Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Living on a boat without refrigeration might just be the one thing that really does people's heads in. They can wrap their minds around us living aboard our boat indefinitely, swimming with sharks and taking thirty-plus days to cross an ocean; but tell them we have no refrigerator on board and their jaws drop as they go silent. Even other cruisers are in awe when we tell them this fact and many give us a nod of respect as if to say, "Wow, you guys are hard core!". I don't know that we're "hard core" but I do know life is much easier without one at the moment and I think you'd be surprised by the number of food items in your fridge that do not, in fact, need to be there...
With no further ado, here they are:
1) Eggs - Many of you are aghast at the thought of this - but, honest to God, eggs do NOT need to be refrigerated. If you buy them from a store refrigerated they'll last at least 10 days if you turn them daily (so the yolk doesn't settle) and if you buy them unrefrigerated they'll last up to three weeks. We have heard of people putting Vaseline on their eggs to help them to last longer, but honestly - we are way too lazy to do that and have done just fine without the need for petroleum jelly. Put that in your shoe and beat it!
2) Butter - my mom is European and my grandmother always kept her butter tin on the counter so I've always known this one. Americans, however, don't seem to believe it, but then again we refrigerate everything because the FDA tells us we should. It's true though, we've been eating unrefrigerated butter and margarine for over nine months now.*
3) Kraft Cheese Singles - Grilled cheese sandwiches are heaven. They always have and always will be a favorite food of mine. I wasn't sure if they needed to be refrigerated (even though the packaging tells you they do) so I took a gamble. It paid off in many a grilled cheese dipped in ketchup...which reminds me...
4) Ketchup - no need to refrigerate. Ever. We had a mega bottle and I think it lasted at least four months without ever being cold.
5) Jam - Jams (and most condiments) do not need refrigeration. Yes, even after opening. We enjoy toast with unrefrigerated butter and jam regularly and are alive to tell the tale!
6) Cheese - I'm not talking Velveeta here (though that, I am certain, could outlast nuclear war) - I am talking real cheese. The only way it will keep, however, is if it's in wax. Once open you must eat it within a day or two, but when is that ever a problem?!
7) Oil based salad dressing - Thousand island and Balsamic need not be refrigerated. You don't have to say bye bye to salads!
8) Relish - pickles, relish, capers, and other things of that nature also do not need to be refrigerated. No big surprise here, but I needed an even ten.
9) Juice - we have boxes and boxes of juice aboard Rasmus. Once they are opened, however, they need to be consumed within a day or two which is why we buy smaller packets and/or cans of juice.
10) Mayonnaise - I know, I know...most of you just made a face and a noise and maybe even wretched a little. But I promise you - mayonnaise does NOT need to be refrigerated. As long as it stays uncontaminated (meaning you don't use a dirty knife or spoon to get it out and it stays free from other food particles) it will last for months and months. I buy the squeeze bottles if I can; because of the nature of the bottle, the risk of contamination is almost none. I know so many of you still don't believe me, but if you ever have a tuna salad sandwich aboard our boat, it will have been made from unrefrigerated mayo! Dun, dun, dun...
There's so many more food items that don't require refrigeration and so many other ways to treat foods (fresh produce included) so that they last longer without having to be chilled. Even if you have a refrigerator aboard, space is at a premium so why take up real estate when you don't have to? You can find more great info here. Do you have anything you'd add to this list?
Who's coming over for lunch??
Brittany & Scott
* It will go bad eventually. And if you eat rancid butter you will have instant diarrhea. Don't ask how we know this. Just trust us.
Thank you to my sis-in-law, Julie, for inspiring this post!