Planning Meals For Boat Camping.

Kitchen Help Wanted. When camping or boating everyone has their style; I like to have the first day planned out and then after that it’s more go with the flow. Because the first day is usually the longest travel day (doesn’t give us much fishing time) I find that having some type of casserole the first day is easiest.  Usually it’s something like lasagna, spaghetti or shepherds pie.  When I make casseroles at home I always make several to freeze; so when we go boating it’s easy to have something for that first day.  If we leave early in the morning it’s not uncommon for me to pull the casserole out of the freezer that morning and leave it out to thaw, which helps with precious fridge space.

I like to go to the store and buy all of my fresh fruits and vegetables right before we go out and then I’ll put some of everything on the boat.  I’ll end up taking off half as much food as we took out with us, but the last thing I want is run out of food.  We’re fans of the TV show Chopped where the contestants figure out what to cook from the ingredients they’re given.  We always keep a few cans of food on the boat along with a good sampling of seasonings and other pantry items. Refried beans are good for making burritos, serving as a side dish with tacos, or with breakfast. Panko bread crumbs and flour are always good for frying some fish or some calamari.  I like to keep rice on board because it makes a good side dish.  There’s a lot of good flavored rices if you don’t like to season your own, and uncooked rice will keep for months so you can leave it on the boat.

After the first day, we usually count on having caught some fish. We love to make fish tacos and we always bring all the ingredients we need for that minus the fish.   We always have a few cans of Costco’s Kirkland roast beef, so if we’ve had no fishing luck we’ll make something from that (burritos).    If you don’t fish, precooking a crockpot of chicken pieces makes for easy reheat food too.

For breakfast I like to cook my own fresh hash browns. I precook the potatoes at home so it doesn’t use up so much energy on the boat. I sauté some green peppers and onions and then brown my diced potatoes.  Add a little salt, pepper and sometimes a heaping teaspoon of taco seasoning.  We generally eat eggs on the boat several days and then switch off to something like french toast or pancakes.  Yogurt and granola makes for an easy breakfast and is a typical first day breakfast.   Sometimes if we’ve been eating a lot of sandwiches, I’ll use tortillas instead of toast.  Tortillas keep well and they don’t take much space.  I plan for two eggs per person for each breakfast with eggs and then a few eggs for breading fish with panko.  See my 10 Refrigerator Tips For Boaters to see how I store eggs.

I like to make salads on the boat and make sure that I put out some fruit to snack on.  Grapes, cherries, watermelon, pineapple, cheese and crackers make good snacks.  My husband thinks bananas on a boat are bad luck, so NO bananas.  Of course junk food ends up on the boat too, but usually I’m not the one that brought it.  I try to eat more fruit because I always tend to overeat a little as food on the stomach helps with seasickness.

For longer outings, I like putting some of the vegetables in a soft sided cooler with a few frozen water bottles .  As I get more space in the fridge I will transfer things into the fridge. I often put the watermelon in the bathtub until I cut it so that it won’t roll around. I store my bread in the oven because I typically don’t use the oven and on a boat every inch of space counts. I put my onions, limes, lemons and other items that don’t need to be refrigerated in baskets to keep them from rolling around. There are a lot of items that you would normally keep in the fridge at home that can make it for a few days uncooled.  We don’t tend to use much milk, so I like to use a 16 oz. water bottle and refill it with milk.  I’ll buy a gallon of milk and pour it into several bottles and freeze it.  The only difference I’ve ever noticed is that higher fat content milk will sometimes show a little ring of fat at the top of the bottle.  If you shake the bottle it will mix back in.

Be sure to keep a pen and paper pad on board too, for making a list of supply items that need to be added to the boat for your next adventure; as well as a list of any repairs that need to be made. Hope that makes your fishing, sailing or camping adventure easier.

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