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Auspicious
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I'm new to eGullet but far from new to cooking and certainly have some chops cooking in cramped quarters. When I introduced myself to the eGullet moderators as part of the sign up process they encouraged me to start this thread.

 

I am a yacht delivery skipper and deliver small boats (generally 40' to 80'), mostly offshore. You may have seen my posts on other cooking fora or articles in Sail, Blue Water Sailing, Offshore Navigator. I speak regularly at boat shows and at SSCA, AGLCA, MTOA, and OCC events.

 

If you boat under sail or power the intent of this thread is to give a place to share experiences, ideas, and techniques. Catalina 22 heading out for a weekend and thinking about a meal plan? This is for you. Great Harbor 37 heading down the ICW from Chesapeake Bay and on to the Bahamas? We're here. Hallberg Rassy or Nordhavn planning to cross an ocean? Let's talk. Bring on your stories and questions.

 

For those of you on the US East Coast come see me at Cruisers U (Annapolis Boat Show) or the SSCA Annapolis Gam. I'm speaking on other subjects but there is always time to talk about cooking. If there is enough interest we'll schedule a specific gathering, maybe even a potluck.

 

For those who may not be boaters you are certainly welcome. Some things about cooking afloat require some adjustments. Think in terms of cooking inside a packing crate during an earthquake.

 

Welcome aboard.

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sail fast and eat well, dave

Dave Skolnick S/V Auspicious

http://AuspiciousWorks.com

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Ann Vanderhoof's books about their saiing advrntures from Canada to the Caribbean contain lots of boat cooking related tips and stories. They are also a gret read in general.

 

An Embarassment of Mangoes: A Caribbean Interlude

   

The Spice Necklace: My Adventures in Caribbean Cooking, Eating, and Island Life

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I agree Heidi. Ms. Vanderhoof weaves engaging stories intermingled with lovely recipes.

 

Also of note and worthy of space--even the limited space aboard--are:

 

The Boat Galley Cookbook: 800 Everyday Recipes and Essential Tips for Cooking Aboard by Carolyn Shearlock

 

The Care and Feeding of Sailing Crew by Lin Pardey

 

The Voyager's Handbook: The Essential Guide to Blue Water Cruising by Beth Leonard 

 

I also find a mainstream cookery book like Joy of Cooking in an edition from the late 40s or early 50s when refrigeration was not ubiquitous and there wasn't a single purpose appliance for every task to be useful. I'm most fond of the 1951 third printing (1953) of JoC.

 

For those who really love cooking and particularly if you plan a cruise off the grid (or are underway) is On Food and Cooking by Dr. Harold McGee. This seminal work gives you the ultimate basis for substitutions and figuring out for yourself what to do with something you haven't faced before. No substitute of course for asking the locals. *grin*

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sail fast and eat well, dave

Dave Skolnick S/V Auspicious

http://AuspiciousWorks.com

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Some thoughts about cooking on board followed by a very simple recipe.

 

Mise en place is critical aboard for all the same reason it is ashore. There are some additional reasons. Especially underway something may come up that requires your attention. If you have something on the heat and are part way through intermediate prep bad things can happen.

 

My approach to mise en place at sea is a little different. I start prep on the last thing I need first and slide it to the back edge of the cutting board. Work from last to first. That means I can scrape things from the front to the back into the pot or pan when I start cooking. There are exceptions: before I leave I "calibrate" grinders (pepper in particular) so I know how many grinds for a teaspoon. Measuring spices I use my palm. I know what a pile of stuff in my hand looks like for various measurements.

 

Something really simple that goes over well on board:

 

Chicken Adobo courtesy of Tom Hale on Tadhana

 

1-1/2 to 2# chicken cubed to bite sized pieces. 100 ml soy sauce, 100 ml white vinegar, 2 Tbsp minced garlic (I prep this ashore but it is hard to beat the jarred sort aboard), 3/4 tsp ground black pepper, 1/2 tsp salt, 3 bay leaves. Marinate the chicken if you have time (ZipLoc bags or Lock-n-Lock containers work great) or just sauté the whole thing. Serve with rice. This goes nicely with a tropical fruit like mango. It keeps well when vacuum sealed or frozen.

