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Old 08-12-2020, 03:14 PM   #1
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What's for dinner?

As I think about restoring my "new to me" Chris Craft 410, and dream of the day of being able to head off for adventures longer than a weekend, hopefully longer than a week...

I've wondered - what kinds of things do people take on board (to eat) that keep well?

Aside from canned chicken and tuna (and Spam?) - what kinds of canned or otherwise preserved meats are easy to find in a grocery store that taste as close as possible to "regular food that you would eat at home"?

What are other common / frequent things that people stock up on, that will last a long time (months to a year?)?

Even if not for long trips, it would be nice to be able to stock the galley with several things that I could whip into a decent dinner for the times that I end up staying longer on the boat than initially planned.

And, since a "date" might be involved, I should probably take [Spam] off the list of things to serve (though it does store well, and would be fine for bachelor nights out on the boat...).

Thanks,
John
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Old 08-12-2020, 03:18 PM   #2
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What's is/will be your battery/inverter capacity?

A couple of blog posts from Sian you might enjoy!

http://atanchor.com/preparing-for-the-exumas-part-1/

http://atanchor.com/provisioning-how-is-it-going/
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Old 08-12-2020, 03:30 PM   #3
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Assume a generator for cooking.

There are times I may be in a slip too, so then all is fair game including a microwave, stove top, or crock pot.
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Old 08-12-2020, 03:33 PM   #4
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I was more thinking storage facilities - like fridge freezer, small chest freezer etc. maintained by inverter.
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Old 08-12-2020, 03:40 PM   #5
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Ah, fridge/freezer space? The Chris Craft 410 currently has an "apartment size" fridge/freezer. Not quite full size, but pretty close, with freezer on top.

But even with that, I try not to store too much food in it that would spoil if I lost power for an extended period of time.

I'm primarily looking for canned, dried, or cryovac ideas that do not require refrigeration or freezing.

Canned hams come to mind. I guess pasta is good for quite a while?
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Old 08-12-2020, 03:57 PM   #6
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Ah, fridge/freezer space? The Chris Craft 410 currently has an "apartment size" fridge/freezer. Not quite full size, but pretty close, with freezer on top.

But even with that, I try not to store too much food in it that would spoil if I lost power for an extended period of time.

I'm primarily looking for canned, dried, or cryovac ideas that do not require refrigeration or freezing.

Canned hams come to mind. I guess pasta is good for quite a while?


My favorites, going back 50 years to when O had a 24 door aluminum Lone Star cabin cruiser with a propane camp stove: Chef Boy Ar Dee Ravioli and canned Beef Stew, I forget the brand!
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Old 08-12-2020, 05:08 PM   #7
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I go out in a 34 LRC with a 5.8cf NovaKool 1-door fridge/freezer and a countertop 3cf apt size 2-door fridge/freezer. I regularly go out for 2 weeks or more and spent 115 days onboard anchored in the California Delta during the CV-19 pandemic from 3/19/20 to 7/23/20.

I carry the same variety of fresh and frozen meats, veggies and other sides that I cook at home. I found that being a single boater, I can stock for 4-6 weeks pretty well as long as I keep up with the electron demand. I'm switching to solar to supplement and reduce the gen run time when I'm not relocating regularly on the mains since I do more long term anchoring now than I used to do. As the food supply diminishes, I can shut down one fridge to conserve power.

I love to cook and a lot of my favorite dishes get cooked in advance at home then portions are vacuum sealed and frozen. I do this whether I'm boating or not. It makes it easy to toss a couple weeks worth of my favorite things onboard.

I also have similar cooking capabilities on FlyWright. My favorite cooking devices aboard are my electric skillet, Instant Pot (with sous vide), microwave, propane grill and coffee pot!

Whether I'm boating or at home, I ain't camping! I eat what I consider normal fresh food, not that canned or processed/preserved stuff. The closest I get to processed is the bratwurst and sauerkraut (with real swiss cheese and homemade applesauce) on German night or the bacon and sausage I enjoy with my 2 morning eggs.
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Old 08-12-2020, 05:08 PM   #8
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My longest cruise in my current boat has been five months, with as much as 10 days between resupply.

I have one of the typical half-size boat fridges with a minimal freezer, which barely has enough room for my gin, and a large pretty efficient ice chest on the afterdeck. Here are some observations:

Don't be quick to disparage Spam. As any Hawaiian will tell you, it is excellent breakfast meat. Slice it very thin and fry it crispy. Low-sodium version not as good.

Speaking of bacon, Costco sells pre-cooked bacon. Keeps very well, browns crispy in a couple minutes; no grease.

Spiced or precooked meats keep longer with minimal refrigeration. Keep in ice chest.

Eggs will keep longer than you might think. Wipe with cooking oil.

Butter does not require refrigeration except in hottest climate.

Cabbage keeps much longer than lettuce. Nappa cabbage makes excellent slaw. A little onion chopped peppers (also keep well).

Potatoes will keep forever in a cool locker.

High quality canned chili is very flexible. Omelettes, stuffed baked potatoes, chili dogs, pasta a la caballero, or just chili. Dress up with onion and cheese.

Pay careful attention to your spice shelf. A lot of variety can emanate from little bottles.
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Old 08-12-2020, 05:14 PM   #9
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We are pescatarians, but eat mostly vegetarian. We buy mercury tested tuna in foil packets, which keep well. Black beans are also really versatile, either canned or dried. You can also get ready to heat rice in serving sized packets. We make bowls with black beans, rice, grated cheese, chopped tomatoes, green onion, and guacamole. This stuff also works well on tostada shells. And, of course, you can make megas with all of these ingredients plus eggs.

