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Old 28-11-2015, 19:13   #16
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Re: Need Cooking-While-Under-Way Advice for a Work of Fiction

I'm from Louisiana and cook traditional recipes frequently. Some peculiarities:

Gumbo - requires a roux, which is roughly an equal part oil and flour that you have to stir. and stir. and stir. constantly for anywhere from 30 min to an hour. This is tough even on land. Before you start you need to make sure you pee first, have a beer handy, etc. Once you start you can't go answer the phone, let the cat inside the back door, or anything or it will burn. you have to gently scrape the bottom of the pot constantly.
just one challenge that you could exploit.

Secondly, much cajun (and creole) cooking requires the use of heavy cookware. So this cook may have to adapt to using thin and light cookware. Temperatures that you need to sear or blacken would be a hurting on some thin steel or aluminum cookware. Marine cookware would quickly look like it went through a furnace.

Cajun cuisine also calls for lonnnnnng simmer times. Honestly, much of it does affect taste but much is also just an excuse to drink all day with friends. (meaning: i can cook gumbo in 3 hours just fine, but i *should* cook for 6 hours and a few beers worth) So fuel consumption would be a challenge.

Lastly, southern cooking requires a unique variety of seasonings. Not just your garlic and onion basics. But smoked paprika, bay leaf, cayenne, file, etc. (you can google ingredients and find stuff that is exotic). That may also get our character into a conundrum.

I'll see what else I can think of over the next hour as I stir my roux...

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Old 28-11-2015, 21:55   #17
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Re: Need Cooking-While-Under-Way Advice for a Work of Fiction

The central challenge to cooking on a sailboat is that the boat is heeled at maybe a 25 degree angle. Stand in front of your stove and try to imagine it.

In the pictured galley, while on "starboard tack" the cook would be falling into the stove. On "port tack" they would be falling away from the stove. To get from the stove to the sink you have to climb (or fall) to the other side of the boat - perhaps with a pot in hand.

Since you need to use one hand to keep yourself from falling, there's only one hand available for cooking. This presents lots of challenges. For example, how do you measure a teaspoon of salt when you have only one hand to hold both the box of salt and the measuring spoon?

And the counter's aren't flat either. So you can't chop some vegetables and leave the chopping board on the counter without the vegetables sliding off to join the heap of whatever else was left on the counter.

And this is in good conditions. In rough conditions, an occasional nasty waves can hurl parts of the meal across the cabin.

In the book, you might give your cook a galley harness (or belt). This piece of cloth goes around her but and has two snaps to attach either side of the stove. She can then cook with two hands while leaning back against the belt. Of course, you can't also reach the sink snapped in the belt. And it's no help on the other tack when you are falling into the stove.
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Old 28-11-2015, 22:20   #18
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Re: Need Cooking-While-Under-Way Advice for a Work of Fiction

Carlf beat me to it about the galley belt/strap.

You will also find a lot of cooking underway involves the use of a pressure cooker - less heat in the cabin, less fuel used, and less time below decks for the potentially seasick cook who wants to get up in the fresh air.

Stoves usually have fiddles, which are designed to keep pots and pans in place when on the burners. Unless it's really rough, then your options are keeping a hand on the pot (limits the number of pots) or putting everything in the sink until it calms down.

Making a pot of stew (aka burgoo) for the night watch to attack when they get hungry is frequently done. Stowing it in the depressurized pressure cooker is good for keeping it warm, and that's pretty much spillproof. You can also put soup in a thermos bottle, not to mention coffee.

Seasick remedies range from myriad over the counter or prescription remedies as well as various traditional things such as ginger. Drink ginger ale rather than cola. I once read that a glass of sherry at departure worked as a preventative. I'm not much of a sherry drinker so I use beer. Only one though, don't ask me how I know.

Let us all know how the book goes.
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Old 28-11-2015, 23:19   #19
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Re: Need Cooking-While-Under-Way Advice for a Work of Fiction

Let me reiterate from the above.

One 2-1/2 Qt. heavy aluminum pressure cooker will solve the thickness needed for successful roux.

The cook should already know she needs a butt belt that secures her safely in the galley. There is a stove rail that she will lean against on the other tack..

Ann
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Old 28-11-2015, 23:49   #20
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Re: Need Cooking-While-Under-Way Advice for a Work of Fiction

Pressure cookers are fantastic because you can cook the meal, eat, then very briefly re-pressurize the meal then let cool and sit overnight. While not canned or sealed, it will be reasonably sterile for one night. Then reheat and eat again the next day.

