Ambra Food Blog, Arc Atlantic crossing 2022, from Thomas and Andreas
As we are both passionate hobby cooks we wanted to challenge ourselves and see how good we could cook in the middle of the Atlantic.
We had the luxury to prepare everything in an rb&b apartment in Las Palmas during 7 days prior to our departure on the 20th November 2022.
So we decided to precook and pressure can about half of the hot dinners. We planned for 16 days plus 2 days safety on top.
Andreas had brought a pressure canner on his lap as hand luggage in the airplane from Cologne. An unusual carry on item in an airplane seat. Next challenge was to find the properly sized pressure Glas containers in Las Palmas, that would fit our pot. For 8 dishes needed around 24 containers. After several scouting trips in the neighborhood and with the help of scout Melli, we bought about 30 containers plus some smaller sized ones for confined tomatoes and garlic.
This allowed us to pressure can our precooked meals at 120 degrees in order to make sure any botulism (although very rare) is wiped out. We decided to precook about half of the dinners and cook the rest ‘live’.
We managed to cook about two meals a day in the apartment as the glasses had to be under pressure for an 1,5 hours. We prepared oriental lamb with raisins, figues, pine nuts. Spanish porc with walnuts and apples. Rabbit stew with roasted chestnut sauce, a really good Bolognese with self made veal stock, Italian Salciccia sauce with anis and white wine, chili von carne with chipotle jalapeño and smoked peppers, boeuf bourguignon (also in a fantastic bone broth with lots of red wine and sherry ) . For the first two days we pre cooked on the day prior to departure a vegetarian carrot and potato stew and a mushroom risotto (with the home made rabbit stock) which we refrigerated.
Chicken breast and thighs, steaks and precooked octopus legs were stored in the small deep freezer. We also precut fresh herbes and put them in the freezer in silicon bags.
We selected and bought all fresh vegetables ourselves at the central market in order to hand select the freshest products. We tried to get more then 50 percent unripe and still green, especially bananas avocado and mango.
Among the many different recommendations to wash (or not wash) fruit and vegetables for storage on board, we choose to wash each piece of fruit and some veggies in a mild vinegar solution and the rinse them in fresh water.
On board we made sure that apples, tomatoes and bananas were stored away from the rest of the other products as they a strong emitter of ethylene, which causes other fruits to ripen faster.
Unfortunately we tied the bananas to close to the mast below deck…and since in the first two days the sea was very rough they permanently banged against the mast. This produced 3 kg of banana mousse, which we (partly) use for our hot porridge in the morning.
On the night after departure Andi’s carrot/potato stew with Cumin and curry was marvelous, light and easy to digest.
On the second day we had sandwiches for lunch and the precooked risotto with mushrooms for dinner and a nice mixed salad with the ripe tomatoes, carrots, onions and iceberg salad.
Just standing in the kitchen in the rough seas on Sunday and Monday was a true challenge, so we were happy about our readily precooked strategy for the first two days.
This morning, Tuesday the 22nd Nov the sea is much calmer and we are looking forward to be able to cook more complete meals today.
Captain Torsten via satellite: Unsere letzte Nacht war viel ruhiger und wir konnten einiges an Schlaf aufholen. Den Etmal (Segeldistanz über 24h konnten wir um 10sm auf 189sm erhöhen. Der Wellengang ist wesentlich angenehmer. Wir segeln jetzt die nächsten 600sm geradeaus um in die Tradewind Zone zukommen. Heute Mittag haben wir dann unseren Parasailor ausgepackt und jetzt geht die Post ab. Die Kaffeemaschine läuft nach einem kleinen Sturz auch wieder. Essen ein Genuss, Risotto und Papas bravas. Nachtisch Mandelkuchen, Biggis Happy Birthday Torte. Die Crew strahlt frisch geduscht. Stimmung bestens auch ohne Alkohol. Liebe Grüße von der Ambra Crew