Sunday, October 31, 2010

Provisioning for 10 Days at Sea

One of my most time consuming tasks has been planning the meals for the 8-12 crossing from Hampton, VA to Tortola, BVI. As a rookie at this - not to mention the limited storage and workspace in the galley - I have planned and planned. Then I shopped and cooked!

I have planned two meals a day: a hearty mid-day meal and a robust soup/sandwich evening meal. This was recommended by one of our two experienced crew members who suggested that everyone is very tired at the end of the day. Since I will be the one in the galley, it makes sense to me to work harder in the morning.

Another problem I have to address is: what will people "feel" like eating. Who knows how much sea sickness we will endure. Obviously I am not serving spaghetti and meat balls on the first day! Lighter fare - and ingredients that won't stain the boat or clothing - will be offered until our systems adjust to the motion.

To make life in the galley easier, I have pre-cooked all of the meat and frozen it by recipe. Then I bagged all canned and dry goods for each recipe and labeled it. If it works, it will be easy to pull the meat out of the freezer and grab the correct bag of remaining ingredients and presto: there is the meal! I sure hope it works the way I imagine. I am just not sure about cooking at a 15 degree angle while riding up and down on the waves. And if sea sickness gets me, then anyone can pull the ingredients and make the meal!

So what are we eating? Beef stroganoff, chicken and rice, beef burgundy, spaghetti and Italian sausage meatballs, chop suey, beef stew, curried chicken, rigatoni, ham, chicken cacciatore, chili, white chicken chili, brocolli cheddar soup, clam chowder, beef barley soup, potato soup, corn chowder, chicken noodle soup plus some surprises for the crew. And if we are lucky, we may have fresh fish along the way! We purchased an offshore rod and reel, etc.

The biggest challenges were stowing all of the provisions and remembering where I put them! Not good for one with low estrogen (it's important for memory, ladies). The second challenge was getting the frozen food to Maryland: will the airline TSA confiscate it from me or should I ship it overnight? I did carry it on Southwest and it was fine - and still frozen solid when I got to the boat.

Here is what the provisioning mess looks like. Finding a place for everything is a real challenge!

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