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sail fast and eat well, dave

Dave Skolnick S/V Auspicious

http://AuspiciousWorks.com

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When I was cooking on a power boat, a small cabin cruiser, It was mostly long weekends. So I would do a lot of prep and assembly of stuff in my home kitchen. I brought pasta or potato salads that we kept on ice in a couple of big coolers. There was a "refrigerator" that required dry ice to keep anything cold, and dry ice was hard to source, so we stored other stuff in the "fridge" and kept perishables in the ice cooler. There was also a small 20-gallon water reservoir on board that dispensed into the sink, but since it was so difficult to keep this reservoir clean in the summer weather, we used bottled water and again stored stuff in the sink.

 

The only source of heat for cooking was a charcoal grill, something like this one. Mine came with hardware to mount it to the gunnel and was half the price of the linked one. The gas version at the time was about the $200 price of what this charcoal one is now.  The arm would pivot over into the boat for easy loading of the charcoal, and then you swung it out over the water to light it and do the cooking. A very good meal can be had with a charcoal grilled steak and some potato salad made at home, enhanced by a lettuce and summer tomato salad. I would usually bring along some cookies or something like that for dessert. When you're done grilling your steaks or whatever, just let the grill burn out, if you have come to rest for the evening.If you want to get underway again, after dinner, just use the pivot to dump the still-burning charcoal into the water.

 

We ate a lot of sandwiches for lunch and usually did not eat breakfast, unless we were invited to a campsite where they were cooking eggs and bacon. Those were good mornings for me. One of our friends used to cook a pound of bacon in a skillet over a campfire on the State Park provided grate. He just dumped the whole pound in there and stirred it around. Said he learned that in the Scouts. Eventually, it would all render down and get crispy, but it took a while. Then he would cook eggs in the resulting bacon grease. This happened on shore in the camp ground. 

 

So I've had many memorable meals on the water, but it takes a lot of forethought and preparation to do this on a small boat with a cabin where you can sleep, but no real galley.

 

I was hired, along with my husband at the time, to transport a yacht for a dentist in Memphis from his slip in Biloxi, MS (beautiful marina!) to his boathouse at McKellar Lake Riverside Park Marina in Memphis. The dentist arranged for us to have groceries on the boat and there was a full working galley, but the tow boat company that he had also arranged for us to hitch a ride with decided that there would be less liability if we had a cabin on board their boat and ate in their mess hall. The food was very good, but I hated that our groceries basically rotted and I was looking forward to cooking for the first time in a functional boat galley. Man! These tow boat companies feed their employees so well that obesity is a problem for captains. Most other workers get a lot more exercise, but still the food is so copious and good!

 

Unfortunately, it seems that the marina where I lived and worked for a year in the late '70's has become a garbage dump. I find it very sad.

 

We actually have another yacht delivery skipper as a member here. @JohnTwho's from South Africa and has many, many deliveries under his belt. I would love to read about you two exchanging stories!

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@Thanks for the Crepes:

 

Small boat cooking can be a challenge. I spent a wonderful summer on a Catalina 22 pop-top sailboat with a girl friend about fifteen years ago. Cooler, no fridge, horrible alcohol cooker and a grill. It is well that I'm an early riser as my GF couldn't function without coffee and it took half an hour to perc a pot on the alcohol burner. Everything else was made ahead or done on the grill. Not so very different from the small cabin cruiser you describe.

 

Good food storage has become more accessible over time. Really good insulated coolers like those from Yeti are so much better than the Igloos and Colemans we grew up with. Although expensive they are so robust that over time they are cheaper: no costs for replacement handles, hinges, latches, and hold downs. For preparation at home an inexpensive vacuum sealer like those from Foodsaver make a big difference in food life. The days of 'burping' a Rubbermaid or Tupperware container are primitive compared to silicone sealed latching containers like those from Lock-n-Lock. Absolutely life changing aboard in the pantry, fridge, and freezer.