We also make up pasta sauces and freeze them in dinner sized packets before we leave home.

Another favorite is canned skinless and boneless sockeye salmon. The salmon is already cooked so it can be used to make a dinner sized salad, or salmon patties. Either dinner is easy clean up.
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Old 08-12-2020, 05:17 PM   #10
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An inverter mitigates the loss of power. You can always throw stuff in a cooler and take it home with you. As far as we're concerned, having spent years where the boat WAS home, the more refrigeration and freezer space the better. We'd stock up on meats, fish and poultry, vacuum seal them, then freeze. Nothing quite like having a meal on the boat as good as anything you'd get on land. Our motto: "We're pleasure boaters, in that order" .

We avoided processed foods. If you insist on eating out of cans and "boat camping", we liked Progresso soups as a backup. Eggs can go a long time without refrigeration. Buy an assortment of vegetables like tomatoes and avocados in various states of ripeness. Onions and garlic don't need refrigeration, so there you go voila, a great omelette. Ditto pasta, rice, potatoes and so on.
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Old 08-12-2020, 05:19 PM   #11
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High quality canned chili is very flexible. Omelettes, stuffed baked potatoes, chili dogs, or just chili. Dress up with onion and cheese.
You're right, beans are very flexible! I pre-cook my favorite sweet and spicy pressure cooker beans and freeze them into 10 oz cups. I can also make a batch onboard but freezing lots of cups at once is tough.
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Old 08-12-2020, 05:53 PM   #12
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We are pescatarians,
Another favorite is canned skinless and boneless sockeye salmon. The salmon is already cooked so it can be used to make a dinner sized salad, or salmon patties. Either dinner is easy clean up.

Thanks for the reminder.

My wife and daughter are both "pescatarians" and when they are on board, I always stock the foil-pack smoked salmon, which can provide a lot of protein in a wide variety of otherwise-veggie dishes. Generally goes for about $20/lb, but I've seen it for $15 or less at Costco on occasion. Keeps forever, and quite a while after opening. No waste, a pound goes a long way.



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Old 08-12-2020, 06:06 PM   #13
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foil-pack smoked salmon, which can provide a lot of protein in a wide variety of otherwise-veggie dishes.
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Old 08-12-2020, 06:18 PM   #14
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Canned beans and vegetables? Chicken or tuna in a pouch? NEVER.

We eat so much better while on the boat than we do at home it isn't even funny. Nothing from a can, dehydrated or MREs.

Fresh sweet corn keeps a week or more in a cooler, Freeze a few steaks, brat, chicken breasts and pork chops. Bread can sit on the counter, out of the sun. Hot dogs, bologna and some lunch meats keep well for over a week if just kept cool. Baking and sweet potatoes require no refrigeration, microwave or bake when ready. Breakfast and lunch is generally fresh fruit, water, or other melons, grapes, apples, oranges, trail mix cereals, bagels or muffins. Even the grocery store bran, poppyseed, blueberry muffins are good for almost a week. Don't forget Peanut butter and jelly! Popcorn at night, chips and crackers anytime.

About the only thing we ever eat from a can (or jar) is spaghetti sauce with our own boiled noodles.

Just because refrigeration is limited your eating does not have to be. Get at least one High Quality cooler (Yetti or comp) sure you will trip over it a little but it keeps ice for almost a week and anything in with it stays cool.

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Old 08-12-2020, 06:37 PM   #15
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Sea Freeze makes excellent 12v deck freezers. I liked mine so much that I kept it when I sold the last boat. It lived for 20 years on the back deck on the old boat and has been living on my flybridge for the last 5 years. I made a cushion for it and now it’s just another pace to sit until I need to pull food out. It is usually stocked with 10lbs of crab, 30lbs of beef, 15lbs of fish and a whole lot of other odds an ends. We can easily eat 30 days out of it.
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Old 08-12-2020, 07:10 PM   #16
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The thread to drool over. Nice!

I was wondering how all y'all fed past a week. As a backpacker over the last 30+ years, I was thinking freeze dried was the way to go. Thanks for the education.

I do know backpackers who freeze dry their own. Never tried it, but I'm think a boat oven would work just fine.
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Old 08-12-2020, 07:34 PM   #17
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Greetings,
Mr. OB. As you can see, one doesn't have to live out of cans and pasta boxes whilst aboard. We go out on a 23' Penn Yan sport fish for a week to 10 days and I don't think we've ever had to open our emergency can of tuna. Good and varied meals BUT we do have access to some provisions ashore.
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Old 08-12-2020, 07:54 PM   #18
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Greetings,
Mr. OB. As you can see, one doesn't have to live out of cans and pasta boxes whilst aboard. We go out on a 23' Penn Yan sport fish for a week to 10 days and I don't think we've ever had to open our emergency can of tuna. Good and varied meals BUT we do have access to some provisions ashore.


If you are on a sport fish, wouldn't admitting, let alone being caught, with a can of tuna be a little embarrassing? Just sayin'
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Old 08-12-2020, 08:00 PM   #19
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Greetings,
Mr. TM. Valid point if we were in salt water. We cruise on inland river/lake system. I still fish but it's all catch and release now.
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Old 08-12-2020, 08:08 PM   #20
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Where on earth are you cruising too? Most people who take foods that they donít usually eat, never eat them while cruising. Stick to your usual diet as much as possible, eliminate the bulky packaging where feasible. Stock up en route for perishables.

As others have mentioned, many foods that you presently store in the fridge at home donít need to be there.
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