A boat’s galley is pretty much the same as any kitchen you will find on land: stove, sink, cupboard, and oven. The major difference is a boat’s galley dances to the rhythm of the sea; a land kitchen is rooted in the Earth’s crust. Taking this into account I have instituted some jurisprudence in the galley. There are a number of cooking techniques that I consider taboo in my galley.
Let’s get started with the most obvious and spectacular cooking technique of them all, ‘Flambé!’ My boat is not only my home but my ark. The idea of intentionally setting something a blaze in the cabin while at sea gives me the heebie-jeebies. If you’re expecting Bananas Foster or Cherries Jubilee while on-board you’re going to be very disappointed, because it is NOT happening!
A close second to Flambé is deep frying. Believe me, I love fried food from time to time. Biting into that crispy outer crust is oh-so satisfying….”Mmmm”. But from a boat owner’s point of view all I see is the beginning of a horror story at sea. Picture a large pot of heated oil suspended over an open flame on a pitching and rolling boat. If something went wrong and a quart of oil caught fire I don’t think my boat would survive, just writing this paragraph is making my entire body tremble.
This next taboo doesn’t put my beloved boat in peril, however the potential for agonizing pain (up to eleven) is very real. I’m talking about candying or any cooking technique that asks me to reduce a pot of sugar and water to a syrup. There are different levels of candying from the thread stage to caramel all of which have the potential for severe skin burns. I know that roiling pot of napalm is just waiting for the opportunity to jump out of the pan and burn my skin off! I’ll buy my caramels and syrups on land thank you very much!
Motion sensitive dishes like soufflés are something else I try to avoid, not because they can’t be done, but because the motion of the boat and the possibility of a powerboat wake lower the odds of success. I might give these recipes a try if I’m in a calm marina and trying to impress a guest, but for the most part I just avoid them.
This brings me to the final culinary ban on my boat:
Obviously they pose no threat to the boat, but the crew is a different story. If a recipe calls for them, I will substitute or leave them out or just toss the recipe altogether. If you like bell peppers, I’m happy for you. You can eat them on your own boat. I’m even a little upset that there’s a picture of one on my website. There is no way I’m going to allow Satan’s fruit taint my beloved.
Some of you may be better cooks or have better galleys than myself and have no problem with any of these cooking techniques aboard your boat.
For others they may seem fairly obvious but I thought they were worth jotting down. I think they are handy to keep in the back of one’s mind when scouting for new recipes. All I ask is you be extra careful in the galley, the potential for disaster is high and the possibility of recovery is low. What cooking items do you avoid on your boat?