 

At home and on my own boat I try to avoid waste. On delivery there is more. For example if departure is close enough to home I'll make up casseroles (lasagna, tuna, goulash) ahead in disposable tins or vacuum sealed bags and freeze them hard. Lasagna is just too much work underway but cooking it is easy and it is always well received. A couple of hard frozen 8x8 tins of hard frozen casseroles wrapped in foul weather gear and other clothes will even survive a short plane flight. I've shown up at a boat where the freezer wasn't working and schmoozed some space in a local restaurant freezer until we could get systems sorted.

 

I usually rotate breakfasts between cooked (not quite full English, but close) and cold yogurt and fruit and maybe cereal. Some places in the world cereal is hideously expensive. In much of the Caribbean I'll buy Grape-Nuts at home and carry it in. *grin* Great with yogurt. I bake bacon in one and two pound batches and refrigerate it in bags to use as needed: breakfast, salads, some entrees....

 

Nothing wrong with sandwiches. You can freeze lunch meats and extend availability. Frozen cheese isn't great but better than nothing. When the lettuce gives out you can grow your own sprouts for a little green crunch.

 

Definitely planning. No planning survives contact with the enemy and in our case the "enemy" is the sea.

 

When crossing international borders you really have to pay attention to limits on food. Certainly anything that might attract fruit flies (not because of the fruit flies - they are just a measure of sensitivity) is an issue. Fruit and veg are limited to avoid insect, bacteria, and virus that might affect local agriculture. Generally whole fruit and veg are an issue but prepared foods are not. Since you have to buy food to account for delays that may not be endured there is a lot of food prep the day before landfall. Coleslaw, mashed potato, maybe fruit salad, soups -- cross your fingers for settled weather otherwise perfectly good food goes over the side. Cans and frozen are usually okay. @BubbleheadChef referred to this in some of his posts.

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sail fast and eat well, dave

Dave Skolnick S/V Auspicious

http://AuspiciousWorks.com

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Another favorite for longer trips is pork loin. Note that most boats have gimballed cookers with two burners and a small oven. You have to work around that. *grin* Note I'm usually cooking for four.

Roast pork loin is a very handy dish at sea. It is easy to make so make extra. Leftovers can be thinly sliced for sandwiches. Additional leftovers can be shredded (two forks) and a jar of store-bought BBQ sauce dumped over it for faux barbecue.

Start with 2 or 3 lbs of boneless center cut pork loin. If one end is particularly thin fold it under and tie it with cooking twine. Scrub potatoes and carrots and peel if you like (I peel carrots and not potatoes). Cut potatoes into eight pieces and carrots to 3 or 4” long. Cut celery to about 4” long. Scatter the vegetables in the bottom of a lubricated pan (I use disposable 13 x 9 aluminum pans on delivery, a regular pan on my own boat) and lay the pork on top. Extra credit for sliced apple on top. Salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme, and a spray of olive oil. Cook at 375°F for 35 to 40 minutes or until internal temperature is between 140 and 150°F. You do travel with an insertion thermometer, right?

Place on a cutting board and tent with aluminum foil for about 10 minutes before slicing.

I serve with sauerkraut. If you aren’t often a fan of ‘kraut try heating it with diced apple and caraway seeds. You may be surprised.  Alternative sides are roast Brussel sprouts (fresh or frozen) or green beans (fresh or canned). You might also try stuffing, especially if you add something sweet like dried cranberries.

 

sail fast and eat well, dave

Dave Skolnick S/V Auspicious

http://AuspiciousWorks.com

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15 minutes ago, Auspicious said:

Start with 2 or 3 lbs of boneless center cut pork loin. If one end is particularly thin fold it under and tie it with cooking twine. 

