Galley Lessons for Land

By / Photography By Lauren Weisenthal | September 21, 2016
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Washing apples in galley sink on sailboat
Food preparation aboard a boat is both an art and skill.

Simplify your tools: Living on land, I used to be a kitchen gadget hoarder. Moving to a boat with limited storage meant selling 75% of my collection. It was difficult at first, but as I adapted, I discovered the joy of uncluttered simplicity:a good set of stainless steel cookware,some high-quality cooking utensils that feel good in your hands, and two or three knives that are easy to sharpen are all you really need.

Prep in bulk to save time and resources: I used to plan and cook meals dinner by dinner, starting from scratch each time. I’d chop one onion for a recipe one night and sauté it, then do the same exact thing the following night to start another recipe. In order to save water (dishes) and propane, boat cooking has conditioned me to eliminate these duplicative tasks. Now I prep and sauté those onions all together and portion them out for all of my recipes, so they are ready to grab when I need them.

Freeze produce at the peak of freshness: Since we can sail for a long time before finding fresh food, our strategy is to stock up and freeze as much as we can when foods are at their peak. On land we don’t have to worry about scarcity as we do here, but I now wish I had used my freezer more on land to preserve locally grown produce at the height of its season.

Don’t fear the pressure cooker: The first time I used a pressure cooker aboard, I felt like a dummy for cooking all these years without one. They cook everything faster, which especially comes in handy for things that take forever to cook, like beans or braised brisket. If we return to land, you’ll have to pry my pressure cooker from my cold, dead hands.

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