Monday, October 08, 2012

The Boat Galley: Limp Veggies

This week's Boat Galley article shares ideas for reviving vegetables so they are crisp and fresh while cruising...

Tips From The Boat Galley
Limp veggies
Do your veggies look like this?
By Carolyn Shearlock, author of The Boat Galley, with over 350 FREE articles to get the most out of your boat kitchen with galley tips, insights & equipment recommendations. A few recipes, too - plus an active Facebook community to ask questions and share tips with other readers! The print edition of The Boat Galley Cookbook, written with Jan Irons, is now available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Do you have droopy celery? Rubbery carrots? Squishy potatoes? Think you need to throw them out? Don't!

Reviving Limp Veggies


I'm embarrassed to let you see my celery in the photo at the top (but scroll down to see that same celery after it was revived). But it’s a fact of life, particularly if you don’t have refrigeration on your boat.

The good news is that I had learned how to rejuvenate soft celery, carrots and potatoes a while back, so I didn't have to throw it out.

As a kid, my mom had taught me to put limp veggies in ice water - or in water in the refrigerator - and they'd revive. And she was right.

The problem was that this doesn't always work on a boat. I never had ice on board. And some boats don't have a refrigerator. Or they have a small refrigerator and no extra space to chill a container of water and veggies.

I never like to throw food out. I particularly don't like to when I'm on a boat, away from town and can't immediately get more. So I decided that I needed to figure out how to revive my carrots, celery and potatoes without ice... and preferably without needing space in my refrigerator.

With a little experimenting, I learned that you can revive limp celery, carrots and even soft potatoes in room temperature water.

  • Celery: cut a bit off the bottom end before putting in the water. Place bottom down in the water. 
  • Carrots: cut a bit off the top end before putting in the water. Place top (fat end) down in the water. 
  • Potatoes: Peel and cover with water.
Crisp veggies
Here's the "After" photo!
Left whole, it will take 2 to 3 hours to make these veggies crisp again. That celery in the photo at the right is the same celery as at the top of this article, after 2 hours in the glass of water.

Note that if you cut the veggies into strips or 1" pieces and totally cover them with water, it will take as little as 30 minutes.

Drain the water and use the veggies as you regularly would.

Don't throw the water out once the veggies have been revived - you can use it in other cooking.

SCIENCE PROJECT FOR BOATS WITH KIDS
If you have some wilted celery, put some food coloring (red works best - easiest to see) in the water, and make sure the celery stalks are partially out of the water (it's even better if there are some leaves on the part out of the water). Watch as the color moves up the stalk and into the leaves.
 
About the Author


Carolyn Shearlock is author of The Boat Galley, with over 350 FREE articles to get the most out of your boat kitchen with galley tips, insights & equipment recommendations. A few recipes, too - plus an active Facebook community to ask questions and share tips with other readers! The print edition of The Boat Galley Cookbook, written with Jan Irons, is now available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble - electronic editions are coming but slightly delayed.


Before and after celery photos by Carolyn Shearlock

###