 Don’t think I’ve ever seen a pork loin boneless or otherwise where one can fold under a thin end.  I do this with pork tenderloin but the pork loins I buy are pretty much the same diameter for the length of the cut. Interesting. 

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

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Hi @Anna N,

 

I've bought pork loin with think "tails" in Martinique and the Azores (Horta on Faial). It looked to me much like the tail you see on a beef tenderloin. I just tucked it back on itself to make the thickness more even. Your comment makes me think - I will have to hunt through the meat case at my regular grocer here in Annapolis. I've only provisioned in ON twice so your experience there is more relevant than mine.   

 

sail fast and eat well, dave

Dave Skolnick S/V Auspicious

http://AuspiciousWorks.com

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Heidi and I posted a number of links to books. I would be remiss if I did not include the website of my friend Carolyn Shearlock at The Boat Galley . Carolyn just posted an article about cabbage that leads to thoughts of my own.

 

If you're going out for a day sail or a weekend you just take what you want and don't worry about it so much. If you'll be away from shops for longer managing perishables takes more thoughts. This does not only apply to people crossing oceans. It applies equally to those cruising the Bahamas or even running the ICW. Even if you stop in marinas every night getting fresh produce can turn into a day-long exercise when you don't know where anything is and don't have ground transportation.

 

We can start with greens. Bibb lettuce doesn't last very long. Iceberg and romaine last longer. Cabbage lasts longer yet. That means some meal planning. Fragile greens like bibb lettuce and field greens get eaten first, in the first couple of days. Wedge salad and Caesar salads are day three to five. Spinach lasts about the same amount of time. Too much longer than that and cabbage is your big deal for greens. About halfway through your cabbage (earlier if you want greens on your salad) start growing sprouts. I like alfalfa, broccoli, radish, and mung but YMMV.

 

With regard to sprouts, since I home can I nearly  always have Ball jars (is the choice between Ball jars and Mason jars like the difference between "soda" and "pop?" I digress). I've juggled my meal plan to include pasta (homemade canned pasta sauce) or vegetable soup (homemade canned soup) in order to free up a jar. I use sprouting lids from the Sprout People with good results. I am still hunting for a good source for seeds that don't have hideous shipping charges. I've just placed an order with a source in Amazon Prime. We'll see how that goes. Input from others is appreciated.

 

Other produce has similar issues to greens. celery, carrots, and most roots last longer than most fruits. Avocados don't last long so use them early. Tomatoes last about as long as romaine lettuce. Oranges last a good while and apples longer.

 

Which leads to an issue for me. The conventional wisdom is to use nets for produce. Just don't. Even if you secure nets so they don't bang into things vibration and the lovely gentle swinging will turn oranges into juice and apples into sauce. Poor choice. Yes, ventilation is important. I have much better luck with baskets on the counter over non-skid than nets. Nets are great for clothes in berthing areas, books in the salon, and boxed treats.

 

Treats lead to the all important snack bag - the subject of another post.

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sail fast and eat well, dave

Dave Skolnick S/V Auspicious

http://AuspiciousWorks.com

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It was good to see some posts regarding cooking on a boat. I have been popping onto the forum only occasionally of late as I am busy clearing out my house to put it on the market and move onto my small 31' Miura sailing boat and next year starting off on a slow trip to Grenada in the Caribbean. I have planned to stop off at about 14 destinations and spend some time at each doing "exploring".

 

On any trip food plays a vital roll - a well fed crew is a happy crew! I have just sent all my old delivery logs off to a document shredder company here in Cape Town - somebody will be fortunate in being able to wipe their backsides with recycled paper that has basically been around the world! My logs now match my personal log book with 42 Atlantic crossings.

