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Old 13-05-2018, 13:27   #1
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Shake-Out Cruise Provisioning...

Well, we survived splash day, and the follow-on days (okay, weeks) of boat projects and come the 20th, we start our on-board certifications, and on the 22nd, we begin the journey from one end of Puget Sound to the other from temp slip to perma slip (until we untie the lines for off-shore). We'll be living on the boat with three people (our instructor) and my husband and me for about a week.

Any how, as chief galley wench, I'm trying to find the most efficient way of meal planning and provisioning to avoid too much waste. I've been through all the forum posts and was hoping to find some sort of "basics." What I've learned reading all the literature on my shelf and posts here is that a lot of people find they either eat more when sailing or eat less. I'm not sure what to expect; therefore, I'm not sure how to plan for meals and resourcing said meals. So basically a week worth of food for three people.

What tips would you give us greenhorns on keeping things simple yet nutritious and satisfying? We'd like to be able to concentrate on learning everything we can this week, and not worrying too much about food. Each night we'll either be anchored or docked, so evening meals can be a bit more intricate. We have a fridge and a small freezer on our Elli, but could easily bring a cooler, too. I'm a fairly proficient cook on land, but realize there's a steep learning curve to cooking and sailing.

Honestly, I feel like this should be simpler, but as I sit down to plan for this today I feel fully overwhelmed and am not sure where to start.

Appreciate any tips, tactics, and anecdotes you all may have to share. Thanks!
~Casz
Chief Galley Wench
S/V Elli
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Old 13-05-2018, 13:39   #2
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Re: Shake-Out Cruise Provisioning...

It depends so much on what sort of people are on the trip and what they're used to. I just finished a "shake-down" (delivery) cruise which was planned with five adult males. Mornings we needed coffee, tea, bacon sandwiches, a fair bit of cereal and milk. Lunchtimes was a cockpit free grab (bread, rolls, butter, wraps, cold meat, cheese, tomatoes, salad, some various mustards and stuff) where we all made our own things on deck. Hot meal was on a rota, something like a chicken risotto, stew, pasta and sauce, etc. Night meal was usually having tins of industrial-strength chunky soups heated up with a bread roll. Throughout (and especially at night in a rough sea) extras like plenty of packs of ginger nuts, muesli bars, and of course endless tea and coffee to taste.

As it happened, we were delayed a week and ended up doing the second half of the trip with only two of us. Thus, we were pretty good on provisions overall, having bought a bit more fresh bread and milk on the way.

We could have done with a whole lot less pasta in the end. We could have done with more bacon sandwiches :-)

If you're docked for the night then you shouldn't have much trouble with the cooking. I find the most difficult thing to get right on a boat is a full english breakfast for a large number -- but that's mostly a logistical exercise of keeping several big platefuls of food hot simultaneously on a tiny hob.
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Old 13-05-2018, 14:40   #3
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Shake-Out Cruise Provisioning...

We eat the same on the boat as we did in a house.
Only difference is underway, not as much cooking goes on then, grilling sandwiches and the like.
I assume your used to primarily going out to eat?
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Old 13-05-2018, 15:04   #4
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Re: Shake-Out Cruise Provisioning...

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
We eat the same on the boat as we did in a house.
Only difference is underway, not as much cooking goes on then, grilling sandwiches and the like.
I assume your used to primarily going out to eat?
I raised a family of seven and come from a family of six. I cook every day. Just not sure how that's going to change in our sea life, is all. This thought brought on by the fact that so many people I've talked to say that the cooking process is very different than a dirt-dwelling kitchen. Besides size, I'm trying to figure out what they mean by that.
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Old 13-05-2018, 15:23   #5
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Re: Shake-Out Cruise Provisioning...

Hi, Proteus Rising.

A caveat here, I've never had crew aboard, nor a guest for whom I'd have to cook, like your teacher. And Jim does all at-sea cooking. The first thing to do is find out if there is something one of you cannot eat. I'd cook ahead, for the main meals, one pot meals of (in our case) different meats with plenty of veg (stews, curries, casseroles like lasagna), freeze it, and bring it down to the boat. That will be the least stress on refrigeration system. Make enough to serve 8 and plan to use half of each one at dinners. You can buy some bake in the oven rolls to accompany the dinners, and for after dinner sweets, use store bought cookies and chocolate.

