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What spices do you cruise with?

Water/Provisions/Cooking/Health/Children/Home Schooling

What spices do you cruise with?

by Lynx » Fri Aug 03, 2007 10:20 pm

I was planing a 8 month cruise and reading the diferent books about what to carry. There is quite a difference on what spices to carry.

What spices must you have?

What spices are nice to have?

What is the shelf life on a boat?

What is the best way to store salt?

Do the spice racks work?

Thanks, Lynx
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by jusdreaming » Sat Aug 04, 2007 6:51 am

the sea salt grinders work very well. We buy ours at Costco. The garlic/salt grinders do not work!!! The garlic goms up the grinder!!!!!!
Denny & Diane
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by Harriet » Sat Aug 04, 2007 8:19 am

I'm probably stating the obvious, but the spices you carry depend on how/what you cook! In addition, where will you be cruising? For example, in Grenada, the Spice Island, whole fresh nutmeg is so plentiful there's no need to bring it with you. Ditto cinnamon, thyme and many other seasonings. If you are cruising in the Bahamas, there is less available and much of it comes from the States.

I've met cruisers who use no more than salt, pepper and garlic. OTOH, we have two plastic minicrates full of various spices. It all depends.

As for storage, we kept our salt in the usual cardboard container when we left the U.S. and it was fine. I just recently purchased salt in Trinidad, and it came in a plastic bag. So I put it in my trusty Tupperware salt shaker (the best I've found), and if there were any left, I would put it in a vacuum seal bag. Other seasonings live in a cabinet in glass jars with well-fitting lids. Age has been more of a problem for our spices than heat and humidity - buy in small quantities for best results.
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by Jeremy White » Sat Aug 04, 2007 4:36 pm

We have been on a quest for Cardamom and Garam Masala since we left the states :) Indian food is our comfort food, and we are starting to learn how to cook it successfully. Pretty much everything else we have been able to find.

Oddly, the spices we purchased in mexico were significantly better then those we brought with us. We bought many of them in bulk at the dry food stores that seem to populate almost every mexican town.

Fresh Basil has been another one we miss, but we recently acquired a sprig that we are trying to sprout from. It seems to not like the tropical sun, however ;(

Oh, and I really wish we stocked up on ranch dressing mix. Ticans seem to only ever put oil and vinegar on their salads.

As an aside, I am currently (as I write this) cooking up a batch of German Potato salad. One of the ingredients that was hard for us to find was dill.

-Jeremy White
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by s/v Active Transport » Sat Aug 04, 2007 6:34 pm

I have found small mason jars to be a very effective way to store spices. Eventually the lids and bands rust but they re cheap enough to replace.

Sotrate of anything in plastic is something you need to be careful about. Many plastics will hold water in the liquid state just fine but allow water vapor through easily. Higher density polyethylene (such as vacuum seal bags) are better but eventually water will get through them too. If the contents in the bag are hygroscopic you will see th eeffects of water eventually.

Glass is a much more efffective barrier.

We like Indian food and that requires a good supply of spices that can be hard to find. we carry them as the whole (unground) spices and grind them up in the little mason jars. The threads for the collar that attaches the blades to the blender are the same as the threads on the mason jars so you can grind and store in the same container. Only grind enough for a week or two.

Fortunately the most commonly used indian spice is cumen which is also a very common spice in mexican food.

Here is a short list of the stuff we consider essential:

cardamon seeds (the pods are no more effective and take up more space)
mustard seeds
corriander seeds
ginger (fresh lasts quite a while)
garlic (freezes OK in vacuum seal bags)
black pepper
sea salt grinders
bulk salt (mortons or whatever is the cheapest)
cininmon sticks
whole nutmeg
chat masala
hard times cafe texas chilli mix to sprinkle on wings

Something from India that is incredibly useful on the boat is homemade ghee. This is made by baking butter until all the solids cooks out and you are left with a nutty flavored form of clarified butter that keeps for months without refrigeration and has a higher cooking temperature before it burns. It serves as a flavor agent as well as a cooking fat in indian food but works perfrectly well for other cooking purposes as well. There are lots of instructions for making ghee to be found on line. I would not use the manufactured ghee you can buy in indian grocery stores in the states. It does not taste nearly as good and I dont know how well in keeps. Maybe Ill get a couple of cans of it to keep around for use when its too hot to run the oven for the ghee making process.