 

I always provisioned for four people for an eight week sail, even if we should take only six weeks to reach our delivery destination. If going into the Pacific via Panama Canal, I have always re-provisioned in either Colon or Panama City. These were from provisioning lists I had drawn up and amended over the years. There are a few things on food preservation for such long trips. Eggs will last you a good six weeks or longer as long as they are unwashed and have not been refrigerated. Always get them in papier-mâché boxes as they will quickly perspire in plastic egg trays and go rotten - you just need to flip the boxes every two or three days to prevent the yolks attaching to the outer membrane, which results in an unholy stench when cracking the egg. Never store onions and potatoes in the same storage locker and make sure the potatoes are in paper sacks and not plastic. Also onions are best stored in their mesh bag and not plastic bags.

 

I love fishing for the pan. I never use a rod - just a hand line with lure. After departing Cape Town for the Caribbean, with the first stop being St Helena Island, you need to wait around 48 hours before putting out a line or the seals will go for your lure. Longfin tuna is guaranteed to be on the menu that evening - lightly sauté in a bit of butter with a touch of garlic, served with a green salad on the side. Leftovers are refrigerated and turned into fish cakes for dinner in a day or two. As you get about a week out of Cape Town and slowly into warmer water the longfin disappear and you may catch a nice yellowfin tuna and sashimi and sushi are the result. Yellowfin is often quite a large beast and thus the left-over fillets are frozen for later consumption

 

After departing St Helena Island, heading for the northern coast of South America, a person gets into warmer water and the fish menu changes to Dorado (AKA mahi-mahi or dolphin fish). This makes a great pan-fry. Unfortunately, this is also the area that sailfish come and play with the lure, and you do not want to catch these beautiful fish - they do not attempt to eat the lure but play with it and sometimes it gets snared on their long beak, resulting in a dangerous time removing the hook.

 

The boat has now progressed into even warmer waters as we slowly inch towards the equator. Flying fish are abundant but not something that you really want to eat. Another seafood is also available on the leg between St Helena and The Brazil coast - and you do not have to catch them as they come to you! They are squid, which are attracted by the navigation lights onboard during the night. They get stranded on board during the night and just as first light came along you pick them up off the deck, wash them off and clean out the guts and ink sack. Remove the spine and the tentacles (and the beak in the centre of the tentacles) and then pull off the skin. Cut into rings or strips and cooked (with the tentacles), briefly, with a dash of white wine, some garlic and onion and a bit of chopped tomato and some herbs and then refrigerated, makes a brilliant calamari salad for lunch. The calamari are even more tender if you have a pressure cooker on board and cook them under pressure for around 20 minutes.

 

My provisioning does consist of fresh produce, but it mostly does not last too long. Pumpkin and squash last for the trip and cabbage will last 4 to 6 weeks if properly stored. I do provision with quite a bit of canned goods such as peas, green beans, mushrooms, chopped tomatoes, sweet corn and corn kernels. I also carry lots of canned fruit to use either in cooked meals or served as a dessert with UHT custard.

 

Oh, and bread is baked every third day.

 

Many folk do not allow alcohol beverages on board. On a delivery I always allow crew to have a drink under controlled circumstances. Every evening at 17:00 (5pm) local time we all get together and have a crew "happy hour" and are permitted one can of beer or one glass of wine or one double tot of what we have previously purchase duty free before departing Cape Town. When crossing a time zone, we always turn our time back one hour at 18:00 (6pm), so 18:00 then becomes 17:00 again. This occurs six times on a voyage between Cape Town and the Caribbean, and thus we have a double happy hour on those six occasions.

 

Getting back to food, I have always believed that when at sea I should eat as well as I do when at home. For this I provision accordingly and I do take lamb chops, pork chops and pork roast, beef filet, quality steaks and chicken portions. The only thing we do not do on board is deep fried food - it is just too dangerous and if somebody is burnt, it may be two to three weeks before we can get to a port that has medical facilities to be able to cope with burns.

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@JohnT

 

 Thank you for a fascinating read!  

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Hello John,

 

Which Miura 31 do you have? Head forward or head aft? I prefer head aft for a place to dump wet foulies.

You have a long trip in front of you. Enjoy St. Helena and/or Ascension.

