Pork chops on the grill

Every vacation has to include delicious food—it just wouldn’t be the same without it. Houseboating is one of those vacations where tasty food just naturally goes along with the experience. Imagine yourself relaxing on the deck at twilight, eating a succulent steak, roasted vegetable kabobs, and chocolate-drizzled brownies while floating on glass-like water and watching the sun dip behind purple mountains. To successfully create the experience you envision, your meals must be given thought in advance.

Plan Meals in Advance

If you’ve got multiple family units or friends joining the houseboat venture, it works well to split up meal duties between different members of the group. Perhaps Bob and Sue could preside over the Friday evening meal, Jack and Mary could be chief chefs on Saturday night, the young’uns could handle the sandwiches for lunches, and you and your hubby could finish out the weekend with an all-out Sunday lunch bash. Nobody is left with planning meals or toiling away at kitchen duty for the entire trip, but everyone gets to enjoy mouthwatering varieties of food. Houseboats are best enjoyed in teams anyway.

Catch Some Fish

What good is a houseboat vacation without some deep-water fishing? Shasta Lake has some of the best fish around—trout, bass, salmon, sturgeon, crappie, bluegill, carp, minnows, and many more. The lake houses both cold and warm water fish. Grilled fish are a delectable treat. Or if you’re on the lake when there are cool nights, a warm fish chowder could be just the thing. Fish and chips is a yummy option, especially if you have kids on board.

Throw in Some Classics

Houseboating is much like camping, only on a grander scale. It follows then, that your favorite camping foods could be on the menu. Burgers, hot dogs, steaks, grilled vegetables, salads of all kinds, and pastas can delight the palates of people of any age. Breakfasts could include special favorites like pancakes or French toast, eggs and bacon or sausage, and an assortment of cereals and fresh fruit. Evening meals could include fajitas or tacos and fried rice and beans, or something deliciously Italian, like lasagna or spaghetti.

Grill As Much As Possible

You can grill for every meal if you like. This will prevent the cook from being cooped up in the kitchen and will keep the meal action out on the deck where everyone can enjoy the scenery. Lots of things besides meat can be grilled: corn on the cob, vegetables, eggs, sandwiches, pizzas, mixed-nut snacks, roll-ups, and even fruits and desserts, such as banana splits, pineapples, peaches, and pears. Go ahead—try some gourmet grilling to spice up your lake vacation.

Keep Snacks Handy

No vacation is complete without a few munchies. Have some healthy snacks, such as veggie and fruit platters, hummus, popcorn, cheese and crackers, or nuts, on hand. You can also indulge in favorites like party mix, cookies, brownies, or pigs-in-a-blanket. Most of these can be prepared in advance and pulled out for the right moment.

Houseboating is a vacation you’ll never forget. And if you enjoy it with a lineup of scrumptious foods, it will be even more memorable. So plan ahead, break out your favorite grilling recipes, do some fishing, and munch to your heart’s content.

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