Saturday, 14 April 2012

Meals on Keels - Kitchen Memoir No. 3


Not a kitchen this time but a galley. I spotted a tiny advert in The Times looking for a cook on a 71 foot ketch based in Rhodes. I had no formal training in cookery so wasn't very hopeful, but went along to the interview anyway.  When the skipper/owner asked me about my experience all I could offer was cooking in a muddy farmhouse in Shropshire and a village in Greece; although I had sailed all my life so I was confident that I'd know which end was the stern.  I also threw in, as an after-thought,  that I knew 20 ways to cook an aubergine. To my surprise, he gave me the job on the spot.  He'd had several years of Cordon Bleu trained chefs who would throw a wobbly if they couldn't get the correct ingredients and he was willing to go with my aubergine recipes and familiarity with Greek yogurt. The galley was tiny and the oven similarly twee so I developed a few techniques that won't be found in your average cook book.  Cooking lamb involved a rubber dinghy, a beach and a stick with an olive oil soaked rag tied to it.   The guests were suitably impressed when I rowed back with supper sizzling in the bottom of the tender.  Cooking a joint  in subsequent kitchens has seemed a bit tame. The skipper wasn't too happy with my knots though and had to give me several lessons in tying a bowline. But when faced with doing this knot quickly I always got confused and the residents of Kos and Symi harbours must have wondered why an angry South African was yelling at his flustered crew member, "The rabbit goes up the hole, round the tree and back down the hole".  If you don't understand this, you don't know how to tie a bowline either. 








Now you do!


8 comments:

  1. . . the East Coast of England was our sailing ground. J and I had a couple of different boats, but our favorite was a beautiful wooden sailer with a cast iron stove and room for the dog. Ahh! the rattle of the shrouds in the wind. Our favorite lay-up was at Hollow Shore, Faversham Creek. Google for pics and the pub!

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  2. Blackwater - Pin Mill, Maldon etc was our family sailing ground when I was a child.

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  3. Fantastic story, cooking technique and photo. And it's good to have a reminder of the knot from my climbing days.

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    1. It is a really useful knot. I still have to make the "hole"and make sure the "rabbit comes up though the "hole" .

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  4. Ok. I admit it. I don't know how to tie a bowline.

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    1. Follow the diagram above. Then walk around the marina and practice catching a few aft lines. (none the wiser?)

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  5. Very interesting story....and those knots remind me of when my brothers were boy scouts and were learning to do some kind of knots.
    Have a great day!!!!

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    1. I didn't stay in the girl guides long enough to learn any knots.

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