It all started when I was a kid and the values instilled in me by my parents when it came to economizing and thrift.
Not only were my parents homesteaders (before it became en vogue) growing avocado, corn, sugarcane and wheatgrass in our backyard, my parents never wasted food once it was cooked. Bulk dishes became leftovers that extended over days (or sometimes weeks) until depleted.
I’ve taken that principle and elevated it to a new art form … because, you see, I like variety.
Turkey 5 ways
The lifecycle of ingredients made up of leftovers became a culinary challenge that I learned at Wellesley College, my alma mater. The dining hall weekly menu would feature something like the following:
- Monday - roast turkey
- Tuesday - turkey soup
- Wednesday - turkey pot pie
- Thursday - turkey tetrazzini
- Friday - turkey ice cream (just kidding)
Journey vs Destination
This was, of course, all very surprising to Andrew because he has a different approach to cooking. He once told me an anecdote of his culinary experiment to master the art of cooking fried rice.
His process would be to cook a batch of fried rice and if there was something off about it, he would throw it out. All of it. Andrew would then repeat the process over and over again. The garbage would have countless pounds of fried rice ready for the dumpster. In his quest for mastery, he valued learning the skill over the end product.
I can understand that principle… in theory.
Had we known each other back then, however, I would have quietly siphoned off each batch of fried rice into Tupperware containers and place them into the freezer to be repurposed for other dishes, such as
- a cheesy frittata
- roll them into balls, cover them in panko breadcrumbs and fry them up
- place them in a rich flavorful broth with some hand-torn roast chicken
We would have made a great team back then, as we do now.
Stage 1 Meals
I share this backstory so you get a feel for how we will be approaching our life aboard RJ Slocum.
The kinds of dishes that will be prepared at anchor will primarily be bulk cooking that can be tailored and elevated when we are on passage. Here are some of the ideas that you can take with some basic stage one meals laid out in the following hierarchy:
- Stage 1
- Stage 2+
- Braised beef or pork
- fried rice
- Grilled salmon
- salmon cakes
- pasta salad
- Steamed rice
- fried rice
- risotto balls
- Roasted chicken
- chicken soup
- chicken salad/sandwiches
- Roasted vegetables
- vegetable soup
- breakfast casserole
- french toast
The best way to incorporate these ingredients is with eggs, milk, bacon and cheese along with varying up herbs and spices to give them another dimension. Taste the dishes as you prepare them and you’ll be able to adjust along the way so there are no surprises with your final product.
While we’re still observing social distancing and staying at home to prepare our meals, we are using this opportunity to continue to refine our skills for life aboard a sailboat.
We hope you find these ideas useful.
More from this series:
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