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Old 01-02-2010, 15:23   #1
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The Most Basic Essential Foods

I am looking for a list of the basic food ingredients to make meals and lite baking without getting too fancy.

i will catch seafood and that's where my protein will come from.

all items must NOT need refrigeration.

Some of the items that come to mind are:

Flower
yeast
eggs
coffee
sugar
rice
oil
pasta
salt
pepper
Garlic
potatoes
assorted beans
assorted nuts.

What else?

Also if you can, please give an example of how to use. Ie. bread will require flower,yeast,oil,salt.

Thanks again to all the helpful posters on here. since I don't have any experience cooking I am trying to learn as much as I can before the big goodbye.
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Old 01-02-2010, 15:42   #2
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Well, since pasta is on your list, I would say tomato sauce or the ingredients to make it. Also, grated parmesan and/or some other long shelf life cheese and onions. Also, the potatoes will be pretty awful unless you fry them or have something else to put on them.
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Old 01-02-2010, 15:51   #3
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It's questionable if coffee is essential, but being English, tea deffinately is. Since you have no milk China tea an acceptable alternative.

You don't seem to have veg in the list. How about the following since they all keep well.

Oranges
Lemons
Limes
Onions

Isn't their a Soya alternative dried meat available "Quorn" which could be used in stews, Spag Bol, Pizza, Big Mac etc?

Pete

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Old 01-02-2010, 15:53   #4
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Some "Flowers" are edible yet have little nutrition, but I think you meant "Flour". Fruits carry needed nutrients and vitamins. Other vegetables might also balance your diet too. Potatoes are not all that universally available and there are other alternatives you might try as well depending on location.

Basic is an imprecise term. What you know how to prepare is easy and what you don't know you can't. Items you can bring may require special storage even if not refrigerated. The proper storage of everything is not basic yet to some degree possible.

There are basic foods and then there is eating well. As one travels there may be items you can find easily available yet not something on your basic list. It's less about a static list than it is about a decent diet. You wouldn't be happy with Scurvy and a host of other diseases due to deficiencies in your diet.

For baking, baking powder and baking soda play an important part in the chemical portion of baking. You might include other spices just because they travel well and add variety. To some degree learning how to cook opens more options.
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Old 01-02-2010, 16:04   #5
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I'd recommend a source of vitamin C.. how about sauerkraut
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Old 01-02-2010, 16:06   #6
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It's less about a static list than it is about a decent diet. You wouldn't be happy with Scurvy and a host of other diseases due to deficiencies in your diet.
Paul is exactly right. If you're going to go "basic" with "guy" food, you need a supply of vitamin supplements.
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Old 01-02-2010, 16:51   #7
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You can't go without peanutbutter!
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Old 01-02-2010, 17:13   #8
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I must protest this line of reasoning a bit. It outrages the hedonist in me. Why do we go to sea? Part of it is the pleasure we gain from new places, new experiences, new...foods. I have just peeled and eaten a naval orange while reading this...and it was pleasurable.
Instead of compiling a list, start with the basic food groups and why. Then fill in your diet with balanced non-refrigerated foods. Yes you need lots of fruits and veges- but these can be cheap locally, if prepared correctly to prevent transmission of diseases. I generally wash in Clorox water if I suspect the vegee...peel-able fruits have their own wrapper. Sailing for a week or more- you can sprout beans and other plants to get your fresh veges. Since many guys do not take their own nutrition seriously I also recommend a multivitamin.
A book I would recommend..."Care and Feeding of the Sailing Crew" by Larry and Lin Pardey. They have been many years without a refrigerator.
And have fun on your adventure!
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Old 01-02-2010, 17:16   #9
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Pop Corn is another necessity for independent cruising. Peanut Butter, already mentioned, is a must in French influenced countries because of their cheap and very good bread.

I wouldn't count on catching fish. The Marquesas. for one, have a very serious problem with ciguatera poisoning. Some areas just don't have a lot of fish or a lot of fish left. We caught fish everytime we put a line in the water through the Tuamotus. Didn't get a bite after. Sailed all the way through the Societies, back to Hawaii or anywhere in the Islands without even getting a bite. Probably, a little more attention to proper lures, etc might have some effect. Don't think it would compensate for the total lack of fish, however. Hear the Med is pretty much fished out. Maybe if you are really a good fisherman you could depend on fish for protein, however. Even in fished out areas, there are always a few who seem to be able to catch fish.
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Old 01-02-2010, 17:51   #10
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May as well add canned tuna to your list then..
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Old 01-02-2010, 20:03   #11
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I recently did a similar exercise in provisioning. I let go the docklines just before xmas with 3 months supply of food aboard. I did however have a few different requirements, ie I have a small 18 litre fridge (good for leftovers and storage of stuff like mayonnaise, butter etc) and decided to make food my one sorta luxury item; i actually eat better now then i did when i lived in a marina.

