Thursday, June 10, 2010

The world's saddest pancake

Hello Internet! Sorry for the silence, but I've been very busy and important. I am now a deck hand with a commercial fishing license from the great state of Alaska. We have successfully sold 1 whole King Salmon ($87, kids!). I have made the worst pancakes of my life onboard the Leona. Let me spin you a yarn, matey.

So, we are now trollers. I haven't really worked the gear but that's because I drive the boat and am not fast enough. I also am in charge of the galley, such as it is. Please, let me take you on a tour with words of the great galley/berth of the Leona.

The back of the area is full of Perkins Diesel engine. The loud beast that powers our boat through the briny deep. The alternator squeals if we put too much load on it. Too much is defined by the on board computer (heh), the 12v coffee pot, and the water pump. When we get off the boat I still feel the solid thrum through my body from the motor. Forward (toward the bow) is the double berth, sink and "stove." This is a stove in the academic sense of a metal box that gets warm. Pretty much I can touch it with my bare hand. I am not bragging about my super-tough Alaska hands but slamming the crap nature of the stove. Ever seen a stove that takes 20 minutes to cook an egg while on full blast? Yeah, it sucks in ways I never knew were possible.

So, this stove is really meant to heat the small fo'c'sle, whatever.

Cooking on this boat means a fundamental shift in our eating habits. I am a make-it-from-scratch, no processed nothing, over packaging is eeevil person. Guess what we eat on the boat? Over processed, packaged, nonsense that sort of nauseates me. Oh, and nitrates. Lots and lots of processed meats. blerg.

On this, our maiden voyage, we decided to try pancakes. I bought Kustez reluctantly and got ready to make some. I fried, read: warmed until brown-ish, some apples in a pan then dumped the batter over it. I should mention that this is between steering the boat above from the wheelhouse and hopping down below to tend my breakfast treat. I let the pancake sit for 15 minutes on one side and flipped it. It was pallid and anemic. It cooked for a bit longer then I dumped it in a bowl with maple syrup for tDF (whom was actually filthy and fishing).

It was raw in the middle. Ever had a molten pancake--like one of those chocolate cupcakes that are undercooked on purpose? Well it was that but in pancake form. So, so gross. That stove is only good for heating dish water. I can't even begin to tell you how frustrated I am with that situation.

We have what tDF refers to as a crack torch--an MSR single burner backpacking stove. Ths heats water better but can't really be used in all weather. Having something like that roll on its side would be tragic in a wood boat built in 1926.

What should I cook where there is no refrigeration, room, ability to actually cook, time, or energy? NEW FUN PROBLEM!


  1. Hmm..PB &J? So, are you still working at the FS? How does that work? Seen anything cool in Whale Bay? Hiked to Avoss?

  2. Hardtack, jerky, and grog.

    Maybe a solar cooker? If you had more juice, I'd say get a small portable induction burner. Ours will boil a pot of water in no time (on household current, though).

  3. You need a thermal cooker, honey. They are expensive, but worth it in your case. It works like a crockpot without electricity. The downside is you have to start the cooking at home on your stove in the morning before you head out--but once the food is heated all the way through, you can pack it onto the boat, and it will keep on cooking until lunchtime, or dinnertime.

    If you want more detail, check my blog post:

    To buy one, go to Amazon and search "thermal cooker". Read the reviews before you buy one--the cheaper ones don't get as good mentions. I bought the Tiger and LOVE it!

  4. Thanks, All! Mary--I eat so much peanut butter, it's not even funny.

    Peter, There have been many pirate jokes and british naval humor aboard the Leona.

    Jo--I will look into that.

  5. All you really need are a few Home Run pies and a case of snickers bars. You'll have all the four food groups: red, chocolate, crunchy, and niacin.