Friday, November 25, 2011

Roughing it

Contrary to my Minnesota-ness, I will take a short break from my postings on our current weather snowpocalypse for a quick holiday update.  (For any MN people reading this, we have received several more feet of snow since my last post.)
We spend quite a bit of time explaining to people that living and traveling on a sailboat is not one small step away from homelessness as many seem to believe.  Thanksgiving is a good example of our fairly normal life in a less than normal setting.  My new employer was kind enough to give out turkeys to all the employees for Thanksgiving this year, so we started our meal planning around our free turkey.  The only real issue was that most of the turkeys they bought were in the 15-16 pound range, and there is no way we can fit something that big in our oven.  I dug through the pile of 50 frozen birds until I found the smallest one they had, about 12.5 pounds, and crossed my fingers we could cram it in the oven to cook it.  I considered using one of the band saws in the shop to cut it in half, but a blade covered in aluminum shavings didn't seem like the best tool for the job, so I kept my hopes up until I got back to the boat and confirmed that the turkey would, just barely, fit in our oven.  With the addition of stuffing, mashed potatoes and corn we had the makings for a good old traditional dinner.  The pumpkin I never got around to carving for Halloween was sacrificed for pumpkin pie, which baked while we ate once the turkey had vacated the oven.
The final food item of the meal gave Nicole the hardest time, not because it was difficult to prepare, but because it was difficult for her to understand why this would be a holiday tradition in MN.  I felt the meal would not be complete unless we included Jello with fruit in it, so after looking through our selection of canned fruit it was decided that orange Jello with mandarin oranges would be a good choice.  A nice bottle of dry riesling from our ample wine selection rounded out the meal.
The holiday meal aftermath is another area where we break from the crowd.  Leftovers are always a good thing, but with a freezer the size of a half gallon carton of milk and a refrigerator already packed with food, we have to find some way to store half a bird carcass and all the various containers of food from the meal.  I can, at this point, laugh in the face of all our sailing friends that made the ridiculous decision to sail south to tropical climates, since all we have to do is set our food outside and it is back to a frozen state within minutes.  Try that with your white-sand beaches and drinks with little umbrellas.
Happy Thanksgiving from Greg, Nicole, and boat-cat Hope, and don't worry, I'm sure the weather will remain crappy enough for me to post about it again sometime soon.


  1. Fellow Minnesotan (currently living on a boat in Seattle) here and I can vouch for Jello. Would add that jello is not dessert it is part of the meal and no family/holiday meal is complete with out it!

  2. Whoops! I've lived in MN all my life and I've never had jello for Thanksgiving...or any other meal if I could help it. Am I a misfit?

    How great it is to read your well written stories of life in the Tundra.

    Too late to wish you a Happy turkey day so...and I'll resist saying anything about Christmas yet seeing that it's still NOVEMBER!!!! Instead I'll just close with...hugs! Pat B