Commuter Cruiser to The Boat Galley Cookbook Co-Author???

It’s a done deal! Over two years of hard work and pushing my limits paid off  in the form of a signed contract with International Marine Publishing to publish “The Boat Galley Cookbook“!   The book will finally be released in October 2012 both online/electronic and in bookstores near you!

I am the co-author and the guinea pig of what we hope will become an essential galley reference book aboard.   I tested the instructions and asked as many stupid questions as I could.   The concept was that if I could figure it out and make it edible, anyone could!  Luckily for all of us,  my co-author, Carolyn Shearlock, sv Que Tal and “The Boat Galley” is a great cook who loves to experiment.

Jan On Top of Winterlude's World!

Jan On Top of Winterlude’s World!

Notice I mention pushing my limits? I do not think of myself as a cook, I never aspired to be a cook and in a former life as a total landlubber, I could even go so far as to say I hated cooking!  I am much more comfortable at the top of the mast than in the galley. Ashore my idea of dinner was a microwave browning grill if I was ambitions and hamburger helper in a Pyrex six cup mixing bowl on a normal day.  Just ask my kids, they’ll tell you!

Living aboard in remote locales meant we often had to eat whatever we could get.  On one memorable occasion,  this meant a frozen chicken — complete with head AND feet.  When the Kuna man in the wooden dugout canoe paddled up, I was in the middle of cooking fish.    If you overcook fish, they’re dry and cardboard-flavored, so I didn’t want to ruin the meal.  A glance in my narrow but deep freezer space revealed what I already knew… a freezer totally devoid of anything that resembled food.

So I stuffed the entire chicken, head down into the freezer.  Unfortunately the freezer wasn’t quite deep enough and that chicken’s feet stuck out the top.  At the time I was traumatized enough that I didn’t see the humor in the visual … now I wish I had taken a photo!

Immediately after enjoying our fish dinner, David asked me if I had any reference aboard on how to cut up a chicken, complete with head and feet – luckily no feathers.  After looking through all of our cookbooks, David tried to remember how his grandfather had cut up chickens when he was a kid.

Another time, for a holiday meal treat we “scored” a frozen ham from a tiny Kuna tienda in the San Blas Islands.  Unfortunately I had no ham recipes aboard because ham is not something I would have normally bought.  Too bad it turned out drier and not as flavorful as it could have been because I had no idea how to cook it!

I know this all seems beyond belief to someone who is a “real” cook.   I did have cookbooks aboard, believe it or not, but none of them used ingredients readily available where I was cruising and a lot used gadgets that I wouldn’t have had room for even if my amp-ogre husband would have let me plug it in!

Living aboard sv Winterlude for six months a year started to change my attitude about cooking. When my lifestyle relaxed a bit, I had time to contemplate whether food deserved more attention than my typical “oh crap, is it time to eat again?” attitude.  Out cruising for months at a time, we ate a lot of fresh fish – my husband, David, loves to spearfish.   Now I love fish, but I must admit I got tired of eating fish prepared the same way night after night. So I began to experiment. It also became an adventure to try new vegetables and fruits found in the local veggie markets.

Grillicious Pizza!

Grillicious Pizza!

A bit of experimentation and a widening variety of “what’s for dinner” made us expand the adventure into other areas.  My husband, David, is a griller extraordinaire.   Before he knew it he was experimenting with baking pizza on the grill … after all I love pizza and why not learn to make my own?  From there the adventure continued … culminating in the signed contract with International Marine!

You can read the “official”  info on the The Boat Galley Cookbook tab on Commuter Cruiser.  But I thought you might enjoy a bit of “the rest of the story”!

Cheers!   Jan


  1. Sounds great! I just signed up to be notified when it becomes available.

  2. Can’t wait for my copy to arrive!

  3. Rachel Lewis says:

    Excitedly tearing open the package, I just received my copy of your book! Now… Where do I start?! Lots of adventures ahead.
    Thank you.

Speak Your Mind