Friday, November 11, 2016

cooking and eating aboard.

Before we left Racine in September, I actually had the forethought to prepare some food. When we did our shakedown cruise at the beginning of August, I hadn't. I had ingredients for the most basic dishes but didn't take into account the whole "being-below-deck-and-being-tossed-around-while-cooking" thing into account. In a not very proud moment, I now admit that we subsisted on protein bars, granola bars, and fruit snacks for the entirety of our time underway (read: under sail or motoring). It was gross. When your sleep schedule dictates that you're awake for four hours and asleep for four hours, you have weird eating patterns too. I was eating 2 protein bars every 4 hours around the clock. They weren't the high calorie ones so really I was only eating 350ish calories every 4 hours. Nutritionally it could have been worse but still not stellar. Plus eating sweet around the clock was wearing. 

This go round I vowed I'd do better and I think Josh would agree that I have. Before we left I did one big last big grocery haul and prepped a bunch of items plus grabbed some staples to have for when we were in port and could cook. My goal was to make stuff we didn't mind eating cold, (as using the stove isn't ideal underway--at least while sailing) and found appetizing and at least semi nutritious. In addition to what I made, I also picked up some fresh fruit, cheese sticks, and carrots. I made: Thresher burgers (non Hamiltonians may know it as maid rites), pulled pork, dill pickle dip, sliced cheese and sausage, boiled eggs, and egg casserole. Mostly I was on the money. I bought pretzel thins for the dip, crackers for the cheese, and Hawaiian rolls for the meats. Plus we got fruit snacks and granola bars (you would think we would be sick of them, but no). 

For the entirety of our time on the Great Lakes, this is how it went. I would pop into a grocery store when we're in port and pick up ingredients to make another recipe so we weren't always eating the same thing. Last time I added a hot sausage dip and chicken salad. I would do all the cooking at the dock before we cast off and we would eat it all cold unless we were in port. 

I will say that our menu widened once again after we started on the Erie Canal were strictly motoring. I made chili, quesadillas, spaghetti, home made pizza, and some casseroles because the water was completely calm and I could actually cook underway. Three cheers for hot lunches and dinners!

Now it's a mixed bag and I suppose it will continue to be as much until we reach the Bahamas. With the transition back and forth from sailing and motoring as conditions warrant, we will be flexible. My goal is for us to always be satiated and for some sort of balance, especially for Fozel. We've been really lucky and I've been able to get plenty of fresh produce for him. He eats a fruit and a vegetable at every meal (except breakfast...I don't insist on the veggie then) and a glass of milk at least two of the three meals. When provisioning options are scarce or we are scraping the bottom of the cabinets, as we sometimes do (way more frequently than when we lived on land, I will say), we do eat canned veggies and fruit. Not my favorite options, but flexible we must be. I don't have a ton of cooking pans, and with only three small burners, a full stove is not realistic anyway. I cook food in shifts so it's not always piping hot, but it works. No one complains. I will say that my most valuable pan has turned out to be a little nonstick omelet pan. I use that thing for EVERYTHING. I make eggs, grilled cheese, and most importantly, to reheat leftovers. I'm telling you right now, I could not do it without this pan. Guys, how did people reheat leftovers before microwaves?? We never planned to take a microwave because 1) we don't have the space and 2) it pulls to much electricity, but now I think long and hard about what I cook in advance. What will and won't reheat well? You know what does't reheat easily? Meatloaf. At least not yet. I will do some noodling and get back to you guys but for now, meatloaf is going to have to be a cold leftover. 

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