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All We Can Eat
Posted at 03:01 PM ET, 08/21/2012

Do you cook on vacation?

When some folks vacation in Tuscany, Italy, they enroll in cooking classes. (The International Kitchen)
In the universe of cooking and vacations, let’s say there are two kinds of cooks: those who welcome it as part of the experience, either in providing sustenance for a beach house full of family and friends or in making an active beeline to learn at a master’s elbow in a foreign destination. And there are those who refuse to look at a skillet.

A few years ago — before I was fortunate enough to call him a coworker — Tim Carman shared tales of mackerel from a family sojourn in Virginia Beach. Deputy/recipe editor Jane Touzalin just got back from a beach trip where she ate restaurant food every night — but that was because she came direct from vetting hundreds of Top Tomato 2012 recipes.

I’m off to Nantucket next week, but already plotting about ways to bring canned/preserved jams and tomatoes and bloody mary mix on the plane. I don’t want to pay island prices for good stuff, and our group’s always keen to sit around a table with good food and conversation.

In today’s Food section, The Process columnist David Hagedorn shares strategies as part of the first subset — no surprise there. But it made us wonder about the collected wisdom of our readers on this topic.

If you like to cook on vacation, what kinds of things are key? Do you bring a small spice cabinet or a portable smoker? Are there dishes you just have to make, inspired by ingredients around you or by a stash of family recipes? And if you don’t go near a kitchen, tell us how that works.

Who knows: Your stories and tips about ingredients, products and utensils just might make someone else’s vacation more memorable.

By  |  03:01 PM ET, 08/21/2012

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