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Old 28-11-2015, 12:18   #1
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Need Cooking-While-Under-Way Advice for a Work of Fiction

I’ve been posting questions for the novel I’m working on (chose a boat and a route), and now I need a little advice (probably a lot) on what culinary challenges my main character—the cook—might encounter on a 47’ Bermuda yawl making for the Cayman Islands from New Orleans. She has been hired to provide primarily Cajun/Creole fare for a crew of three, herself included.

The year is 1984
Here’s the galley:

Is that a top-access refrigerator/freezer in the far, lower right-hand corner of the picture?


I can employ literary license and embellish where needed, perhaps increasing the stove top to a three burner.

For the most part, she will be cooking while under way. She’s a proficient cook and accustomed to working in a tiny kitchen, but her familiarity with preparing meals in a moving boat might have been exaggerated when she accepted the job. What do I need to take into consideration as far as safety, typical deficiencies with onboard appliances, food storage issue, or anything else that I might get wrong?

Any mishaps or amusing stories to share?
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Old 28-11-2015, 13:06   #2
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Re: Need Cooking-While-Under-Way Advice for a Work of Fiction

I cook the same at sea as on land...

But... Did you ever see Lucille Ball in The Long Long Trailer? Desi Arnez is driving while Lucille is cooking in the trailer. Classic stuff.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Long,_Long_Trailer
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Old 28-11-2015, 13:12   #3
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Re: Need Cooking-While-Under-Way Advice for a Work of Fiction

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I cook the same at sea as on land...

But... Did you ever see Lucille Ball in The Long Long Trailer? Desi Arnez is driving while Lucille is cooking in the trailer. Classic stuff.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Long,_Long_Trailer
Hehe--Yes, I did see the movie, and actually, those were some of the images that came to mind as I get ready to write this part of the book! Ha!
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Old 28-11-2015, 13:29   #4
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Re: Need Cooking-While-Under-Way Advice for a Work of Fiction

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Hehe--Yes, I did see the movie, and actually, those were some of the images that came to mind as I get ready to write this part of the book! Ha!
Well, all that could definitely happen on a boat while the crew is oblivious upstairs in the cockpit!!
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Old 28-11-2015, 14:04   #5
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Re: Need Cooking-While-Under-Way Advice for a Work of Fiction

Mishaps, eh? How about these?

Heroine is serving the Jambalaya to crew in cockpit, or below, leaves serving spoon in pot, boat heels, spoon handle gets caught under the furniture outboard, and dumps its contents all over the stove. If she has PMS, she'll go ballistic.

or....The boat has an icebox. Due to adverse winds, they've been pounding, using canned meals, and, in the icebox, the ice has mainly melted. The seal on the lid of the tomato juice jar has loosened enough for the juice to come out, the lid on the mayo jar, ditto, and the pickles, as well, the resulting mess is plated all over the inside of the fridge. She tows the teak grate in sea water to cleanse it, and has to avoid seasickness while cleaning the icebox. There's room in this for cleaning whatever's salvable, storing it wherever?, chucking the green, fuzzy, (moldy) erstwhile tomatoes. These kinds of jobs are usually done in port or at anchor on my boat, because of the motion making everything so much harder.

For instance, on the boat in the picture, I would put up the lee cloth on the settee, to store the cleaned objects on a clean, dry towel...if any. Are there leaks to open up? Have they any way to deal with them under way? I have used fresh sanitary napkins to sop them up, for instance, wring out and re-use. More op for humor.

Bye for now.

Ann
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Old 28-11-2015, 14:20   #6
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Re: Need Cooking-While-Under-Way Advice for a Work of Fiction

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
Mishaps, eh? How about these?

Heroine is serving the Jambalaya to crew in cockpit, or below, leaves serving spoon in pot, boat heels, spoon handle gets caught under the furniture outboard, and dumps its contents all over the stove. If she has PMS, she'll go ballistic.

or....The boat has an icebox. Due to adverse winds, they've been pounding, using canned meals, and, in the icebox, the ice has mainly melted. The seal on the lid of the tomato juice jar has loosened enough for the juice to come out, the lid on the mayo jar, ditto, and the pickles, as well, the resulting mess is plated all over the inside of the fridge. She tows the teak grate in sea water to cleanse it, and has to avoid seasickness while cleaning the icebox. There's room in this for cleaning whatever's salvable, storing it wherever?, chucking the green, fuzzy, (moldy) erstwhile tomatoes. These kinds of jobs are usually done in port or at anchor on my boat, because of the motion making everything so much harder.

