There’s nothing worse than arriving at your vacation rental — in the woods, at the lake or on the shore — ready for lazy-day meals and summer evening gatherings and learning all the knives are dull and there isn’t a serving bowl or a corkscrew in the house. Once you’ve spotted that cute farmers market or honor-system farm, the fishmonger and amazing butcher or had that first hankering for a dutch-oven crumble or perfect pancakes and bacon in the morning, you’ll wish you’d packed a little more wisely.
Here’s the gear to bring from home to ensure hang outs, cookouts, swim sessions, stargazing outings, naps or adventures are fueled with delicious meals, just like at home (only, better, because they’re not at home.)
First, yes, you want your own knives. Pack a chef’s knife, a paring knife and a serrated knife. Pick up a set of inexpensive blade covers and slip them on, then wrap your knives in plastic wrap and pack everything in an inexpensive canvas tool pouch (not an unwieldy towel and rubber band situation.)
Second, yes, bring sheet pans to camp. You’re going to need surfaces to transport items to and from the fire or grill. These work beautifully and clean easily.
Lastly, is a blender really necessary for the rental? Absolutely. If you want smoothies, soups, pesto, homemade nut butters … you name it, the blender helps no matter what’s on the menu.
The lists below are specific, depending on whether you’re staying inside or out.