Sailing Alaska: Rough Draft Meal Options

“Reduce your plan to writing. The moment you complete this, you will have definitely given concrete form to the intangible desire.” Napoleon Hill

Summary

The upcoming two month trip may last three months cruising Prince William Sound and the Gulf of Alaska.  We will have access to higher-priced grocery stores in Whittier, Valdez, Cordova, and possibly Elfin Cove.  Good coffee beans will probably not be available again until Juneau/return to Seward.  At least 30% of our meals will be based on the day’s catch, or known early spring foraging options [Yep, yep, we know!  Video or it didn’t happen 😉 ].  The AC dorm refrigerator freezer combo we currently use at dock is not usable under way, and our 12v fridge sitch remains the same as when we bought our boat.  Ehh, the average air temperature of early spring in Alaska should be sufficient to extend the life of leftovers, catch, and opened aseptic cartons of milk, but it isn’t required–I can plan around it!

I am testing every recipe possible before this trip, both to get a real feel for provisioning quantities, and to remind myself how the recipe preparation must be modified for the boat.  Most of the recipes are selected to accommodate my optimistic estimations for the yields from foraging, fishing, crabbing, and plinking, among other endeavors.  Preparing meals in a land kitchen supplied only from stores is a different animal from preparing meals in a galley from local provender!  N wants to record how I do things in the galley, so there should be a whole lot of videos relating to boat projects, sailing, cruising Prince William Sound, shore activities in the winter, and…meal prep and provisioning a boat!  Eventually *shrug.

In the meantime, below is a 2nd rough draft of a reasonable meal selection for 2-3 months of traveling on a boat with my husband, with limited refrigeration and provisioning options.

Recipes

Drinks

  • Whole milk lattes
  • Mint hot chocolates
  • Warm water
  • Big Train Spice Chai (drop back to 1.5Tbsp or less per 6oz cup)
  • Gombo

Note:  Damn, that Spice Chai mix is tasty!  Far faster to make than the latte.  Booted mint hot chocolate off the list (although I do have some left in stores), because N would probably always choose the spice chai.  Need a few more alcoholic cocktails for sundowners–my preference for shots of vodka and a good dance floor has left me pretty inadequate in the mixed drinks area.  

Breakfast

  • Kodiak Cake Pancakes with syrup, jelly, and butter OR fruit and whipped cream
  • Omelettes or Scrambled Eggs
  • Oatmeal (N likes the preflavored instant oatmeal.  I know!)
  • Chilaquiles (Honestly my favorite breakfast dish in the world)
  • French Toast w/ boatmade bread
  • Toast (jam/butter, butter)
  • Breakfast Sandwiches with boatmade bread
  • Breakfast Burritos

Note: We rarely make pancakes or french toast, but like both.  Dropping the Kodiak Cakes, because I don’t want to carry an extra bag of flour-ish substance, when French Toast is easy, similar, and uses provisions I’ll already be stocking.  We have a little bit of Kodiak Cake mix and instant oatmeal left in stores, I just won’t provision specifically for them.  Tortillas for Chilaquiles and Burritos can be made fresh easily, but store-bought tortillas last forever too.  Win win.  Several options should be capable of being consumed by onwatch–handheld items like breakfast burritos and breakfast sandwiches are on-the-go meals, and also make good hiking meals for the many shore days.

Removed French Toast, because N vastly prefers toast and jam over everything else.  Why bother?  I’ll be drinking lattes anyways ;-).  Removed breakfast sandwiches because breakfast burritos are far more portable anyways, and can handle black beans, salsa, potatoes, diced onions…all sorts of good stuff.

Sweet Treats

  • Nathan’s Snack Stash
  • Fried Dough using Very Simple Focaccia Dough
  • Brownies
  • Roasted Bananas In Skin
  • Fresh Fruit
  • Brie and Jam on Crackers

Note: I am a very trustworthy cook (i.e. never slender, sometimes sea-lionesque, and perpetually fighting the good fight of balancing physical fitness, tasty dishes, and body fat).  I love candy.  I require my relatively lean husband with a crazy sweet tooth to protect me from myself.  He has a cabinet he fills with candies and cookies and weird colored chips and puffs.  I don’t ask, I don’t look ;-). 

NOPE, the Fried Dough is off the menu.  I love it too too much, and getting superduperfluffy this winter made my Grundens squeaky tight… Whereas brownies are a treat for N, and roasted bananas and fresh fruit are indulgent sensory pleasures but no threat to my ass circumference.  Hiking uphill will be so much easier!

Lunch and Dinner

  • Miso Soup 
  • Braised cabbage with soft cheese and oddments
  • Wine-Braised Cabbage with Goat Cheese and Bacon
  • Very Simple Focaccia and Breadsticks
    • Garlic Butter
    • Marinated Red Onions
    • Smoked Mozzarella
    • Pepperoni or Dried Sausage
  • Bruschetta on Very Simple Baguette
  • Pressure Cooker Potatoes
  • Gyros (The luxury meal)
  • Sushi
  • Grilled or Baked Salmon, Ling Cod, Halibut, Roughy (you get the idea)
    • Jalapeno Aioli (similar)
    • Garlic Butter
  • Grilled or Pan-Fried Shrimp
  • Baked or Grilled Salmon Fillets with Walnut/Garlic/Mayo Crust (always with skin on!)
  • Salmon Candy (mmm….)
    • Canned Salmon Candy
  • Fried Fish
    • Tartar Sauce
    • Jalapeno Aioli (similar)
  • Fish Tacos
    • Taco Loco tortillas (and the Serious Eats version should we run out)
  • Steamed Crab with Garlic Butter
  • Broiled Creole Shrimp
  • Broiled Shrimp with Garlic Butter
  • Dried Fried Fish Chips a la Robi of Sailorama
  • Fish Head Soup
  • Leek, Potato, and Seafood Chowder
  • Cajun Bouillabaisse
  • Smoked Fish Pate with House Crackers
  • Fried Jalapenos
  • Fried Pickles
  • Canned Spicy Dilly Beans
  • Top Ramen

Note: We do a bunch of preserving techniques, but not necessarily on a boat before!!   At dock, everything is the same, for the most part.  The trick is having everything you need when you can’t uproot every item in the two toploading storage areas, find space on the stove for the pots, or run to the store for that ‘one thing.’  The backup for total failure is cheese on crackers, PBJ or miso soup.  I love the whole process of catching, processing, and preparing, and preserving our food, so I put a little (ok, a LOT) of extra thought ahead of time into what is essentially my hobby.  This same trip could be done with a bunch of canned soups, some loaves of bread, and butter.   Do what suits YOU! 

See discussion of tight rain pants above to explain removal of focaccia from our plans.  It is still an option, just not the first option!   Fried pickles, fried jalapenos, and Top Ramen are all fine, just not specifically provisioned.  Prioritize foods which can be adapted to ingredients obtained by foraging, fishing, and bird-plinking.

On the other hand, we both love miso soup, especially on grey days (every day), and it will accommodate fresh seaweed, flakes of leftover fish, and spring ramps.

“Reduce your plan to writing. The moment you complete this, you will have definitely given concrete form to the intangible desire.” Napoleon Hill

 

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