Foodie Friday, Myrtle Beach edition. I’m on the annual golf trip with my buddies (our 21st, thank you) and as you might expect I get to do a good chunk of the cooking while we’re here. That’s not a complaint. This area has a serious lack of high-quality restaurants and over the years our group has figured out that staying in and spending the money on high quality ingredients trumps paying for mediocre food dining out. I certainly don’t mind cooking. There is lots of willing and competent help here and those who can’t cook are eager to clean up the mess. Perfect!
There is one thing I have learned over the years that actually is a pretty good business thought too. If you’ve ever been on vacation and tried to cook in the rental’s kitchen you know that you are facing a serious challenge. I think the same company puts the identical dull knives, glass cutting board, and crappy pans into rental condos everywhere. I don’t mind the mismatched dinnerware nor the 2 slice toaster (ever made toast for 12 in a 2 slicer?). I do mind the ridiculous – and dangerous – other equipment. What do we do?
We bring our own. A couple of good knives, a full-sized rubber cutting board, some serious BBQ tools, a large pot and/or non-stick pan with a lid can make all the difference. It also requires some smart meal planning choices. You have to accept that you’re going to stick to basics that don’t require a lot of pans and hopefully very few steps. Roasted large cuts of meat and better than individual steaks and braises are better than sautes. You plan your product based on conditions as well as your ability to support it. Which is the point.
Different conditions, a changed situation means you need to plan ahead, figure out the appropriate resources, and adjust your strategy. Doing hat you’ve always done and which has satisfied your customers in the past might not have a chance in the situation you’re facing. No one starves on this trip – we eat quite well, actually – but I don’t even think about making the stuff I’d prepare at home in my fully stocked kitchen. I don’t try to make it all perfect; I do try to keep the boys fed and happy. You can think about that the next time the marketplace puts you in a strange business kitchen.