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Meals aboard the R/V Melville

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Giuseppe with the fresh caught mahi mahi. Dinner Thrusday night.

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Dave (chief engineer) grilling steaks on Sunday. He gave the cooks the night off.

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Sam Wilson

I am a big, hungry dude, and as such was worried about the provisions. My odd hours of work and 12 hour shift only compounded my fears. Thanks to the efforts of Bob Seeley and Richard Buck, I have not left the galley hungry after a meal, and there are always leftovers and snacks available off hours.

Breakfasts are easily my favorite, mainly due to timing; I work midnight to noon, and breakfast isn’t until 730. I obviously snack on the leftovers, yogurts, and self-made sandwiches available, but am still very ready for the eggs, potatoes, bacon, sausage, oatmeal, and pancakes/waffles/French toast when it is served at 730. A collection of pineapple, grapes, grapefruit, mango, apples, oranges, melon etc, also presents itself at breakfast. My favorite morning so far saw an excellent huevos rancheros; I consumed four of these egg/bean/tortilla combinations.

My shift continues rather quickly after breakfast, and comes to a stop at lunchtime. This timing allows me to enter a food coma before passing out for the “night.” A standard lunch includes a various sandwich style--French dip, grilled cheese, warm turkey wraps, or even hot dogs, sloppy joes, hamburgers-- and a starch of some kind including stuffed potatoes skins, mac and cheese, or potato/pasta salad. If we are lucky, fish is available either in stick form, or freshly caught the previous day by a shipmate. A navy bean, chicken noodle, or minestrone soup or perhaps even crab bisque often compliments the sandwich of the day. Also, the salad bar makes its first appearance, with an impressive selection still after three weeks at sea.

Dinner is interesting. I have personally made it a point to wake up for dinner, a goal that I share with none of my fellow night-shifters. I have yet to be disappointed. While the salad bar is always present, there is no general theme for dinner, as the cooks simply show off their prowess. Standard examples include a delicious stir fry, chicken in various forms, and lasagna. Some of the more adventurous dishes exhibit themselves at dinner, for example pork tenderloins, lamb chops, scallops, and steak night on Sundays. Desserts are common in the evening, with cakes, éclairs, bread puddings, or chocolate everything tempting us until late into the night.

Things I have learned:

-Be adventurous with your early AM meal; for example, a potato salad sandwich or Cheerios in your yogurt.

-With the work on a ship, you daily earn without receiving a cold beer. A beer that on the glass collects tiny, shiny droplets as you wait for the head to settle down before the first sip. A beer that as you gulp it down leaves white, foamy rings opposite where you drank from. A beer that's not drunk to get drunk. A crisp, hopsy IPA that’s smooth going down and tasty beyond belief.

-A ships cookbook, while I’ve been told by the cooks exists only in their minds, is perhaps the best cookbook to own. You waste nothing as you turn the extra chicken into a pasta salad, mix the steak into the scrambled eggs, or the leftover, homemade bread into a bread pudding.

Last updated: February 1, 2010

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