I also like the patak brand indian spice mixtures that come in little jars or cans. They greagly simplify the process of cooking indian on the boat.
John Lewis
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by Jeremy White » Sat Aug 04, 2007 10:35 pm

If you have any boat-possible Indian recipes to share, I would love to have them.

We have a few cookbooks, but they are either too authentic to find the ingredients for, or too Americanized.

Interestingly, I recently figured out how to make Chicken Tikka Masala that actually tastes like it came from a curry house. I was buy patting myself on the back for finally mastering a "real" Indian recipe... only to later find out that it is British, and about as Indian as Kung Pow Chicken is Chinese :) It still was quite good.

I'll PM you my email address.

-Jeremy White
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by s/v Active Transport » Sun Aug 05, 2007 12:13 am

Most of my favorite indian recipes come from two books. One is called "An Invitation to Indian Cooking" by Madhur Jaffrey. The price sticker on my paperback copy shows I paid less than a buck for it so that should give you some idea of how long I have been spilling things on it.

The other is called "Lord Krishna's Cuisine" and is an award winning hardback that provides all the recipes and techniques for the vegetarian cooking of India.

The Jaffrey book has saved a lot of Indian marriages here in the US when young brides, who grew up in homes with servants, are expected to feed their husbands in the US. Jaffrey shows you how to use ingredients that are readily available in american stores. My ffavorites in that book include the green beans with mustard and the rice with safron and cinnamon and cardamom. Just about everything I have tried out of her book is good. Her raita recipe is better than I have ever had in a resaturant on either side of the atlantic.

The Krishna book is big (dont buy the paperback version as a lot of good info is missing). The sweet potato raita recipe in that book is the one I take to potlucks and indian women ask me for the recipe.

A lot of Indian is to much mess and too much work for the boat. Whenever I make most recipes I make 2-3 times the amount and freeze portions in heat sealed bags. Some things taste even better if you have not smelled them cooking all day...Heat up the dal makhani in a boiling bag and cutting the bag open is just about orgasmic.

The Patak brand ready made spice mixtures are good for many dishes and dont require much work at all.

If you want to make dal dishes you should seriously consider getting a pressure cooker.
John Lewis
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Tayana 37 PH #581
s/v Active Transport
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by Sea Lion » Mon Aug 06, 2007 7:27 am

We find Phillips seasoning a delicious, simply stowed easy solution for most meats and seafood on the grill, stovetop, or oven roasting. It's become a standard. ... mber=55012
s/v Sea Lion, Norseman 447 - Freedom Works!
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by PaperMoon » Fri Aug 24, 2007 7:43 am

I remember when I didn't have a freezer or oven. Here are some suggestions. Not knowing your likes and dislikes.
Onion, garlic powder. I bought salt before leaving the US, have it in tupperware salt shaker and the rest in plstic freezer bag including the container. I find that with these 3 ingredients I can do just about anything. We do not eat indian food, hard on our tummies.
Before leaving the US, we bought tuna, 2lb hams ( dollar store) , sausage rolls, chorizo, beans, rice, chicken and roast beef in cans. Every little hole had food in it.
Eggs, bought unrefrigerated will last 6 weeks.
Lot's of flour, yeast, baking powder, etc for making breads.
Bread can be made on top of the stove or in pressure cooker. I swear by my pressure cooker.
About 2 months ago, while in StLucia, Harriet's hubby made a Vichissoise to die for, from Bread Fruit, what is Bread Fruit? Is kind of a potato, mild flavor, very tropical. Depending on where your traveling, there is always fresh veggies and fruits. You may have to experiment some as to their uses, and don't be bashful to ask questions of the locals, they love to give information.
Here is another tip, beans can be left unrefrigerated after cooking as long as you heat them once a day. Good for 3 days, I learned this at a SSCA forum. They claim meat can be done same, I never tried it with meat.
Another thing I carry is tomato sauce and saffron of some kind.
For questions you can email me.
Happy sailing.
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by db8us » Tue Aug 28, 2007 2:06 pm

Living in India i second the indian cuisine :-)

On the boat my favourite is Tony Cacheres Creole Seasoning.
I bought it in Florida and you can spice up everything with it.
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Re: What spices do you cruise with?

by peterlee » Sun Jul 23, 2017 1:17 pm

Hello there,
Does anyone have Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning recipe?
Thanks in advance
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