We arrived home last Wednesday night after spending three weeks at our vacation home in sunny Florida. We spend three months each year at our vacation home spread over three separate trips, usually flying. Flying is inexpensive and gets us there the same day unlike driving that ends up taking us two days with an overnight stop-over. That means I am very restricted as to what food I can bring from home to our vacation home since liquids are restricted to 3 oz or less only in the quantity that will fit in a one quart zipper bag, one bag per traveler. Thank goodness, I am not a make-up person! We have also found that certain powders like Morton's Tender Quick will result in extra screening at the airport security checkpoints. Now, as funny as that one was, and it was funny as the very friendly screening had never met someone who cured meats which led to an interesting conversation, I quickly decided in future to either mail these types of items to our vacation home or bring them with me when we drive. We can bring dried foods as long as they fit in our backpack, more dried foods if driving but it isn't feasible to try bringing meats or fish by either mode of travel.
I brought a few jars of home canned foods with us for a taste of home. It is surprising how much I've had to modify my cooking style at our vacation home simply because I don't have a lot of the ingredients, especially the home canned foods I am so accustomed to using. I brought salsa, Old Fashioned chili sauce, zesty bread & butter pickles, Mom's pizza sauce, picante sauce, roasted tomato garlic sauce, beef stock, pork & beans, whole kernel corn, black cherry jam, Italian garden sauce with mushrooms (not pictured) and low sugar chocolate raspberry sauce (not pictured). In hindsight, I should have brought another case of home canned foods so I may even mail more down before our return to our vacation home this year.
Eating at our vacation home is quite different than at home but I am finding that the more we are there, the more cooking from scratch we do. The biggest problem we face is not being able to store much in the way of food with the exception of the fall trips as food can be left in the cabinets and refrigerator. However, we rent the house out mid-January through mid-April, so all food that can not be safely stored in our homeowner's closet has to be cleared out. We also leave the house tenant ready after our spring stay just in case. Basically, we are restricted to storing a large Rubbermaid tote of food, mainly dried and commercially canned foods that will not be affected with the closet at room temperature. I don't store any home canned foods in the homeowner's closet.
Driving to our vacation home and back has a lot of benefits even though it takes longer. We are able to bring a taste of home with us and take back some of the new foods we discover while there as well as along the way. We also get the opportunity to do a bit of sight seeing along the way. Of course, there are a lot of foodie stops! Stay tuned for the foodie highlights of this leg of our fall stay at our vacation home...