Fermentation: Fermentation is a wonderful way of keeping cabbage, cucumbers, or other vegetables, extending their shelf-lives, and adding some great health benefits. So far I’ve only made instant kimchee and pickles, but I really mean to make them the traditional way. When we use up the instant pickle powder I don’t know what we’ll do… I haven’t been able to find it in the States!
Flour: Flour is a staple in the galley if you want bread or really any baked-item. Be sure to look closely at the bag and make sure there aren’t any holes or rips. It is also a good idea to freeze it for 24-hours after buying to kill potential bugs if you have the freezer space. Store it in a plastic air/bug-tight container. Keep a bay leaf in flour container to prevent weevils from getting in.
Heave-Ho Challah Bread
Ginger Peach Schooner Scones
Peach Spice Mizzen Muffins
Freeze Dried Meat: I recently heard about freeze dried meat in Sail Magazine, but unfortunately I can’t find the link anymore. With a proclaimed shelf-life of 25-years it certainly sounds like a good way to keep meat in your diet at sea. The down side that it is not cheap but you can buy it at camping supply stores or Amazon.
Garlic: Garlic is unquestionably one of my staple cruising foods, and really one of my staples to cook with anywhere. You can use it in so many dishes, it’s flavorful, excellent for health, and travels well. I think it’s important to keep a large supply of garlic with you on your cruise. Store in dark, well-ventilated location so that it doesn’t sprout or mold. Once you start to use cloves from the bulb, shelf-life will decrease. Can last up to 3 months. Do not freeze… this changes the texture and flavor of the garlic.
Ginger: Ginger is essential on a boat. Fresh ginger is always the best, but I also like to have a jar of chopped ginger around for convenience. And of course pickled ginger for sushi isn’t a bad idea to keep in your pantry. Store fresh ginger in fruit hammock out of the sun. You can also grate ginger into an ice cube tray and just pop a “ginger ice cube” out for quick use and longer shelf-life.
Candied ginger is another wonderful supply to keep in your pantry. Even if you don’t normally get sea sick it’s good to chew on some your first day out after a long time at port. You never know what the seas will be like and ginger is a Godsend in helping prevent seasickness. More than that, it a delightful addition to baked-goods.
Stormy Seas Ginger Juice
Ginger Peach Schooner Scones
Grapefruit: I adore grapefruit as a treat on a passage. It makes a fantastic breakfast or anytime snack and is an excellent source of vitamin C. Store in fruit hammock out of the sun and away from apples. In optimal cooler conditions it can last up to 2-months.
Green Beans: Fresh green beans are one of my favorites. Great in stir-frys or just steamed with a little butter and garlic they always seem to be scrumptious. Unfortunately their shelf-life is only around 2-weeks (okay, a little less). Store green beans in a perforated plastic bag in the refrigerator and use them quickly. You can buy frozen green beans which are a distant second to fresh, or stoop to canned green beans if you are really desperate.
* You don’t have to give up green beans or haricot vert when you leave Western waters. Throughout Southeast Asia you can find long beans at the market. These are very similar to green beans, looking and tasting like them, but each bean is almost a meter long.
Green Onions (Scallions): Green onions are wonderful for garnish, flavor, and just adding that something extra. Very similar to spring onions, which have a slightly larger bulb at the base and can be used interchangeably in cooking. Stored in perforated plastic bag in refrigerator can last 2-3 weeks. For extended storage keep in cup with roots in water -they will grow! For slightly extended storage wrap a wet paper towel around the roots.