By Lisa

We are spending a few beyond perfect summer days in Lake Tahoe with my husband’s aunt and uncle, his cousin and wife, their kids, and 2 other families. Five families, 17 people, 9 kids ranging in age from 18 months to 9. The lake is glorious, the weather perfect, and the kids are in free-range kid heaven. The cabin is on the lake and every meal is eaten outside on long picnic tables, including breakfast. It doesn’t get much better than coffee and cherry cobbler by the morning fire pit.

The cabin has been in the family for generations, and we are the newcomers. But one of the best things up here (& there are so many, including a giant trampoline on the lake, and inner tubing,and bike trails, and 3 great dogs) is the meals. And they have the feeding a crowd out of a tiny kitchen down to a truly impressive system. Lots of grilling, lots of bulk purchases, plenty of fruit and chips, and nuts, and coolers full of drinks for everyone all day long. We’ve had grilled tritip and garlic bread, grilled chicken, lots of salads, grilled asparagus, burgers and dogs–the supplies they organized are truly impressive. Add that to the fact that Kory’s cousin’s wife is starting a catering business and is a whiz at organizing and scaling up, and makes the best bbq sauce I’ve ever had and a mean batch of carnitas (which sadly we missed), among other things. And did I mention that one of the families owns a winery?

It’s not fancy, but it is all delicious, and easy enough when everyone pitches in..and that’s the most surprising thing for me. Because while I can cook well for a dozen or so, for a holiday, doing it every meal, every day is a truly great skill. I am learning a lot. And enjoying the company immensely. They have managed to make feeding a crowd a stress free endeavor. Which is something I would do well to remember when we head back to civilization.