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Provisioning for ARC 2011

by Art on

The crew shopping at El Corte Ingles Four guys, one boat, 14-30 days at sea crossing the Atlantic. Toss in the fact that one is British, one from Sweden and two of us from the Italian part of Switzerland. Different backgrounds, cultures and first languages. How do you feed this crew for the crossing and keep morale high? How much food to buy, where to store it, how to find it when we're underway and how can four guys with different culinary skills best prepare it. All good questions that need answers before we go shopping.

So Sean, a trained chef in addition to his yachting credentials and me, an enthusiastic home chef, put our heads together for a number of days and tossed around the idea of a formal menu to follow day by day. There's advantages to this as we would be able to accurately put together a list a items to purchase and everyone would know exactly what we're going to eat (Thursday lunch is spaghetti, lamb chops for dinner on Monday, etc.). On the other hand, the problem is that we would know exactly what we were going to eat each day and that takes the surprise and fun out of it from our viewpoint.

The first load arrives We decided on a two-pronged approach. First, I would prepare a number of dishes in advance and freeze them in zip-locks. The long preparation time for making Texas chili, Bolognese ragu, Thai green curry and Indian curry could be performed in a proper kitchen (aka Sean's home in Spain!), frozen then stored in our on-board freezer. This turned out well and we have the freezer half full with these meals-ready-to-heat. It should be as simple as making some rice or pasta and heating up one of this packages for dinner or lunch.

Second, Sean and I have had a number of months experience cooking for each other and think we can improvise very well if we have a good selection of ingredients. Here in Las Palmas we went to the central farmer's market and ordered a big selection of vegetables, fruits and meats. We've spent the past few days getting ready for it to arrive and know where each item will be stored.

We also visited to the local El Corte Ingles store and put five shopping carts of basics (soda, rice, pasta, sauces, etc.) together and they were delivered to the boat (great service by the way!). We had heaping mounds of things to put away but we need to inventory them all just like our spare parts so we know where they are.

Just a couple more days now and we're off but I feel very confident that we have all our issues well in hand and we not only will be Feelin' Good but Eatin' Good as well!

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