Angel Collinson: In Praise of Cooking & Cussing

(Yes, Pete is God in this instance — and plenty of others.)

I may not have all of the gizmos, gadgets, and utensils that other cooks have, due to extremely limited space, but to help me deal, I’ve got sailor’s ingenuity, and, in my back pocket, an encyclopedia of cusswords and inappropriate phrases that would make the devil himself blush. (I believe this is something both chefs and sailors have in common.)

You see, making food at sea, isn’t easy.
It’s tough when the conditions are rough,
and you can barely keep down your lunch
and have to make it in a crunch.

Unlike cooking up shitty poetry, they say cooking at sea is more engineering than cooking; as the boat violently pitches back and forth, fro and to, so, too, do you. And, as it follows, all of your subjects — your potatoes, open jars and sauces, spices, and chopped pieces of vegetables — spill and roll everywhere, unless your veeeewwwwwwy caeweful.

Everything has to be carefully thought out, planned, and wedged, so that you use all of the material on hand to hold everything together so nothing ends up on the floor, or worse, spilled all down the BACK of the gimbaled stove, where you can’t reach it or clean it up, but can still DEFINITELY smell it. And all of this atop limited counter space for storing, wedging, mixing, and chopping, which is a crucible that forges the best culinary oceanic engineers, and hopefully doesn’t burn down and sink the boat in the process.