By Frank E. Vaerewijck, FF/EMT, Engineer & Fire House Chef
When not at the station, I enjoy spending time with my wife on our sailboat. The Galley of a Catalina 30 isn’t very conducive to the preparation of a big meal, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t have big taste. As human beings, we are inherently ingenuitive, and advancements in technologies throughout the world prove this daily. For anyone who enjoys the outdoors, whether it be in the woods, or on the water, the challenge to orchestrate a delicious well-rounded meal utilizing limited resources is real.
As the proud owners of a 1977 Catalina 30, the limited space of the galley is a far cry from the spacious kitchen back on solid land at our humble abode, or even the smaller cozy kitchen at the station. Though at home my wife and I enjoy cooking together, and dancing in the kitchen, this is near impossible aboard our sailing vessel. This doesn’t mean that we can’t still enjoy working together to make some big taste with our limited space and resources.
Having a menu in mind when you head off to the boat makes things less complicated. If that doesn’t happen, thinking outside the box can make the impossible, possible, and amazing all at the same time. It is our intention to use this medium to show you some great ways to fix some amazing delights and since we are always on the lookout for recipes of Bay favorites, we plan to bring them to you in creative ways. This will allow you to enjoy these tastes aboard any vessel, whether it has the galley of an Aircraft Carrier steaming out of Norfolk, or Bay Cruiser moored in some quiet little harbor.
Breakfast tends to be one of our favorite meals. Tina LeAnne loves pancakes, my favorite is omelets. They’re a little easier to make and honestly, don’t take much effort at all. The variations you can do are totally up to you; add the normal favorites like bacon, or ham. Mix it up with Chesapeake Soft-Shell Blue Crab, or whatever tickles your fancy.
One of my favorite sayings is “a recipe is nothing more than a guideline.” Here’s an easy way to prepare a wonderful breakfast while watching the sun come up over the bay, as you breathe in a fresh new day or a quick breakfast at the station on a real busy morning, and “that’s bringing the Firehouse Home!”
Easy Shipboard Omelets
What you will need:
1 Zipper style sandwich bag per omelet
1 medium sauce pan
Heat source to boil water
2-3 eggs (depending on how hungry you are), Cheese Protein (Vegetarians consider adding Portabella mushrooms or another Veggie protein), Veggies of your liking, Salt & Pepper (according to taste)
In a medium sauce pan fill to 2/3 full of water, and bring to a boil.
While the water is coming to a boil, crack your eggs and put them in your Zipper style bag, add cheese, protein, veggies, salt and pepper.
Seal bag and squish around, mixing well.
Once water has been brought to a boil, place the bag in the boiling water and allow omelet mixture to cook through (About 15 minutes).
Remove bag from water, plate and enjoy.
A simple folding camp stove toaster is an easy way to add some toast to round out the first meal of the day, with your favorite, jam, jelly or just plain butter.
Frank E. Vaerewijck has had a passion for the fire service that has spanned 20 years. He has been a volunteer and career firefighter. A previous resident of Manassas, he is currently a firefighter/EMT with Smithfield Volunteer Fire Department (yes, where the bacon comes from, that Smithfield). He has passed on his passion for the fire service through instruction and mentorship. That same passion he has for the fire service is shared with his love of food. In 2006, Vaerewyck won an Iron Chef-style competition sponsored by a radio station in Richmond, Virginia. That is where he also furthered his education by attending a Culinary Arts Program. As the Firehouse Foodie, he has been compiling recipes to be included in a cookbook that will give others the opportunity to see their hometown heroes not just as firefighters, but as the firehouse chefs they truly are.