When cruising many of the culinary delights I made from the galley were from scratch. Having certain items on board, besides the usual assortment of galley gadgets like a potato peeler, can make the experience of home (or boat) cooking easier and more enjoyable. Below is the list I wouldn’t leave without and the reasons why.
This gadget can cook a tender three pound chicken in less than twenty minutes and uses little propane. I also cook my own beans for soups, stews and chili. One of my favorite uses of the pressure cooker when cruising was canning meat. Since I had limited refrigeration and no freezer space, I canned chicken, beef and even hamburger to use in recipes on long passages.
Not just for canning, I use mason jars to store spices I buy in bulk and to sprout. On long passages and remote anchorages, I would sprout mung beans using a 2 pint jar and screen mesh on the opening. After soaking the beans overnight then rinsing them three times a day, I would have edible mung beans in two to three days.
A Variety of Cook Books
I have about fifteen cookbooks on hand. It helps me stay creative in the galley especially when most of our meals come out of it. I have a large assortment of recipes to choose from. Its handy to grab a book and look through the pages for ideas especially when no internet is available to Google a new recipe. When cruising, I was glad to have my ethnic recipes along. My Sunset Mexican cookbook came in handy at the Mexican markets since it had photos and descriptions of the common ingredients used in the cuisine. Also my Mediterranean cookbook provided plenty of recipes in the various countries we visited while cruising the Med. But if I had to choose only three books I would pick the following.
Betty Crocker, The Big Red Cookbook – This is the encyclopedia of cooking. With 1500 recipes to choose from it provides tips and tricks for beginning cooks to the seasoned chef and the choices of tasty meals are endless.
Lean Bean Cuisine- As stated on its cover “Over 100 tasty meatless recipes from around the world.” This is a practical cruising cook book. It’s compact and offers vegetarian bean recipes with ingredients you can get from most places around the world. This is also an excellent resource for a dish you can bring to a cruiser potluck.
Vegan Planet – I am not a vegan or vegetarian. I call myself a flex-a-tarian since I do eat meat, but choose to eat more plant based foods than ones that moo. This book offers a large variety of practical recipes with most ingredients being accessible in many ports.
Right when we arrived in Tonga we craved fish tacos but couldn’t find a good tortilla. Our friends on s/v Ohana Kai purchased a homemade tortilla press in Mexico. My husband copied the designed so when we found the masa or corn flour we were set to make a patch of tortillas. Just eating them straight off the griddle was heaven.
Call me a coffee snob but I prefer grinding my coffee beans to get the freshest cup of jo I can. The coffee grinder can also grind granulated sugar into powered sugar, but the sugar might have a tiny coffee flavor. Bonus!
French Press – I like to have two presses on board, one only for coffee and one for only for tea, which I only put tea leaves in….does that make me a tea snob too?
Small Iron Skillet
After throwing out a couple of Teflon pans where the coating was coming off, I knew I needed a pan that was eco-friendly and nontoxic. I found it in New Zealand, an American made iron skillet. I had considered getting one before we left the States but worried it would become a ball of rust. I took my chances, made sure I kept it oiled and it’s been a trusty, not rusty, galley companion for over ten years.
Lemon/Lime Hand Squeezer
I picked this up in La Paz, Mexico for about a buck. Easy-peasy to use and I can flavor my water with a squeeze of my hand extracting every drop of juice from the fruit.
If you’re cooking from scratch like pizza doughs or pie crusts, this is a must. I prefer the long French Rolling Pin (it tapers at the ends). I have two uses for it, cooking and keeping the Captain in line.
Vita Mix is a blender on steroids. I didn’t cruise with it the first time around the world but I sure want to the second time around. Why? It blends smoothies, shakes, sauces, and soups. I can also make peanut butter and almond milk using this gadget. The problem is convincing the Captain, also known as The Amp Warden, to let me take it when we cut the dock lines. His arguments are, it takes too many amps and it’s too large. Where’s my rolling pin?
So, that’s my galley list. It keeps the galley food interesting and tasty but to be honest, I do have a few more tips to pull off some of the meals I conjure up, which I won’t give away just yet…because the key to being a good cook is keeping a few culinary tips a secret.
The Boat “Cooking” Wife