Sunday, May 20, 2012

How About Cooking

There is no doubt that many things will be different in our cruising life than it is now.  One is certainly cooking.
Pork with Brandy Apple Cream Sauce
Right now we really don't do a lot of cooking.  For a while my wife and I had different dietary needs and cooking two "meals for one" at each meal wasn't feasible.  While that isn't the case anymore, getting in a habit of cooking dinner just hasn't really happened.  So, I guess the bright side is we are fairly clean slates on the subject.

The first obvious issue is space.  A boat galley isn't anywhere near the size of our home's kitchen.  We will definitely need to be careful about what we keep and what we get rid of or we'll never get it all to fit.  Things that stack (or nest) will certainly help.

Another issue is motion.  Since we don't live in California, our kitchen doesn't really tend to move much.  A floating kitchen will definitely be different.  While stoves seem to generally be gimballed to stay level, everything else moves.  Not sure how this will impact things other than I know we want to avoid breakables (glass) and will need ways to secure stuff.

Provisioning will be another new task for us.  At home, we can just zip over to the store and pick up anything we are missing.  A little more hassle if you are at anchor near a town and impossible if you are otherwise traveling.  And with limited storage on a boat, we really need to figure out menus that use a lot of the same things so we have space for it all.

Energy is another big issue on a boat.  At home, stoves and appliances have unlimited supplies of gas and electricity.  On a boat, you have only the energy in the batteries and maybe an alternate fuel for a stove/oven (propane, alcohol, kerosene, etc.).  Definitely no American size refrigerators. Conservation is the key.  One very clever conservation idea is cooking using a Thermos.

We are starting to try to deal with meals more like we would on a boat.  One cool resource is The Boat Galley that has lots of tips and tricks (added to the research page).  For dinner last night we had fish tacos:
Other than the thermos rice, everything turned out well and was quite yummy.  5 minutes or so of pan frying the fish and boiling water for the beans and rice was all the energy used to cook.  Not counting the fish, salsa was the only refrigerated item (although leftover fresh caught fish would be refrigerated).  Even though I'll need to try the rice experiment again, overall I consider it a success.

And yes, the food pictured at the top of this post was a creation of mine...just because we don't cook much doesn't mean we can't. ;-)

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