Help me with feeding my inlaws for Christmas vacation - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 12-23-2010, 07:48 AM - Thread Starter
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My husband and I are renting a cabin in the snow for the week between Christmas and New Years (beyond excited!). We will be alone with our dogs and 8 mo DS for the first 3 days, then his brother and parents are joining us for the remainder of the trip. I am freaking out about what to feed them! Me and hubby eat a pretty healthy and varied diet, and his family is definitely the meat and potatoes or fast food type.  They're nice and never complain about eating with us, but usually its one meal... not 4 days straight! I'm trying to find a compromise that will make everyone happy, and manage not to break the bank. Because its a 5 hour drive and the car will already be packed to the brim I am planning on buying groceries when we get there. The house has a full kitchen but won't have things like flour and oil and spices. What should we make? I was trying to come up with meals that could re-use some of the same ingredients but am just drawing a blank. A typical meal at my in laws would be roasted pork loin, BBQ tri tip, hot cheesy potato salad, and white bread rolls. They aren't opposed to vegetables, they just never seem to make them. No one has any allergies, FIL hates onions but I think anything else is fair game. I prefer not to eat red meat or white flour but can make an exception for one week. FIL's favorite meal in the world is tacos, so I'd like to have that one night. If you're still reading this thank you, I know I'm all over the place. I'm trying to figure it all out in advance so that we can bring whatever spices we'll need instead of spending money on new ones. I also have a crock pot I can bring. We saved money all year for this trip, and now I'm worried that breakfast/lunch/dinner for that many people is going to completely blow our budget!

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#2 of 4 Old 12-23-2010, 01:45 PM
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Are you responsible for feedi g everybody that entire time? I would coordinaye w your MIL, maybe they were planning on going out one night, or she'd like to be responsible for breakfast or something. No reason you should get stuck doing/paying for all of it.

We just did a cabin Retreat a few months ago. I kept things simple, spice-wise. Salt, pepper and some fresh herbs. Easy breakfasts would be eggs, french toast if you prefer something sweet, hash, oatmeal, etc. Cold lunches are the easiest (sandwiches, veggie sticks, etc), although a crockpot of soup would be nice after playing in the snow.

One thing to think about... If you normally cook for leftovers, coordinate them into lunches the next day. I ran into the problem of having no way to pack home the leftovers, i hadnt even thought about it.

Since you know you want to make tacos, make a list of the ingredients you'll need and then see what other meals use some of those ingredients. The leftovers can be turned into enchiladas or quesadillas the second night. Or breakfast burritos The beans can be turned into bean dip, or bean soup. The veggies can be used in a green salad. Or the beans and veg can be mixed together to make a cold bean salad that goes nicely at lunch. Etc.

Since you'll be there a few days before the ILs join you, i'd start by roasting a chicken the first night. Second night make something w the meat. If theres any meat left on the 3rd day, make a chicken salad and stick the carcass in the crockpot to make stock. Then you can just add whatever you like to make a big pot of soup, and it hardly cost you anything.

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#3 of 4 Old 12-23-2010, 02:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you, I love the chicken idea! And you're right about the leftovers... I'm used to freezing what we don't eat, I'll try to figure out ways to use it up!


Yes, unfortunately we are paying for the whole food bill. My husband's parents don't have any money and never do anything "fun" so we decided to include them on our trip as a special gift. They wanted to help with the costs so my MIL gave my DH $100 but he felt guilty taking that much so he snuck $60 back to his dad:) We budget some $ every month to be able to take a trip at the end of the year, but we hadn't planned on so many extra people and how much it costs to feed them. Its not a huge deal, mostly I just want to find a compromise of what we can eat that will make everyone happy.


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#4 of 4 Old 12-23-2010, 06:29 PM
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You've gotten great advice from pp.  I'd think about making chilis and stews in the crockpot for dinners.... or a bean pot (like a Cuban bean pot.... it's basically black beans, served over rice, with hot sauce and cilantro- yummy).... just throw dinner in the crock pot in the am, feeds a ton of people, and can be fairly economical, too, if you cook grains, beans, and cheap cuts of meat. 

Good luck,


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