Friday, May 25, 2018

Smooth Sailing with Easy Recipes for Boating

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Galley Recipe of the Week

Applesauce Carrot Cake

14.5-ounce can carrots OR
1 cups shredded fresh carrots
1/4 cup sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
Drain carrots and chop them on a cutting board. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Set aside. 
3 large eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 2/3 cups unsweetened applesauce

2 1/4 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 cup raisins
½ cup chopped nuts

Grease a cold,  deep, heavy skillet (cast aluminum is best for stovetop baking) for which you have a heavy, tight-fitting lid. 
In a large bowl whisk eggs and oil, gradually adding sugar, vanilla and applesauce.
Put dry ingredients in a bag and jostle to mix. Then gradually stir into wet ingredients until everything is evenly mixed. . Fold in nuts, carrots and raisins. Spread batter in cold skillet, cover tightly and place over medium-low burner for 30 minutes. Check for doneness now and every 5 minutes. . 
Don’t be tempted to turn heat higher or peek too often. 
When cake tests done, let it cool in the skillet, uncovered, at least 10 minutes before cutting.  Use a serrated knife to cut it into wedges. Serve plain or with whipped topping, cream, vanilla sauce or a sprinkling of powdered sugar. 

Quick and easy recipes and shortcuts galore are the hallmark of Janet Groene’s popular Cooking Aboard Your RV, 2nd Edition. It’s ideal for the boat galley too, for yourself or for a Father’s Day gift for Dad.

Pantry Recipe of the Week
Stock your lockers with ingredients needed for recipes that require no fresh food, no freezer, no refrigeration. While cruising by the day, the dollar or the decade,  be prepared for emergencies.

Succotash Pie
16-ounce canned ham, diced
15-ounce can lima beans with juice
15-ounce can cream style corn
2 tablespoons dried onion bits
1/4 package of process American cheese (e.g. Velveeta) 
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 cup biscuit mix
½ teaspoon dried thyme
3 tablespoons cornmeal
Small can evaporated milk (2/3 cup) 
In a large skillet mix ham, limas, corn, onion bits, diced cheese and Worcestershire sauce. 
In a bowl mix biscuit mix, thyme and cornmeal. Add evaporated milk to make a thick dough. Heat ham mixture to a steady simmer. Drop dough on hot mixture in six blobs. . Cover and cook over low heat 20 minutes or until dumplings are puffy and firm.  Serves 6.

Oven method: Heat ham mixture in an ovenproof skillet. Dot with dough and bake 20 minutes or until dumplings are golden. 
Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian version: Omit ham. Fold in 4 to 6 chopped, hardboiled eggs. 

Tips for the Boat Cook

* Provision with no- and low-sodium products where possible. Processed foods are usually over-salted. Combining them results in salt overload.

* Make your own pancake syrup. Boil a cup of water with one cup each brown and white sugar. Stir in a teaspoon of maple flavoring such as Mapleine. 

* Coleman makes a nonstick, lightweight aluminum waffle maker that can be used over any grill or  type stove  (except induction).  See it here. I keep two going at once to serve two or more people. 

* Make raisin bread in a slow cooker. Whisk 2 eggs with a cup of sour cream, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 cup milk and a teaspoon or vanilla or orange extract. Fold in  3 cups biscuit mix, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and ½ cup raisins.  Combine well but do not over-beat.  Put in greased slow cooker. Bake on High 2 hours. Bread will be firm and pulling slightly away from edges of the cooker. 

* Make shortcut stuffed “cabbage” by using large lettuce leaves. They don't have to be steamed first. Break up and mash a can of corned beef with 2 eggs. Mix well. Use wet hands to form  12  “meatballs” Separate leaves from a head of  iceberg lettuce. Wrap  lettuce leaves around a ball of corned beef. Roll up, place in skillet seam side down, cover with spaghetti sauce. Cover and bring to a gentle simmer 20 minutes until filling is firm. Serve on rice. Serves 4 to 6.   

