One of the great parts of cruising is the new experiences found in each port of call. Almost every port has the restaurant loved by the locals, the bar where you’ll find the dockmaster. However, the other great (and perhaps greater) part of cruising is the experiences had on board-the smell of cooking wafting up from the galley that fills the saloon during a rainy night on the hook, dinner on the aft deck with a nice bottle of wine, coffee and breakfast during a sunrise over a silent anchorage. For the prepared yachtsman, the greatest meal of your next cruise may not be at that swank restaurant above the yacht club, but the one on board, made and enjoyed with friends. Here are some cookbooks that may help spice up (no pun intended) your onboard meals.
1) Galley Guru: Effortless Gourmet Cooking Afloat, by Lisa Hayden-Miller, is a highly recommended cookbook to have on board. Lin Pardey, the author of another nautical cookbook, Care & Feeding of the Sailing Crew, said “I found three great new ideas in the first ten pages of Galley Guru. I see lots of other ideas I want to try out on our upcoming voyage.” A nice feature of this book is that not only does it give you recipes, but it puts them in their place-the recipes have symbols next to them stating when and where they can best be prepared, with the categories: “Shorepower,” “Remote Anchorage,” “Beam Reach, Trade Winds, Beautiful Weather,” “Underway,” and “Heavy Seas.” (Galley Guru: Effortless Gourmet Cooking Afloat is published by Paradise Cay Publications, $19.95).
2) The Yachting Gourmet, by Mary Maskal, has over 400 recipes covering dinner to dessert, all geared toward onboard meal preparation. One interesting aspect of this book is that there is a common thread of many ingredients. This is great for provisioning, and is helpful for those looking to be able to eat varying meals made from similar materials. (The Yachting Gourmet is published by Author, Inc., $32.95).
3) The New Food Lover’s Companion, 4th Edition, by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst, is a perfect cookbook for the serious cruiser, the yachtsman who visits varying ports of call all over the globe. And the reason is this. More than a cookbook, the Food Lover’s Companion is a guide to all things edible. The index was made for the traveling gourmet, with sections like “Ingredient Equivalents,” “Substituting Ingredients,” “Metric Conversion Formulas,” “U.S. Measurement Equivalent,” and, for those cruising across the pond, “British and American Food and Cooking Terms.” And we’re not even into the meat and potatoes of the book (again, excuse the pun). A look at the first entry and you know this is a book for the cruising chef-“Abalone [a-buh-LOH-nee] A gastropod mollusk found along the coastlines of California, Mexico and Japan. The edible portion is the adductor muscle…” (The New Food Lover’s Companion, 4th Edition is published by Barron’s Educational Series, $15.29)