Friday, May 9, 2014

The not so gourmet cook


One of the questions that I get asked by women whom I have just told that I live on board a boat, (that’s after asking “does it have a proper toilet?” and “ does it have a shower?” Yes to both actually) is “ I hope you are eating properly?
That question comes up surprisingly often. Perhaps an indication of what some women think of a males ability to look after himself.


Yes to that as well.

On board I’ve a reasonable little LPG (gas) oven, with two burners on top. I’ve a proper fridge in which to keep fresh ingredients, in fact I’ve two refrigerators and two freezers.
To explain, I’ve a small freezer up in the boatshed, and an under bench sized refrigerator on board. Both run on shore power, plus I have a ‘fridge and a freezer on boat that both run from a compressor on the engine. Those two are extremely well insulated, the fridge stays cool and goods stay frozen solid in the freezer for at least three days between engine runs so when we are away cruising  we’re fine.
Up in the boatshed I also have a small electric oven, a slow cooker and a microwave, that’s next to the freezer so I can defrost when I take something out.

I like cooking, am not a gourmet cook by any means and cooking for one can be a real pain in the very low back, but I manage.
My usual routine is to use the slow cooker to make a giant casserole (pot roast or stew) from beef or chicken about once a week, then freeze the result in one serving sized plastic pots.
A beef stew for example, may be a shepherds pie from one portion, a curry the next, mixed with chilli beans the next, a pastry pie the next, and served with mashed potatoes and steamed veges the next. When there are three different meats, plus vegetable soup or lamb stir fry in that little freezer its easy to prepare something tasty and nourishing in just a few minutes. No lack of variety.
I bake, scones, cookies, bread, do a mean chocolate cake when I know I’ve visitors coming, and make home made ice cream from time to time. (perhaps I should not have mentioned that last one ,  I’ll be overwhelmed with visitors, Oh well, could be worse) .

Thats a breakfast plate, so not as much food as it appears.  Still, lamb and herb sausages courtesy of our local butcher, mashed potatoes with cheese and chives, fresh tomatoes from a neighbours garden, cauliflower, broccoli and peas.  Not too bad!

I do stirfrys fairly often, chicken or pork and a heap of vegetables cooked up in a wok, just a smidgen of olive oil,  a pinch of salt and a light sprinkle of oregano or chives.  Nice, that only takes about 15 mins from “oh hell, look at the time, no wonder I’m hungry “ to tipping it out onto the plate and going up to the table in the wheelhouse where I usually eat.

So I eat well, I might open a can of something perhaps every second week. Fresh fruit, vegetables and whole grain breads plus my little slow cooker meal portions work out well.

I’m thinking of making a small herb garden in a big plastic pot, chives and parsley, spring onions, chervil and basil for starters. Its nice to be able to pick them just when they are needed. I’ve space up on the flying bridge.

Its interesting how ones diet changes to suit the circumstances, I’m very fortunate in that my ship with its very well equipped galley did not need me to make a major change and my doctor, after getting me to keep a dietary diary for a month, approves.


1 comment:

  1. Bachelorhood is the ultimate circumstance. Cook one dish you like tonight, and a different one tomorrow. We need a balanced diet, not a balanced meal every time.

    Woodrow Wilson, Author "The Champagne Taste/Beer Budget Cookbook"