Dry Stores, and How to Keep 'Em Edible:
Buying often-eaten things like rice, beans, whole spices and
grains, powders, etc. from
bulk bins and storing them in reusable containers eliminates lots
of unneccessary cardboard and cellophane trash, and is often a
considerably cheaper way to buy things. Dry items like these keep
forever if stored properly, and if you carry a grain mill, you can
grind your own flours and spices as needed for the freshest,
best-tasting bread and pasta recipes you've ever had!
or heavy glass jars with tightly sealing lids are much better able to
keep pests and moisture from contaminating your food. Cardboard should be a persona non grata on a boat-- roaches love
to lay their eggs in its nooks and feast on the glue. Once the
marine air has made a box good and soggy, it can apparently
sustain roach life for years. We are rustic and hardy in many
ways, and have made certain sacrifices over the
past couple of years, but living on a roach and/or vermin-infested boat
is not an option for any length of time. Carefully cushioned,
well-packed mason jars for us, then! Liquids like oils, vinegars and
extracts go into screw-topped Nalgene bottles. So far the system
has worked very well, even while heeling and being tossed around
a small herb garden on board has also proven to be a worthy endeavor--
requisite parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme have all adapted to boat
life nicely, along with mint, basil, oregano, tarragon and sweet
marjoram. Fresh herbs are incomparable in taste, and they also
add vitamins to the food they're flavoring. Securing them while
underway is either a pain or a refreshing challenge, depending on which
crew member you ask. A better system for holding them in place is
slated for construction this winter to keep grumbling to a minimum next
season. SARABANDE's unusually large deckhouse portlights are ideal for growing plants, so hopefully our garden will winter well.
Some of the Most Technologically Advanced Equipment on the Ship:
We have a Family Grain Mill
for grinding flours. It's got a Bosch-powered motor and a manual
crank, and it's been a champ. It can also grind meat and make nut
items include a digitial thermometer for soap making and sweets (and
complaining about the ambient air temperature), a hand mixer, and a
very small grinder for milling small meal-sized amounts of whole
spices, plus the usual collection of knives, spoons, peelers, etc.
A silicone muffin tin has worked well for onboard baking so far,
but Alicia sadly has found silicone loaf and cake pans inferior to the
regular rigid style ones. A shame, since silicone is so much
easier to stow!
also got two pressure cookers, one 10 quart Innova and one 4 quart
Presto. These are fantastic! They do wonders for speeding
up cooking times, saving fuel and keeping the cabin cool when
cooking in the summer. The bigger one also doubles as a
lobster/crab/pasta boiling pot and a canner.
We Ain't Afraid of No Botulism:
of canning (or 'bottling', as I'm told the British charmingly call it),
we're placing high hopes on its role in provisioning for our big trip.
we successfully canned strawberry, peach, blackberry and cherry
preserves and pie
fillings, and tomato sauce using the water bath method.
pressure, we processed shucked corn for fall soups, and there was
one disastrous round of garlic-dill pickles that won't be mentioned
again. Hopefully by the
end of the month we'll also have some time to go apple and pumpkin
picking to fill up the cupboard a little more before winter sets in.
Over the fall, we hope to try canning some soups and chili for
quick, easy dinners on evenings spent fixing deck leaks.
Canning your own stuff vs. buying commercially canned food is healthier, the taste and
texture compared to storebought is far better, and if all the
common-sense rules of cleanliness and processing times are followed,
it's perfectly safe.
We anticipate doing lots and lots and lots
more canning next spring and summer before we shove off!
Research says that many of our destinations offer little variety
in the fresh food available, and commericially canned food, along with
offering crap nutrition, is going to be expensive. Therefore,
we'll take advantage of the excellent local NJ and NYC farmer's markets
and process all our favorite things to take with us, plus meat for the pets' food. Our dry
stores, home-canned reserve, fresh things from local markets and
the fish we (hopefully) catch should keep us fat and happy
throughout our trip.