Don’t let half boiled ramen noodles ruin the cruise

What is it about food and boats? Everyone who goes out on a boat knows that, at some point, they need to eat something. Search for “Boat Food” on Google and you’ll find 324 Million hits. It’s a big topic.

The Boatswain's Mate wanted to try his signature 4 cheese Mac & Cheese on the way to regatta
SSS Yankee Clipper’s Boatswain’s Mate wanted to try his signature 4 cheese Mac & Cheese on the way to regatta west of Seattle

Some of our previous Sea Scout Manuals said it best…They salute the Boatswain and skipper, but they love the cook. “Good galley, good cruise.”  Everything you can cook seems to taste better when you make it at sea, and sit down to eat it with friends. Maybe it’s the tight quarters, the smells that make their way out of the galley during cooking, or the bright sun sparkling on the water. There’s something that makes you more hungry than you feel on land, and something that makes the food taste better.

Unless…someone didn’t boil the noodles long enough. Or they didn’t buy enough meat, or salad, or spices. Let’s face it, when teenagers are in charge of the cooking…if they haven’t been properly prepared…they can make what was going to be a delicious dinner at sea into a scavenger hunt for something else to eat.

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Sea Scouts on the SSS Decisive in Hawaii with their stove.

Meal planning and prep: this is a hard one for some leaders to let go of. They know that if the youth don’t do it well at the start, adult leaders will share in the culinary pain and that the crew is going to end up grumpy. I’ve known ships that “just let moms cook.” No, no, no. Don’t give in to the desire for perfectly cooked biscuits and noodles that don’t crunch. Our job is to help our youth take control, learn to lead, and then to let them run the helm, change the oil in the engine, and even take the spatula in hand and make dinner.

Follow this link to find some ideas about who can teach your Sea Scouts to cook, what they should teach, and even a few menu Items.  Sea Scout Cooking

Dan Leach
Committee Chair, S.S.S. Yankee Clipper, Seattle
WR Program Task Force Member

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