It was great to get so many positive comments on our new recipe. After talking with Steve, we thought it would be easier to do another post and respond to questions that were asked.
Ginger, you wanted to know about the wine. The wine was a brand we bought at Harris Teeter in Chesapeake, VA. It's called Vendage and we have purchased both the Chardonnay and the Merlot, on the same trip. (for cooking purposes of course) The wine has worked well both in our cooking and in our stomachs. Here is another link to boxed wines, and here.
Now I would like to say we were very picky about the wine we chose. You know, we checked the rating in Wine Spectator Magazine and did some advanced tasting and comparing. But alas that would be an untruth and even though I was seen in an earlier post on the Liar's Bench, I must confess the truth of our selection process. While we didn't do any of the above, we did do some comprehensive in store decision making that I think was pretty impressive. After looking over, discussing and carefully considering all our options we made an informed decision ... we bought the one with the coolest most expensive looking packaging compared to other choices like Gallo or Glen Ellen.
I have heard of a brand called Black Box but have not tried it. I have tried the other three and found the Vendage the better of the three. After a long day of sailing a sip of just about any wine is a treat. Besides, after one glass my pallet isn't very particular any more. Here is a link to a Yahoo site that gives some other opinions to the box wine question.
On several horse packing trips where weight wasn't such a factor, one friend found a great solution to having the wine he likes best. He buys several gallons of cheap box wine with spouts and valves. He then buys bottles of his favorite wine. He drains the cheap wine and uses it to make sangria or wine coolers. (I'm not sure who he gives it to.) He refills the boxes with his favorite wines, tapes up the valves and the boxed wine is now ready for the mountain adventure and no heavy bottles. This would work well on any outdoor adventure where you don't have to worry about weight.
Seth you asked about cleaning up and mentioned using the water you are sailing in for cleaning up. Mary Lou you provided a great comment on cleaning up on your boat, a quick paper towel wipe, then another cleaning with a drop of suds and water, and a rinse in hot water. Well that just about sums up our routine on Spartina. We do a few things that make life a bit easier in the clean up department.
We did a post last year on "Favorite Gear". One piece of gear that's really versatile is the Rubber Maid tote.
"We carry two Rubbermaid RoughNeck tubs. The one on the starboard side contains the cook kit, the one on the port side the tub contains our lights, notebooks, candles, etc. I've added bungee cord that runs across the top to hold the lid in place and allow for storing items on top of the tubs. These things are great. Cheap, indestructible and very reliable. Rain, spray and occasional waves get in the boat and yet I've never had a drop of water get inside of these tubs."
Here are the tubs stowed and ready for sailing.
"(We also use the tub with the cooking stuff as a kitchen tool. The lid works as a great cutting board in a pinch (I know you have to keep the cut marks really clean.) and the tub itself doubles as a wash basin for clean-up. We use Campsuds which works great in cold water, good for body, clothes and dishes. Some dish cleaners can cause real havoc on your stomach and bowels if you don't get it completely off your dishes and eating utensils. Campsuds won't cause that kind of problem and its biodegradable. When we are done, everything packs back up nicely for storage.)"
When we are finished with dinner, we do a scrape of any left overs into the trash bag. (There are never any left overs) We then do a quick scrub over the side. Spartina sits close to the water so reaching over to do the scrub is no problem. We then partially fill our Rubber Maid tub with salt water (or fresh if on a lake I suppose) and add a few drops of Campsuds. We wash all the dishes, set them aside, rinse out the tub and then add enough really hot fresh water to rinse the dishes off. We either dry them with a dish cloth or let them air dry. We don't use too many paper towels but they can come in really handy as well.
Bill, you mentioned freezing chili. Great idea. I froze beef stroganoff once for a first meal on a backing trip in Sequoia National Park. We found an insulated fanny pack to keep it in and shared the carrying duties as it was really heavy, enough for three people. We boiled up some noodles, heated the stroganoff and had a great meal. I hadn't thought about it since. I think with our dry ice method, we could get pretty fancy in our meal selection. Thanks.
Baydog and Curt, thanks for your comments. Baydog, between the three of us we can whip up some mean hoagies I'm sure. You have any special recipes?
Thanks to all for the comments.