Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Notes from the galley for next year

Menu suggestions: Memorable meals included: french cut lamb chops, hamburger sliders, sausage risotto, butter chicken and lamb tangine. I appreciated the hotdogs and Kraft Dinner at the end of a long sail day. I didn't pack flour for making roti, and regretted it. Also had an inexplicable craving for a can of baked beans. The best lunches were casual plates of cold veggies, cheese, smoked meats, pickles, devilled eggs & crackers.

Equipment: This year I made the switch from an electric stovetop to induction heat. Only one burner, though, so some things need to be cooked consecutively rather than the same time. The unit was on sale for less than $70 from Canadian Tire. While it can heat up to very high temperatures very quickly, it only heats the cookware and not the whole surface, a real advantage in a small space on a hot day. We tested the pressure cooker and cast iron pan and both were suitable for use. Our butane burner is still on standby for times we have no access to a power source or need a second burner at shore power.

I used the pressure cooker 3 or 4 times, but the 6 quart took up a lot of space, so maybe I will get a smaller one just for the boat. Should've packed: a couple of mason jars for liquid leftovers, 2nd/larger pot; bullet or blender.
butter cellar
Another addition to the galley was the butter cellar, which has been great at keeping the butter soft, spreadable, and fresh. Just don't leave it in the sun! I will keep my eye out for a smaller sized one just for the boat.

Meat: All the meat was vacuum packed in Toronto and kept fine in the ice cooler throughout the entire three week trip. Vacuum packing saved a lot of cooler space because there was no need to worry about ice from the cooler leaking into the seals. I went to McEwans and splurged on the meats, but many butchers can vacuum pack on request. Kaarina recommended this one, closeby. A real bonus is that when the meats are frozen, they do double-duty as ice, at least for a few days.

masala daba
Grains and pulses: I brought a lot of dried beans along on the trip but used absolutely none. I used green lentils a couple of times. Arborio rice, basmati, orzo, pasta, and breakfast cereal were all appreciated.

Spices: I experimented a bit with my tiffin and masala daba to pack tea and spices, but ended up tossing jars and spice tins into one big Tupperware container. The particular container shape works nicely on the galley shelf, but because I couldn't decide which spices to bring, I ended up with an overflow. A bit more editing in the spice department would be good, and maybe smaller jars.

Fruits and veggies: Apples kept very fresh in the hold where we stored the liquor.  Someone mentioned that wrapping a head of lettuce in tinfoil and then storing it beneath water level is a good trick for keeping it fresh. Cucumbers and tomatoes were delicious in snacks, salads and sandwich stuffers and kept well in the cooler. In past years I have brought equipment to grow beansprouts and kept a pot of fresh herbs, which I'd like to do on a more regular basis.

Dehydrated mushrooms and canned veg on hand for when fresh supplies run out. It might be worth stocking some dehydrated meals from Mountain Equipment Co-op to have on hand, as back-up provisions.

Wine and Spirits: Many of the bottles were left untouched. I think for cruising we will stick to a few signature cocktails and leave the full bar at home, which will free up a bit more space to ‘cellar’ fruit and veggies. Nice bottles of wine to bring when invited as guests came in handy. Having different gins on board resulted in a couple of impromptu tastings. Premixed Caesars were perfect on a hot afternoon.

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