Flashmob cooking

Aboard the boat I am currently working on I have been warned that our owner likes to ‘Flashmob’. Rather than the impromptu dance as if from no-where, though actually one of the guests got really into some dance music on deck last week…it means that he will, at any point, arrive with 20 guests all expecting to be fed, with no warning. Like, none at all.

So my fridge is perpetually stocked with throw together things that I can chuck at the table hoping they might form into salads in midair. It is also vitally important that I have a cupboard full of things that can be quickly turned into fabulous food, as the fridge on board is not huge and it can be difficult to keep food fresh in these hot temperatures if it is left outside. Here is a list of all the things I like to keep in my cupboard, so you can keep them in your cupboard too.

Starches:

Pasta (several types; I have lasagne sheets, linguine, spaghetti and penne), risotto rice, basmati rice, quinoa (my favourite!), potatoes (stored dry or they’ll rot and that stinks…), noodles for stir-frying, cous cous, and in the freezer some par-baked baguettes so there’s always some fresh bread and ready made pastry.

Protein:

Lentils, kidney beans, chickpeas (tinned or jarred, the dried ones are too much faff), tinned tuna or salmon, anchovies, nuts, and in the freezer some salmon fillets and chicken breasts as they are super quick to defrost.

Vegetables:

Tinned sweetcorn, jars of olives, sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes in oil, dried mushrooms, tinned tomatoes, and in the freezer the ever present bag of peas, and cubes of spinach. Also a nice idea are the bags of mixed summer fruits you can buy as, when blended with a dollop of vanilla ice cream, they make a quick, delicious pud.

Miscellaneous:

Stock cubes, olive oil, lots of different vinegars for salad dressings, soy sauce, brown and caster sugar, flour, honey, golden syrup, condensed milk, coconut milk, mustard, mayonnaise, chocolate (absolutely essential for the cook’s sanity…), curry paste, dried chilli, a myriad of herbs and spices (they do go out of date, try and keep only the ones you use regularly), salt and pepper (rock and peppercorns to grind yourself, so much nicer).

I love making things from scratch, with fresh ingredients, whenever I can but sometimes its fine to cheat and use store bought sauces jazzed up with a little something from the fridge. Have all of this at the ready and you can make pretty much any kind of food at the drop of the hat šŸ™‚

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