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Date: 28 November 2013. Pots and Pans Primer.


This is the perfect time of the year to evaluate your collection of pots and pans along with their lids. If you're like most dirt-dwellers you've accumulated an amount that would rival a kitchen department at your local department store. Most of those pans are for one reason or another not used. You really do not need five frying pans, and sauce pans galore won't fit in the limited locker space found aboard most boats. And who wants to wash all those pans anyway?

So, as previously accomplished in the on-going Becoming Clutter-Free series, we are still in the kitchen though not for much longer! This week's job is a simple one: Remove from your lockers every pot, pan and associated lids you own and only put back the few you actually use regularly. Yes, of course keep that one biggie for the Christmas turkey or ham, but really, those cookie sheets that are warped are not going to miraculously flatten and become shiny again. Get rid of them.

Instead, look through your collection with an eye toward what can be fit in a small space. For instance I have two pans that contain the exact same liquid quantity however one is taller and fits inside it's shorter wider mate. The taller one I'd returned to my daughter but asked for it again as it is my favored pan for boiling eggs.

Deviled eggs are for me an easy to make item when it comes time for cookouts, pot-luck dinners and such. Few people regularly go to the trouble just for themselves though I make them probably two to three times a month just for me. After all, if I would make something for you of course I should be willing to make them for myself as well. So I do!

Deviled Eggs aboard Seaweed
  1. Peel eggs.

  2. Slice down center and remove yolk.

  3. Mash yolks.

  4. Snip scallions and chop fine. [I use scissors.] Regular onions work too however since I grow my own scallions aboard they are preferred.

  5. Add a dollop of Ranch dressing and mix well.

  6. Fill 'em up!

More will be written about the fabulous feast put on at C-Quarters Marina for the boat folks -- but not today. Tummy is too full...

The results:

Thanksgiving Day feast at C-Quarters

As you sort your pots and pans (and lids) you're going to want some lids on the boat. I prefer the clear glass ones with a hole for venting. That hole allows you to make popcorn with ease on your stove. Not much shaking is required and the steam escapes. So if you have just the solid metal lids, for the pans you are keeping get the dimensions so as you go to thrift stores you can look for the clear lids. I have paid between $2 and $3 for mine -- a far better price than retail.

Back ages ago we discussed taking notes for your new life afloat in the
3x5 Cards article. I find using the index cards most convenient and the lids required would be on your "Worth Having But Not At Retail Prices" card.

One other thing you will probably want to either save from your collection or find at a thrift store is the ring from a spring-form pan. Mine is used to keep the flames from blowing out on my propane stove. See the following picture:

I found one that exactly surrounds the raised portion of my stove burner and use it when cooking with all but my fry pan. Often I am able to keep the doors or windows open simply by using the ring -- not always though. You'll have to check for yourself but in my view this looks a lot nicer than a bit of folded over aluminum foil circling the burner. Thus, you may wish to hold onto your spring-form rings rather than pitch them.

In any event, this week's task is to sort and reject any pan you haven't used in recent memory. We are coming to the end of the kitchen (only one more task!) so your cabinets should be nearly empty. That's a very good thing. You've got the very best saved for yourself and have either passed along via the Salvation Army or some church group your excess or have simply trashed it. The important thing to remember is this is just Stuff -- and it's holding you back from being a boater. Get rid of the junk and come out here and join those of us who enjoy life on the water in our boats.

Yesterday afternoon I saw a lone white pelican. There were dolphin playing in the river today. Seagulls sat and rested on a nearby sandbar. Pelicans took baths in the water. An osprey perched on the mast head of a sailboat anchored near me. Earlier today I spotted a familiar duck that I couldn't put a name on, and by pulling out my
Birds of North America book I was able to discover it was a Shearwater. How cool is that?! 

A great life on the water awaits those who have the
fortitude and determination to do the work required.

Tomorrow the weather is clearing and boats will be leaving for parts south. Lucky cruisers, eh?! There's no reason you can't do it too. Not a one of us started out knowing it all, and indeed part of the fun is learning new things. This life can be yours too, if you're willing to do the work necessary so it can happen.

I'd love to hear of your progress.
And remember the reward is a life afloat, cruising.


Categories: Becoming Clutter-Free, Boat Talk, Books, Galley, Locations, Recipes, Recommendations, Wild Things

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