I have been spending a fair amount of time this week in front of my laptop writing a couple articles about provisioning and cooking on board. While researching what has already been published (in the hopes that I might have something new to say, HA!) I keep stumbling across this notion of “boat food”. That idea that just because you live on a sailboat and have a small galley you need to drastically change the way you cook and what you eat.
There is, in fact, quite a niche market for “galley cookbooks”, ones that implore that “boat cooking IS different than cooking ashore” because “there’s no grocery store 5 minutes away, you have fewer prepared foods and electric appliances.” And others that recommend that you eat off “paper cups and plates, particularly at sea.” Both to save washing up (you can just toss them overboard, of course) and because plastic plates “scratch and become dull.”
I mean REALLY?!
I feed people.
I make loaves of bread as thank yous, I cook meals for single-handers about to depart on passages, I make jars of jam and can’t resist giving half of them away. I have even been known to buy baguettes at market at 5am and slip them into peoples cockpits as a wake up surprise. So much of how I experience the places we travel to is through food. Cooking and eating and sharing food is important to me.
Preparing a three or four course meal for 4, 6 or 8 people, I get excited about. Cooking for one does not delight me. In fact when I am alone on the boat I have been know to slide into bachelor habits; eating out of the pot, standing at the sink, not bothering to heat things up. Once in a while I remind myself how much I enjoy sitting down and eating a proper hot meal and I make the effort. Last night was one of those times.
And as I was standing over the stove, preparing more of the meat from the freezer and cooking enough for two, I decided that there was no need to eat left overs for a week or to eat alone. I invited a local to join me for dinner. Continue reading