* If a chocolate cake is moist and fudgey enough, press it firmly into balls and dip into melted chocolate to make truffles. 

Bonus Recipes
Avocado Seafood Sauce
Here’s an unusual sauce for any seafood. Take a break from the same ‘ol sauces from out of a bottle and wow the crew with this one. The guac can be homemade or store-bought.

½ cup finely chopped scallions
2 cups prepared guacamole
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 cup (8-ounced tub) sour cream
Whisk everything well and serve now or chill to serve later. It’s good on almost any seafood, prepared almost any way. It’s also good on hush puppies. Makes 3 cups. 

Chicken Corn Chowder Chop-Chop
Throw everything into a pot, slow cooker, pressure cooker or instant pot and a hearty supper is on the saloon table in minutes.

1 potato, scrubbed and diced
½ cup matchstick carrots
10-ounce can of chunk chicken, broken up
Medium onion, diced
2 cans, 15 ounces each, cream style corn
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes 
32-ounce carton of low sodium chicken broth
½ cup dried potato flakes
Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Cook the potato, carrot,  chicken,  onion, corn, pepper, parsley and broth until the potato is tender. Gradually stir in potato flakes, stirring over medium heat, to thicken to taste. Ladle into soup bowls and pass the cheese. Serves 4. 

Friday, May 18, 2018

Sailing Meals for Cruising Cooks

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For 10 happily homeless years,  Gordon and Janet Groene lived on board their 29-foot sloop, cruising constantly. During hurricane season they stowed the boat and traveled ashore in their 21-foot diesel camper. Janet jokes that she can make a 5-course meal in a telephone booth and, if necessary, without an oven nor refrigeration. 

Galley Recipe of the Week

Casbah Chowder

Hot, fragrant and filling,  this exotic dish is thrown together in minutes in one pot. Mean can be ground, shredded or cut up. 

3 cups cooked beef, pork, veal, turkey, or  chicken
2 tablespoons olive oil
Medium onion, diced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon curry powder
2 cups water
2 chicken, beef or vegetable bouillon cubes
½ cup long grain white rice
1 can diced tomatoes 28 to 30 ounces
15-ounce can garbanzo beans (also called chickpeas or cici)
½ cup raisins

Put meat in a pot and sizzle it in hot oil, gradually stirring in onion, garlic, cinnamon and curry powder. When everything is well coated, add water, bouillon and tomatoes. Bring to a low boil. Cover, reduce heat and cook until onion and rice are is tender. Stir in garbanzos and raisins, cover, and simmer to heat through. Serve in shallow soup plates and sprinkle with croutons.  Serves 6. Freezes well. 

Tips for the Boat Chef

*Cut sides off burrito size tortilla. Spread bottom half of tortilla with peanut butter and top half with strawberry jam. Add whole or split banana. Roll up. It’s a meal. 

* Make a kicky salad sprinkle. Combine 2 cups small croutons with 1 cup wasabi peas, 1 cup cheddar Goldfish, 1 cup sunflower “nuts”. Mix, keep cool and dry. 

* Packets of unsweetened fruit drink mixes (e.g. KoolAid) are light as a feather and highly concentrated. Add a pinch to almost any recipe for color or flavor or make your own fruit drinks using the sweetener of your choice. 

* Heavy weather on the way? Crazy idea but it works. Make cornbread batter. Fold in a can of macaroni and cheese and some chopped hot dogs. Bake as muffins. It’s a meal. 

* Coated wire shelving is a boon to boaters. It’s airy, lightweight, strong and rust resistant. Turn it upside down and it's a divider in galley cupboards. It takes up no space yet stops  shifting and sliding underway. It’s also good for stowing stacks of trays or pot lids. 

Prepper’s Pantry Recipe of the Week

Each week we present a recipe that can be made with no fresh ingredients. Emergency foods are good boating insurance. Stuff happens. 

