Do you want to cure a woman of ever wanting to go shopping again? Put her in charge of provisioning a boat for an off-shore adventure. That will cure the most die-hard shopaholic of her habit.
Years ago, at the start of my first long sailing trip, I couldn’t understand Lindsey’s, my crewmate, aversion to supermarkets, Walmarts, and Home Depots. I had joined the crew of the Leeway at the tail end of provisioning for our adventure. Lindsey, on the other hand had been shopping for weeks straight. Now I understand.
I loathe Provisioning. Not shopping for a little trip, or picking up a few things here and there. I’m talking about Provisioning. With a capital P. All-out shop-til-you literally want to drop. On one provisioning expedition in Malaysia I came out of the store with a receipt over 7’ long. I could hold it up as high as my arm could reach, stand on my tip toes and the paper still curled on the ground
Everywhere in the world has food! Why buy the entire store? Well, technically you don’t have to, but if you are heading to the Bahamas especially you might want to think about filling your galley to the point of bursting. Provisioning in many island nations can be prohibitively expensive. Not to mention the selection being extremely limited. I remember before Cocos (Keeling) Island cruisers were given a list of foods that could be shipped in to the island to buy. A head of lettuce was $25.
Of course you’ll want to pick up a few fresh fruits and veggies, and in some places local markets are wonderful for that. But if you’re on a budget you’ll want to keep what you need to buy to a minimum. Sure it’s entertaining going into Western supermarkets in Nassau to look at the small bags of lettuce “on sale” for $10, but groceries really are three times as expensive. When they’re available at all.
And so I gritted my teeth and went provisioning. I wrote a post on couchsurfing, asking if anyone had a costco card and would help me with provisioning. Costco might not be my first choice for everyday shopping, but when you are buying supplies for months in advance it’s a good way to go. wonderful gentleman Don offered to take me.
I felt a little bad but he assured me that he realized what he was in for. After 3 ½ hours of shopping at costco and 2 carts filled to brimming, we headed to get some additional supplies at Publix, another grocery for 2 more carts. Did I mention the day-trip to the Asian supermarket? Yeah.
The one good thing about provisioning is that you do want to get rid of the tail ends you have left over, so the night before I threw together a blue-cheese beet pasta. We had some blue cheese that needed to be used up and a few beets and the resulting pasta turned out fantastically.
with Bleu Cheese Beet Sauce
- 3 oz blue cheese
- ¼ c walnuts, chopped
- ½ onion, chopped
- 4 beets, cubed
- ½ c cream
- 1 c milk
- 1 c yachting yogurt
- 1 T corn starch
- 1 t butter
Cook beets 15 min in pressure cooker
Boil penne in water with a splash of olive oil to prevent sticking (I like to use a mixture of ½ fresh water and ½ salt water at sea)
Fry onions in butter until translucent
Stir in walnuts, cream, yogurt, milk
Cook for another 2 minutes on low heat
Put penne and sauce back in pot and mix thoroughly
Serve with a few whole walnuts to garnish