The job description for a ship’s cook in the eighteenth century, so we are told, was to “boil up the salt beef and hand out the weevily biscuits”. Scurvy was the inevitable result. You would have to say things have changed if you were at our September club night. The variety of vitamin packed seagoing dishes on offer would transform a sailor of old into a model of good health.
There were eight stoves in action on the night, each applying heat to a different culinary delight created by its owner. We now also have a collection of recipes that could be the beginnings of a WBA recipe book.
Chris Kelly made an early start with his “Becalmed Beans” which creatively added choritzo sausage, capsicum, bacon and chilli to a can of baked beans and some bean mix. It came with a warning about the need to trim your sails to the wind afterwards.
Tom McAdam arrived with a Trangia type stove that can be used with pretty much any flammable liquid (avoid petrol if possible). His African recipe combined a paprika sauce with chunks of bread and a range of vegetables to taste.
Rob Ripley cooked up a noodle dish on a 1950’s vintage metho powered stove that folds into a small pack for hiking. Rob also took the photos that you see with this article, using his iPad. Thanks Rob.
Andrew Campbell produced a special fried rice on the APYC galley stove that formed a tasty accompaniment for many of the other dishes we enjoyed.
Frank Raisin used his camp stove to cook a tuna casserole/soup from a recipe by yachtie J.F. Hill entitled “Emergency Soup”. The recipe includes seawater as one of the ingredients. Frank substituted a pinch of salt rather than dash down to Port Melbourne for the authentic ingredient.
David and Jan Gibson stir fried a Thai dish worthy of the best restaurants using fresh egetables and the spices to give it the right amount of “warmth”.
Tony O’Neill arrived with a Chilli Con Carne that he admitted may have had just a little too much emphasis on the chilli. It certainly lit up our faces.
Kerrin and Leigh McNolty’s genuine Maxie metho stove (gimbals not fitted for this occasion) heated up a Red wine, chicken and vegetable hotpot that would make a hearty meal for the off watch.
Andrew Cohen was given the excruciating task of judging this cornucopia of gastronomy. He sprinkled compliments for the condiments and praises for the preparation over all the participants. Fortunately he was holding enough bottles of WBA red to provide everyone with a prize, avoiding the ugly scenes prevalent on TV cooking programs.
Whether we call it Metho Master Chef or Butane Bake-off, this Club night was judged a success by all and could become a regular event in our calendar.