Archive of ‘Uncategorized’ category

Upwind Ginger Chicken Udon

DSCN8810 1024x768 Upwind Ginger Chicken Udon

Branches scraped the side of Umineko’s hull as we motored down the narrow, winding canal.  There was a line of boats inching along the ICW single file.  How on earth boats passed one another when someone decided to go against the flow of traffic and head north for the winter was beyond me.

It was a completely different world from the well-manicured, wide Erie Canal.  We had chosen to take the scenic Dismal Swamp route.  A windy route fringed with lush foliage unlike anything we had seen along the Erie.  The blue herons that followed us along the Erie Canal had become white water birds.  Even the water was different; the peat growing in the water had dyed it a rusty shade that came up in our toilet bowls.

That morning we had been sure we could make it through two locks and to Elizabeth City but the languid pace that the bridges tenders and the first lock master operated on made us realize that there was no way we could make it even half that far.   The second lock had its last opening at 2:30.  No way could we make it there.  Especially if we were stopping at the North Carolina welcome center.

And so we tied up at the North Carolina welcome center for lunch and ended up staying the night with a myriad of other boats all heading south for the winter.  It was a short wall, but we all managed to squeeze in.  3 boats from Vermont rafted up (one boat ties up to the wall and the next boat ties up to the side of the boat, and so on) to one another in front of us.  A lovely French Canadian couple rafted up to the side of Umineko, and a third boat rafted up to them.

Luckily no boats travel on the ICW at night because we certainly blocked even this wide part of the canal.

After a long day on the canal I decided to make something simple quick and tasty.

Everyone thinks of Japanese food as complicated and extremely involved.  Some of it certainly is but I’m finding out that a surprising amount is unbelievably simple.  Simple and delicious.  You may have to pick up some katsuo dashi (stock) but it’s a great thing to have around.  It is basically bonito soup stock.  Flavorful and delicious, you can use it in a ton of quick, easy recipes that are ideal for galleys.

Ginger Chicken Udon

Serves 3


  • 300 grams udon
  • 2 cloves garlic
  •  2 t ginger
  • 1 t pepper
  • ½ t 7 chili
  • 2 T soy
  • ½ c orange juice
  • 1T butter
  • ½ carrot julienned
  • ¼ c onions chopped
  • 1 can of chicken chunks (or one 6-oz package ginger chicken chunks)
  • ¼ c katsuo stock
  • Scallions for garnish


  • Boil udon (about 8 minutes)
  • While cooking udon:
  • Fry garlic and onion in 2 t vegetable oil for about 2 minutes in medium skillet
  • Add carrots and ginger and cook another 2 minutes
  • Stir in butter until melted
  • Pour in orange juice and soy sauce and cook stirring another minute
  • Add seasonings (7 chili and pepper)
  • Finally add chicken and simmer for 2 minutes
  • Mix sauce and udon together and pour katsuo stock over mixture
  • Serve and enjoy!

DSCN8777 1024x768 Upwind Ginger Chicken Udon

Under Sail Unagi

DSCN8709 1024x768 Under Sail Unagi

Unagi, barbecued eel, is one of my favorite Japanese foods, one of my favorite foods period.  In sushi or over hot rice.  But always with the sweet, savory unagi sauce over it.  Yum yum yum.

When I first started crewing on Umineko, the Japanese catamaran I asked if we had unagi sauce any on board.

The skipper, Sato San, just laughed and told me that it was easy to make.  I’m convinced that almost everything is easy once you know the trick.  The trouble is in the learning curve.  What’s easy for a Japanese person who’s grown up with making the food and for a Westerner can be two different  things entirely.

One day, Sato San’s friend came for a visit bearing delicious Unagi, frozen barbecued eel.

“It’s easy as 1 2 3… one two three the same amount and just boil it… finish.”

I was slightly skeptical, but I tried it and he was so right.  It really is as easy as 123.  A learning gradual incline and decline rather than curve too.  Over unagi it is heavenly, but over plain rice, green beans, and so much more it’s scrumptious as well.