Still i'll go through what i did just in case there is anything similar that might be helpful to what you're doing.

Ok first of all I did a monthly menu plan. I worked out what foods i could cook with little refrigeration and the only thing on the menu I need to visit a shop for is a twice a month meal of eggs.

I then did an ingredient list for the whole month (thats breakfast, lunch and dinner) then tripled it to make my 3 month grocery supply list.

Ok few things which are on my menu which could work with no fridge are

Tortillas + refired beans:- You can get packets of tortillas which keep for months (or you can make your own, no yeast required IIRC); get some cans of refried beans (or again refry them yourself) and you have burritos.

Milk powder:- Good for cooking as alot of recipes need a bit of milk.


Corn products: Cans of corn kernels, creamed corn (had creamed corn and bread for dinner last night). Cornbread (which goes well with chilli), Instant polenta is easy to make and can go well with seafood with a bit of butter + garlic.

Get stuff to make pancake mix, add some golden syrup.

Instant mashed potatoes actually aren't too bad. Add some instant stuffing mix and a can of salmon + a bit of honey and it's a surprisngly tasty meal. Also very easy to prepare.

I got a small 2l pressure cooker, which makes great rissotto. (arborio rice, veg stock + two cans of assorted mushrooms).

Definately some shelf stable cheese.


I've also got some sprout growing stuff for sandwhiches, + peanut butter, honey, assorted herbs and spices, soya sauce(fried rice is easy to make).


You can also get shelf stable prepared meals, i've got alot of freeze dried meals(camping stuff, Packit Gourmet : super tasty food), some easy foods pouches (Easyfood - Ready Meals to the World - www.easyfoods.com.au) as well as some asian/indian ones. Ie you can get a shelf stable MRE potato curry from an indian store for a couple of bucks. Also some great instant noodles from asian stores, alot of stuff you find in chinatown type places is already prepared and shelf stable.


I also have on my monthly menu 3 or 4 fresh fish meals per month. As like you I was thinking i'll catch fish for protein and meals. Been out a bit over a month now and total amount of edible fish caught = 0. Going to keep trying but...

Unless you already know how to fish don't rely on that for food as it's a bit more involved then just sticking a hook over the side of the boat. Having said that i've discovered that there are other seafoods besides just fish. If you're near a coast at all you can try crab pots (stick a partially openened tin of cat food in there or some fish heads/frames). There is also normally some kind of tidal shellfish available, ie where i'm at right now in australia i've gone and gathered some razor clams for dinner one night and am planning on getting some pipis as well at some stage.


Hopefully some of this stuff is applicable to your situation. Good luck on on the big goodbye.
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Old 01-02-2010, 20:33   #12
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Peanut Butter

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Originally Posted by promax View Post
You can't go without peanutbutter!
You can if you don't like indigestion.
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Old 01-02-2010, 20:43   #13
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Thumbs up Cannd Meats Here

This is a good supplier of canned meats and other items. Yoders Meat and Cheese Company | Shipshewana Amish Family Owned | Grain Fed Beef, Organic foods, Hormone free meats
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Old 01-02-2010, 20:48   #14
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If you don't put any contaminants into the mayonaise, otherwise only put clean utensils in the jar, mayonaise keeps virtually indefinitely without refrigeration. We bought the small containers for our trip to SoPac. They kept for 2-3 months which was as was long as we had them before they were empty. Met one cruising couple who bought mayo in the restaurant size jars, like a gallon. They really liked mayo but doubt they could eat up a jar that size in less than a year.

Same for butter. Bought canned butter and kept it in the bottom of the ice box (no ice, of course) to keep it from turning into a liquid. With the great bread in French Polynesia, butter didn't last long.
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Old 01-02-2010, 20:56   #15
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Look for some old cookbooks, which will include the staples AND how to make them keep without refrigeration AND recipes, which you will definitely require if you have little to no experience with this.

The New Settlement Cookbook (about 100 years worth of versions, older is better for this) is one priceless source. There are others for campers and sailors, and the USDA provides tons of information about keeping and canning foods, some very up to date, others pre-WW2 and suitably more primitive.
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