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This is a handy book bound in a format and containing 30 line drawings of objects one would use when outfitting one's galley. It is a perfect and valuable companion to have aboard your boat. Ms. Smith has a great deal of experience cooking afloat, and answers just about any question a reader might pose about supplying and provisioning the galley, and planning sensible menus that will fill the bill at your mooring or underway. She covers the important topics of water, refrigeration, stoves, food safety, nutrition, storage (a biggie), producting meals and don't think you were getting off the hook cleanup!
Particularly moving is Ms. Smith's dedication, 'In loving memory of my parents, Marie and Peter Daddona, who taught me that food is love and family is forever.'
There is a special section devoted to an assortment of original recipes. It contains as well measurement, conversion and substitution charts. For example, this reviewer has cooked for years, yet never knew the volume of a dash, which he always considered to be sort of a freestyle sprinkle with great variety. Ms. Smith informs us that a dash equals ten drops. So there.
In Chapter 1, the author states, Conditions for on-the-water food preparation are seldom ideal; and having a perfect galley is more a dream than a reality. She goes on to advise, Other than a willing cook, the essentials to meal-making are safe work areas, enough fresh water, a means of keeping foods and beverages cold and fresh, and a source of cooking heat. It's plainly common sense, yet each of those factors is extremely significant. None can be sacrificed.
This book is written with insight, a generous desire to share expert knowledge, and Joy Smith's characteristic wit, always a delightful seasoning. Successive chapters address the subjects of water, cooling and refrigeration, stoves and microwaves, storage and trash control, cookware, galley tools and table setting, food safety, perishables, who's doing the cooking, caloric intake, weekend menus, smart shopping, meals in motion, provisioning for special trips like vacations, serious sailing, creative cookery and eating out.
In the cookware section, Joy informs us how to bake in an electric fry pan. Huh? Absolutely! You must place a wire rack in the bottom of the pan, preheat it to the desired baking temperature and then place the casserole or cake pan on the rack. Cover the pan and time the bake cycle as if you were cooking in an oven. Voila!
One of the definitions of intelligence incorporates the ability to utilize one's experience, and Joy Smith does exactly that on every page of this book as she did on every page of her first book, The Perfect First Mate, in which she positioned husband Gil as Captain My Way. Kitchen Afloat offers a seven-page detailed index for reader convenience and speedy reference. I would recommend it without hesitation as a wonderful gift for anyone who prepares meals aboard a boat.