It might be hard to find the actual unagi (found in the frozen section of most Asian groceries) everywhere in the world, or keep your freezer stocked with it, but making the unagi sauce is definitely a cruiser-friendly recipe and a great way to put in your next stirfry.

Under Sail Unagi


  • 1 package Unagi
  • 1 recipe unagi sauce
  • 2 cups short-grained rice
  • ¼ c finely chopped spring onion


  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Cook rice
  • Place bbq eel cooking on baking sheet covered in aluminum foil
  • Cook 7 minutes
  • Turn on broiler and cook another 3 minutes
  • Fill 2 or 3 bowls with rice (depending on how many people are eating)
  • Divide eel into 2-3 portions
  • Spoon unagi sauce over rice
  • Sprinkle spring onions over eel

Unagi sauce


  • ¼ c mirin
  • ¼ c sugar
  • ¼ c soy sauce


  • Mix in small saucepan
  • Bring to a simmer stirring occasionally
  • Cook for 5 minutes until sauce thickens slightly (try not to over-cook or your unagi-sauce can turn into syrup)

IMG 1554 1024x768 Under Sail Unagi

Top 10 Ways to Keep Bugs Off of Your Boat

DSCN8771 1024x768 Top 10 Ways to Keep Bugs Off of Your Boat

Bugs.  Insects, creepy crawlies.  They’re everywhere.   And especially in the warm climates… the ideal climates for cruising.  We may be on boats but at port or on the water bugs have their insidious tricks to make their icky way on board.

Insects like to eat the same sorts of things we do.  Luckily we can get the upper hand in keeping them away.  Without poisoning ourselves in the process.

These  are 10 easy tips to naturally keep bugs off of your boat, away of your pantry, and out of your life (at least for the most part).

  1. Keep it Clean –  It may seem obvious, but cleanliness really is next to godliness on a boat.  Especially in the tropics those crumbs left on the table or the countertop are like beacons signaling every flying, crawling, and creeping insect within 100 miles.  Umineko has a crumb brush for the table and countertops, and another for the floor.

If you spill something immediately wipe it up.  I try to wipe down the stovetop and                  the counters after cooking.  Once a week I like to do a serious galley cleaning.

        2. Vinegar –  Fruit flies are a pain.  They seem to materialize out of nowhere and in a                   matter of minutes they’ve called all their buddies.  It is even worse when you are                       trying to extend the life of your produce until the last breath.

The trick to ridding yourself of these insidious insects is simple, nontoxic to you,                     and lethal to the dreadful little monsters.  Just put out small bowls of your basic                       apple cider vinegar and add a few drops of dish soap.  Not only is the dish soap                           poisonous but it breaks the vinegar’s surface tension.  The little pests think they can               alight on the surface only to drown.

You only need a drop or two of dish soap in ½ cup apple vinegar and a few shallow                   bowls or plastic containers strategically placed around the boat.

3. Cardboard So many things come in cardboard, from boating supplies to beer.   But               keep cardboard off your yacht at all costs.  Cockroaches lay their eggs in cardboard                 and just bringing the boxes onboard can get the dreadful creatures on your boat.                     Leaving them on the boat is even worse.

Play it safe by preventing infestation.  Once the loathsome pests are on board                             holding them at bay is certainly possible but irradiating them is a nightmare.  Don’t                 take any chances.  Unload your cardboard on the dock and leave it there.

        4. Freezing:  Depending on how much extra freezer space you have you should try to                freeze flour/rice/grains 24-hours as a cautionary measure.  A sort of just in case.

if you need to rescue stores and aren’t prepared to just throw infested ingredients                    overboard, simply freeze infested supplies for 2-3 days and the dreadful little pests                 will die.

Heating to 140◦ F in oven for an hour also kills the insects, unfortunately heating                       grains can turn rice into puffed rice, change the flavor of flour, etc.   My advice is to                stick with freezing .  If you don’t want to just throw them overboard that is.

