I adore having yogurt for breakfast. A great source of protein, it makes wonderful cruising food too. But I had almost never had it on long passages… it invariably disappeared in the first few days out of port. Recently I have seen more and more “yogurt makers” for sale. A yogurt maker for cruising… what a fantastic idea!
Then I met Margi at Detroit Yacht Club. “Making yogurt is easy. You don’t need a yogurt maker,” the cruiser advised me. She invited me over to watch her make a fresh batch. 24-hours later her yogurt was as stiff as the Chobani Greek yogurt starter she had used.
Sure it looked easy, but I was still nervous about making my own. But my new crewmate, Hiroshi was a scientist. A scientist who specialized in fermentation no less and he talked me through it. 24-hours later I had yogurt.
Ideally you should use a Styrofoam container to keep the heat in and incubate the yogurt but if you don’t have one hot climates, or keeping the yogurt in a warm environment works pretty well.
Styrofoam or plastic container
- 1 quart milk
- ¼ c “starter yogurt” *
- Bring the milk to a boil.
- Allow milk to cool to around body temperature
- Place starter yogurt in Styrofoam or tupperware container
- Pour a little of the warm milk into the Tupperware.
- Stir the dollop of starter yogurt into the milk
- Continue adding milk slowly and stirring.
- Put lid over container and allow to stand for 24-36 hours in warm area. In this time the milk will thicken and set into yogurt.
- Check yogurt consistency
- Place set yogurt in refrigerator
*use the last of your previous batch or any store-bought yogurt will do as long as it has “active cultures.” Whatever brand of yogurt you use your new batch will turn out similar to. In other words, if you use a Greek yogurt the batch will be firm.
Alternately you can use freeze-dried yogurt starter which I recommend sailing with a couple of packs if you are cruising. That way, if a batch doesn’t turn out and you don’t lose your ability to make yogurt.
** If using UHT (boxed) milk you don’t need to boil it first
***Contrary to popular belief Hiroshi assured me that it didn’t matter if the milk carton has been opened and used or not.
***The yogurt cultures grow better in a warm environment so making yogurt will be much easier in hotter climates.
“Why don’t you add a little shoju?”
Crewing is like DJing: you play to your audience. In other words, you have to your cooking to suit the boat that you’re on. When I crewed for an Australian boat the captain insisted I cook meat at every meal . One French girl said she ate everything, but we soon discovered that her version of “everything” was quite different from the meaning I was accustomed to. The list goes on. Of course I have my preferences, standby recipes, and add my own flair to most things. But flexibility is the name of the game.
And having to alter your cooking a bit isn’t a bad thing. It gives me a chance to add to my culinary repertoire. I adore trying new foods and learning how to make different kinds of food is only surpassed by creating new recipes. Umineko is the ideal boat not only for learning to make new foods but also to get fantastic new ideas
Having lived on three continents and traveled all over the world Sato San is well-versed in Western cuisine. He calls himself an “absolute gourmet,” by this he means he can appreciate all food (refried beans do not fall under the “food” umbrella. They are classified as mud). Still, shoyu, or soy sauce runs through his veins and my foods are fast-becoming Asian-fusion which doesn’t bother me one bit.
We bought several Portobella mushroom caps at Detroit’s Eastern Market, one of the best farmers markets I have had the pleasure of visiting. I didn’t have a specific recipe in mind, just grill them in a little garlic and throw them over some fresh spinach was the general plan.
Then Sato San asked me how I was going to cook them. When I told him he suggested throwing a little shoyu in there. Good idea, yes, but my creative juices were flowing. I couldn’t just stop at soy sauce.
Simple and delicious, the resulting recipe was quite probably best Portobella mushroom dish I may have ever tasted. Put it over salads or over pasta is excellent as well. The meaty portabella caps are referred to as steaks for a reason and the meaty texture can be used with anything from spinach salad to over a pasta dish.
Asian Fusion Portabella Mushrooms
- ¼ c water
- 2 t ginger (grated)
- 1 T garlic jelly (or 2 t honey)
- 2 T butter
- 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 2 portabello mushroom caps
- Mix soy sauce, ginger, and garlic jelly
- Sautee the garlic in butter for 2 minutes on low heat in medium skillet
- Place portabello caps in skillet and sauté for 3 minutes then turn and sauté 3 minutes longer
- Add water to soy mixture and mix well
- Flip caps and pour soy mixture over
- Sauté 4 minutes longer
- Cut into strips and serve over spinach
Asian Fusion Portabella Salad
- ½ cup Yellow bell pepper julianned
- 2 C fresh spinach
- ¼ C Slivered almonds
- Wasabi ginger dressing
- 1 Asian fusion portabella mushroom cap
- Place spinach on plate
- Arrange yellow bell pepper slices on one side of the salad, cranberries on the opposite side of the plate
- Place sliced seared mushroom cap in the middle over the salad
- Drizzle wasabi ginger dressing over salad
- I like to save the liquid from frying the portabella caps. It makes a delicious sauce over pasta or cous cous.
