Groceries, Ground Moose and other Delicacies

We reached our home port a little short on groceries. No sense carrying stuff till we needed it. There was one exception: we’d grabbed a load of ground Moose meat in Cordova, courtesy of friends and relatives. With a taste reminiscent of ground beef — lean ground beef — it was going to fill a lot of slots. Moose tacos. Moose enchiladas. Moose sloppy joes.

The rest of the shopping would be done in Valdez.

Three of us were tasked with shopping: me, the skipper and our skiffman, who’d take over cook’s duties when I left. We clambered into the skipper’s truck and drove to a local discount store, then grabbed a flat platform truck and started loading it down with groceries. Loads and loads of groceries.


Toilet paper and paper towels. Dish cleaning supplies — detergent and scrubbers. Shampoo for our tiny shower. And then we started on the staples: ketchup, mustard, mayo and bbq sauce (a later version of me would likely make the bbq sauce from scratch, but on a boat, there’s something to be said for packaged foods). And then the actual food. Canned tuna (yup, we’d be eating fish). Canned tomatoes. Canned corn. Folger’s coffee. Sugar. Parmesan cheese in a gigantic Kraft tube. Multiple packages of corn tortillas. Bread. White bread. Peanut butter. Jelly. We pretty much stuck to the basics.

Except for a few fresh veggies. Eggs. And a fryer chicken.

We got back to the Three Sisters and started to unload, using those special, wheeled carts found on boat docks everywhere. We spent a goodly amount of time finding the best nooks and crannies for everything. And then, like the typical laborers we were, we took a break.

It wasn’t long before the skipper found me. “What’s for dinner? How come you aren’t cooking?”

“What do you want? I can cook anything.”

“Let’s grill that chicken.”

The skipper pulled out a portable propane grill and we took it to the upper deck and lit her up. For some reason, it didn’t quite feel safe. Something about the open flame. But there it was. BBQ chicken. I had learned the first lesson of cooking on a fishing boat: Always be ready to improvise. Oh and make sure it’s fully cooked, despite the growing darkness. You don’t want to kill people on your first night out.

Copyright Leland E. Hale (2018). All rights reserved.


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