Thursday, November 30, 2006

Life of a galley slave

We’re in Fort Lauderdale for a yard period having a bunch of work done on the yacht before we venture out to the Bahama’s and the Caribbean. Varnishers, painters and engineers are scurrying around the yacht like worker ants from dawn to dusk. And from what I can gather, the captain has had his cell phone surgically implanted into his head while he runs around overseeing the workers and making his way through his own lengthy To Do list. The first mate is off taking his yacht master course and so I haven’t even met him yet, and our stewardess is taking a Silver Service course, given by a yachting agency, which means that I have nothing but peace and quiet while I get my galley together.

My first order of business has been to sort through every cabinet, pantry and food storage area in the galley; inventory the existing provisions; clean out the freezers and refrigerator; get rid of the old and make room for the new… As the yacht hasn’t had a chef in over a month the cupboards, for the most part, are bare except for a few essentials. The refrigerator too was looking pretty empty but much in need of a thorough cleaning. In the past, when I’ve taken over a new galley I’ve been amazed by the weird things that the previous chef has bought; boxed cake mixes (so simple to make your own), sauce packets (not a fan), Spam (people actually eat that stuff?) – and so of course, this was no exception. I filled garbage bags with out of date scone mixes, hollandaise sauce packets and unlabeled bags of mystery food from the freezer; scrubbed out the fridge with bleach and sorted through all of the dry goods. Then, it was off to the store for my first provisioning trip and 32 bags of groceries later, I now have a galley in which I can cook. But, there will be many, many more trips to the market before we are ready to hit the seas.

In my trip through the store yesterday I picked up freeze-dried yogurt culture (from a health food store) and one of my first orders of business today is to make my own yogurt. While I was back in New York recuperating from my knee injury, I spent some time interloping in friends kitchens around the city – one of them being Restaurant Devi – where they made there own yogurt and which was probably the best yogurt I have ever eaten in my life. So, I figure, it should take no time at all and then I can bust out some mango lassi’s for a crew snack one day… I’ll be sure to update on my yogurt making process on the blog….

Today will be spent inventorying the remaining three freezers and adding to my never ending provisions list, another trip to the grocery store, and cooking for the crew for the first time (the captain has told me to hold off cooking until the galley is in order and instead has been taking me and the stewardess to dinner, along with another captain from the yard and some of his crew). The captain and crew have requested some healthy faire to reverse the effects of all the late nights at Waxy’s (the local crew bar) so I’m planning on grilling an Asian marinated flank steak, some sugar snap peas, mushrooms and peppers tossed with sesame oil and brown rice with toasted almonds and scallions, and a curried butternut squash soup. Fortunately, the crew eat just about anything – so no vegetarians, or picky eaters here. Lucky me.

The owners will be dropping by the yard on Sunday and staying aboard for dinner on Sunday night. This will be my first chance to meet and cook for them…

I’ll be getting some pictures up over the weekend…

1 comment:

greg said...

hey gal! how did the star fruit chips work? can't wait to hear about your first dinner for the owners and the progress of the yogurt culture. the brooklyn gang misses you desperately.

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