Who doesn’t like the smell of freshly baked bread? It fills the air with comfort, security, and a promise everything will be alright. In other words, freshly baked bread smells like happiness
So why is it that fresh bread is such a commodity on the high seas? Baking bread isn’t difficult. It’s time consuming. What do you have on long passages? Nothing but time.
Okay, so boat ovens aren’t always the most reliable, but I haven’t met an oven yet, well one that worked, that you couldn’t bake bread in.
I adore baking, kneading the bread can be therapeutic and stress-relieving. Not that there’s much of that at sea but still, I find bread-baking perfect for the sailing life. You can stop any time and come back to it: leave the bread to rise while you go about your other duties and then come back to it whenever. The more times you let it proof (rise) the softer and fluffier it will be.
Now a lot of boating cookbooks recommend easy, fast meals. Time enough to open a can of soup and maybe heat it up. I find a nice loaf of warm bread does loads to improve morale. Not to mention making the whole boat smell gorgeous.
My favorite bread is undoubtedly Challah. I have adored the dense, sweet Jewish bread since the first time I remember having it, used in French Toast. Ever since then I have been baking the tender loaves and perfecting the recipe.
Unfortunately, no matter how often I make it, it never seems to last long enough for me to be able to make French toast with it. Such a hit, It is a miracle if a loaf even lasts a day.
Heave Ho Challah Bread
Makes 2 loaves
- 2 packets yeast or 1 ½ tablespoons (In my experience the salt air can affect the yeast’s growth. if cooking on land I suggest 1 packet or 2.5 teaspoons. )
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 5 cups flour
- 1 ⅓ cups warm water
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 2 eggs + egg yolk
(I use the yolk in the bread because I don’t like wasting a perfectly good yolk. If your eggs are older and the yolk has broken just use the whole egg for the glaze)
- Mix yeast, warm water, and 1 teaspoon sugar in small bowl, place in sink to sit for 10 minutes. The yeast mixture should look frothy and larger which means the yeast is alive and your bread will rise. If the yeast hasn’t activated let it sit a little longer and add a teaspoon more yeast.
- Mix sugar, salt, and 3 c flour
- Make a well in the center and add yeast water, oil, and 2 eggs
- Mix with a wooden spoon
- When mixed well gradually add more flour enough for the mixture to be smooth to the touch, not sticky and not too much or the dough will not be cohesive
- As the mixture starts to be elastic begin kneading with your hands.
- Knead dough for 5-10 minutes
- Place dough in oiled bowl and cover with a damp paper towel (When I’m on land I use a cloth but laundry can be an issue at sea)
- Allow to proof for 1 hour in the galley sink
- Punch dough down
- Allow to rise another 30 minutes. You can let your bread this as many times as you want. The dough should rise faster each time and the resulting bread will be fluffier the more times you let it proof.*
- Preheat the oven to 350◦ F (176◦ F or medium)
- Divide dough in half and divide each half into four balls
- Roll each ball into a rope
- Braid the dough rolls into braids of four strands you can also do 3 strand braids
- Let rise for 15 minutes
- Brush with egg glaze If you have a pastry brush then by all means use it. I don’t have all the amenities in my galley so just use my hands.
- Bake for about 35 minutes in preheated oven or until top is golden brown.
* Refrigerate half the dough dough. This way you will have a quick and easy fresh loaf of bread: When you are ready to bake the bread simply divide the dough in two and place in an oiled bowl covered with a damp cloth and refrigerate. When you are ready to bake it, punch the dough down (it will have risen in the refrigerator) and allow to stand in room temperature for an hour before baking.
* Be sure to leave the bread in the sink to proof so you don’t have dough flying across the galley.
Thanks for stopping by!
Sally in the Galley is a cooking blog about cooking on boats but not only for cooking on boats. Many of the challenges faced in a galley are also found on dry land. For example: you have limited space when you cook in a galley, but some of the flats I’ve lived in haven’t had that much more counter space. Sure, you’re are limited to the utensils, appliances, and ingredients you have on board, but if you’re on a budget you may encounter similar issues. Or what if a recipe calls for something that isn’t available in nearby stores?
I am starting this blog a little before I start my circuitous circumnavigation. For the past 3 years, I have been writing another blog, Adventuresse Travels. In 2013, I joined the crew of Umineko, the first Japanese catamaran to circumnavigate the globe, on her trip up the Erie Canal, from New York City to Detroit.
I still was working on Adventuresse Travels, but when the skipper, Sato San, invited me to continue on with Umineko back down the Erie Canal and beyond, something clicked. I love sailing, I adore cooking, and now I was planning to circumnavigation. I had cooked on boats for years, but more piecemeal adventures. Now I was going to be on the water for an extended period of time. A cooking blog was perfect! I could share recipes, tips for cooking underway or on land, with finite resources, in a tiny kitchen, not to mention experience of sailing around the world. And so Sally in the Galley was born.
Sally in the Galley is about the food, but it is also about flexibility and creativity. It offers simple recipe ideas that anyone can cook (almost) anywhere, tips for making the most of a small space, substitution, or jerry-rigging kitchen utensils, and much more. I firmly believe that you are not limited by the size of your kitchen or galley, or by the size of your wallet, only by the breadth of your imagination.
Now let’s get cooking!