Creamy Ham and  Greens
Don’t add the croutons until you’re ready to serve. They should be crunchy, adding  texture contrast that is needed when you’re eating a lot of canned foods. 

1 or 2 cans chunk ham
3 tablespoons dried onion bits
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup sherry wine, water or juice from one of the canned vegetables. 
7-ounce can of heavy cream 
1 or 2 cans,  15-ounces each, French cut green beans, drained
Garlic croutons (watch use-by dates) 

Pour juice off ham into a small cup to soak onion bits 20 to 30 minutes. Heat oil in a large skillet and sizzle ham to brown it and break it up. Gradually stir in onion and add sherry or other liquid. Cover, reduce heat and cook 5 to 10 minutes to soften onion. Stir in cream over medium heat until a smooth sauce forms. Fold in green beans over low heat until heated through. Fold in croutons and serve at once. Serves 4 to 6. 

Bonus Recipe

Beer Gravy
Beer and beef have been going together in bistro dishes for centuries. Here’s a way to have the same gourmet taste to spoon on meat from the skillet, grill, pressure cooker or pot. It’s good on burgers, pork chops or stewed beef.

Medium onion, finely diced
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon each minced garlic and caraway seeds
12-ounce can or bottle dark beer
1 cup water
3 beef bouillon cubes or 1 tablespoon beef base
2 tablespoons cornstarch

In a saucepan, sizzle onion until it wilts, gradually stirring in garlic and caraway seeds. Add beer, bouillon and half the water. Cover and simmer to blend flavors. Stir cornstarch into remaining half cup of water and stir in over medium heat until thick.
Makes about 2 ½ cups gravy. 
Serving idea: Thaw store-bought meatballs, heat in this gravy and serve over noodles.

Skillet Recipe of the Week
Quick ‘n Hot Potato Salad

2 slices thick-sliced bacon, cut up
2 or 3 cans, 15 ounces each, sliced potatoes, drained
Medium onion, diced
Half a green bell pepper, diced (optional)
2 ribs celery, finely diced (optional)
1 can condensed cream of potato, celery or mushroom soup
1/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Fry out bacon until pieces are crisp, then brown potatoes and vegetables in the fat. In a bowl whisk soup and milk, then whisk in vinegar. Stir into skillet and heat through. Serves 4 to 6. 
Cook’s note: To make this with fresh potatoes, Scrub and slice potatoes (peeling optional)  to make about 3 cups. Cook in bacon fat, cover skillet and cook until tender, then proceed as above. 

Friday, May 11, 2018

Book Cooks Make Easy Meals

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Galley Recipe of the Week
Cruising Cake

If you have nothing else to eat in heavy weather or other emergency, this nutrition-packed cake will keep you going. It’s as filling as a steak dinner. Make it on board or at home ahead of time.

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
4 eggs
2 cups applesauce
4 cups flour
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon each vanilla and apple pie spice
2 cups each raisins and candied fruit such as cherries and pineapple
2 cups broken nuts such as pecans or walnuts

Grease a tube pan or deep 9 X 14-inch baking pan. Set the oven for 325 degrees. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and applesauce. Put flour, baking powder,  baking soda and seasonings in a clean bag and jostle to mix. Add to butter mixture with vanilla.  
Fold in fruit and nuts. Bake about 90 minutes or until it tests done. Cool completely and wrap for the cruise. Keep cool. Freezes well. 

Food for thought. Food for emergencies. Survival Food Handbook is a guide to stocking your boat with supermarket foods that keep for weeks on the shelf. Use them for everyday or emergencies with my hundreds of mouthwatering recipes. See it here

Here's this week's recipe made entirely with pantry shelf foods. 

Pantry Recipe of the Week
Hoppin’ John

In the Deep South, this soul food is eaten on New Year’s for good luck, but it’s deliciously lucky any time of year for sailors who need an emergency meal. Preppers rely heavily on dried peas and beans but sailors may not always have time and water to prepare them nor fuel for long cooking times. Have at least some canned beans on hand. 

