How to Cook the Perfect Christmas Meal in your Vacation Rental

If you are spending Christmas away from home, check out these handy tips for making sure your Christmas meal is truly memorable – with as little work involved as possible!

Many of us like to spend Christmas away on vacation with our friends and loved ones. It’s the perfect time to relax, get away from it all and spend quality time together. We understand that people go on vacation to skip the hassle and just relax… so the idea of cooking a huge holiday meal on your vacation may seem a little daunting. However, nobody should have to go without an excellent Christmas dinner – no matter where they are vacationing!
That is why we have done our best to come up with a quick, simple, yet delicious Christmas dinner with as few ingredients as necessary. Nobody has to do the 1 hour prep + 4 hour cooking time, no one has to have a whole pantry full of ingredients. All you need is a cooler full of supplies or a local grocery store to pick up a few items, and the willingness to pack a few cooking essentials!

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So how do you make a holiday meal that’s hassle free?

How about delicious turkey breasts packed with flavour, fluffy mashed potatoes, honey glazed carrots, peas and of course – that turkey gravy we always not-so-patiently wait for? All of these dishes require few ingredients, minimal cooking time and go a long way with very little.
So what do you need to bring, what will already be there, and what you need to buy?
Here are our top tips:

Pack what you can

There are obvious limitations when flying to your destination, but there are still a few things that you can pack that will make your Christmas dinner experience a much more convenient affair. For example, small containers of your favourite dried herbs and spices are perfect if you have a check-in bag. If you’re driving however, you have much more flexibility when it comes to what you can bring. For instance, packing your crock pot is a great way to do a roast without having to do all the cooking or watching the oven. You can also bring vegetables or fresh herbs from home, reducing any shopping you may have to do when you arrive. Also consider bringing some of your favourite utensils to ensure they’re there without any worry.

Do an inventory check

Most of the vacation rentals we have on offer come with a fully-equipped kitchen with all dishes, cookware, and utensils needed to prepare meals in house. However before you start cooking ensure that your rental has a cutting knife, roasting tray, roasting pan, 1 large pot and 1 medium-sized pot, a potato masher, cutting board, condiments like salt, pepper and oil, cutlery for everyone, and dishes for everyone. If in doubt, just call us and ask!

Shop for the necessities

At this point, very little needs to be purchased from a local grocery store. Your fully-equipped kitchen already has all the cooking ware so your own trusty pots, pans and trays can stay at home. We have detailed a sufficient ingredient list to make a delicious turkey meal without having to buy everything and utilizes the same ingredients across multiple dishes. If you’re lucky, you may only have to buy the meat. Simple and easy!
Simple ingredients:

  • 2 boneless turkey breast halves, skin on (about 2 to 2 1/2 pounds each)
  • 3 mandarin oranges
  • 1 whole garlic
  • A few sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 12 fresh sage leaves
  • 5 red skin potatoes
  • 12 carrots
  • Honey
  • ½ cup of milk
  • 1 block of butter
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 can of beer of your choosing (optional)

Lazy cooking

The turkey breast just needs to be pan roasted with a bit of butter, fresh herbs, garlic, salt and pepper. After the skin has been browned just throw it in the oven for 45 minutes at 400F with periodic basting throughout. Add a splash of beer to your roasting tray to keep the turkey moist – plus it adds for another element of flavour in the gravy at the end.
The potatoes and carrots just need to be chopped and boiled, dressed with a little butter and seasoning at the end. We’ve added honey as an ingredient to mix with the carrots for extra flavour, but that’s entirely optional. To make things even easier, you can always use frozen veg or instant mashed potatoes. In addition, an optional box of supermarket stuffing can be whipped up in a couple of minutes flat to bring the meal that much closer to a traditional Christmas dinner.
Once it comes time to make the gravy, just put the pan on the stove top elements, and bring the juices and leftover bits to a boil. Add your flour and some seasoning and you’ve got yourself a delicious pan turkey gravy.
Extra touches
Let’s face it, Christmas is a favourite holiday for foodies, and making sure you bring or locally pick up extra special touches can go a long way. Look in the frozen section for easy, premade appetizers, or try a cheese board to start – no cooking required! Make sure you have a sufficient supply of Christmassy extras that you love, be it boxes of chocolates, shortbread cookies, Baileys to sip on or Christmas crackers to decorate the table with!

Are you hungry yet?

The idea of preparing a big family meal while on holiday seems intimidating at first – maybe even something not worth considering. However as you can see, it can be easy and without headache if you just know how to go about it! With a few simple steps to plan ahead, you’ll have everything you need by the time you reach your vacation rental and before visiting the grocery store. Furthermore, a simple yet flavour-packed turkey breast can be a small compromise in tradition for a lot less work. Who needs the 4 hour cooking time anyway? You can get the best of both worlds by having a great vacation with family, and not having to miss on that very sacred, very delicious, Christmas dinner.
We have an incredible selection of vacation condos and homes that come with fully-equipped kitchens and a variety of other added conveniences. Just take a look at these luxury vacation rentals in Whistler – they're fully-equipped for making a gourmet meal. Call our Destination Experts to find out more about our fully loaded accommodations or browse our extensive selection online!