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Tips from the Galley Slave

The galley slave chopping away.

Have you ever tried to cook during a storm or a rough passage only to find yourself turning green and having to run topside to grab the wheel before you get terminally seasick?  What we try to do is as much preparation up front as possible so we can limit our time below if necessary.  Organization is the most important thing. 

Make lists before you leave and know where you stowed the ingredients.  Make foods do double duty.  Meat loaf one day becomes sandwiches the next.  Leftover ratatouille becomes filling for omelets the next morning.  Leftover melon from breakfast gets wrapped in slices of ham for dinner appetizers.  Leftover potatoes become hash browns at breakfast or quickie potato salad for lunch.   You don’t want to be carrying things back home at the end of the trip. 

Here are some additional tips for advance preparation:

  • Right after breakfast, while still at anchor, chop whatever needs to be chopped for the next meal, make any sauces, blend any seasonings, and stow things in order of appearance.  There is nothing worse than knowing that what you need is somewhere in the ice chest but nowhere to be found. 
  • Carry spices and herbs in 35 mm film canisters because they seal watertight, keeping the contents dry even if floating (collect some cannisters before they disappear into the digital divide)
  • Premix dry ingredients for dishes such as curry or chili and store in plastic bags with directions on a label
  • Whole firm cheese such as wax coated cheddar, Edam , or Gouda travel best and keep the longest.  They are also versatile enough to spice up all kinds of dishes.
  • Hang dried sausage from a hook.  It’ll last forever except everyone will be sneaking chunks from it when they get hungry.
  • Coating chicken with bread crumbs or mixing cookie/cake ingredients is a lot easier if you use a plastic bag sealed tight and squished around until mixed.
  • Plastic bags are also great for marinating fin, fur, or feather and there are no bowls to wash. Soy or Teriyake sauces make good marinades for almost anything and don't need refrigeration.
  • When making coffee or tea in the morning, boil extra water and put it in a thermos.  Keep instant coffee, teabags, and cup of soup at hand for mixing up without having to boil water while underway.  By the way, I use an inexpensive metal kettle that has only one opening – the spout.  That way if it careens across the cabin, it might hurt but it won’t scald too badly.
  • Keep hard boiled eggs ready for nutritious snacks. They make good ingredients for other dishes if not used as snacks.
Alex takes his turn at cooking. He's very good that way.

Daria’s Easy Potato Salad

Cook up a couple extra potatoes for dinner and store in fridge overnight.  If you’re making eggs for breakfast, hard boil some; dice one for the salad keep the rest for snacks. Dice cooked potatoes, chop some onions or scallions finely, slice a celery stalk thinly, and add the diced hard boiled egg.  Mix one tablespoon vinegar (apple cider vinegar is best), one tablespoon of prepared mustard, two tablespoons of mayonnaise and a pinch or two of salt and pepper.  Mix together and pour over potato mixture.  Mix well, chill and serve. Yummy.


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