01 February 2009

The Sea Cook

The Sea Cook… or how to have superb meals afloat without becoming a galley slave is a quirky cookbook written in 1968 by Sallie Townsend Virginia Ericson, The Sea Cook offers tips and recipes for cooking on a boat. One look and you can tell this book pre-dates a desire for fresh, local ingredients. Presumably, your boat will be out to sea for a time, so the recipes are chocked full of canned ingredients from simple tuna to canned whole chicken. It sounds somewhat gruesome, but when you are at sea…

The fun part of this book is getting your ready for your adventures in the galley. One thing you might have failed to think about is how the rocking of the boat will affect your soup! Here is what you need:


Gimbals support a stove at two points so that, as the boat rocks or heels, the stove will pivot in such a manner that the top remains level. The front of the stove should be parallel to the centerline of the boat (an imaginary line running from bow to stern). The gimbals attach to each side of the stove.
Just one time being ankle deep in spaghetti should be enough to send you running to your boat supplier to see if your stove can be mounted on gimbals.

Now days, rather than gimbals, the average boat would probably have a microwave, also gimbaled. If you don’t have gimbals on your stove and you are out on the high seas racing for the America's Cup, here is a tip from a Long Island Sound racing cook. Carry “cooking pants.” This cook kept the same pair of stained and tattered pants for all of his races, to save his “good pants.”

The Sea Cook offers an early take on our rather common nachos.

Chili on Toasted Tortillas

2 cans chili, without beans Place in a large frying pan.

1 medium onion, finely chopped Sprinkle onion on top of chili

4 slices yellow cheese, torn Sprinkle cheese over chili
into strips, or 1 cup shredded cheese
mixture. Cover and heat over
low heat until the cheese melts.
Serve on corn chips.

1 pkg. (6 oz.) corn chips, bite size Put corn chips on plate and use
a spatula to lift chili out of pan
onto the corn chips.

As a kid, this was one of my favorite foods, but we called it Frito Chili Pie. You take a small bag or Fritos, carefully opening to keep the bag in tact. Spoon chili over the Fritos in the bag, sprinkle with cheese and onions.

Eat with a spoon!

Eat it on a boat.

Eat it sitting in front of the DVD player watching Titanic.

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