Extended Family Vacation - How to Feed the Masses!
I grew up coming to the Outer Banks on vacation with my extended family and I always loved that my mom and her sisters would each take a night to cook. It was always more affordable and more convenient than going out to eat with a huge group and we got to try some foods that weren't in the normal rotation in our own homes by sharing the dinner responsibilities.
Over Spring Break our family traveled to Destin, Florida to celebrate my Father-in-Law’s birthday. It was a milestone year but we’re not actually allowed to talk about his age so I’m omiting that detail purposefully!
We had such a great week with family and loved watching the kids make memories with their cousins. Having everyone in the same beach house was fun but, as many of you likely know, 16 people in one house can present some challenges. Fortunately they were simple challenges like who cooks dinner and who drank the last spiked seltzer. It was an awesome week!
It’s tough to find a meal that suits 16 people who all have unique dietary requests and tastes but add to that the cost of food for 16 mouths and it can be a little tricky. My husband and I wanted to take a turn to cook for everyone but we needed to make sure that it fit into our vacation budget.
We did a little bit of research and ended up picking one of our favorite, tried and true recipes. Not only was the Shrimp and Sausage Boil delicious, we were able to keep the total under $75 for the entire family. Yes, you read that right! $75 for 16 meals!
Our only struggle with cooking for 16 people was that the kitchen in our beach house wasn’t very well stocked so we had to run out and buy cooking sheets at the last minute. It's always good to come on vacation with a game plan for your meals but make sure you check out the kitchen before you shop to make sure you will have everything that you need.
I shared some videos as I was cooking on Instagram and everyone wanted the recipe, so here it is!
SHRIMP & SAUSAGE BOIL:
For 16 people we purchased:
16 ears of corn which we broke into thirds
3 pounds of mild Italian sausage
3 pounds of fresh shrimp
3 pounds of red potatoes
4 sticks of butter
Old Bay Seasoning (brought from home)
Parsley (brought from home)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Spray a cooking sheet with olive oil or nonstick spray
Boil a large pot of water for corn and another large pot for potatoes
Cut potatoes into fourths, cut corn into thirds.
Cook potatoes for 10-15 minutes. Cook corn for 5 minutes.
In a small bowl, combine 4 sticks of melted butter, 2 tablespoons of garlic and 5 tablespoons of Old Bay Seasoning.
Cut sausage into small, bite sized pieces. Precook on the stove top for 8 minutes.
Put corn, potatoes, shrimp and sausage into a large bowl and gently stir in butter mixture.
Place corn, potatoes, shrimp and sausage onto a baking sheet in a single layer.
Put baking sheet into over and cook for 13-15 minutes or until shrimp are fully cooked.
Sprinkle with parsley and serve with cold lemon wedges.
This meal was so easy to make for everyone and was a total crowd pleaser. It was also a dish that felt a little bit special since it isn’t in our typical rotation of meals when we’re at home. Do you have a tried and true recipe that you make when you’re with the entire family that you’d love to share? Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and maybe we can share it here!