Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The basic bookshelf... cooking on boats

On the whole. I'm not a big fan of nautical/cruising cook books as they always seem to leave me with a serious lack of appetite and something akin to wonderment that people actually eat some stuff... Does the word "dire" resonate?

Maybe it's that I like cooking, and as such the labor saving (if any) sort of recipe that opens a can of this to add to a can of that and top with a can of sauce just does not make me all warm and fuzzy. Which is not to say that I think cooking on boats needs to be complicated or labor intensive, simple is a good thing, but it really does have to taste like something you want to eat!

A book of some interest you might want to check out is "The Care and Feeding of the Offshore Crew"  (or the updated version "The Care and Feeding of the Sailing Crew") by Lin and Larry Pardey which while not overly exciting to the taste buds it does give  a lot of needful information about such things as cooking on passage, provisioning and storing food and other such needful stuff. So much so I'd recommend this book to anyone considering going cruising as the first book to read on the food front.

The second book I'd recommend "Cheap Chow" by Kenneth Lo is somewhat difficult to find but well worth the search and for me was something of an enabler that made cooking on boats on a budget go from getting by  to thriving. I should point out that "Cheap Chow" has nothing to do with boats but has everything to do with boats if you know what I mean. Fact is if I were to limit myself to one single cookbook aboard "So It Goes" "Cheap Chow" would be it.

You also need something like the "Joy of Cooking" or the like which pretty much covers any food and any situation, so that when you find yourself in some strange place and all that is available is something you have never used or know how to cook, you're covered.

"Diet For a Small Planet" or one of it's many sequels or spin offs would also be no bad thing as it deals with the whole meatless thing in a way that both makes sense and tastes good... I'm pretty sure over the next few years most of us are going to be eating a lot less meat and "Diet For a Small Planet" makes it pretty painless and enjoyable.

Lastly, you really need a cookbook that is fun and will stretch your boundaries... Maybe something you have always wanted to try or thought was beyond your abilities because one of the nice things about cruising is that you will have all sorts of time to do the galley thing if you want to...

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