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post #8 of Old 05-21-2002
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Menu Planning

If your family is not averse to it, corned beef and cabbage is an excellent supper that always fairs wells with people I know, as far as canned meat dinners go. And cabbage can stay good in the fridge or an icebox for 2 weeks or more, so you can serve it at the end, but it is still a hearty meal. (I have saved it til about the end of a storm front while offshore, and has had great reception from the crew, many of whom felt sick during much of the voyage, but who wolfed down my cooking when the water calmed.)

Lately there are meats, steaks and even fish, that are vacuumed packed to insure freshness. You can find these readily in the supermarket, wish they had these a few years ago! Surely a nice grilled swordfish (I saw vacuum packed swordfish in the market just the other day) drenched with citrus (orange doesn''t go bad) with a lovely grape tomato and olive oil and basil and mandarin orange (from a tin) salad would be a lovely dinner.

As for the rice, you can do things to make the rice much more interesting. Instead of opening the tin of chili beans, add a tin of mushrooms, or a bay leaf in the water, or a bunch of basil, or a pinch of saffron. Or use couscous instead of rice. Couscous with curry powder or some tinned oysters is much more interesting than beans and rice. And you are talking to a girl who has eaten many, many meals of beans and rice (during the years as a poor college student) and has come to expand on the concept.

You don''t mention if your other 2 are smaller kids. If they are, give them the cereal they love for breakfast and make the evening an omelet supper on your last night out. Fresh eggs stay well preserved. The most little kids like is cheese and mushrooms. If your''s are akin to it, buy a bell pepper, which also stays good for at least 2 weeks. Or, needless to say, an onion. Have breakfast for supper! And egg in bread (where you cut a hole in bread and drop the egg in, then fry the thing) is a standard kid pleaser.

Anyway, for 10 days out, you should not have a problem, unless your kids are picky eaters. One of the things I had to make from necessity offshore is now one of my son''s favorite dishes- chicken and gravy and mash. I cooked some chicken, added a brown gravy packet mix, mixed some dehydrated mashed potato mix into the pan and put it into the oven for about 20 minutes. It comes out like a chicken and gravy dish with the mashed potatoes already there. It does taste great. Looks like a sad shepherd''s pie, but what the hey.

As someone who has had to cook for at least two weeks on delivery boats, and has had to prepare meals on private vessels, you can always do something that appears fresh and nice and appealing. Believe me, even if all the ingredients come from cans in the cupboard.

Best of luck,

MaryBeth is offline  
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