The Cast of Characters & Quick Guide to the Story

Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Clean Bill of Health

My chili relleno, with sour cream.
Sometime earlier this week we got word that the health department was planning to pay us a visit in Duluth. Two other tall ships, the Argo and Mammoth would be in town, too, and also subject to inspection.

Last year, Mammoth was in port in Chicago when half their crew (remember, they have a crew of 47 right now) got salmonella from some undercooked chicken. Never having had a class in food prep or food safety, most of the time, I've just been winging it based on personal experience. I had heard this story about the salmonella a while ago and it scared the crap out of me. I cook my chicken to 170 degrees every single time.

Needless to say, I I already started cleaning the galley while we were underway, but Cap said the crew on the Argo was taking extra precautions and the Mammoth had a brand spanking new $35,000 galley because of the incident... she didn't want to look like the ugly duckling.

So yesterday morning while Cap went to get buckets to institute a new 3-wash system (soap/rinse/bleach), Seth #2 gave me Buttons and Strauss as dedicated galley slaves until lunch. The three of us worked our little booties off, scrubbing the inside of every cabinet and every surface including the ceilings. The galley never looked so good.

I turned ol' Dies' off intentionally the night before so that she would be cold and not spewing ugly black soot when the inspector came. This paid off.

After lunch, I retired to my bunk for a quick nap, only to hear Cap giving a tour outside my bunk. I thought it might be the new volunteer we're expecting. Then I heard the woman ask to see the other heads. And I knew immediately. She was here.

Above Board
I popped my head out when I heard her testing the temperature of the refrigerator. I was afraid it might be running a bit high, because it needed to be defrosted and we'd had it open all morning, to clean it.

It was running a bit warm, but she let it pass. Then she asked if I ever cooked while I was sick.

"I've never thrown up on the boat," I told her, which was true. I had vomited once, due to alcohol consumption, and I managed to take care of that at the shore head.

She gave us a few kind warnings and lessons on not cooking if I was vomiting, and to keep the fridge a certain temperature because of the stuff that grows on lunchmeat that can kill a fetus. Then she cheerily said good-bye and walked off toward the newly arrived Mammoth.

When she was a good distance away, Cap and I passed each other on deck en route to different duties, and gave each other a high-five. No ugly duckling were we.

He said he'd come back
Not long after lunch who should arrive but dear ol' Harrison, looking clean-shaven and hair-cutted and refreshed, ready to be our new bosun. He got right to work. Later, after dinner, he hung around in the galley just like old times, and he and Eve later convinced me to go out for a drink with them - after all, they said, I had the whole next day to blog... because I was getting the day off. (Hurrah!)

Thursday's Menu
Pitti panne (Swedish hash with ham, beets, leftover french fries diced up, and onions
Eggs over easy to go on top
Linguini with marinara sauce
Bread Cap bought at Target, warmed up a bit
Tossed salad
Tacos with toppings like the leftover pineapple rice, ground beef, the rest of the carnitas
A kind of hurried version of chili rellenos... somehow I missed that we were eating at 5:30 and did not give myself enough time to do this dish properly
Cap brought fudge and caramel corn as a thank you for working such a hard day

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