Day 12 & 13
Our fresh provisions are coming to an end. I attended a seminar in La Cruz on how to prepare fruit and veggies for sailing voyages – what to do to them to make them last longer unrefrigerated. In the end, this is what we brought with us, this is what we did to them, and this is the result:
1. TOMATOES: I bought a flat of green tomatoes, did NOT wash them, wrapped each individually in paper towels and stored them in a plastic vegetable crate stacked neatly in the shower (the best dark and cool spot Jim and I could think of). Had I not been an eager beaver and bought them a full week before we actually left they would still be in excellent condition. But wonderful weather windows do not show themselves weeks ahead, so I took my chances. Now they are on their last leg. We've sliced and dried them, we've made fresh sauces and salsas – and lots of summer salads.
2. CABBAGES: We kept all the outer leaves on the cabbages and stored them in a green, plastic mesh bag forward. We didn't wash them. They lasted 2 weeks before getting smelly and contracting mold. I think we should have removed the ugly outer leaves as we went along.
3. POTATOES: We preferred to purchase unwashed potatoes, but couldn't find any. We stored these separately in a plastic veggie crate and in the shower. They are still nice and firm and no eyes.
4. GRAPEFRUIT: We only bought a few, did nothing to them and ate them within 2 weeks time.
5. LIMES: We did nothing to them, stored them in a plastic crate in the shower with cucumbers, bell peppers, grapefruit, avocados and pears. They are turning yellow, but are fine. If they begin to get hard I was told to drop them in some boiling water for a few minutes and they will be plump enough to squeeze.
6. BELL PEPPERS: Have lasted 2 weeks in the plastic veg container, although they have turned red and are very wrinkly.
7. PEARS: Bought very hard and threw the last 2 away 3 days ago.
8. CUCUMBERS: Washed, dried well and wrapped individually in paper towels – put in veg trays in shower. Have turned a bit yellow, but have remained crisp and flavorful.
9. ONIONS: I removed the ugly outer skins on the red and yellow onions , stuck them in a white muslin bag and stored in the bottom of the locker where we throw our dirty laundry. I check every so often and if there is a moldy patch or bruised area, I remove that layer.
10. GALA APPLES: We removed the stickers, washed well and rinsed and dried, and stored in hanging hammocks with other dry goods – no other fruits or veggies. They are still juicy and crunchy 2 weeks later.
11. ZUCCHINI: Didn't last a week. Wrapped in paper towels and stored in stackable veg trays. They got ugly spots on the outside and turned orange on the inside. Will refrigerate next time.
The produce we decided to refrigerate were lettuce, carrots, celery, avocados and cilantro. A day or so before we want to eat the avocados I remove one or two from the fridge and stick in the veg trays in the shower to ripen.
The kimchi we made several weeks ago is FABULOUS! The taste is pretty strong now – the garlic, radishes and the few Serrano peppers have infused and give it a hot-ish flavor without being too spicy. It is absolutely delicious. It is still in its 5 gallon air tight container in the shower – no refrigeration. Of course, if you hate sauerkraut you will likely not have love for kimchi. But it is such a great source of nutrition for cruisers. Don't forget that you can make fermented veg in much smaller batches.
And as of Day 13, we are motor sailing for the first time in almost 2 weeks - through the ITCZ. Wind is now on the nose from the south and we have a current against us. After conferring with our weather guru, we have decided to make a B-line to 2*N latitude and try to shake the moving target. We've altered course slightly west to gain some speed. Very squally conditions – thankfully no thunder or lightening.
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