He wonders why I am stressed. He has to pack his own clothes and he will get stressed about that tomorrow, then unpack when we get there (only his clothes of course but nag me about unpacking my clothes!)! He is also responsible for packing the car - which he then screams to me about packing too much...

AnnoyingOrange Sat 22-Oct-11 19:30:29

We like self catering -find it more relaxing to let the kids do their thing whilst we cook.

We do a mix of ready meals and simple stuff like steak, a bag of salad and ready made potato salad, or chilli, spag bol, risotto.

Plus we eat out as well

EssentialFattyAcid Sat 22-Oct-11 19:34:17

Why will you make 3 meals a day? If you are going to cook the main meal surely dh can do the other two meals?

Also seriously your dh is a grown up, surely he can follow a recipe and learn to make a few standard meals?

didldidi Sat 22-Oct-11 19:37:45

Don't think I would bother going with him to be honest - is he like that at home too?

Ephiny Sat 22-Oct-11 21:31:06

Oh dear, sounds very stressful! I didn't realise you were going so soon, obviously a bit late for him to develop cooking skills in time for the holiday then, but maybe something to think about for the future.

If he really can't manage any 'proper' meals at such short notice, at least he can make beans on toast or similar for lunch on some days? At least it gives you a break from cooking absolutely every meal.

I hope he'll be doing the washing up!

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