I guess you'll be anchoring for dinner, so you will be able to bring fresh stuff, and I have to say I like the idea of bacon sandwiches for brekkies, and a piece of raw fresh fruit. For lunches, we do like Tillsbury. Provide a variety of things and plan that people will eat twice as much as they do on land. (It's better to have left-overs than hungry crew.) We would also have a different piece of fruit and cookies available.

Sometimes people like a couple of "coffee breaks" a day. Again, plentiful, and not instant. You can deal with real coffee, and for those who drink it, good coffee makes a real difference. More cookies.

Of course, you can bring some cake along for use instead of cookies. You can, also, bake underway, if you are not prone to seasickness. I've found the "Mud" cake that you mix in its baking dish an easy one to do while underway, but the deal for you is that your job right now is to be learning as much as possible from your teacher, so everything you can have pre-done, you should do, and maybe assign the teacher a cooking at sea day, around day 4 or 5.

Ann
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Old 13-05-2018, 16:58   #6
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Shake-Out Cruise Provisioning...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ProteusRising View Post
I raised a family of seven and come from a family of six. I cook every day. Just not sure how that's going to change in our sea life, is all. This thought brought on by the fact that so many people I've talked to say that the cooking process is very different than a dirt-dwelling kitchen. Besides size, I'm trying to figure out what they mean by that.


Now, I donít do hardly any of the cooking, but near as I can tell, we eat just like we did before we moved aboard, maybe even better as she doesnít have that pesky job thing that used to take up so much time.
I guess if you were a fancy pastry chef, or used to cook elaborate meals that may change.
Now she even makes bread sometimes, something that she didnít do on land, however Iím sure that has more to do with the lack of a Job than being on a boat.

I have a hard time understanding why people do all these classes etc.
Just move aboard, maybe in a marina for awhile until you feel like leaving, then do a few short trips until your comfortable with more.
If you feel like you need someone to show you how to sail, there are usually several people that will take you out and show you how, and not expect payment. Finally, you can learn a lot from books. Donít push your comfort zone, this is supposed to be fun, not scary.
Sometimes I wonder if the instructors for all these classes are not often the source of a lot of stress, making people think this stuff is harder than it is, so they take more classes.

I wonder how long these classes on how to live aboard etc have existed?
I have a gut feeling that itís a pretty recent thing, that not many people that have been cruising for very many years took any.

Now full disclosure, Iím not a cruiser with decades of experience, we bought our boat I guess four years ago and had never sat foot aboard a sailboat before.
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Old 13-05-2018, 20:01   #7
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Re: Shake-Out Cruise Provisioning...

Breakfasts depend a lot on what people like for breakfast. Jim and I do toast or cereal (with milk or yoghurt) and fruit. But when I had access to "Jiffy" muffin mixes (in the States) and Bisquik, we used to have them sometimes. I also made French Toast from the bread when it got too hard for sandwiches or regular toast. Pancakes are dead simple. In fact, they are so simple, that I just carry flour and the rest; and from that, and yeast, as well as baking powder, I also make breads. I consider focaccia bread to be an hors d'oeuvre. I am the baker on board.

But really, since this is to be a learning time, buy everything ready made, and don't worry about the waste. You can use long life flat bread instead of regular bread for wraps, rather than sandwiches, as long as there's enough basic ingredients. Pickles are good for crunch after the lettuce is finished. You can send your husband out for more perishables, one night when you are close to a town.

Finally, Cabbage, onions, carrots and potatoes, and also eggs,all keep well without refrigeration. Cabbage salads, using tinned vegs, with herbs for seasoning, work when the lettuce is gone.

I'm sure you can find some single raise bread recipes on the internet. Make 2 loaves, one a breakfast loaf with fruits in it (dried apricots, apples, pears, raisins and cinnamon,) and another with whatever extras you like in your bread, we're fond of whole wheat flour, various nuts, and sunflower seeds.) You can bake on top the burner, if you use a cast iron skillet with a lid, so you make round loaves.