Ann - for roux, you need to stir constantly to get the gentle burn of the flour...something I've yet to pull off while at sea. Pretty please with cherry on top give me your secret to making it in a pressure cooker!?
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Old 29-11-2015, 01:59   #21
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Re: Need Cooking-While-Under-Way Advice for a Work of Fiction

Microwave....my best friend at sea
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Old 29-11-2015, 02:27   #22
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Re: Need Cooking-While-Under-Way Advice for a Work of Fiction

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArmySailor View Post
Pressure cookers are fantastic because you can cook the meal, eat, then very briefly re-pressurize the meal then let cool and sit overnight. While not canned or sealed, it will be reasonably sterile for one night. Then reheat and eat again the next day.

Ann - for roux, you need to stir constantly to get the gentle burn of the flour...something I've yet to pull off while at sea. Pretty please with cherry on top give me your secret to making it in a pressure cooker!?
ArmySailor,

I am so sorry, I only make short term roux, like for cheese sauces and the ilk, and have never made the proper roux required for Cajun cooking. One would only use the pressure cooker for it, if it were thick aluminum, not the thin stuff from Walmart--not thick enough--but an antique. The metal needs to be thick, and the flame, adjustable. Actually, I think one should have cast iron for this stuff, and also sheepherder's bread, but this is a whole 'nother issue. I can trust cast iron. It is wonderful, if properly seasoned. It is also heavy (thus a possible side subject for Chicoine) and I was afraid of rust when I left the US. The fear was a mistake.

Ann
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Old 29-11-2015, 04:56   #23
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Re: Need Cooking-While-Under-Way Advice for a Work of Fiction

Quote:
Originally Posted by FSMike View Post
....
Stoves usually have fiddles, which are designed to keep pots and pans in place when on the burners. Unless it's really rough, then your options are keeping a hand on the pot (limits the number of pots) or putting everything in the sink until it calms down.

...
...and pot holders which attach to the metal frame you see around the top of the stove and then clamp around the pot to hold it in place.

Also, good idea for the cook to wear weather gear">foul weather gear when cooking in rough weather, esp boots and bib front pants to avoid burns from galley spills.
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Old 29-11-2015, 08:15   #24
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Re: Need Cooking-While-Under-Way Advice for a Work of Fiction

As an aspiring writer I'm loving this thread!! Good luck. Please keep posting.


Sent from my iPhone using Cruisers Sailing Forum
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Old 29-11-2015, 08:21   #25
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Re: Need Cooking-While-Under-Way Advice for a Work of Fiction

Suggest you obtain an older cookbook about N'orleans dishes for breakfasts - dinner plus snacks. Most recipes have been in use for at least 100 years for basic ingredients. So, you'll at least know how to provision. There are other books that show how to make foodstuffs last longer w/o refrigeration. You won't have to actually do this while underway, since it's a work of fiction but you'll appreciate how it used to be.......and still is........in a lot of places you'll visit.
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Old 29-11-2015, 08:47   #26
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Re: Need Cooking-While-Under-Way Advice for a Work of Fiction

If she has exaggerated her skills and experience, I'm sure she will make some mistakes in provisioning the boat, and has to improvise while under way.
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Old 29-11-2015, 08:54   #27
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Re: Need Cooking-While-Under-Way Advice for a Work of Fiction

1) oven is gimballed so side to side rolling is reduced BUT not eliminated
2) everything tastes great at sea
3) SIMPLE MEALS meals rule
4) Baked potato is great
5) No drinking whilst at sea
6) Special treat pre-mixed muffin mixes for warm muffins, especially at night
7) caught fish great but make a bloody mess (blood) when being cleaned
8) snacks rule
9) SPAM rules, fried, cold, baked,
10) food must taken out of Caribbean packaging to keep critters off boat
11) eggs not washed before going on board, last longer
12) if propane stove watch out for fumes, but they do warm they cabin
13) warm drinks (coffee/tea/hot chocolate) rule especially at night, thermos'.
Bill
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Old 29-11-2015, 09:13   #28
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Re: Need Cooking-While-Under-Way Advice for a Work of Fiction

Other ideas to throw your way:

Cook discovers bugs in flour
Refrigeration fails, and she needs to improvise
Cutting with a sharp knife while underway mishaps
Cook is unfamiliar with pot restraints and loses dish all over the galley
Cook opens hatch for fresh air and a wave comes in soaking everything

Hope this helps!
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Old 29-11-2015, 10:01   #29
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Re: Need Cooking-While-Under-Way Advice for a Work of Fiction

This video is ok but there is a better one on Sailing La Vagabond. I just have to find the right one

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Old 29-11-2015, 10:14   #30
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Re: Need Cooking-While-Under-Way Advice for a Work of Fiction

La Vagabonde: It starts at 6:52. I am not sure how much of this was done just for fun but it illustrates some of the frustration you can experience with the small things...

https://youtu.be/ddaXT8C-hjc?t=6m52s

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