2 1/2 cups water
2 chicken bouillon cubes
2 tablespoons dried diced onions
1/4 teaspoon crushed dried red pepper
1 cup raw rice
1 or 2 cans chunk ham, broken up
1 or 2 cans blackeye peas
Salt, pepper to taste

Bring water, bouillon, onion and red pepper to a boil. Stir in rice and ham. Cover and cook over low heat 20 minutes or until rice is tender. 

Skillet Recipe of the Week
Breakfast Ole

12 miniature croissants
10 eggs
1 cup milk or light cream
1 pound deli baked ham, chopped
 Small jar diced pimentos, drained (optional)
Small can diced chilies, drained (optional)
2 cups shredded cheese such as Monterey Jack 

Optional Toppings:
Sour cream

Grease a large, deep skiller or two smaller skillets. Tear up croissants coarsely and use half to cover the bottom of the skillet(s).
Whisk eggs and cream. Fold in ham,  pimentos and chilies. Pour over croissant layer. Cover with remaining torn croissants and press them into the liquid. Top with cheese. Cover and cook over low heat until eggs set. Serves 5 to 6. 

Friday, May 4, 2018

Cooking Big Meals in a Small Boat Galley

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Galley Recipe of the Week

Lentils Burgundy
        Just add some diced ham if you prefer a meatier main dish.

Large onion, diced
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
14.5-ounce can of sliced carrots, well drained *
2 cans condensed lentil soup
1 soup can water
1 cup dry red wine such as Burgundy
1 packet real or vegetarian bacon bits
1 bay leaf
½ teaspoon each dried thyme and dried marjoram
1/4 cup raw rice
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 stick butter

Stir-fry the onion in hot oil. When it’s limp, stir in carrots to brown them. Stir in soup, water, wine, bacon bits and herbs. Bring to a boil, stir in rice, cover and cook over low heat 20 minutes or until rice is tender. In a small skillet, brown bread crumbs in butter and sprinkle over each portion. Serves 4. 
Pressure cooker method: Brown onion in hot oil in a pressure cooker, adding carrots to brown them. Add soup, water, wine, bacon bits, seasonings and rice. Bring to full pressure, then remove from the burner until pressure returns to normal. Sprinkle with buttered bread crumbs. 

See more of Janet Groene’s shortcut recipes at 

Tips for the Boat Cook

* Before grilling vegetables such as eggplant, summer squash or zucchini, score the surface shallowly with a sharp knife. Then brush on oil or melted butter and any seasonings you are using. Allow 10 minutes or more for flavors to blend, then grill cut side down. 

*Make a crunchy topping for soup or salad. Chop 2 slices pre-cooked bacon and 2 scallions. Cut corn from one fresh cob. Toss together. Sprinkle on. 

* Bubble wrap is inexpensive to buy by the roll. Cut it in small pieces and tuck tufts of it between glass jars in the galley for a quieter ride, less breakage. When it’s grotty, throw it out. 

* Do you use rubberized shelf lining? A similar material is sold in large pieces for anti-slip use under throw rugs. Get much more for the money and cut to fit. An 8-inch square of this material is also a good gripper for opening jars. PS. Line the bottom of the toolbox and tackle box with this material too. 

* Are you a beach comber? Scallop or tellin shells make attractive little single servers for soft butter or after-dinner mints. 

What is sofrito? It’s a blend of onions, garlic, green and red peppers and tomato that is the all-purpose foundation for many Spanish dishes. Cook by the shipload. Freeze in small batches to keep it always on hand.  

* When making  batter for crepes, tempura or deep-fried seafood, let it stand 30 minutes after mixing. 

* Before adding tomato-based food to a plastic storage container, spray it with nonstick pan spray to avoid stains. When stains occur, dissolve dishwasher detergent in very hot water and soak plastics. 

