Well, not really true. As we do have a system where the one who cooks doesn’t clean. Not that
it’s always in place. However the four older kids take turns cleaning the kitchen after supper.
And if everyone does their part to rinse their own dish and place it in the dishwasher, it really
makes life easier for the person whose turn it is to clean up. One of my grandchildren loves to
cook and is a dab hand in the kitchen as well. As my mother used to say;
“Many hands make light work”
Which leads to what this post is all about. Running a large household is no easy task. Since I
do a good deal of the cooking, at least in the last few months since the house has been sold, and
probably will do the lion’s portion of it while aboard the boat, (did I mention I love to cook?)
it just seemed natural that I would take the job of organizing and setting up the galley.
I am thrilled to have this job, and really am looking forward to the challenge. I have been
scouring through liveaboard blogs with galley sections. Although much of it seems like common
sense and drawing on past experience, (I grew up in a family hotel business, and spent a huge
portion of “my other life” in kitchens), there have been some great tips on the blogs. Many of
them though, although very informative are geared toward liveaboard couples, or small families.
And while tips on stainless sets of 5-7 piece nestling pots & pans are terrific ideas for
space saving, my most used pot has a diameter of 15″, as well as my 2 burner griddle &
frying pan for cooking breakfast, grilled cheeses, or anything in general that gets cooked on a
stovetop in a frying pan.
I finally found one blog, in particular, that stood out and gave me the steps I needed to stop
seeking and start planning. That blog, by Robyn Coulter, called SV Yofy
“Sailing in the Winds of Peace.” So a huge shout out to Robyn whose blog is
interesting as well as informative, but also became my ‘one stop shop for how to organize my
galley’. Although the crew of Yofy is a cruising couple as well, with occasional guests,
Robyn’s presentation is quite simple, very organized, and IMO, works whether you are a
liveaboard couple or like us, you will be feeding a minimum tribe of 7, with occasional guests as
well. For those interested; here is the part one & 2 of
Robyn’s post on provisioning. Alas! it is so much more than just provisioning, for me, these
two posts kind of summed up how to set up & organize my galley!
There are some basic things like removing all boxes, labeling with sharpies, and storing
staples in plastic containers that suit your galley storage space, that all the
galley blogs seem to cover, much of which is common sense, but also trial & error, and
experience! I have no problem learning from someone else’s experience, so there ya go!
And while I am not sure what about Robyn’s galley posts made so much sense, after reading
it over a few times everything just clicked. So armed with my pencil, and smallish spiral
notebook full of lists that were populating faster than my hand could keep up, suddenly I
felt in control and ready to embark on the task of planning and setting up my galley!
Turns out the hardest part for me,( being a thinker I put far too much thought into this),
was figuring out what pots were most necessary without overloading the galley with
unnecessary items that would only be used once a month, thereby taking up valuable space.
Then suddenly ‘light dawned on marblehead’ and I realized I would be cooking on the boat
much the same way I cook on land, with only a few adjustments. Then it just became a
matter of deciding what was absolutely necessary and which items could do double duty.
So rather than try to purchase pots when we arrive in Mobile, I decided to take the
things I could not easily replace, and divide those things up in our check in luggage,
dispersed for weight management. And while this may seem like over thinking a simple
everyday task, (well yes, it certainly is;-) the reason being, I want to keep things
as simple as possible (simple being the operative word). So the homemade-from-scratch
chicken pot pie from stove to oven that takes me an hour from start to finish and easily
feeds 10, stays just that simple, fast & delicious! So, in terms of pots & pans,
there will be a few items we will bring in our suitcases, don’t forget we have 7
(yes seven) checked, and 6 (minus the cat) carry-ons, so that is 13 items we can bring
with us. Once I got a basic plan, everything sort of fell in place.
“Out with the old and in with the new”
As far as what the boat came with, every thing is basically junk. Do you remember
the flowered 5 piece pot sets when no stick first came out in the sixties? (I know,
dating myself) Smallish and oldish. Useless for my clan!
“Out they go!”
Very heavy 4 piece set of old dishes, (no antique value) will be replaced by an 32 piece
place setting of pure white Corelle ware! I was from the Corelle Ware generation, so no
one had to suggest Corelle to me!
As far as flatware, I think what’s there is better than our ‘eclectic’ set at home. There are
just some things that are absolute necessities, steel potato masher, good meat knife & cleaver,
a mallet, electric kettle and other odds & ends, one such being lobster crackers! Even though
I doubt we will get Maine lobster down south.
We will have to add it to our list of “NE haunts, jaunts and eats we will be missing this summer”
“Oh well, mustn’t gwumble!”
It is the simple pleasures in life that make it worthwhile. One is being assigned a job you love,
then there is also the wonderful feeling of knowing that not only am I thrilled to do this,
but I am also lightening the load of our soon-to-be captain GG, and that is priceless.
The only thing I need now is an apron that says “Kiss the Cook”!
How do you organize your galley? Leave a comment and your 2 cents.