      5. Oldest First:  Use up your oldest stores first and make sure not to open a new                          package when there is already one open.  Organizing the pantry of one boat I crewed              on, I found 5 boxes of half-used spaghetti!  Surprise surprise, several had bugs in                      them.  The packages went overboard and I made sure to consolidate the open                            packages into one Ziploc bag.

At sea it can be difficult to keep track of what you have opened.  Try and move the                    open items to the front of the shelves or have a special air-tight container for open                  food stuffs.

      6. Essential Oils: You think we hate bugs?  Plants like them less than we do.  After all                keeping bugs away can be a life or death matter for the plant.  Because of this a                            number of species have developed odors that repel insects.

 Lucky for us many of these strong scents are wonderful for us.  If you really want to                 get serious about natural bug prevention pick up the ultra-condensed version of the               plant scents: essential oils.  Mint and citrus work extremely well.  Simply paint a line              of mint essential oil around your pantry.  It will prevent infiltration and has the                        added benefit of making your shelves smell lovely.


DSCN8878 300x225 Top 10 Ways to Keep Bugs Off of Your Boat

keep bay leaves in your flour

  7. Bay leaves:  Bay leaves are the magic bullet against bugs in your dried foods.  Keep              a sprig of bay in your flour, rice, baking mixes, powdered milk, etc.  This will evils,                    cockroaches.  As a bonus, ants also loathe bay leaves.

Keep bay leaves in airtight sealed containers for up to a couple of months but when                 placing them on shelves or in the open it is better to replace them on a weekly basis

     8. Airtight Containers Store foods in air-tight plastic insect-proof containers.  If                     there is something infested it keeps the problem inside that way the problem is                          contained literally, and doesn’t get into any of your other stores.

     9. Boric Acid When spices aren’t doing the trick, it is simple to make yourself some DIY           roach killer using boric acid.  The powder itself is odorless, but it is also a main                           ingredient in laundry detergent.  So it doesn’t smell as nice as herbs and is a bit                          messier, but boric acid is one of the most effective cockroach killers.  If you use it                    correctly that is.

The University of Kentucky’s department of etymology has an excellent article on                   roach prevention Mixing boric acid with flour or powdered sugar and blowing it                       under the refrigerator, oven, in crevices, or putting a thin layer (if it’s too thick the                 roaches will walk around it) on the pantry shelf is the ideal roach killer.

When the roaches crawl through the powder particles of boric acid cling to them                       and when they groom themselves they die.

Though not toxic to humans in small doses boric acid is not as innocuous as herbs                    or essential oils so be sure to mix it in a well-ventilated area.  Also, be sure not to                     put it on counter-tops or places food is actually prepared.

10. Examine all items before you buy them.  Prevention is always the best method of                   keeping insects out of your life.  Try to make sure package seals are intact and plastic             bags or wrappers don’t have any holes or rips or any openings for hitchhikers to get in           through.

Insects can bore their way through plastic and paper and leave tell-tale holes and signs         of their presence.  You probably can’t examine every inch of every package in the thick         of the prodigious task of provisioning, but definitely give everything at least a cursory           glance.  More than just insects, opened containers allow food to spoil or spill in your              cabinets so giving packages a once-over before buying them just makes sense.

Canal Sal’s Thai Curry

DSCN8750 300x225 Canal Sals Thai Curry“I’ve got a mule, her name is Sal. 15 miles on the Erie Canal She’s a good ol’ worker and a good ol’ pal.  15-miles on the Erie Canal…”

When Sato San first asked me to crew up the Erie Canal with Umineko, I was sure it had something to do with my name.  How appropriate.  Having Sal crew up the Erie Canal.  Maybe I could pull the boat to save on gas too, right?  Surprisingly when I mentioned it, he had never heard of the song.  I guess they don’t teach “Low Bridge” in Japan.

I’d never even thought of sailing up the Erie Canal but it sounded interesting.  It was a part of the US I had never explored; even living in NYC for 7 years, I’d never been further than an hour upstate.  Leave it to someone from another country to show me parts of the United States.