Pantry Recipe of the Week

Whether you are provisioning your boat for cruising or prepping at home for the next emergency, it’s wise to have a pantry filled with shelf-stable foods plus recipes to make the best of them. Come back each week for a new recipe that requires no fresh ingredients. 

Here’s a how-to guide to provisioning for emergencies with shelf-stowable foods from any ordinary supermarket. No pricey survival foods required. See it at

Brazil Nut Rice Pilaf
Can’t find Brazil nuts except during the holidays? To add variety to your boat’s  provisioning list, order Brazil nuts here  I also carry a supply of lemon-lime Emergen-C for use as flavoring in dishes liked this one. This flavor is hard to find locally but can be ordered here.

This dish can be served as a vegan/vegetarian main dish or a side dish with meat or fish. The rice can be brown or white, cooked from scratch or from a ready-serve pouch. 

1 packet lemon-lime Emergen-C 
½ cup water
2 tablespoons dried onion bits
½ cup golden raisins
1 cup ( more if this is to be a vegetarian main dish) chopped Brazil nuts
3 cups cooked rice
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
½ teaspoon each celery salt and crumbled, dried rosemary
Dissolve Emergen-C in the half cup of water and soak the raisins and onion bits. 
In a large skillet, heat oil and frazzle nuts until they are fragrant. Stir in rice, celery salt and rosemary to heat through. Stir in soaked onion and raisins with any remaining water. Cover and cook over low heat until everything is heated through. Serves 6 as a side dish, 3 to 4 as a main dish.  

Bonus Recipe

Cheese Mousse
Make this ultra-rich, ultra-easy,  jellied gourmet garnish ahead of time and serve it in small blocks as a wow-factor garnish for salads,  hot or cold meats or as a spread for crackers or party rye bread.

2 cups whipping cream
1 packet (1 tablespoon)  unflavored gelatin
1 1/2 cups grated dry cheese such as pecorino romano, grana padano, parmigiano reggiano, Castelmagno or Vella Dry Jack

Salt and pepper to taste

Put a half cup of the cream in a pan and sprinkle with gelatin. Let it soften for about 15 minutes. Add remaining cream and bring to an active simmer to  dissolve gelatin. remove from heat. Add cheese. Season to taste. (Most cheeses are very salty, so you may need only a little pepper.)
Pour into a glass pie or cake dish. Cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight until set. It’s very rich, so cut in small pieces.  
Cook’s note: this is also good made with crumbled blue cheese. Use one to 1 ½ 4-ounce tubs. 

Friday, April 27, 2018

Boating Recipes from Janet Groene's Galley

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Galley Recipe 
of the Week
Buttermilk Corn Bread
Biscuit mix saves time and buttermilk adds a tangy touch. Buttermilk powder is a plus in the small boat galley. It takes up little space, keeps for weeks, and is always there for making biscuits and batters just by adding water. Liquid egg or egg substitute eliminates the messy step of beating an egg. 

1 cup each biscuit mix and yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
½ teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup buttermilk powder
1/3 cup liquid egg or 1 large egg, beaten
1 cup water

Set the oven to 425 degrees and grease an 8- or 9-inch pan. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl. Stir in water and egg until everything is evenly moistened. Do not over-beat. Bake about 25 minutes or until cornbread is firm and springy to the touch. 
Stove-top Method: Heavily grease a heavy skillet, preferably cast aluminum. Sprinkle lightly with cornmeal and shake off excess. Add batter. Cover tightly and bake over low-medium heat until cornbread is toasty brown on bottom and sides and firm in the middle.

Cook’s note: to order made-in-America, gluten-free buttermilk powder, go to

Tips for the Boat Chef

* Make an easy sauce for fish. Stir ½  teaspoon each of dried dillweed and horseradish into a cup of lemon flavor yogurt. 

* Bake or poach cored whole apples. While they are still hot, stuff each core with a miniature Snickers bar and let it melt for a few minutes before serving.  