You can learn this stuff at your leisure, though. You're paying good money for tuition, and you owe it to yourself and to your husband to learn as much as possible, about sailing the boat, about recovering someone who has gone overboard, about piloting and navigation, and which vessel is burdened, when, and how to work that out, all more important for your future life as a cruiser than one week's food.

Ann
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Old 14-05-2018, 02:17   #8
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Re: Shake-Out Cruise Provisioning...

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
We eat the same on the boat as we did in a house...
Indeed.
Eat what you like, in the amounts you're generally accustomed to. A little leftovers make a good, easy, snack.
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Old 14-05-2018, 04:44   #9
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Re: Shake-Out Cruise Provisioning...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ProteusRising View Post
I raised a family of seven and come from a family of six. I cook every day. Just not sure how that's going to change in our sea life, is all. This thought brought on by the fact that so many people I've talked to say that the cooking process is very different than a dirt-dwelling kitchen. Besides size, I'm trying to figure out what they mean by that.
I follow Tillsbury's routine for breakfast and lunch, for the most part. Sometimes I will eat leftovers for lunch as well.

The constraints to consider when planning dinner are for the most part A) Space B) Water C) Energy. Space because you can quickly turn the galley into chaos with too complex a meal. If you have to chop 10 different things and use three pans/pots to cook things can quickly get out of hand to the point of being irksome. Water because more pants/utensils requires more water to clean. Energy in terms of the propane required to cook it. These are not hard and fast rules, just sort of general considerations to keep in mind, and they lead me to lean on a fair number of one pot meals. That can include everything from red beans and rice to grilled fish with a salad.

For a one week trip you have the option of preparing stuff in advance and freezing it; chili, soups, casseroles, etc. One benefit is that more you pack into your freezer the better it will stay cold.

In general I would not overthink the whole thing. You'll learn what YOU are comfortable and what works for you during the course of your trip. If you're concerned about wastage plan your meals for the expected duration then add canned goods as backup in case the trip is extended.

One word of warning as a new cruiser going on a longer trip; be VERY careful about handling boiling water/fluids while underway. Making coffee can be particularly dangerous just because you get so used to it and do it so often that you can become lax about it. I know more than a few extremely seasoned sailors who end up pouring boiling water on themselves when the boat lurched just the wrong way at just the wrong moment.
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Old 14-05-2018, 06:10   #10
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Re: Shake-Out Cruise Provisioning...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ProteusRising View Post
We have a fridge and a small freezer on our Elli, but could easily bring a cooler, too. I'm a fairly proficient cook on land, but realize there's a steep learning curve to cooking and sailing.

Your only "steep learning curve" is probably about the sailing part. Cooking is cooking.

Depends on your capacity to stock foods of various types. We've found a cooler for ice and sodas can help take the strain off of small fridges and freezers (but we don't usually need that on this boat). Also, a vacuum bagger seems to help make small freezers more effective. Then fresh veg and pastas and the canned stuff become somewhat about your overall storage plan, ease of access, etc.

You might mention what actual cooking capabilities your boat offers: propane, alchohol, or electric cooktop? outside propane or charcoal grill? microwave? traditional or convection oven? electric or traditional pressure cooker? electric slow cooker? (genset and/or inverter?)

FWIW, we've just planned most of our meals around whatever physical capabilities might be available at the time. IOW, up to two "somethings" on the two-burner cooktop, one "something" in the microwave/convection oven, maybe one "something" in the Instant Pot or slow cooker (or both), another "something" on the outside propane grill if it's not raining...

Of course, we usually don't go all that overboard (pun!) when it's just the two of us, but we used everything but the outside grill for Turkey Day and it was easily enough for 4 of us that day.

Otherwise, we generally eat whatever we eat at home.

Chill. You already know how to do it. Enjoy!

-Chris
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Old 14-05-2018, 06:33   #11
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Re: Shake-Out Cruise Provisioning...

Tortillas!
Most versatile thing you can bring for easy boat cooking: breakfast tacos, snack quesadilla, tacos, burritos. And they last a long time.
Also echoing grilled cheese, egg sandwiches, whatever you would've made with few pots and pans to save dishes.
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Old 14-05-2018, 07:18   #12
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Re: Shake-Out Cruise Provisioning...

We make pizzas on tortillas.
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Old 14-05-2018, 07:41   #13
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Re: Shake-Out Cruise Provisioning...

