Saturday, September 24, 2011

Living and Cooking Aboard In My Floating Malibu Barbie Kitchen

The topic of food is close to everyone's heart, whether you live on land or sea.

In planning for our great adventure, Chris and I have been living aboard Espiritu, our Newport 41, for the last year and a half in San Pedro, California. Living aboard is essentially "practice" for the cruising life. It's "cruising LITE."

A big fear I had when we first moved aboard was living without a microwave oven. Happily, this hasn't been the great adjustment that I feared. On land, my major microwave use was for my nightly cup of chamomile tea which I would take to bed with me every evening. Aboard Espiritu, I have let that longstanding ritual fall away for the simple reason that our v-berth, while extremely comfortable and cozy once you are wrapped up in its loving arms, is not easy to enter and exit...which means I want to limit my fluids in the evening before bed, if you get my drift... :-)

As a liveaboard, the major change in my cooking routine has been I bake less. In fact, I don't really bake at all on the boat -- YET. You see, I've got this little Malibu Barbie floating kitchen. Every component is smaller than in a typical American "real-life" kitchen. And the fact that I'm a 6 foot tall "Viking Warrior Princess" (family nickname) makes it seem that much tinier.

 The sensation is similar to eating a meal on an airplane: you know how you get the cute little plate, and the cute little cup, and the cute little tray, with the adorable little utensils?

 Well, this is my culinary life aboard Espiritu.

My "excuse" (read: rationalization) for not baking aboard YET is the fact that I have a longer commute to work since moving aboard and by the time I get home in the evening it's simply too late to bake. Instead, I cook. I saute. On the stovetop, thank you very much.

But the real reason I haven't really baked aboard yet is I admit I'm still sort of afraid of that tiny little oven. It's not much bigger than my EZ Bake Oven I had when I was 9 -- but in a way that one was superior because at least my EZ Bake Oven had a light!

My floating fears of propane and rogue explosions start rearing their ugly head. And I've gotta practically get on my hands and knees to use the thing -- and it's so dark in there (LOL...). And don't get me started on lighting the broiler...

Anyway, once we are underway baking will become a necessity. Also, obviously, I will have time to bake as my 40+ hour desk job will be a memory. We plan on cruising economically and simply which means rare restaurants and eating aboard Espiritu three times daily.

Yes, I have big baking plans for me and my Malibu Barbie Kitchen, with it's EZ Bake Oven. We will bake whole wheat bread twice a week, enchiladas, lasagne, cornbread, homemade crackers, oatmeal cookies...

But that's still just a dream....

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