Meals on a boat, or so I have been told, are hugely important pastimes, breaking up the day during long, boring passages, into manageable time lapses (bite-sized portions, as it were). The long, slow days at sea when “making passage” are now, because of the anticipated meals, broken up into “breakfast”, “teatime”, “lunch”, “afternoon tea”, “Captain’s Hour (with a cold beverage and snacks) and then, of course, “dinner time”, (whether or not one participates in all of the aforementioned, but at least they are welcome options). On arduous passages, when neither the weather nor sea state are kind, presenting a grey and gloomy atmosphere, the thought of mealtimes at least provide the welcoming promise of sustenance, warmth and comfort; a welcoming reminder perhaps, that although it may not seem so outside, at least inside the boat, all is just as it should be. Mealtimes are, therefore, events to look forward to and the preparations, no matter how humble, are welcome distractions.
Or so I’ve been told….
Approaching this task with much enthusiasm, (which could, I acknowledge, wane somewhat as time goes on) certain relevant cookware was transferred from home onto the boat and I set about making my first, scratchmade (fascinating Americanism) meal onboard – Italian Lamb Casserole.
Potted herbs growing on the boat provided a handy snip of oregano, thyme, parsley and garlic chives, which, after a quick sauté of onions and lamb knuckles, the addition of baby potatoes and small white beans, leeks, celery and tomato, yielded a slow simmer of unctuous tomato goodness.
I am aware that obtaining and keeping a steady supply of fresh produce can be problematic when travelling to far away places, especially since the shelf life of certain fresh ingredients such as lettuce, for instance, is very short. At home, I have been experimenting with keeping salads and fresh smoothie components in my fridge and have found that if stored in glass jars, I can get away with at least five days of storage. Another good tip I tried is storing salad leaves between thick layers of paper towelling inside a Tupperware container, dry and tipped upside down, changing out the paper towelling every so often if it gets damp. This worked well and I may continue this, as well as planting a few small lettuce plants in my planter on the counter top, only snipping off the outer leaves as and when I need.
I have also invested in a sprouting system from http://livingseeds.co.za/ for a ready, steady supply of fresh sprouts and microgreens for salads, sarmies and stir fries.
Captain says we will never get scurvy! ?