I’ve been making variations of this “Thai” curry for almost a decade and it’s one of my “go-to” dishes.  It’s nothing like the” traditional” Thai curries I learned at a cooking class in Chiang Mai, Thailand, but I like it as well or better.  You can really use whatever vegetables that you like and you don’t have to use seafood.  The sauce is the important part.  I love using broccoli when I have it, though not traditional in Thai cooking, I find that the crowns absorb sauce making each bite a burst of flavor.  I also like having at least one green vegetable, a yellow, and something red because it just makes the dish look prettier.

DSCN8736 300x225 Canal Sals Thai Curry

Canal Sal’s Thai Curry

Serves 4


  • 1 T vegetable oil
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • ½ can water
  • 1 T honey
  • 3 T red curry paste
  • 1 T soy sauce
  • 1T lemon juice
  • 2 T balsamic vinegar
  • 1 T siriracha sauce
  • 2 t salt
  • 2 t ground pepper
  • 1 t 7 chili seasoning
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 small onion diced
  • ½ red bell pepper, diced
  • ½ sweet potato cubed
  • 1 branch of broccoli (crown and stem) chopped
  • 2 T grated ginger
  • 1 kefir lime leaf
  • 9 large shrimp
  • 1 c small scallops
  • Peanuts for garnish


  • Fry the onion, garlic, and sweet potato over medium heat in 1 T vegetable oil about 5 minutes
  • Add coconut milk and water
  • Stir in bell pepper and broccoli crown
  • Add ginger and kefir lime leaf
  • Mix in curry paste until coconut milk is a warm red color
  • Slowly add soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, honey, lemon juice, and Siriracha,
  • Simmer for 5 minutes
  • Add shrimp and scallops cook for 3 minutes or until shrimp barely pink
  • Add salt, pepper, and 7 chili seasoning to taste
  • Sprinkle peanuts on top

Paddle Wheel Peach Blueberry Pie

Peach Blueberry pie 1024x768 Paddle Wheel Peach Blueberry Pie

Peach Blueberry Pie

Peaches are one of my favorites, the problem with them is their fleeting life-span.  With about 3-days of  perfection before all the peaches seem to go downhill (fast) the only fruit sillier to take cruising would be berries.

We were finally back on the water again, sailing across choppy Lake Erie, the smallest of the great lakes, to visit some friends in Cleveland.  They had invited us to dinner and I was thinking about making a peach pie for days.  A dinner party was the perfect excuse.

When I went to check the produce safe and sound in its fruit hammock, I was shocked.  In 2 days the peaches had gone from perfect to teetering dangerously close to unsalvageable.  I cut the bad parts out and substituted blueberries for the missing peaches.  Thank goodness I did.  The pie came out gorgeously.  Give it a try with frozen fruit or pick up some juicy peaches at your local farmers market during peach season!


Paddle Wheel Peach Blueberry Pie


  • 1 recipe Painter Piecrust
  • 4 peaches (sliced)
  • 1 c blueberries
  • ¾  c sugar
  • ¼ c flour
  • 1 T cinnamon
  • 2 T  butter



Preheat oven to 350◦ F

  • Roll ½ piecrust recipe out being careful not to work dough too much
  • Place in pie tin
  • Mix peaches, sugar,  cinnamon, and blueberries
  • Fruit will give off liquid and get soupy
  • Mix in ¼ c flour until liquid thickens.
  • Pour into prepared piecrust bottom
  • Place small pieces of butter over fruit filling
  • Roll out second ½ of dough
  • Drape over pie tin
  • Pinch edges together
  • Poke holes in crust with knife to let steam escape
  • Cover edges with strips of tin foil (to keep from browning too much
  • Bake 30 minutes
  • Remove tin foil
  • Bake additional 10 minutes
  • Allow to cool
  • Enjoy!

