Galley cooking poses an interesting dilemma.
To start with, you need to bring everything you anticipate needing with you. There is no going back to the local market to get that essential ingredient. You are just plum out of luck and will either need to improvise, get creative or abandon your plan altogether and create a new one.
I like to start each new expedition by asking each of the crew the following questions. Do you have any food allergies or intolerances? Do you follow a special diet? And then finally, what foods put you into a happy and sad place? For example, are you a someone with a gluten allergy who dislikes celery and green peppers, but give you a fruit smoothie and all of your cares after a particularly grueling day are forgotten?
A typical day starts around 7:00 a.m. putting out breakfast – coffee, tea, cereal, fruit, toast and other goodies that need eating. When the weather is rough I like to make oatmeal with an abundance of apples and cinnamon, along with other goodies like raisins. When time, schedules and energy allows I enjoy making breakfast to order, however we have been just too busy during this campaign to enjoy that luxury.
After about an hour, or it seems that people have gotten their fill, I put breakfast away and stock a snack basket. On other boats when the crew is small and fruit inaccessible then it will be filled with an orange, apple and banana for each member of the crew. On Odyssey however, we have large hanging baskets and the crew is able to help themselves. In addition to fruit the snack basket is filled with trail mix, snack bars, popcorn, leftover chips and cookies from lunch, and other items that become available or the crew seem to crave.
After the breakfast is stowed and the snack basket filled I start thinking about dinner and tackle any chores that need to be attended to i.e. laundry, clean out the fridge, defrost the freezer, rotate inventory or sort out the drawers, cabinets and shelves that are forever in need of rearranging.
By the end of the morning I scramble to finish chores and attend to lunch. Lunch is usually, a help yourself equation. I layout the essential sandwich making ingredients along with chips, cookies, fruit and leftovers from the night before. When time allows and I find myself inspired by a particular recipe I make something else for lunch, like a pasta dish or grilled tomato sandwiches.
After lunch is put away I usually take a break before putting out the afternoon snack and beginning dinner. This is where things get tricky. I have found that the three essential ingredients for keeping the workplace from a flying food fest is 1) bins 2) non-skid 3) double handled pots and pans tied down with chain. Using an abundance of all three keeps the galley from utter chaos. However, even with all three in place mayhem and havoc are sure to ensue when the seas are rough. Alas, that is a story for another day.
Dinner is often a fun outlet for creativity and where I like to try new and interesting recipes. My two favorite dishes that I stumbled upon are a Moroccan lentil stew with raisins found on www.vegetariantimes.com and a fantastic split pea soup topped with a drizzle of olive oil, lemon juice and smoked paprika that I found on www.101cookbooks.com.
I strive for a routine around meals but find that a predictable dinnertime has remained illusive. Ideally we have dinner on the aft deck in time for sunset followed by dessert after which things wind down and people either get back to work, go on watch or head to bed in anticipation of a pending shift. Speaking of which, it is now time to start dinner. I think I will make sautéed coconut kale, roasted acorn squash, wild rice, and a vegan carrot cake for dessert. Yum.
By Lauren Paap, Ocean Alliance