When I got onboard on Thursday, the bosun, who I’ll call Poi Boy, gave me a rough tour of the galley and the stores. “We have a lot of cheese,” he said. I kept looking for the cheese. Then I saw it: a brick longer than my arm of pre-packaged Velveeta.
I’ve said this before, and you may disagree with me, but there’s one usage of Velvetta of which I approve. Honestly, I’m sure it’s because of some glitch in my childhood when my father must’ve accidentally come home with Velvetta from the grocery store instead of cheese. But for some reason, I’m okay with it in scrambled eggs. I made scrambled eggs with “cheese,” oven-crisped bacon and homemade biscuits. I put out jams and butter and honey and cereals and milk and yoghurt, too.
We also had several loaves of wheat bread that were nearing expiration, so for lunch I made sandwiches, this time with (real) cheddar cheese, sliced apples, ham and honey mustard. I cooked them on the flattop (Yes! They have a flattop on the Adventurer! And a propane rather than a diesel stove. Hello progress!) so the cheese melted. I put out all the salads from the day before, doctoring them all a bit. I added leftover chicken to the bulgur salad. I changed up the potato salad by adding curry.
In many ways I felt like I didn’t have time to settle in properly, to adjust to the routine. This was reinforced by the fact that we never mustered the mornings and rarely sat down for a common meal (ie., we had no routine). Otherwise I would have baked more. I would have prepped more. Some things came back to me, though, routines so deeply ingrained that I didn’t have to think about them. I made tea and lemonade from mixes so they weren’t just drinking water – then I added freshly sliced peaches to the tea and orange slices to the lemonade. That’s right… I remember… I used to do it like this…
Halfway into Saturday, I noticed that we had new crew members. I had provisioned based on 10. At least three, possibly four new faces climbed aboard with backpacks and sleeping bags tucked under their arms. The captain mentioned that his wife was coming down, too.
Panic set it. I had started my bread in a pot the night before and I’d doubled the recipe, thank goodness, so it should work out that everyone could get a piece… But I had only purchased three racks of ribs. They had been slow-cooking all day and I’d already divided them into .. wait… I re-counted… fourteen. That meant I was short one… then I remembered that one crew member, The Doctor, didn’t eat pork. I grabbed two pieces of chicken, slathered them in homemade BBQ sauce (sweetened with Aunt Jemima) and put them in the oven just in time. I threw together an extra salad. Pfew.
Though part of me wanted to hang with the crew and be one of them for as many nights as I could, a friend of mine runs an improv theater in San Diego and they had a show that night.
I have no pictures of the meals from this day, which is too bad. I snapped this one as I waved good-bye and ran to meet my ride.