Another thought on how to look at it...

How you will accomplish ingesting the food may help your meal planning, too. If you're thinking cockpit meals with paper plates and plastic utensils, that might be a type of foods (maybe handheld)... different from Happy Hour with heavy hors d'oeuvres (maybe finger foods)... different from hunched over a low coffee table but with real flatware... and different again from at a real "dining" table with decent plates and even steak knives if necessary.

Pretty much like you probably already do at home; outdoor picnic food versus indoor candlelight dinner... the venue sorta dictates the menu.

I do of course acknowledge that meal-prep while underway in a heeling sailboat can be a whole different kettle of fish (so to speak) compared to cooking at anchor... but it wouldn't surprise me if your training sessions aren't too demanding in that regard...

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Old 14-05-2018, 08:53   #14
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Re: Shake-Out Cruise Provisioning...

Ann,
Okay, I'm getting a drift here. Lots of cookies and coffee.
Bacon sandwiches for brekki sound great -- I agree, and can be made ahead of time, too. So that's on the agenda this week.
Thanks for responding. This was really helpful.
~Casz

Quote:
Originally Posted by JPA Cate View Post
Hi, Proteus Rising.

A caveat here, I've never had crew aboard, nor a guest for whom I'd have to cook, like your teacher. And Jim does all at-sea cooking. The first thing to do is find out if there is something one of you cannot eat. I'd cook ahead, for the main meals, one pot meals of (in our case) different meats with plenty of veg (stews, curries, casseroles like lasagna), freeze it, and bring it down to the boat. That will be the least stress on refrigeration system. Make enough to serve 8 and plan to use half of each one at dinners. You can buy some bake in the oven rolls to accompany the dinners, and for after dinner sweets, use store bought cookies and chocolate.

I guess you'll be anchoring for dinner, so you will be able to bring fresh stuff, and I have to say I like the idea of bacon sandwiches for brekkies, and a piece of raw fresh fruit. For lunches, we do like Tillsbury. Provide a variety of things and plan that people will eat twice as much as they do on land. (It's better to have left-overs than hungry crew.) We would also have a different piece of fruit and cookies available.

Sometimes people like a couple of "coffee breaks" a day. Again, plentiful, and not instant. You can deal with real coffee, and for those who drink it, good coffee makes a real difference. More cookies.

Of course, you can bring some cake along for use instead of cookies. You can, also, bake underway, if you are not prone to seasickness. I've found the "Mud" cake that you mix in its baking dish an easy one to do while underway, but the deal for you is that your job right now is to be learning as much as possible from your teacher, so everything you can have pre-done, you should do, and maybe assign the teacher a cooking at sea day, around day 4 or 5.

Ann
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Old 14-05-2018, 08:56   #15
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Re: Shake-Out Cruise Provisioning...

Tillsbury?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suijin View Post
I follow Tillsbury's routine for breakfast and lunch, for the most part. Sometimes I will eat leftovers for lunch as well.

The constraints to consider when planning dinner are for the most part A) Space B) Water C) Energy. Space because you can quickly turn the galley into chaos with too complex a meal. If you have to chop 10 different things and use three pans/pots to cook things can quickly get out of hand to the point of being irksome. Water because more pants/utensils requires more water to clean. Energy in terms of the propane required to cook it. These are not hard and fast rules, just sort of general considerations to keep in mind, and they lead me to lean on a fair number of one pot meals. That can include everything from red beans and rice to grilled fish with a salad.

For a one week trip you have the option of preparing stuff in advance and freezing it; chili, soups, casseroles, etc. One benefit is that more you pack into your freezer the better it will stay cold.

In general I would not overthink the whole thing. You'll learn what YOU are comfortable and what works for you during the course of your trip. If you're concerned about wastage plan your meals for the expected duration then add canned goods as backup in case the trip is extended.

One word of warning as a new cruiser going on a longer trip; be VERY careful about handling boiling water/fluids while underway. Making coffee can be particularly dangerous just because you get so used to it and do it so often that you can become lax about it. I know more than a few extremely seasoned sailors who end up pouring boiling water on themselves when the boat lurched just the wrong way at just the wrong moment.
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