from the galley

From the galley of Lupari 2 somewhere in the world:

We have been living aboard our 12m pilothouse yacht for 8 years now and have learnt a lot about living in our small space, although we do not feel that we are living in primitive conditions by any means. We left Hobart in April 2006.

This is in response to a number of letters, emails and blogs I have read from other cruisers who are either beginning their journey or are interested in the ways that other cruisers do things. We do not have access to on-shore facilities for preparing or storing food prior to setting sail but are happily doing it our way.Through trial and error (experimentation) we have discovered ways that work for us.

The galley – Cooking and food storage

We have a lovely 4 burner gas stove and oven which I use frequently to produce a wide variety of food for us both. It is not a marine one but one designed for a camper van. It does need pot holders made for it as they are not supplied with this stove. It is not gimballed either but it is near the centre of the boat so, we feel, does not need to be. Pot holders would be useful on passage though. I am still waiting for these after a comment in my journal on our first day out of Hobart. Perhaps if Skipper cooked more often it would happen..

I have a pressure cooker which I use for casseroles, soups, corned beef, and pickled pork etc. I had never used a pressure cooker before moving onto the boat but now I wouldn't be without one. I like the fact that its contents are sealed inside and no boiling hot fluid is potentially flung around our galley/saloon. I have never tried to bake in it but I believe it is possible if the rubber seal is removed.It shortens the time for long slow cooking, using less gas and less heat in the saloon. It is essential for cooking beef in Asia where it is hard to find tender cuts.

I also use a “Dreampot” ( for similar purposes but the stove top is only used for 10 – 15 minutes and then the contents is allowed to slowly cook for hours in its insulated container until we are ready to eat. It is great for day passages where we start the process going before we leave, tuck it away in a safe place, hoist the sails and get going. When we arrive at our destination and anchor in the evening, tired and hungry we have dinner hot and ready for us.

We use our Magna barbecue often, especially for roasts when it is warm and we don't want extra heat inside. What is better than roast meat and a salad . . .

I have used a cast iron dutch oven to cook cakes, scones, bread, etc. in the past on our 32 footer which only had a 2 burner cooktop and grill. The temperature was a bit hard to stabilise and it worked best with things that required a hot oven setting. I placed a wire cake rack in the bottom of the pot and put the cooking tray on top of that. It kept the product off the direct heat and prevented it from burning. This is a very versatile, although heavy item for a small boat. It can be taken ashore and used for campfire cooking too – freshly caught mussels with tomato and wine sauce heated up on a campfire – nothing nicer

Our fridge is the envy of many boaties, although it does take up a sleeping berth because it lies on what was the pilot berth. It was a 250l domestic fridge. We have taken the 240v electrical bits out and have installed a WAECO 12v kit with fans that circulate the cold air in the space. We drilled 2x 50mm holes between the fridge and the “freezer”; it is now a cool store which stays at about 15degrees, a perfect temperature for chocolate, red wine (who wants room temperature red wine at 35 degrees?) eggs and fruit and those medications that need to be kept in a cool place– things that do not need to be kept really cold, but don't like to be in cabin temperature.. We do not have a freezer, and, although it would be nice to have ice for cocktails and icecream, we have not suffered by not having one. The energy we save, not powering a freezer means that we can be self-sufficint in our power needs in all but the stillest, gloomiest days without having to run a generator (how environmentally friendly is that!). We even have light inside the fridge (LEDs of course). Our fridge does suffer in the tropical heat though and works really hard because the insulation of a domestic fridge is not great. We have surrounded it with insulating foam and keep cushions on the lid but still more insulation is needed.

I wouldn't be without my little hand electric mixer and my wand blender either. They use mimimal power when I plug them into the 600w inverter and they do not take up much storage room. The blender is vital for making a variety of delicious, healthy and inexpensive dips for sundowners on the beach.

We also have a vacuum sealer (Sunbeam Foodsaver), which I use for sealing a variety of things in suitable sizes for 2 serves after buying in bulk. (nuts, meat, etc) although meat can often be purchased cryovaced from the butcher. I use it to pack dry goods too-safe from bugs and they take up less room in storage.