 

My approach to provisioning for long trips with stops (like ocean crossings) is to plan for having to miss a stop and then a bit more. *grin* So Falmouth UK to Azores I provision to make Bermuda plus extra.

 

Four people in a 31' boat is a lot of people. I assume you are talking about deliveries on larger boats.

I have a different approach to time zones. I shift when we can see the dock. I worry about crew getting a sift an hour longer or shorter. It doesn't seem fair.

 

I agree with you about frying. Not a good idea on board underway.

 

I tend to cook ahead - so if I roast a pork loin with vegetables I make a lot as the leftovers go into sandwiches and/or faux barbecue. Chicken turns into salads and stir fries and tacos.

 

You are clearly a better fisherman than I. I'm why it is called "fishing" and not "catching." I tell crew that if they can get a fish within a couple of feet of the boat I'm all in. The first bit is up to them. *grin*

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sail fast and eat well, dave

Dave Skolnick S/V Auspicious

http://AuspiciousWorks.com

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@Auspicious "Umhambi" has her head situated between the forepeak and the saloon. And no, there is only going to be myself on board although my brother may accompany me for part of the voyage - the writing above was whilst commercially undertaking deliveries, with either three or four POB. Although I have started out on some deliveries with three on board, I have had to sign crew off the boat due to family problems or illness, and ended up with just two to complete the delivery. However, this said, it can become illegal as far as some of the larger insurance companies are concerned. Legally you need to keep a 24 hour per day physical watch and some of the big insurance companies will refuse a claim if you sign a crew member off as they claim that you cannot keep a continuous and propper watch with only two POB. But then, single handing is also illegal!

 

When you do deliveries commercially - most of my deliveries were for the Moorings charter company whic later became TUI Marine when the incorporated the Moorings and Sunsail and all those deliveries were for catamarans between 39' and 62', you get the boat handed over from the factory and survey it within 24 hours. It goes back to the factory maintenance berth, has the faults rectified and you, as the skipper, then sign for it and you have 72 hours to get your crew, provisions on board, fuel up and get the water tanks full and get to customs and immigration and clear out - winter or summer, bad weather or no wind, they want you on your way with the first stop 1699 nautical miles away (and they did not want you to stop there if you did not have a very good reason). There is actually no time for sightseeing - it's go, go, go! Then you arrive at your destination, have 72 hours to ensure the boat is spotless, do the handover and head for the airport and home - and then start the whole process to prep for the next boat

 

Fishing is easy! You need a good strong line with a 6' rubber lure (either pink or bright red) and a twin hook. The trick on landing them on board is to keep the boat going as fast as you can. The fish then gets pulled out of the water and bounces over the surface of the water before landing - it can flap around but cannot resist being pulled to the boat if not allowed back into the water. Most people slow or stop the boat and that is when you start loosing your supper - once the fish is back in the water it fights like hell and 90% of the time it will win its freedom!

 

Except for the first meal at sea, all meals are cooked on board. The first meal I have always cooked at home and has always been baked mac and cheese. It is a filling meal and low acid, which is very important to keep new and mostly inexperienced crew from getting seasick - make a meal with chilli or high acidic content, and the crew will spend their first 24 hours leaning over the edge of the boat "talking" to Neptune, offering up his or her dinner. Not a nice experience nor a safe one!

 

Once everybody has gained their sea legs, all meals tend to be consumed without unwanted incidents.

 

But fish meals are generally the simplest dishes to cook up on a moving boat - they need to be kept simple to bring out the real flavours. But you cannot live on fish alone, and that is where a good steak with a cracked black pepper and mushroom cream sauce goes down well - serve with baked veg before the veg starts going off. Or a stir-fry. Chinese cabbage stored in a plastic bag in the fridge lasts for weeks and stays crisp. A chicken fillet thinly sliced against the grain per person and marinated in soy sauce and a teaspoon of sugar for an hour or two then stir-fried with onion wedges, a thinly sliced green pepper and a few sliced mushrooms, together with half a shredded Chinese cabbage makes a magic meal served on a bed of rice or even a bed of Ramen noodles. Or a sweet and sour pork meal with rice - simple and easy to throw together. Ah, the choice is great if you have provisioned properly.

