Tacos at sea
Though we mostly cook from scratch onboard, I also keep a small amount of “convenience items”. I have a hidden stash of them: Hersheys chocolate bars, packets of Chicharonnes, smoked almonds, marshmallows…They’re what I call Happy Food because they remind us of friends and good times. I save them for special occasions, happy or sad. They help us celebrate a milestone or cheer up an otherwise ordinary day. The same way that ordering take away on land used to be a treat.
Day 4 of the passage from Panama to Marquesas was one of these days. The crew was in bad mood. Our captain was complaining about the lack of wind and fish, both totally unrelated conditions. The kids were hot and bothered, missed their friends, and claimed that they would not survive this 3 weeks passage! My urging them to take this opportunity to get ahead with their school work seemed to make things worse. So reading the signs, I switched gears and asked them if they’d like a Mexican lunch. Marc and Anne’s faces lit up at the prospect, Terry’s not so much but went along anyway (he probably thought his day could not get any worse!)
During my last grocery shopping trip in Mexico, I had bought packs of vaccum sealed taco meat, frijoles tins and farmer’s cheese. I had also stockpiled on corn tortillas, bought fresh from Chedraui and frozen in ziplocked bags. It felt more like preparing food than cooking, as I opened the tin of refried beans and microwaved them. The taco meat required minimum preparation: open the packet, stir in a pan with a chopped onion, crushed garlic and a tin of crushed tomatoes. Microwaved the tortillas. Sliced one avocado (the only real fresh produce!). Diced farmer’s cheese. Presented all in pretty dishes. And voila! In less than 20 minutes, it felt like being back with friends in Puerto Aventuras. Happy Food indeed.