It’s Canada Day long weekend! Time to invite friends and family up to the cottage (or cabin, or trailer) for some long weekend fun! Of course, as the host of this coming weekend’s festivities it won’t be all fun and games. You have to think about food, emergency planning and rainy day contingency plans. So here’s a quick checklist to ensure that your cottage is ready for the Canada Day festivities.
Food and Drinks
Really, isn’t this what long weekends at the cottage are all about? Whether your guests are bringing food with them or not, as the host, you should still have supplies on hand to fill in any gaps (just in case everyone shows up with chips and ice). That doesn’t mean you have to break the bank trying to feed everyone. It’s just a matter of having some stretchable essentials on hand to feed your crowd.
Some of our favourite essentials include …
Anything in a Tetra Pak – Seriously, you need to do this. Things in Tetra Paks are shelf stable, which means you don’t need to make room for them in the refrigerator or worrying about any spoilage if you don’t end up needing them. This includes staple items like broths (ensure that some is vegetable broth) for making soup or risotto, juices and even milk.
Canned beans– Even if your social circle is filled with hungry carnivores it’s always good to have something vegetarian friendly in the pantry. While there are any number of vegetarian and vegan friendly pantry staples to have at the cottage, canned beans are very versatile. They can be turned into dips, added to salads, soups and rice dishes.
Rice – Not only does rice work to stretch a meal, but it’s also a good cheap staple to have on hand in case of an emergency.
Coffee –This cannot be stressed enough. You never want to run out of coffee at the cottage…and don’t forget the Tetra Pak milk, just in case.
Condiments –Chances are, you already have the basics in your cottage pantry, but it never hurts to grab some extra ketchup, mustard or BBQ sauce. BTW – did you know that if you run out of BBQ sauce, that you can make your own basic sauce with ketchup, Worcester sauce and brown sugar?
Most cottagers already have plans and provisions in place to ensure that they remain comfortable and safe in case of a power outage, illness or other emergency situation. However, when you have a group of people in residence for a long weekend, your existing provisions might not be sufficient. With that in mind, it’s a good idea to bring some extra emergency supplies to ensure that you and your guests are covered.
Some things to have on hand include…
Extra toilet paper – This really doesn’t require much explanation.
First aid items –This includes adhesive bandages, splint bandages, Tylenol or Advil, rubbing alcohol, calamine lotion, aloe gel(in case of burns), tweezers, Imodium, hand sanitizer.
Jugs of water
Additional flashlights and batteries –In case of a power failure, always try to give guests flashlights and NOT candles. You don’t want to have to keep track of where everyone may or may not set a candle down.
Rainy Day Planning
As it stands, there isn’t currently any call for rain this weekend in our neck of the woods; however, Canadian weather is nothing if not unpredictable. While you may have a weekend of hiking, swimming and generally being outdoors in mind, it’s always a good idea to have a rainy day contingency plan.
Some fun ways to pass a rainy day include …
Board games – Not that board games aren’t fun in any kind of weather. If they aren’t already stocked at the cottage, grab some of your classic favourites or a new find and bring them along for the trip. Better yet, bring a few different games and organize a tournament (don’t forget the prizes!)
Baking – Who can stay disappointed when the smell of fresh chocolate chip cookies or brownies is in the air? Just make sure to have all of the ingredients (and baking pans or sheets) on hand.
A cottage (or cabin) themed movie marathon–There are loads of cabin themed movies out to fuel a film fest for fans of most genres, from horror to family-friendly. Just don’t forget the snacks, and maybe bake those cookies we talked about.
No matter what you have planned for your long-weekend, whether staying home or heading out to your home away from home, we wish you a safe and happy Canada Day!