As summer comes to a close my mind wanders over the things we have done that will become important memories. One of these special times was spending a week house boating on Shasta Lake in California with our eldest son and his family.
As our children grew up we spent a week every summer at Shasta. It was a wonderful tradition that we looked forward to every year. Our three children each brought cousins or friends with them so we would have quite a crowd. Days were busy playing in the water, jumping off the top of the houseboat or using the slide, water skiing, barefoot skiing, boogie boarding, skurfing, tubing, hiking to Shasta Falls, cruising the lake in canoes, and lounging about on flotation devices. Evenings were usually devoted to playing cards and board games. Sometimes the kids would trade their beds for sleeping up top under the stars. It was an idyllic vacation.
Our oldest son, Ryan, has taken up the torch and is reliving Shasta memories with his wife, Corinne, and girls, Ava and Zoe. My husband and I were invited along this summer and readily accepted. The experience is now amped up with new toys and activities: wave runners, paddle boards, wake boards, wake surfing (does no one ski anymore?) and lounging on enormous, inflatable fun islands. Now a small air compressor is needed to inflate things rather than the old method of passing the inflatable object around from person to person (each person puffing away until they were blue in the face) until it was finally full. Even tubing has changed from the old truck tire inner tubes to fancy covered tubes that accommodate numerous people at one time. But it is still an idyllic vacation.
When our kids were young I, as the mom, was in charge of meal planning. I cooked and baked beforehand, committing food stuffs to the freezer to be packed later. Ingredients for some simple meals that were meant to be cooked on site were packed or on a list to be purchased in Redding (the closest home of a supermarket near Shasta Lake). This year I had a total reprieve. My clever, organized daughter-in-law, Corinne, was the epitome of the modern mom. Her meal plan was simple, easily made, healthy, and delicious. Meals were made on-board, mostly on the BBQ to keep the heat out of the kitchen. Below is one of the yummy and fun meals we enjoyed. (Amounts are guess work depending on how many you are feeding. Let the amount of beef patties be your guide. For our purposes here let’s pretend we are feeding 8 people. Veggies are purchased pre-washed and, if possible, pre-sliced.)
8 – small red or mixed potatoes – 1/4ed
1 – bag of pre-washed mini-carrots
1 – ½ # lean ground beef
8 – mini peppers (red, yellow, and orange)
1 – bunch asparagus
2 – bunches green onions – trimmed
1 – container sliced mushrooms
1 box of pre-washed and sliced mushrooms.
Sharp Cheddar or favorite cheese slices
16 squares torn from a large size aluminum foil
Boil together potatoes and carrots until slightly soft. Set aside.
Mix ground beef, pepper, and garlic salt. Make into 8 patties. Set aside.
Place 2 squares of aluminum foil on work space. In the middle of the aluminum foil put 1/8 of potato/carrot mixture. Layer with 1/8 peppers, 1/8 asparagus, 1/8 green onions.
Top with one pat of butter.
Place 1 beef patty on top of butter.
Top beef patty with 1/8 of the mushrooms and 1 slice of cheese.
Sprinkle Worcestershire sauce generously over everything.
Fold up corners of aluminum foil and seal tightly.
Cook in a closed BBQ at medium heat for 45 minutes or until beef is cooked through.