Prepping food for an offshore voyage

So, I was very nervous, yet excited, to prepare some meals for our crew on our offshore voyage.  Nervous because Ridge’s mom prepared all the food for the last offshore trip to Bermuda a few years ago and we ate like freaking kings.  Seriously…I think I gained 5 lbs in the seven days we were at sea.  I was super excited though to think of some good “boat meals” and I had been pinning my little heart out on pinterest for weeks in preparation.  First, a good offshore boat meal is something that is usually precooked and frozen, and if not frozen, at least already prepared and ready to be reheated or put together.  Chopping onions and cooking pasta noodles on the ocean in rough seas does not fare well.  I had picked several casseroles for our eight crew members.  I did a version of a Shepard’s pie with bison and sweet potatoes which was later renamed prairie pie.  I made a chili-cheese dog casserole, chicken parm casserole, chicken and steak fajitas for dinners and lunches were usually Hawaiian rolls with lunchmeat and cheese in the oven until cheese was melted, or wraps, I also prepared breakfast casseroles and a few other dishes in addition to a million bags of Zapps Voodoo chips and other snack foods.  Ridge’s amazing mother also prepared several dishes for us: chili, chicken tortilla soup, brisket and baked beans, and a hearty beef stew.  One of our crew members also brought two dishes for our voyage.  We had dinner meals more than covered! The day before we were scheduled to depart from the Marina in St. Mary’s County, Maryland, though, Ridge, his father and I were having a conversation about beer—how much and what kind to get.  I suggested I get six cases, to which he replied, “we don’t need that much, Patrick doesn’t drink beer, he is gluten free…remember?”  No. No. No. I did not remember—although I did know this because I had offered him some food here on the boat before, to which he declined, I had never cooked for him… so it completely did not even occur to me.  So, the day before we head out, I am running final errands, running around like a mad woman- another stop at the grocery store for gluten free snacks, rice noodles, gluten free bread, wraps and anything I saw that was gluten free.  I prepared a bison baked ziti with rice noodles and did sandwiches for his lunches during the trip separately and on gluten free bread.  The breakfast casseroles were gluten free, but the pancakes and other goodies were not, so I would prepare bacon, eggs and oatmeal.  It was stressful because it happened just as we were getting ready to depart, but it all worked out in the end.  Looking back, if I had not suggested we get a ridiculous amount of beer for our journey (we never drink on our offshore trips–someone might have the occasional brew, but youre usually so exchausted from being on and off watches that catching a buzz is the last thing on your mind, also probably not very safe), I probably would not have realized until I was handing him a bowl of steaming hot stomach problems.  For this, I am thankful.  All the stress and last minute prepping was totally worth it though–the meals turned out great and the crew was never hangry and we had a great trip South.  Also- we ended up only having seven crew members so we had some leftovers throughout the journey.

Full bellies=happy sailors.



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