These recipes have been tested in the galley of Lupari 2 (Susie's floating restaurant or Cafe Lupari)

I am trying to write recipes that use everyday ingredients, things that you would have on board in the galley stores. I have had success with all of them and have had many compliments too.

“Cruising cake”. This is our term for the cake you have when you are cruising. They can range from boiled fruit cake (the usual) to chocolate to anything I feel like making. It is good to have a piece of cruising cake when out at sea with a cup of hot coffee – especially at night when on watch.



ONE STEP CHOCOLATE MOUSSE ( This is so easy and can be made with UHT cream yum) recipe

SUSIE'S FOOLPROOF BREAD (also good for pizza bases)

3 Cups plain flour, 1 (7gram) sachet dried yeast, 1/2cup warm water, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, 1 extra cup water, 2 tablespoons olive oil.

Combine yeast, sugar, 1/2 cup water and stand until frothy. Put flour into a large bowl. When ready add yeast mixture, add water and oil and mix. Knead until smooth and elastic - or however long you like to do this. Some adjustment may need to be done to the amount of water depending on conditions.

Cover and put in a warm place until doubled in size. Knock down and shape. Place in cold oven and turn it on. Cook for about 25 - 30 minutes in a moderately hot oven. ( I generally use about 200C) or until cooked.

For pizzas I roll out onto a pizza tray, cover with ingredients and cook in a hot oven (here I preheat the oven first)


5 cups of flour (I use 2 wholemeal and 3 plain white), 1 teaspoon salt, 1 sachet yeast dissolved in 1/2 cup water and 1/2 teaspoon sugar. Leave this to rest until yeast is foaming.

Add the yeast mixture to the flour with another cup of water or enough to make a soft dough. Knead for 5 minutes until elastic and place in warm area, covered for at least an hour. Knead again and then shape,or place in tin. Allow to rise again for an hour or so. Place in a preheated oven (200deg C) and cook for 1/2 to 3/4 hour or until crusty and brown.


Boil 500g carrots, (this does make a lot though) until soft. Allow to cool and then blend with a clove of garlic, 1 tsp cumin and a tablespoon Olive oil.

This recipe is great as an instant thing when invited to sundowners

Everyone usually has carrots.


Another easy one . . .

1 tin beetroot, 1 cup plain yoghurt, a clove garlic, mint - or coriander or both (1/2 cup) or I fint the herb tubes from the supermarket ok for this - the mint one tastes like mint. Put all in a blender and blend. Add a squeeze of lime juice.

Easiyo packets are good long term options for cruisers if you aren't good at maintaining a yoghurt plant. They are easily stored, come in a variety of flavours. I put mine in a 1 kg plastic fruit bucket and then into the Dreampot with 2.5cm boiling water. Wait overnight and I have fresh yoghurt in the morning.

stir fries

In Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand the markets have a wide variety of fresh vegetables, herbs and spices so it is easy and healthy and very tasty to make stir fries. Meat (chicken, seafood, fish beef and pork, depending on where you are) are available too but sometimes you have to be brave to buy something that is sitting in the open, unrefrigerated, at a local market - get there early and the selection is better and safer.

Stir fries are easy with a bit of practice, especially after eating at a few local establishments and tasting the food there.

Basic stir fry:

Add some vegetable oil to a hot wok (not olive oil - weird with Asian flavours) First stir fry the meat with minced ginger, garlic, chillies ( what you like)until just cooked.

Remove from pan and add a bit more oil. Add carrots, celery, broccoli (harder vegetables) first then capsicums, beans etc then add softer ones like mushrooms, leafy greens.

Stir through 1-2 tablespoons of soy sauce and serve.

If you like noodles add them with the soy sauce. Or serve with rice.

Cooking rice

An easy way to cook rice on a boat without wasting water. I do it like this all the time and never had a failure.

Put uncooked rice into a pan with some salt if you like it and add enough water to be 1cm above the rice. Place on heat until boiling and then turn down to very low. When the water has been absorbed the rice should be cooked. Leave in pot for a few minutes to finish cooking and then serve with the stir fry. it takes about 20 minutes and so does the stir fry

I usually use 1 cup or 1/2 cup rice but it seems to work with bigger quantities as well.

Back to home page

I will add recipes regularly to this page so keep looking . . .