* Hanging pockets can be handy in the galley and for serving in the cockpit but the plastic ones get grotty and stiff.  I like this mesh bag. It dunks clean in a jiffy and has pockets in several different sizes.   

* Make two small or one big, deep dish fruit  pie. Put a 20-ounce can of pineapple with juice in a pan and stir in   3 tablespoons flour while it’s cold.   Cook over medium heat until thick. Turn off heat.  Stir in a can of cherry pie filling. Cool. Slice bananas to cover bottom of chilled  graham cracker pie shell(s). Cover with pineapple mixture. Chill. 

* When putting a dough or batter topping on a casserole, heat it first or the dough won’t cook evenly. 

Pantry Recipe of the Week

Ever run out of ice in a remote place? Have a refrigeration failure? Find yourself broke when cruising far from home? A well-stocked pantry is boat insurance. Survival Food Handbook is a guide to stocking your boat with affordable supermarket staples plus recipes to make balanced, delicious meals.  See the book here

Here’s one way to make a meal out of pantry reserves. No fresh ingredients needed.

Green Noodle Hotpot
3 cups water
1 heaping teaspoon powdered chicken bouillon
12-ounce package of spinach noodles
2 tablespoons diced, dried onions (optional)
10-ounce can chunk chicken
6-ounce jar of salad olives, well drained
16-ounce box process cheese such as Velveeta, diced
Small can evaporated milk
Bring water to a boil and stir in bouillon, noodles, onion and chicken. Stir to break up chicken and keep noodles submerged. When noodles are tender, stir in olives and diced cheese over low heat. Stir to melt cheese. Add evaporated milk and heat through. Serves 4 to 6. 

One-Pan Meal of the Week
Aloha Pasta
No oven, no problem. Here’s a stove-top meal to serve 4 hungry crew. You’ll have only one pot to wash.   

16-ounce fully cooked ham slice
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 1/2  cups water
15-ounce can pineapple tidbits with juice
1 teaspoon powdered chicken bouillon
1 cup rice
½ cup small pasta or broken spaghetti
Small (8-ounce)  can peas and carrots, drained OR
1 cup thawed peas 
½ cup chopped macadamia nuts or sliced almonds (optional)

Trim and dice the ham and put it in a plastic bag with the soy sauce. Bring water and pineapple to a boil and stir in rice and pasta. Cover and cook 20 minutes over low heat until rice is tender. Stir in vegetables and ham with soy sauce. Cover and heat through.  Sprinkle with nuts. Serves 4. 

Friday, April 20, 2018

Janet Groene's Easy Recipes for Boating and Sailing

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Galley Recipe of the Week
Mexican Sloppy Joe

Adding potatoes to the filling stretches the budget and adds texture contrast to bunwiches, wraps and chimichangas.  Some of these ingredients are high in salt content, so add salt only at the end if needed.  

2 medium sweet potatoes peeled and finely diced
2 medium onions, peeled and finely diced
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
15-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon each crumbled dried thyme and oregano
½ teaspoon chili powder
8-ounce tin of diced green chilies, well drained
8-ounce can tomato sauce
2 cans, 12 ounces each, roast beef in gravy
1/4 cup dry red wine (optional)
16-ounce package shredded cheese such as Mexican blend

In a skillet or kettle, sizzle potatoes and onion in hot oil until browned.  Drain tomatoes, saving juice. Add tomatoes, herbs, chilies and tomato sauce to the pot. Cover and simmer until vegetables are tender. 
Add wine and canned beef and gravy, breaking  up beef. Stir in cheese until it melts. If mixture is too thick, add juice from the tomatoes to taste. 
     If it’s too thin, stir a heaping tablespoon of flour or cornstarch into the juice and stir into the mixture over medium heat until it thickens. Serve in buns, over baked potatoes or in tortillas. Serves 8. 

