The Cast of Characters & Quick Guide to the Story

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Mealtimes = good times

Bly and Rigby taking helpings during our photoshoot.
At dinner the other night, I was left alone with the boys; Eve and Smith were both otherwise occupied. Rigby said, “We sit talking much longer after dinner than we used to.”

“And we’re better behaved,” added Kip, the bosun. 

“Why’s that?” I asked.

They couldn’t answer my question, but Rigby explained how the old cook used to sit and watch them eat from a bench on the other side of the salon and would immediately start clearing plates as they finished.

When I was on the Neverland, though I didn’t sit watching them, I often didn’t eat with the crew. Mealtimes were often strange affairs with the captains holding court over the main salon. Few conversations took place that didn't feel controlled or somehow monitored.

Our mealtimes here on the Marlin (my nickname for our fair ship) are so much different; and much closer to how I remember mealtimes growing up in my family. We laugh and talk about the events of the day, or our friends and family, and a lot about boats. Cap is pretty quiet but occasionally cracks the most hilarious jokes.

I can’t imagine not wanting to eat since I try to make food I think I'll enjoy. And I miss our mealtimes on my days off. The only downside is still Cap's eating habits. Tonight he took only a piece of the meat. Nothing else. His plate looked so sad. At first I was frustrated and felt like I had let him down as usual, but then I got a little miffed. Sometimes I just wish he try a bite or two of my hard day's efforts. 

Turnips and their greens from the market.
Moving on
Today I journeyed to the farmers' market - what little there was of one on this, their first market day of the year. But I did buy a TON of turnips and turnip greens for $3. "Make sure and come back next week," said the one-eyed black man who sold them to me. "I take care of my ladies." I told him I rather wished I could come back - but that I leave on Tuesday for Wilmington, NC.

As I wound my way through the city, several people commented on my greens. When I told one woman where she could find them, she said I'd made her day. So I must say I was not expecting them to be so ... pungent. Wooh! Not sure I will be making turnip greens again. But it was a fun experiment. 

I've been trying not to buy much lately, because my folks are coming tomorrow for a visit and I am going to take advantage of them, their car, and their Sam's Club membership. However, I did not count on having to defrost the fridge and freezer last night - which left me with some seafood but not quite enough to serve everyone. So on my trip to the farmers' market I also stopped at a seafood market and bought some shrimp and crab and made an amazing linguine for lunch (sorry, I forgot to take a photo). Best of all: Cap ate every bite.

Saturday's Menu
Sausages and cheese eggs
Seafood linguine and no-knead bread with gruyere baked into it.
Chuck roast with Italian seasonings; sweet potato, butternut squash and potato and turnip agradolce with currants; spinach salad with blue cheese and craisins; turnip greens and coleslaw 
Molten chocolate cakes


  1. Thanks! As a former cook on a tall ship and mom, I love your blogs. Your food sounds delicious and the challenge every tall ship cook has is good food on a tight budget. You are doing soooo well!

  2. Thanks, fellow seacook. If you have any tips, please share! I think my biggest cost-savings is in making bread, but if you have any other ideas, I'd live to hear them.

  3. BEG! I always asked at farmer's markets and grocery stores for their older produce, baked goods,etc. Some stores have a policy to throw them away but others will donate them. You have to really build up your need, ship, historic mission, crew works hard on very little money,etc. Buying in bulk helps but storage is an issue. Dried milk, beans,pasta are all good. I used all dried veggies in my soups so I didn't have storage issues. You can also use condensed milk in cans. Your challenge will be the voyage to Canada. Food is extremely expensive there and you have several weeks at sea.