Sunday, January 24, 2010

"Comes with a fully-equipped galley"

Our boat came equipped with what was supposed to be a galley. I have come to the conclusion that boat designers don't ever eat, cook or sleep on a boat. Our galley was under the main hatchway to the cabin, the kitchen counter actually forms the first step into the cabin. There is nothing like prepping dinner on the same surface that your duck-poop laden shoes just stepped on.

The supplied alcohol stove, slid out to a position right in front of the main hatch. Entering and exiting the boat entailed an Olympic long jump if dinner was underway. I never perfected that long jump. It only took one flying frying pan full of half cooked dinner and a good burn to convince me to remove the alcohol stove to the basement. I am a quick learner.

The icebox was under the alcohol stove. For a small boat it had a fair capacity of about two cubic feet. It blocked access to about 12 cubic feet of good storage, and it drained into the cabin. One whiff of a cabin filled with "eau de rotting spilt milk" resulted in the icebox joining the alcohol stove in the basement.

The sink was under the hatchway but posed no serious problem. It was far too shallow to allow me to hurt myself if I stepped in it by error. It held spare change and the nuts, bolts and screws that always seemed to be left over from every project. The drain fit a dime perfectly. The supplied water pump overshot the sink, which wasn't really a bad thing. I washed the counter top far more than I washed any dishes in that sink.

So after, I removed all the factory installed galley equipment, I needed to outfit the boat with things I could actually use. I bought and re-bought, as I figured out what worked and what did not.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Make Shift Cruising

I never really appreciated the term "make-shift" until I spent time aboard a small boat. In the morning I make the bed in the V-berth. I then shift our luggage from the main cabin into the V-berth. Then, I shift all the cushions from the main cabin to the V-berth. This enables me to dig from the storage locker the galley equipment. Eventually I am able to make coffee and breakfast. Then, I shift the galley equipment back to the lockers. I shift the main cabin cushions back out of the V-berth, so that the boat looks like a boat until the next meal. It seems the constant cycle on a small boat is make, then shift.

Chunky Gazpacho

This recipe is easy to make, its chunky nature removes the need for a processing. I make this at home as it stores well. It is also good for using up the tomatoes that have grown wild in the garden: the garden that has been neglected in favour of being on the water.

3 large ripe tomatoes
1 cucumber (I use the English type so I don't have to peel them)
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 small green pepper, diced
1 small onion, diced
1 1/2 cups tomato juice or vegetable cocktail
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp lemon juice
Salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste

Peel, seed and chop tomatoes and cucumber. (I do not bother peeling the tomatoes either.) Place in a bowl with the other vegetables. Add the tomato juice, lemon juice and oil. Season to taste with salt, pepper and hot sauce. Chill before serving. The olive oil will solidify on top if the soup is too cold. Remove the soup from icebox early enough to let the oil liquefy before serving. If you have some croutons on board, add them at serving time.
Serves 6