Tips for the Boat Chef

101 Ways to Use Sloppy Joe

First of all, you can make it with ground meat, turkey, pork, sausage or a mixture of meats. Use canned meats or no meat at all. Use soy meat substitutes, tofu or grains such as wheat berries. Second, you can make it different each time, using different vegetables, seasonings, more or less heat or with or without grated cheese. Third, use different toppings: a sprinkle of grated Parm on the pasta, sliced onion on the bun, chopped scallions atop the sauce, biscuits on the casserole.

Fourth, use it as a topping on hot dogs, tortillas, nachos, baked potatoes. etc. 

Bottom line: sloppy joe is a lifesaver to the boat cook. Make it, can it, freeze it any which way possible, but do take a shipload of it with you. 

*Top with a layer of biscuits or Tater Tots and bake as a casserole.

* Add a quart of beef or chicken broth to two cups sloppy joe and one or two cans of  Veg-All to make soup. 

* Spoon over pasta, mashed potatoes, toast,  crisp Chinese noodles, ramen, steamed vegetables.

* Wrap in soft tortillas of any size or flavor (spinach wraps are especially good) or spoon it into crisp corn taco shells. 

* Serve in hamburger buns, hot dog buns, sliders. Bake it in pie crust. Top with mashed potatoes to make shepherd’s pie. 

* Make it soupier by adding a can of diced tomatoes, bring to a boil and poach eggs in it. Cover eggs with the sauce. 

Pantry Recipe of the Week

Like all recipes in my Survival Food Handbook, these weekly recipes can be made with no fresh food at all. Save them for emergencies, then re-stock the pantry for the next time. 

Sweet ‘n Sour Spam

Spam is a faithful friend in the standby food locker, especially now that it comes in low sodium and a variety of  flavors. 

4 canned peach halves
12-ounce can of Spam, sliced in four pieces
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Peach juice plus water
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons tomato paste
A few shakes Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon prepared mustard

Drain peaches, saving juice. Add water to make 1 cup. Brown Spam on both sides in hot vegetable oil until toasty. In a bowl whisk peach juice with brown sugar, tomato paste, vinegar,  Worcestershire sauce and mustard. 
Spoon sauce over Spam, cover and cook over low heat until heated through and sauce is bubbly. Serve Spam and spoon the sauce over rice. 

Wheat Berries

1 cup wheat berries, rinsed and drained
2 cups boiling water
½ teaspoon salt

Using a quart-size thermos bottle, preheat the thermos with a little hot water.   Discard this water and fill bottle with 1 cup wheat, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 2 cups boiling water. Close tightly, tip gently (do not shake bottle)  to mix and let stand at least 6 hours or overnight. Makes 2 cups. 
Serve with milk, sugar and fruit as a hot cereal. Use instead of rice in hot or cold dishes.  Use wheat berries as a substitute for ground meat. Mix wheat berries with egg, grated cheese, seasonings and vegetables and fry as patties.  

Skillet Meal of the Week
Use the grain of your choice with the meat or meat substitute of your choice to make a one-dish meal.  Early in the day, make thermos-cooked whole grains such as wheat berries, rice, barley or oat groats. Add a chicken or beef bouillon cube to the boiling water.

Whole Grain Pilaf 
Your Way

½ stick butter
Medium onion, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
2 cups cooked whole grains, drained if necessary
2 cups diced, cooked meat, chicken or turkey OR
Canned chunk chicken or turkey
1/3 cup coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts
1/3 cup snipped apricots, raisins, or dried cranberries
Salt, pepper to taste

Stir-fry onion and celery in hot butter. Stir in remaining ingredients in order. Heat through. Moisten to creamy perfection with water, sweet white wine or broth. Serves 4. 
    Variation: When pilaf is complete, press tightly into bottom and sides of the skillet. Cover and cook over medium-high heat until a crust forms on bottom and sides. It should slide out of a nonstick skillet in one piece. Cut in wedges.