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Date: 28 February 2014. Food in Foil.

Food onboard a boat is an important component for a successful, comfortable life on the water.  Contrary to some of the sail-around-the-world and tough-it-out crowd, there's a whole 'nother life available: one filled with delicious foods and scrumptious treats.  Dehydrated whatever, canned goods and rice by the fifty pound canisters is only for those with a penchant for suffering.  As for me? I prefer decadence -- and eating well is a part of that.

This year, as you prepare for life afloat, it's time to test the waters so to speak.  Many food items now come in foil packets.  I prefer that packaging for tuna fish and salmon as there's less trash to dispose of. They don't weigh as much and store in a smaller space. Plus, they don't rust. Here's a stack from my locker under the sink:

Still, the varieties are amazing. Some you will find disgusting.  One clue I can offer however is this: in the tuna fish line, if you shake the package and hear sloshing, it's nasty stuff.  Several brand names as well as the Walmart generic are a-okay.

And just recently I spotted some Hormel chili in a foil packet -- advised as a perfect topper and if you have a microwave you can nuke it for 45 seconds to hot... Anyway, taste and test all you might consider now, while access to a variety of choices is easy.  You'll want to know if foil chili (for instance) is to your liking.

Hint: the chili is okay, not spectacular, but is quite good in one regard.  I cook vegetables (zucchini, or broccoli) in it for added umph. Oh, and water it down a bit too. You'll have a decent vegetable side dish though I've eaten it as a full  meal with a few corn chips to add crunch.  Out of the package, I wasn't impressed.

Here are some I have in my current stash aboard Seaweed:

Stop cringing at the Spam.  Cold from the package almost killed my taste buds, but Sparrow showed me that by frying Spam texture is created and it is not too bad at all. Sometimes you (okay, me) want something salty.  A toasted English muffin, a slice of fried spam, some crunchy onions and a tomato -- I'm telling you it's not fancy but it is pretty doggone good. Son liked cheese melted on his. And it's dead easy!

I've also chopped Spam into 1/4" cubes, sautéed with onions, perhaps a green pepper and then break an egg over the top. Cook until the egg is done and voila: a simple one-pan meal. Add a potato pancake, and you're all set.

Fried in strips and dipped in a honey mustard sauce is another way to enjoy Spam. But not every day -- there's got to be variety or life is boring vanilla, you know?

On Seaweed most of my meats are not in foil. They are canned, as in I prepare and pressure cook the meats for my ship's stores.  Yes, I'll be taking pictures the next time I go to the Kidlet's house. We'll cook a multitude of great items for the lockers aboard Seaweed. And you can try them for your home as well.

I'm no Martha Stewart, but folks do come back with enthusiasm when invited a second time.
My coffee has not won acclaim, though tea drinkers are pleased with the options I have aboard.

As a matter of fact, when I'm over at Kidlet's (babysitting my grand-puppies) I do a year's worth of canning on her stove.  It keeps me from killing myself. Have you seen television? It's awful stuff. And I really don't care who is the biggest hoarder, loses the most weight, and if a shark eats the camera, GOOD!

This is the list of what I make for Seaweed's lockers:
  1. Hamburger
  2. Sausage
  3. Italian sausage
  4. Lasagna
  5. Stuffed manicotti
  1. Chicken
  2. Chicken vegetable
  3. Barbecued chicken
  4. Turkey
  5. Turkey vegetable
  1. Ham
  2. Shredded ham
  3. Pork
  4. Jerk pork
  5. Barbecued pork
  1. Roast beef
  2. Barbecued beef
  3. Pot roast
  4. Pot roast 'n veggies
  5. Stuffed green pepper
  6. Taco soup

And yes, we will have lessons in canning -- at least I'll show you how I do it.  In the meantime you will want to begin gathering canning jars. SMALL ONES.  You'll note that what I can is the meat portion of the meal, so the quart jars are o-u-t. 

I use either 1/2 cup jelly jars or wide mouthed 1/2 pint jars.  You might opt for 1/2 pint and pint jars exclusively.  Wide mouth is preferred so that your lasagna layers will come out neatly. Incidentally, lasagna has to be made in the 1/2 pint jars as the stack gets too big in pints.

So start looking for Mason and Ball jars now. You can find canning jars at thrift stores for less than retail, so go there too.  Rub your finger around the top of the glass.  Any with chips or dings will not seal properly. Don't buy those.

Seaweed does not have refrigeration on 24/7.  There isn't power enough for that at present though of course I have hopes that eventually I will have the battery storage capacity so I can run my reefer all the time. That's why my having a variety of shelf-stable food stores is important to me.

For now, try all the foil packed food choices available locally and find ones you might like for your life afloat.  You don't have to go to camping goods stores any more so the prices are considerably lower than you might expect. If there are any others you like, please let me know. I'm always open to experiencing new things.

Happy eating!

I'd love to hear what your favorites are.
And, are there are shelf-stable foods that work on your boat?


Categories: Boats, Comfort, Galley, Recipes

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A favorite aphorism:  It's not healthy to eat too much, but the thing about food is, well, it's delicious. Janice Marois.

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