Guide to Food Storage at Sea X,Y,Z

Xylotol: A sweetener extracted from fruits and vegetables.  It is sweet, yummy, and doesn’t have an aftertaste, better yet it has 33% fewer calories than sugar. Yeah, I know I sound like an advertisement, but I tried it in Zimbabwe earlier this year and was extremely impressed.  It’s a little pricey so I haven’t tried cooking or baking with it, so I can’t vouch for it on those fronts, but it works wonderfully  for sweeten your coffee or tea.  The miracle sweetener is a safe sweetener for diabetics and according to wikipedia actually remineralizes teeth and reduce dental cavities.  It is poisonous to dogs, but so is chocolate.

yam b 150x150 Guide to Food Storage at Sea X,Y,Z


Yams: Excellent cruising vegetable often confused with a sweet potato.  But a yam is a native African plant  related to lilies and a sweet potato is in the morning glory family.  Though they are stored similarly, a yam has more calories and starch than sweet potatoes.  Store in a cool, dark, well-ventilated place and cut eyes out as they appear.  Though sources say they have a similar shelf-lives, in my experience yams have a longer shelf life than potatoes.



nutritional yeast 150x150 Guide to Food Storage at Sea X,Y,Zphoto 1 150x150 Guide to Food Storage at Sea X,Y,ZYeast (SP- levadura): Though technically supposed to be refrigerated after opening, yeast will keep on the shelf.  I always proof the yeast in a separate bowl of warm water and a little sugar before starting bread just to make sure it’s still active but the yeast organisms are extremely resilient according to a scientist specializing in fermentation.

Nutritional yeast or Brewers yeast is a great seasoning and an excellent source for B-12 vitamins.  With a cheesy flavor, the yellow yeast “flakes” can be used in sauces, over vegetables, or (my personal favorite) on popcorn.  It can be found in bulk in many health food stores.  Store it on the shelf with other seasonings.

Yogurt: Easy-to-make and protein-rich yogurt makes great cruising food.  Yogurt is simple to make especially when cruising in tropical climates.  You can make it using milk and a dollop of store-bought yogurt containing active cultures.  However I recommend bringing dry yogurt cultures on board as well as an active live culture.  Dried yogurt cultures have a shelf-life of more than a yearJust remember that the dry cultures take longer to activate than the yogurt starters do.

Yachting Yogurt

Parachute Berry Parfait

Yucca:  Store in a cool dark place.  Yucca lasts months with no problem.  Boiled and pureed it makes smooth, creamy mashed “potatoes.”  Inexpensive and available throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.  Can be stored with apples as it is not greatly affected by ethylene.

zucchini 150x150 Guide to Food Storage at Sea X,Y,Z


Zucchini or Courgette: Zucchini is a summer squash, and can be either green or yellow.  Unlike winter squash, you can eat the outside so it is not necessary to peel before eating. Unfortunately they do not last as long as winter squashes.  Store in perforated plastic bag in refrigerator and under optimal conditions zucchinis can last up to a month.

Guide to Food Storage at Sea U-W

uht juice 150x150 Guide to Food Storage at Sea U W

UHT Juice

UHT: Ultra Heat Treated supplies such as milk, tofu, juice, etc are heated to extremely high temperatures for a few second to kill all of the bacteria etc in the food and then sealed in air-tight boxes.  UHT products have a much longer shelf life and can be stored in the pantry for 9-months to over a year depending on the item.   UHT foods are a godsend for cruisers sailing long distances.



Udon: Japanese wheat flour noodles.  Good for a quick lunch.  See pasta for storage.

DSCN8709 150x150 Guide to Food Storage at Sea U W


Unagi: Japanese barbecued eel.  Delicious over white rice.  Can be bought vacuum-packed in the freezer section of most Asian groceries.  Keep frozen.  To prepare broil or boil in its vacuum-packed container.





Vacuum-packed: Vacuum-packing extends  food shelf-life by sucking the air out of the package before sealing.  Some yachts carry a vacuum packer on board.

Vanilla: Essence of vanilla is wonderful to keep in your galley.  Add a drop to (rehydrated) powdered milk to make it taste better if you plan to drink it straight.  Also fantastic for baking.

vinegar 150x150 Guide to Food Storage at Sea U WVinegar: Vinegar is an absolutely essential item on a boat, and more than one type.

