Appreciation Dinner - Food Politics (pt 1)

Last night we had an Appreciation Dinner for our crew. I must say that I didn't actually make it to the ceremonies/meal (I was on the phone with my wife, you understand?).

We did a pretty good meal for just using available things on board (and for those of you who are on board, I thought our meals were 'special' every night?).

We made~
Braided loaves of bread filled with complimenting herbs served with a garlic butter.
Peas with sliced onion and garlic, a hint of sesame. (hey, what can I say? We need to creatively use up leftovers)
Lemongrass-White Wine Risotto
Sweet Soy Salmon Fillet
Lemon-Thyme Chicken Breast

For Dessert~
We had all kinds of toppings available to us, and brownies were made so...make your own Sundae Bar

Pretty good menu line-up for a missions ship don't you think?

I wanted to make some side notes on the food just from general speculation:

  • As I was smelling the aroma from the risotto I realized that even though it was savory(the rice dish), the lemongrass puts off an aroma that reminds me of a pudding, or sweet lemon tea...what do I mean by pudding? If I was to do a dessert with a rice pudding I would think that the aroma of lemongrass would be very complimentary for a sweet dish. For those of you who don't use lemongrass, we have it here on board in big bags of dried bundles. I use it by steeping the lemongrass in hot water, then using the liquid in dishes, like ladling it in the risotto.
  • For the chicken breast we used a basic brine but then added a small bit of Lemon Essence to it. A sauce was also made, very light (liquid speaking) and strong in taste. The chicken came out of the oven very juicy and on the 'medium' level for toughness. But as the 'holding' time progressed I think the chicken breasts got tougher. You may say that happens when slow heat is pushing the liquid out, but I say that we just need a better quality chicken. Although I must remind you that we are on a budget so sometimes a little extra cutting and manipulating of the chicken is better than spending more money. But not always.
  • The salmon was good but it probably could have been moister (is that a word?...maybe more moist?). It was baked and I did not have enough pans or room to have a single layer of fish cooking in each pan so in order to get it all cooked some pieces 'dry out' and/or cook quicker than other AND the recipe was adapted from a 'flat-top' or 'BBQ' grill recipe...so we do what we can, right?

This is not a restaurant, or even a cafeteria/camp kitchen...so if we have anything by the way of being 'posh' or 'lush' in essence rest assured it was a gift, blessing, donation, and/or bargain price in nature. We are also not on the 'cheap' level altogether. We supply the standard protein, starch, and veggies with a few extras thrown in here and there (and if we can't buy adequate bread we bake our own, hard to buy bread while sailing!)...and sometimes there are donations or monies set aside just to produce a 'special' meal or occasion.

There are however Captain's Lunches, Media Functions, Pastor Conferences and/or Breakfast, and Dignitaries that come on board for which there is allotted monies for making these functions nice or fancy, so to speak.

When local government officials (lets say for instance the Lady President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf) come to visit the ship, and remember now, they have most likely given you free port space, free water, and other great amenities...wouldn't it be good to be a gracious host?

Yes, of course we are supplying free services estimated in the thousands of dollars and life changing operations and relationships that far outweigh the cost of any port 'fees'. But I think it would be nice and respectful of us to show our hospitality to someone and/or government that doesn't have to acknowledge you at all if they choose not too. Its kind of like confirming or acquiring a 'right of passage' to the things you need entry or permission to, the 'meeting' of the 'handshake' to get started, are you understanding my explanation?

Its kinda hard doing mission/humanitarian work if you can't even get in the country. Wouldn't you say?

So yes, I believe its good to have monies/funds/budgets set aside for these things. This hospitality is expected in most realms of 'politics' and salutations on this level.

I will pursue the 'thoughts' on this area further at a later posting...this will probably be enough to think about for now.

Agree? Disagree? Post a comment.

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