 

@Anna N thanks for your compliment!

 

 

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Cape Town - At the foot of a flat topped mountain with a tablecloth covering it.

Some time ago we had Johnny Cash, Bob Hope and Steve Jobs. Now we have no Cash, no Hope and no Jobs. Please don't let Kevin Bacon die.

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8 minutes ago, JohnT said:

Chinese cabbage stored in a plastic bag in the fridge lasts for weeks and stays crisp. 

By “Chinese cabbage” do you mean this ?  One doesn’t need to be a sailor to understand how important it is to have provisions that will last until another trip to the grocery store is imminent.:biggrin:

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Yip, that's the one - here it is called just a Chinese Cabage. But if you do not have any, just some normal cabbage leaves hand shredded is a good substitute. Just strip out the hard part of each leaf of a normal cabbage - use the whole leaf of the Chinese cabbage - cut the leafy part off the centre of each leaf and cut the centre rib into about 5mm strips across the grain. A simple and fast meal with the protine and mineral rich vegetables. Oh and stir-fry in just a glug of vegetable oil with some crushed garlic and a pinch of chilli flakes.

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Cape Town - At the foot of a flat topped mountain with a tablecloth covering it.

Some time ago we had Johnny Cash, Bob Hope and Steve Jobs. Now we have no Cash, no Hope and no Jobs. Please don't let Kevin Bacon die.

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@JohnT

 

Fascinating. Thanks. 

 

The only experience I have with on-board cookery is when I was a teenager, my cousin and I spent four weeks "living" on a pontoon boat on Kentucky Lake, just to see if we could. We had a periodic check-in with parents, and a weekly rendezvous to pick up more supplies. Our "cooking" was open-air, on a Coleman camp stove set up on deck -- breakfasts, and the occasional burger or hot dog. Otherwise, we ate sandwiches and drank beer we weren't old enough to buy (but there are always cooperative fishermen about). 

 

I'd do that again in a heartbeat.

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22 hours ago, JohnT said:

Unfortunately, this is also the area that sailfish come and play with the lure, and you do not want to catch these beautiful fish - they do not attempt to eat the lure but play with it and sometimes it gets snared on their long beak, resulting in a dangerous time removing the hook.

 

Thanks for posting, John. Very interesting.

 

Your quote above led me to search for whether sailfish was edible or not, or why you might have said what you did. It turns out that this it quite controversial, and it led me to this forum where it is discussed at some length in 2010 and 2011. Tetchy, it seems.

 

As interested as I am for my history in the boating arena, I'm also interested now, like Anna, because my trips to the grocery store are very limited due to disability. Carrots last a very long time and provide crunch and Vitamin A. Celery also is long lasting, but I have found not universally popular. And yes, I have part of a two-month-old cabbage (the regular, not Napa kind) in my fridge now, and it is still quite edible. The Napa kind does not last this long, in my experience, and if you want a regular cabbage to last that long, you have to carefully peel off the outer leaves, cutting them loose from the base core carefully and then peeling up. The cabbage will even try to develop roots off the base over this amount of time, and those should be cut off. Lettuces will last a lot longer when you treat them like I just said for cabbage. I have the inner core of green leaf and iceberg that have had the outer leaves carefully peeled off in this manner. These are just over two weeks old, but I will be happily eating them up in the next few days. Other than that, I can't think of other tricks for keeping things except country ham. Slices keep in the fridge even beyond the long expiration date when it's at room temp.

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> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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I previously mentioned fishing for the pan and quick stir-fries as part of a meal plan, here are some more. But first let me explain the meal regimen on board. Breakfasts are a do-it-yourself affair with an assortment of cereals to choose from, the occasional bacon and eggs with pork bangers and the occasional American style pancakes. The reason for the do-it-yourself approach is that when running a 3 person 24 hour watch system, the watch in the morning changes at 06:00 and that watch will have a breakfast snack and hit their bunk whilst the new watch will want something to snack and a hot tea or coffee.

