I forget, often, how so many things in our life are just a little different living on a boat than they were living on land. Take making dinner one night last week.
It had been a busy day and I wanted to make something simple for dinner. On land after a busy day I could glance in the fridge and freezer and come up with a quick and easy meal. Leftovers, some broccoli, looks like a pasta night. Decision made, I would have headed to the fridge, grabbed the sauces, done a scan for leftovers to include, opened the freezer for frozen broccoli and maybe some meatballs, then headed to the pantry for pasta. Fill a pot with water and boil pasta, microwave the broccoli and meatballs, all while tossing the mix of leftovers with pesto in another pan. Call the kids to the table, plate the meal, happy dinner everyone.
Boat style? Plan the week of meals in advance since shopping and stowing groceries is a challenge in and of itself. No one gets to touch the broccoli until it’s appointed meal. As meal time approaches, I mentally run through the locations of each ingredient. White sauce in the fridge, I need a new pesto from behind the right hand cushion of the couch, pasta is behind the left cushion, olives are in the box behind the divider so unload all the rice and couscous to get to it, then reload them. Olive oil is on the shelves behind the table so I’ll have to fold that down to get it, but not until I get everything out from behind the couch while there’s still room to move around. White sauce, chicken sausage, leftover spinach, and broccoli are in the fridge but I know I’ll have to pull out the eggs and bacon to get to them. Ready, go.
After assembling ingredients, the galley dance begins. This is one more time when I’m glad I’m small, Goblin’s galley is sized for someone my size and not much more. I turn from the sink to the counter to the stove without having to take a step, without being able to take a step for that matter. Three burners, no microwave, four square feet of counter space to prep and plate.
Fill the pot with just enough water to cook the pasta, cover it to boil faster and to reduce how much I steam up the boat. Steam the broccoli, pull it out, add the pasta, start chopping and prepping leftovers and pesto in a second pan. I may have a three burner stove but I don’t own three pots that can all fit on at the same time so cooking happens in stages.
Alex is drafted to pour drinks and shuttle utensils to the table. I pass everything out to him, much easier than risking squeezing two of us in the galley at the same time.
Pasta is done, my strainer is larger than the sink so one hand for the strainer and one hand for the pot. I forgive the strainer, everything is too big for my sink including all but one of my pots and baking dishes.
It’s warm out so we’re eating up in the cockpit. Call the kids, herd them up the companionway ladder. Pass plates up one at a time, make sure the propane is turned off before heading up myself. The cockpit doesn’t have a table, fancy chairs, or a chandelier, but the sun and sky sure make up for it.
Happy dinner everyone.
Let’s not talk about washing the dishes, ok?
- Joy Weiss