As first mate the galley is my space. I’m pretty picky about it. I like to keep things stowed and in order. I don’t like my counters cluttered. I get pretty testy when tools and spare parts land here. Let me show you around.
We have two small refrigerators on board. Think college dorm. One in the galley and one on the fly bridge. The fly bridge unit has our only freezer area. It’s tiny. With a little effort I can keep fresh foods cold for about four days. We run the generator a couple of hours a day when we are on the hook or cruising to keep the fridges cold. We only open them when absolutely necessary, no standing there gazing inside like a teenager! The moral of the story: Provisioning takes planning! But make no mistake, you will eat well on my vessel.
We have a system, a hierarchy of food and drinks. It starts with a lot of zip lock bags, four coolers, and about sixty pounds of ice. Mac makes a slurry in the Yeti by adding a half of a box of rock salt to the ice and then adds a little water. This will become hypercold and keep drinks (beer) cold for about four days. The second cooler holds nothing but ice and is not touched until we need to replenish the Yeti ice. The third cooler is in the galley on top of my small fridge. That is where my meats and perishable dips etc go. The fourth cooler is a small stainless box in the bar area under the galley counter where I put only “today” foods. This way as I prepare things I’m not going to the refrigerator ten times. I take everything I need once a day and place it in my holding cooler.
We also have two ice mules on board. We take our daily allotment of drinks and stock an ice mule in the morning so that we aren’t opening the Yeti all day long letting air in.
All fresh food get sealed in a zip lock or plastic airtight bin. No boxes come into my boat. Cardboard is the enemy. (Did I mention my hatred of roaches!) Meats are double bagged just in case they leak. Lettuce and spinach go in the fridge crisper bin. Eggs and dairy go in the fridge.
I have always put green onion in everything I prepare but on the boat I have learned that leeks hold up far longer than green onions and give dishes the same flavoring. As for fruits, we have discovered citrus fruits that have a peel will last far longer and not bring fruit flies like peaches or grapes or apples often do. So it’s nectarines, grapefruit, lemon and limes. They can sit out on the counter for days. Avocado and tomato don’t need the fridge either so I often have plenty of them on board. While underway it’s important to put all these in the sink so they aren’t rolling all over the galley floor when a go-fast-cruiser rocks our world with his wake. Trust me it will happen!
Our galley has an old 12 volt ice box that is not operational but seals very tight. I store all my breads, buns, crackers and chips in there. Even the bread keeps for weeks! We don’t eat much of it so this is a great spot for it. I use a lot of pita pockets and tortillas and they stay well in that box too.
Now, I could feed us for weeks with what I have on board. There are cans of soup, beans and grains of all sorts, pastas and sauces, olives and artichokes, summer sausage and jerky…lots of staples stored on their sides in my panty locker. (Cans will mark the shelves with a ring of rust if the slightest moisture gets in there, so I have learned to stack them on their sides in shoebox sized bins.) If we ended up marooned on an island we would not starve…for a few weeks that is. Our fishing skills do lack.
I cook in my insta pot and the electric skillet, or Mac grills on the green egg or gas grill on the flybridge. Typically I cook breakfast before we pull anchor but often Mac will single hand the morning duties and I get to sleep in. He always starts the generator to make coffee and once I stumble out and get a cup in me I’ll cook him something. It’s usually an easy to serve, hand held, bacon egg and cheese in a pita pocket or tortilla. Lunches while underway might be just crackers with summer sausage and cheese or a dip with carrots and fruit. Light and easy to serve between us at the helm.
Dinner and drinks are the highlight of the cruisers day. Once the hook is down, it’s bottoms up! Nothing better than a cocktail or glass of vino after a day of vigilant cruising. (Yes, we drive our boat. No auto pilot here.) The drink of choice might depend on the day, how long we’ve been out and what the ice supply looks like. When the beers are still frosty I love a good IPA. If the ice is holding up I’ll fix Moscow Mules. By the fourth night out we might only have a slightly chilled bottle of Sav Blanc in the Yeti. But even if ice is days past it’s prime and all of the coolers on the fly bridge are looking like bath tubs, there’s always a red somewhere down below that can be uncorked and enjoyed as we look to the west!