Now, travelling with a lot of kids (or just big-family travelling in general) is what you make it. It can either be one of the most fun experiences …. or just ….. “normal” life relocated. I remember travelling when I was younger, and my mother never really seemed to be able to enjoy herself as much as the rest of us. Why? Well, there is still washing and cooking and cleaning, etc. So for her, it was just normal life in a different spot. I don’t call that a whole heap of fun, so I strive to make our visits to Ocean Echoes a tad different. The Devil is in the details people, so when it comes to feeding big families, listen up and let’s do a little planning ahead.
Most of our visits to Ocean Echoes consist of my mum, my sister, and her two girls (my crazy nieces). Plus whoever else gets thrown in the mix for good measure! For these extras, whether they be friends our kids or mates of the adults, I love that they feel just as at home in our beach house as any of our guests. This means getting involved, especially at mealtimes, but we’ll get to that in a moment!
As you may know, my husband and I have 4 ferals (see Ocean Echoes Origin Story), and with my sisters’ 2, plus extras, we can usually have about 7-8 kids in the house. I think once your number of kids gets to 3, you realise you’ve run out of hands and lost control, so we just embrace the chaos.
So, to keep your sanity during mealtimes on a big scale….here are my
Top 3 Tips
Before we leave for the trip, I spend a day cooking. I get the silver oven trays with the cardboard tops, about 2kg of mince, 1kg of chicken and some beef, and cooking ensues! I just cook my kids favourites, because who wants to be fighting about eating when you’re on holidays?! So, Lasagne, Enchiladas, Tuna Mornay, Curries, Stir-Fries. It doesn’t matter, as long as it can be cooked up quick and freezes well, you’re done. Freeze them beforehand, throw in an esky and bring with you.
There is room for about 6 of these trays in the freezer section of the fridge. They are super-easy to just throw into the oven the next day!
If you need any inspiration, feel free to check out some recipes I’ve put together here,Ocean Echoes Go-To Recipes
One thing I hated when travelling, was wanting to cook a big meal up for the family, and having to buy a whole tub of oregano, when I only needed a spoonful. So! Ocean Echoes Pantry comes fully stocked.
There is however, a full array of herbs and spices, vinegars and flours. It’s all there for you to use so you don’t have to bring it with you. My Pantry List (OE Pantry List-2 ) shows anything else that was there when I last took inventory! The local IGA is great and very close to home, (2 mins drive) but if you decide you need more, then here’s tip number two!
I suggest doing an online shop with the local Batemans Bay Woolworths, and having it delivered after you arrive. It saves a lot of good relaxing time!
Get that wine ready….we’re nearly there!
Now this is the easy one, pair up an older kid with a younger one, and they are in charge of setting the table and making sure meals are ready. An adult can help with the cooking part, but if you’ve been smart and planned ahead, you only need to throw it in the oven anyway! Kids get the table set with everything needed and sort out a salad or any condiments. Then clean up afterwards, and throw it all in the dishwasher! My 15yo boy and 7yo girl are excellent roster-buddies. If everyone is doing the roster, stuff just gets done. Kids are more capable than we think, parents, so let them get on with it and it means you can have a break as well….you are on holidays after all!
Over and Out.