Monday, October 15, 2012

big meals, tiny kitchen.

This is what I imagine cooking in a studio apartment in Manhattan halved is like. Cooking on a 36 foot sailboat is no joke. If you like canned tuna and cold pop tarts for every meal, maybe this is a non-issue but for big eaters--fans of food, if you will--it's a Macguyver sized pickle to be in. Last weekend was a trial run for next summer, when we plan to live on the boat for the season and it was interesting.

I did a fair bit of prep work in my home kitchen for the occasion--cooked a ham, precooked the ground beef for lasagna, made a mashed potato casserole, tossed together chicken salad, cooked and seasoned chicken for tacos, and bought a few pre-made things to snack on. 

I also hadn't thought about the steps involved with firing up the whole shebang. First you go on deck to open the propane tank valve, then you flip a switch on the electrical panel, then you flip a switch near the stove, then you turn a knob, push it in, and turn another knob to spark the pilot light. Boom. Your burner should be going. You have to hold the knob pushed in for 15 seconds so the flame is sustained before you can switch it to your cooking temp. If you want to fire up the oven, you have to keep the stove burner on for a few minutes then physically light the pilot light on the oven. I was a little worried I was going to have a fireball on my hands, but once we figured out exactly what we were doing, it fired up in no time. 

The first oven adventure was to cook a lasagna and garlic bread. The oven is only 13"x13"x9". It'll fit a 9"x13" flat pan or casserole dish. That's about it. It looks as if there was another rack in there at one time, so I may do some searching to see if I can get another one and double my cooking capacity. It also has a broiler but is very, very, small. I had to shift the bread every few minutes to keep the tops from getting burned. I do have to say that the lasagna was delicious. 

Saturday morning was the first foray into breakfast cooking, and unfortunately, I forgot a skillet. The eggs and the sausage both got cooked in a little saucepan. They weren't pretty, but tasted just fine. The hash browns were perfect!

The rest of the weekend was more cooking on the surface and in the oven. I didn't take too many photos, and what I did take, were terrible, as you can see :( The moral though, is that everything tasted fine. I might not ever cook a souffle in the oven, or make hollandaise sauce on the stove top, but I think that we'll get along just fine once I am able to have the kitchen fully stocked and figure out how to best utilize the limited prep spaces and awkwardly shaped fridge.