Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Top 10 Tuesdays: Top 10 Galley Gadgets


Our 'galley' is our kitchen and measures (approximately) 5 feet by 2 feet.  That is not a lot of space to get your groove on when cooking nor is it enough space for typical kitchen fare such as Cuisinarts, toasters, microwaves and other goodies most of you use on a daily basis.  In fact, we have none of the above.  Living on a boat has forced us to alter our lifestyle - something we see as a gift, really - and get a little more creative when it comes to the kitchen. So with no further ado...

Here are our Top Ten Galley Gadgets:*

  1. Non-skid pads/pot holders/dishes - when underway, a boat is not stable.  Things slide all over the place if left to their own devices and cleaning up after the mess is not fun.  To help curb the launching of dishes, we use a lot of "non-skid" on surfaces when we are moving.  Cloth potholders don't quite have the 'stick' that these do.  It is also helpful to have non-skid on the bottom of your dish ware.  If you don't want to buy the expensive stuff from a marine store, here's  how to DIY: 
    • You'll need caulk and wax paper.  Put a bead of caulk around the bottom edge of the plate/bowl/mug (where it touches the surface of the table) and while the caulk is still wet, press lightly onto wax paper (to flatten the caulk so the dish sits level) - allow to dry, remove the wax paper and voila!  Non-skid dishes for less!
  2. Zip-lock bags -  if we had a dime for every ziplock bag we had, I swear we'd be millionaires.  I think we have more ziplock bags in various shapes and sizes than we can shake a stick at.  We use them for everything - from storing leftovers, to preventing crackers from getting stale, to keeping things dry.  Not a day goes by when we don't use these so stock up stateside!
  3. Pressure cooker - I have not mastered this thing yet, but I have used it a fair amount and it helps tremendously in cutting down the cooking time for beans, potatoes, vegetables and more (and uses a lot less gas and water!).  Apparently people are scared to use these because the older versions were a little temperamental and had the potential to explode in people's faces?  Ours has never exploded and we all know how useful I am in the kitchen.
  4. Can opener - Seen as how we don't have refrigeration, we eat a lot of canned goods.  Get a really good can opener.  And have another as a spare.  In fact, keep that spare in a ziplock bag to prevent rusting!
  5. Nesting mixing bowls - I have a set of three very similar to these and use them all the time.  They have a rubber bottom so they don't slide when I leave them unattended for a moment and a great grip-able handle as well as a pour guide, which is nice.
  6. Storage containers - I've mentioned before that we raided the Container Store and spent a small fortune at that place before we left.  One of our (many) purchases was a food storage system.  We chose these pop up containers and bought an arsenal of them for pastas, crackers, cereals, flour, sugar...etc.  They're sturdy and air-tight and work like a charm at keeping humidity out.  However, any type of secure, airtight container will do.  If you do chose the brand we selected, just remember not to pick them up by the lid!  Spill city!  ALSO, speaking of containers,  you will definitely want a beverage container as well to drink in...we have this one and it works great for iced tea, crystal light and, of course, tropical rum drinks!
  7. Heat diffuser - we have this one on board and though we don't use it for it's intended purpose, we do use it on a daily basis over an open flame for toasting all sorts of goodies from bread to bagels to muffins (works MUCH better and faster than a 'camping toaster' which we just recently got rid of).
  8. Thermos - while we don't use this much when we are at anchor, our thermos is very helpful when we are passage making.  Water stays hot for 12+ hours and it's great for making instant soup, coffee or tea during a bouncy night shift.  If you have the space for one that dispenses with a pump or a handle, I think this is preferable.
  9. Collapsible Measuring Cups/Strainer - in fact, collapsible anything is ideal on a boat.  We have this brand of measuring cups and also have a collapsible spaghetti strainer and funnel.  They're great, easy to use and clean, and take up significantly less space than their 'solid' counterparts.
  10. Nesting cookware - this is the granddaddy of them all.  We got this set from Galleyware as a wedding gift and could not be happier with it.  All the components fit into one nice little package and because the handles are removable, can fit in a small, compact space. 
So there you have it - some simple tips and tricks to help make your galley more efficient and organized!  In addition, as a "bonus tip" we have almost no glass aboard our boat; our dishes, plates, cups, mugs and bowls are all made of melamine which we would highly recommend.  No glass = no breakage!

Love,
Brittany & Scott

* I was not compensated in any way for suggesting these products, the opinions are my own.

7 comments:

PaleMoonDove said...

Brittany this top ten is wonderful(for us newbies)...there are things on your list that I had not thought of like the heat diffuser...added to my boat kitchen list!!! Now...to get the boat...we are still searching!!!
Oh and the ammonia and laundry...very helpful...keep up the great blogging!!!
Doll (&Capt'n too)

Captain Rizzo said...

We have the Magma nesting cookware and love it! High quality pots and pans that nest into 1/2 cu ft. Can't beat that!

San San said...

Britt - I too, LOVE our nesting pots! Ours are by Fagor. I have had them a LONG time now, and all it takes is a little scrubbing and polish and they shine up like the first day! Great Post! Galley Goddesses UNITE!

Andrew Powell said...

Though you make some VERY fascinating points, you’re going to have to do more than bring up a few things that may be different than what we’ve already heard. Say thanks a lot for your efforts to have decided to put these things together on this blog. Thank you so much!

Mid-Life Cruising! said...

Love the idea about the caulk on the bottom of the pots! Lots of good info ... thanks for sharing!

Carolyn Shearlock said...

Lots of great info here! I love the nesting pans, too.

In addition to the pressure cooker, another good way for cooking dried beans is in a (really good) Thermos. Takes even less time on the stove than using a pressure cooker. Details on how to do it on my blog:

Cooking Dried Beans in a Thermos

Thermos Cooking

And the caulk trick also works on things like placemats and throw rugs.

Fair winds --
Carolyn

https://www.amazon.com said...

These bowls are awesome. I am so in love with the bright colors. It was such a good feeling to get rid of my mismatched set. Great space saver with how they stack. They are well made and wash up great. Love the different sizes! Just what my kitchen needed as I hate taking out one big bowl for small job at https://www.amazon.com!!!!!

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