 

Lunch is also a do-it-yourself meal, often just sandwiches or reheated (or cold) leftovers. There are always copious amounts of cheese, cold meats and salads in the refrigerator. As previously mentioned, I bake bread every third day - this is when I am on the 06:00 to 10:00 watch (which happens every third day with a three crew watch system).

 

Dinner is always a hot meal!

Roast chicken thighs basted with Sweet Chilli Sauce, served with rice and veg.

Grilled Lamb Chops with rosemary, served with a baked potato with cream cheese and veg.

Pan-fried steak served with a cracked pepper or green pepper cream sauce, served with a baked potato with cream cheese and a green salad on the side.

Pan fried beef fillet with a garlic butter sauce served with baby potatoes and a salad.

Penne pasta with tuna and tomato sauce.

Baked Mac & Cheese.

Spaghetti Bolognese.

Boerewors on mashed potato (or mieliepap) with a chunky tomato and onion "smoor".

Pork chops, marinated in a lemon juice, brown sugar and English mustard mix for an hour then done under the broiler, served with some greens (veg or salad).

Then there can be either beef or chicken stir-fry - same recipe just different meat.

Sweet & Sour pork with rice (when the salads are all gone and the veg is fish food).

. . . . . and the list goes on, depending on mood and mindset!

 

The watch can snack during their night watch and there is always tea, coffee or hot chocolate available. An old tradition is I always bake a rich fruit cake before departure and douse it with a good quantity of brandy to keep it moist and well preserved. A small slice is packed with energy and consumed with a hot drink on night watch, keeps the crew content. Mostly I will bake some sort of pudding or dessert once a week.

 

I also make yoghurt on passage, which I sometimes use when baking a chocolate cake, which I do when a crew member celebrates his or her birthday. They are easy and do not require a stand or hand mixer, neither of which you will find aboard.

 

It must be remembered that on boats that are being delivered for a charter company, we have to supply our own cutlery, crockery, pots and pans, kettle etc. It costs money so at the end of the delivery the goods are packed and brought back for use on the next boat. Fortunately, certified seamen are awarded discounts and extra luggage weight on most large airlines - and we make good use of the facility offered.

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Cape Town - At the foot of a flat topped mountain with a tablecloth covering it.

Some time ago we had Johnny Cash, Bob Hope and Steve Jobs. Now we have no Cash, no Hope and no Jobs. Please don't let Kevin Bacon die.

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@JohnT, I must say your menus sound much better than I would have imagined on a boat with a small crew!  I imagine it makes for a happy crew.  Was the reputation of your galley skills a drawing card in recruiting as well as retaining crew members?

Were you always the only cook on board or did you ever end up with crew members interested in culinary pursuits?

 

 

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@blue_dolphin I always did a lot of the cooking but encouraged the youngsters to learn the basics and taught them how to tweek a recipe to their own pallets and cook it. I had one youngster, Luke, who did 6 deliveries with me, who had no idea how to cook in the beginning, but was keen to learn. He went on to do a crash course at chef school and is now the head chef at an exclusive restaurant on one of our wine estates. I did take two chefs on different deliveries - one to Tortola and one to Turkey. The Tortola one now works on a large private "motor-yacht" and the other that went to Turkey went to France afterwards and eventually returned to South Africa and has (or had - I have lost contact with him) his own chefs school.

 

Normally, each delivery had an entirely new crew who had to put up with me. I am not eccentric in any way, just very safety orientated and like to make a delivery memorable, not only for myself, but for the crew as well. I only, through the years, had three crew that turned out to be problematic.

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Cape Town - At the foot of a flat topped mountain with a tablecloth covering it.

Some time ago we had Johnny Cash, Bob Hope and Steve Jobs. Now we have no Cash, no Hope and no Jobs. Please don't let Kevin Bacon die.

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