For instance, on the boat in the picture, I would put up the lee cloth on the settee, to store the cleaned objects on a clean, dry towel...if any. Are there leaks to open up? Have they any way to deal with them under way? I have used fresh sanitary napkins to sop them up, for instance, wring out and re-use. More op for humor.

Bye for now.

Ann
I don't plan on springing any leaks (not me, the boat), but that would make things interesting, especially using sanitary napkins to sop them up! Ha!
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Old 28-11-2015, 14:54   #7
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Re: Need Cooking-While-Under-Way Advice for a Work of Fiction

JB,

What Ann failed to say was that those specific things (but not Jambalaya) happened to us, in real life!

Gaakkkk.... what a mess those incidents were! Probably too raw for fiction!

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Old 28-11-2015, 15:12   #8
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Re: Need Cooking-While-Under-Way Advice for a Work of Fiction

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JB,

What Ann failed to say was that those specific things (but not Jambalaya) happened to us, in real life!

Gaakkkk.... what a mess those incidents were! Probably too raw for fiction!

Jim
I kind of gathered her remarks were base on experience--too vivid to be off the cuff. But certainly not too raw for fiction!
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Old 28-11-2015, 16:37   #9
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Re: Need Cooking-While-Under-Way Advice for a Work of Fiction

Can anyone tell me, in this particular galley, is that a top-access refrigerator/freezer in the far, lower right-hand corner of the top picture? Do they share the same compartment?
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Old 28-11-2015, 16:52   #10
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Re: Need Cooking-While-Under-Way Advice for a Work of Fiction

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Originally Posted by JBChicoine View Post
Can anyone tell me, in this particular galley, is that a top-access refrigerator/freezer in the far, lower right-hand corner of the top picture? Do they share the same compartment?

It's hard to tell from that picture, but it sure could be. Most of the aftermarket icebox conversions have a small freezer compartment within the refrigerator, sort of like a dorm fridge.



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Old 28-11-2015, 16:56   #11
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Re: Need Cooking-While-Under-Way Advice for a Work of Fiction

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It's hard to tell from that picture, but it sure could be. Most of the aftermarket icebox conversions have a small freezer compartment within the refrigerator, sort of like a dorm fridge.



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That's kind of what I thought. Thanks for confirming it! Seems it would be smartest to keep the really cold/frozen stuff closer to the bottom and plan meals accordingly.
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Old 28-11-2015, 17:21   #12
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Re: Need Cooking-While-Under-Way Advice for a Work of Fiction

I have nothing useful to add, just want to mention that, as a book lover and compulsive detail-oriented type, I'm delighted to see you doing this level of research. All the best.
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Old 28-11-2015, 17:33   #13
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Re: Need Cooking-While-Under-Way Advice for a Work of Fiction

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I have nothing useful to add, just want to mention that, as a book lover and compulsive detail-oriented type, I'm delighted to see you doing this level of research. All the best.
I appreciate your saying that--I drive myself a little crazy with the details, and until I'm done with the writing, I'm never sure just which details will end up in the story. It's for detail-oriented readers like yourself that I try to be as accurate as possible, given that I'm restricted to researching in front of a keyboard as opposed to setting sail from New Orleans to the Caymans!
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Old 28-11-2015, 18:30   #14
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Re: Need Cooking-While-Under-Way Advice for a Work of Fiction

Most galley misadventures actually happen when the sailing conditions are fairly good and then a sudden lurch catches the cook unaware.

A common one is the top loading refrigerator hatch.

They can stay open on their own, while you are rummaging through the fridge/freezer, then a lurch and the heavy hinged hatch comes crashing down on your head or fingers.
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Old 28-11-2015, 18:43   #15
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Re: Need Cooking-While-Under-Way Advice for a Work of Fiction

Pelagic's problem was solved on this boat by a simple swinging latch that retains the open lid, something that can be fashioned under way. Some of those have hinges (like mine), but some also just pulled out and were loose, most likely put in the sink while retrieving food. Incidentally, it is common for people to cook ahead for a passage and warm up the meals for the first few days...also common to have a stock of "bad weather" canned goods to warms up when one really can't cook.

There's no way to tell from that picture if there is a fridge in there, or an icebox. It depends on how forwardthhinking the owner of the boat was in the 80's, when I think the story is set, though I may remember that wrong. I would think that by the 90's, the owner would have converted to refrigeration. FWIW, ms. Chicoine, those installations did have some slow developing problems which allowed the coolant to leak out--the aluminum tubes that fed the coolant into the evaporator could sit in meat juice that leaked out. The meat juice is high in sodium, and that salt pitted the aluminum tubes, so that the coolant leaked out. So, your heroine could still have lack of refrigerant adventures and come up with Foxfire-like solutions to some of the problems.

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