-          White vinegar is excellent for cleaning, and not as hard on surfaces as bleach.  It is good for disinfecting everything from toilets to countertops.  Moreover it can be used to deactivate jellyfish stings which can prove extremely useful.  (No, peeing on stings does not really work)

  • Balsamic vinegar is a must to pep up any meal from salads to stir-fries
  • Rice vinegar is of course necessary for sushi and is used in numerous Japanese dishes

Wasabi: A wonderful way to spice up any meal and clears sinuses wonderfully.  You can buy powdered wasabi or wasabi paste and each have their uses.  Powdered takes up space and is more practical for boating though.

Water: Even with a water maker and full tanks it is extremely important to keep bottled water on board.   Keeping bottles of water in your bilge(s).   Water makers are notoriously problematic and if one goes haywire it may very well empty a yacht’s water tanks into the ocean.

Watercress: A peppery-tasting green that is great for spicing up your cruising green supply.  Stored properly it can last several weeks and is wonderful in soups or sandwiches. Wrap bottom, roots if possible,  in wet paper towel and store in plastic bag in refrigerator.

Watermelon:  Watermelon is available in markets in North and South America, Asia, and really around the world.  Can be eaten raw, used in smoothies, or salads.  Store in a cool area.  Never refrigerate for more than 3 days or fruit will lose flavor.


Winter squash2 150x150 Guide to Food Storage at Sea U W

Acorn squash is a variety of winter squash

winter squash 150x150 Guide to Food Storage at Sea U WWinter Squash:  Winter squash is actually several types of squash with hard rind.  Winter squash has a longer shelf life than summer squash.  Try to buy unbruised and uncut and if possible with stem on.  Cut or bruised squash can mold or go bad far more quickly and should be used soon. Store wrapped in newspaper in cool, well-ventilated area (milk crates work well).  Can last several months.

A-Z Guide to Food Storage at Sea – T

tree tomato 150x150 A Z Guide to Food Storage at Sea   T

Tamarillo (tree tomato/tomate de arbol): is a delicious fruit indigenous to South and Central America.  The tamarillo has surprising, completely unique flavor.  Tart, but with a slight aftertaste with lower notes not generally found in fruit.  The fruit has a slightly tear-dropped shape and can be red, yellow, but most commonly appears like a greenish unripe tomato and is about the size of a small plum.  It is commonly found in markets in South and Central America and is eaten as a dessert, marmalade but it is most commonly used as a juice or smoothie(batido). Pureed with water and a bit of sugar, it is fantastic as a thick smoothie-like juice.  Store in fruit hammock out of the sun.  Can be stored with apples and if kept cool may last over a month.

tangerines 150x150 A Z Guide to Food Storage at Sea   TTangerines:  Store in fruit hammock out of the sun.  These sweet, candy-like citrus fruit may be delicious and easy to peel, but unfortunately their sugar makes them the worst citrus for cruising.  Even under optimal conditions tangerines have at best a month-long shelf-life, less than half that of other citrus fruit.



Taro (Dasheen):  This purple and white speckled tuber is a wonderful addition to your cruising root vegetable store.  It has a delicate delectable flavor and good texture.  It is used in many Asian deserts and smoothies, but is also delicious stir-fried, pureed, or cooked in savory dishes.  Store wrapped in newspaper in dark well-ventilated area (milk crates work well).  Under the right conditions taro has a shelf-life of up to four months.

tofu 150x150 A Z Guide to Food Storage at Sea   TTofu:  Buy in UHT (Ultra Heat Treated) boxes which can last for over a year.  A great source for protein tofu doesn’t have its own flavor but it takes on the flavor of whatever it’s with.  Though it doesn’t do much for enhancing meals and standing alone it is wonderful at reinforce, pureed and added to sauces or be transformed into something delicious cut up and fried in the right seasoning.

