Thursday, July 14, 2011

Hardtack and spam

- Matthew Czikowsky

One of the first questions I’ve been asked about being at sea is “How is the food?” Well, contrary to what might come to mind, anything but what’s on the title of this post, even after over two weeks at sea! Actually, the food has been quite good, with a wide variety of meat, fish, fruits, and vegetables at each meal, and don’t forget the dessert and fresh-baked breads! Here’s a sample menu I penciled down from last Sunday’s dinner:

Braised leg of lamb with its own sauce
Lightly breaded grouper fillet
Summer squash steamed in white wine
Confetti rice pilaf
Cauliflower with green onion
Mixed fresh fruit compote baked with filo pastry

Photo courtesy of Brett Stacy

Pictured above was the Fourth of July Dinner which featured King Crab Legs and Prime Rib, a very nice meal indeed!

While at sea meals are served promptly at 0730-0815 (breakfast), 1130-1215 (lunch), and 1700-1745 (dinner). Since most of the day people are working in their respective parts of the ship, either in one of the labs, lab vans, or out by the mast, the meal times also provide a time for folks to get together and take a break and discuss how their day is going, or just about anything else!

Back in Woods Hole while unpacking and starting the setup for this cruise, we heard the call “All hands on deck” and we saw that the pallets of rations for this cruise were being craned on deck. Members of the science party helped the crew to form a human chain and where we passed along every box of food and supplies needed for this cruise along the line from the deck down to the ship’s storage hold, including flour, sugar, eggs, drinks, potatoes, etc. Without any stops at port, these supplies were everything that was going to keep us going for this month. Hats off to the Steward’s Department for their fine work in preparing fine meals from these supplies during this cruise!