The smell of freshly baked corn bread permeated our galley yesterday as we worked away on the boat. This is a good sign as it meant that our oven is working and I’m able to bake while living on the boat. I’ve slowly come to realize that I will have to adapt my cooking practices because the galley is much smaller than any normal kitchen, we need to conserve propane (we only have (3) 11lb propane canisters), the boat can get extremely warm and humid while cooking, and did I mention the galley is tiny and I don’t want to spend hours cooking in it. So no more slowly roasted dishes in the oven or slowly cooked stews!
To help reduce time spent in the galley and to conserve our propane, Rob found a few items that I’m learning to use; a Fagor Splendid 4 quart pressure cooker; a Kuhn Rikon 3 litre steaming pot; a 2.5 litre Airpot thermos; and Chef’n Veggichop dicer.
The pressure cooker we have is a much more updated version than the one my mom had when I was little and I’m not very concerned that the pressure release device will blow up through the galley roof like the old ones were prone to do. So far, I’ve only used the pressure cooker a few times to cook quinoa, oatmeal and pasta, and have to say that it works very well. It cooks the food very quickly, it is easy to use and can also be used as an extra big pot for cooking. The only disadvantage I’ve noticed so far is that you have to stay near the galley area until the pressure has been reached for proper cooking. This time is usually taken up by chopping the other ingredients I might need for the meal, or I might take the time to check for new recipes on the laptop, which is conveniently located on the navigation table across the galley area.
The steaming pot was used for the first time yesterday to boil up some fresh spotted prawn ravioli made locally here in Cowichan Bay. I’m sure I’ll be using it more to cook up shrimp, crap, or lobster, and more pasta but right now I found it to be a ‘normal’ pot with the a strainer.
The Airpot is quite a large thermos for two people and it takes up to two kettles to fill but I love to drink tea and Rob likes his coffee and this works very well for us. The water stays reasonable hot throughout the day without having to boil water every time and by the evening is still warm enough to make a final cup of tea (lukewarm but still good)! Rob even secured it in some weird bungee-cord contraption that keeps it from flying around the galley.
The Veggichopper is a cool gizmo! It’s a hand-powered food processor that uses a pull-cord system to chop up the food. It is very similar to a ‘normal’ food processors with the exception that it won’t make any smoothies or turn the food into mush. I’ve only used a few times now to make fresh salsa and guacamole and it worked out very nicely. Rob got the idea from Steve and Lulu’s blog who are sailing in Mexico on a Westsail 28.
We still have a few new devices to try out including two hand coffee grinders (Rob and his obsessive disorder with buying and searching for the perfect coffee grinder) and will report on them when we’ve used them more. I’m also looking for a ‘device’ or technique that would keep the fruits and vegetables fresh without having to stick them into a fridge. Our current fridge is an Engel 12-volt plug-in fridge that only stores a limited amount of items including our beer. We figure that we could store most items such as condiments, pickles, olives, fresh laid eggs (not previously refrigerated), and we’ve even heard mayonnaise and butter at room temperature but that will be a learn as we go process. What did people do before the invention of fridges and freezers? ~Sophia & Rob