Tofu Pesto Spread

tomatoes 2 150x150 A Z Guide to Food Storage at Sea   TTomatoes:  Buy unripe green tomatoes if you can find them.  Keep them individually wrapped in newspaper at room temperature.  Never refrigerate or will not ripen right and will actually lose flavor.  Keeping them in egg cartons can help prevent bruising on bumpy passages.  Green tomatoes can last up to 5-weeks under proper conditions, two more weeks than ripe red tomatoes.


Tortillas: Last extremely well. Almost completely flour and water a package of store-bought flour tortillas can last months.  More than just a long shelf-life tortillas make wonderful cruising food for diversity, ease to cook and store.  Great on-the-fly meals of wraps, quesadillas,  or on-the-fly snacks I highly recommend tortillas for your cruising pantry.

Ruby’s Queequeg Quesadillas

Guide to Food Storage at Sea R and S

radishes 150x150 Guide to Food Storage at Sea R and SRadish:  Radishes are a wonderful addition to salads and can be eaten raw as well.  Refrigerate or wrap in newspaper and store in cool dark place.  When stored at a cool temperature radishes can last several months.




Rambutan 150x150 Guide to Food Storage at Sea R and SRambutan: Rambutan is one of the most distinctive and interesting looking fruits out there.  Pink apricot-sized fruit with stiff hair-like things coming off of the peel.  Similar to a lychee it has a tough exterior that you peel away to reveal the translucent light-colored meat.  Common in Southeast Asia and available in Central American markets as well this fruit is definitely worth trying.  Stored in a cool area of the boat rambutan has a shelf life of 2-3 weeks.

Rice: Rice is wonderful for cruising.  It lasts indefinitely and travels extremely well.  Store in plastic insect-proof containers with bay leaves inside to keep insects out.  If it gets wet you can always lay it on the deck to dry.  You can cook rice and freeze in balls wrapped in plastic wrap to have a quick rice meal on hand.

Root vegetables: A staple in cruising life.  Vegetables like potatoes, yams, taro, turnips, and carrots last for a long time and tend to take the place of short-lived fresh vegetables.  But worry not; sailors need not subsist on potatoes alone.  There is a wide and diverse variety of root vegetables often overlooked by the general population.  Sailors often rely on Gerry rigging, substitution, improvisation, and discovery and this applies to the galley as well.

Rutabaga:  A wonderfully distinctive addition to your root vegetable supply.  Rutabagas are extremely dense and can be difficult to cut.  However, this also means that they have a lengthy shelf life.  Rutabagas may last 6-months wrapped in newspaper and stored in cool area.  Can be stored with apples.

Snack Food: Having something easy to grab and munch on that doesn’t require preparation is a must at sea.  Even in the worst conditions it’s important to keep something in your stomach.

Squash:  See Winter Squash

Spinach:  Fresh Spinach must be refrigerated.  Can be bought canned or frozen as well, unlike Popeye I’m a far bigger fan of frozen than canned spinach.

Asian Fusion Portabello Spinach Salad

 Spices: It is extremely important to have a diverse and well-stocked spice cabinet.  With the right spices and seasonings even the blandest meal can be transformed into ambrosia.  Vegetables can be given a complete make-over depending on what spices you cook them in.  Keep your most-used spices by the stove (I adore my spice rack) but store the spices you do not use often in a cool dark part of the boat, in hot climates just be sure to keep them out of the sun to prevent aging and losing flavor.

Sprouts: Keep sprouts refrigerated.  You can grow sprouts on a boat.  The one problem is that growing them does use a lot of water for rinsing, but you can recycle the water you have used for the sprouts to get the nutrients from growing sprouts.

Alfalfa Sprouts:  Alfalfa sprouts take about 5-6 days to sprout.  After sprouting refrigerate.  They stay good for a little less than a week.

Bean Sprouts: Bean sprouts take 5-7 days to sprout.  Rinse, drain, and dry all excess moisture after sprouted.  Store bean sprouts in a plastic perforated bag in the refrigerator.  The shelf life is around 7-10 days refrigerated.

