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Cooking for Fun Afloat (Pub. No. 5444)

by Charles Baker, Jr.

"Before any salt-encrusted readers bound on deck and say that this subject has already been done in books and that cooking at sea is never any fun anyway, let me hasten to explain. Now it seems that my good friend Fritz (Cruise of the Diablesse) Fenger has a friend named Sandy Moffett who not only is a very right guy but mighty handy with a seagoing skillet. Now we’ve sailed some quarter million miles in ships, larger and smaller, a sizable slice of which in our own seagoing ketch Marmion, and have seen our share of stove-side police. No one knows better than ourselves that thankless lot of any Galley Slave. He rates every aid and comfort. His life is just one round of damns, dishes, and duckings. He scarcely gets the evening meal cleared up and snugs himself down for a snooze when the midnight watch barges off to drip slickers in his slumbering face and command hot coffee—or else. Hardly is this cross borne, and once more parallel with the keel, when the four o’clock watch stamps below like a brace of fiends to drip more icy slickers down his pants and growl things about hot soup. Barely can the poor Slave doze again before it is full day and the whole condemned ship’s company arises to a man and screams for ham, eggs, hot cakes, coffee—and the entire vicious parade marches on again. Combined with such minor addenda as scalds, burns, broken shins and toes, the whole business is a sort of marine mayhem without benefit either of clergy or court. But we somehow feel that all yacht cookery isn’t done crossing tide rips in a fifty-mile dusting. Even pals like Slim Baker and Sherry Fahnestock do a whole lot of victualing more or less peacefully at anchor—and it is especially true of you cruising folk who are heading south, where we are right this minute—among the Florida Keys. The practical side has been well done in books yes, but the neglected angle is just how to prepare a few really unusual and intriguing dishes out of easily found raw material. There are always important times when we must turn on a little originality with our show afloat. There we are all snugged down, harbor furl, and the new commodore and his wife boarding us for dinner—maybe the new fiancée with two tweaky parents who are expecting the worst and don’t admire seagoing sons in-law anyway. What we need right badly in such zero hours is how to find another one-dish-meal out of leftovers, scare up something by which to acquire merit and commendation. All the usual cookery books on land seem mostly gotten up by church social ladies with prune whip-tapioca complexes, or involve things not easily had at sea, or show the originality of a mail order catalog. So here's a hot grog to all fellow Galley Slaves, at least they know there's one friend out on that great big bunch of salt water who sympathizes with their wretched lot. So good chance!' A practical and funny collection by an experienced cruiser. Here's a couple of samples.

34 pages

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