Sweet Potatoes 150x150 Guide to Food Storage at Sea R and S

Sweet Potatoes:  Sweet potatoes are of the best root vegetables for cruising.  They are not the same as yams  and are even members of different families.  Interestingly sweet potatoes aren’t related to other types of potatoes either, potatoes belonging to the night shade family and sweet potatoes belonging to the morning glory family.

Though sources say they have similar shelf-lives, in my experience yams have a longer shelf life than white or yellow potatoes.  Far higher in vitamin A, sweet potatoes also have less calories and carbohydrates than yams and more nutrients than other varieties of potatoes.

Store in a cool, dark, well-ventilated place and cut eyes out as they appear.

Guide to Food Storage at Sea K-L

Kale: Kale is a cruiser’s best friend.  A leafy green vegetable that can last 2-3 weeks fresh.  It can be kept out, refrigerated, or even frozen without losing its texture.  Wrap stems in damp paper towel and store in plastic bag. This miracle veggie is packed with nutrients and is easy to steam.  Just be sure to steam long enough, or it can have a peppery flavor.

kohlrabi 150x150 Guide to Food Storage at Sea K L


Kohlrabi: Kohlrabi is crunchy and slightly sweet vegetable that can be used in various ways.  Cut the leaves off and steam like kale.  Store the bulbs in a perforated plastic bag or wrapped in damp paper in cool dark area.  The bulbs can be steamed, or eaten in stir-fries.  Lasts 2-3 months refrigerated.




leeks2 150x150 Guide to Food Storage at Sea K LLeeks: Delicious in quiche or stir-fry, leeks are not the most cruiser-friendly of all the onions.  They should be refrigerated in perforated plastic.  If you do not have refrigeration store in a damp paper towel in a cool part of the boat.  Stored under proper conditions leeks can last up to 2 months.

photo 150x150 Guide to Food Storage at Sea K L



Lemons: Lemons and lemon juice are great for cooking or just squeezing one into a glass can improve or at least mask the taste of occasionally questionably tank-flavored water. Store in fruit hammock out of the sun.  In a cool environment lemons can last up to 6-months.  Do not refrigerate until they are cut.

Lentils: Dried lentils are a great source for protein and do not have to be soaked before cooking like many dried beans and legumes.  Though lentils have a bad reputation for being bland and boring, with the proper spices and seasonings lentils can be delicious.  They are a staple in Indian dishes.  See Beans.

Lettuce (Romaine): A shore luxury, even under the best of circumstances lettuce only can last a little over a week.  Buy with roots if possible and keep bottom inch submerged in water.  If storing in water is not possible place in a perforated plastic bag in refrigerator.

limes 150x150 Guide to Food Storage at Sea K LLimes: Limes are historic sailing food for preventing scurvy.  Squeezing a little in water from the tanks can improve the taste immeasurably, but perhaps most important, lime juice can kill harmful organisms in unpurified drinking water.  So if you are in Mexico or another area with questionable drinking water be sure to squeeze a little lime juice in your drinks. Store in fruit hammock out of the sun.  After you cut one, store in the refrigerator.  If cruising in a cool environment limes can last several months.


longen 150x150 Guide to Food Storage at Sea K LLongan Fruit:  This tasty light-tasting fruit is common in Southeast Asian markets.  Simply peel off the brown exterior to revel delicious white flesh surrounding a stone.  Similar to a lychee but slightly smaller and tarter peeling and eating these fruits can get addictive.  Definitely pick some up if you see them at the market.  Refrigerate or store in a cool moist place.  Stored properly they can last 2-4 weeks refrigerated.


Lunch Meat:  A cruising go-to.  Easy for on-the-fly sandwiches and quick throw-together meals.  Must be refrigerated.

Lychee/Litchi:  Lychees are ubiquitous in Asia and relatively easy to find around the world.  Walnut-sized, a puckered pink exterior protects the translucent white fruit which surrounds a small black seed.  With a unique sweet flavor this fruit is both easy and fun to peel and eat.  Refrigerated or stored in a cool damp environment lychees can last 3-5 weeks refrigerated.

1 2 3 4 5