So if your reading along at home and planning on one day making your own cruise abroad, here's a practical tip. Learn to utilize the locally available food.
Long time readers will undoubtedly be aware that I do not in fact eat cooked vegetables. I know they are supposed to be good for me, but that knowledge cannot over come my innate fear of un-identifiable, possibly hostile, photosynthetic proto-goo. To avoid starvation, I have had to learn to adapt my carnivorous habits to the locally available protein suppliments.
Case in point, the ubiquitous pork shoulder ham. A generally maligned cut of pig in the U.S. due to it's high fatty content and somewhat tough nature, it is always available in the frozen food section down here and usually priced at less than 2 bucks a pound. For twenty dollars, the 10 to 12 pound pork shoulder has become a staple of our non-seafood oriented meat.
To prepare the pig in question, first we thaw his frozen ass in the sink for about 6 hours. Once he is pliable, we remove him from his plastic shrink wrap and then use my sharp fillet knive to remove as much fat as possible from the outer edges. The reason I remove the fat is that we cook said pig in our pressure cooker, which can make even shoe leather tender and therefore we do not need all the external pig fat to render our meat product soft.
All the fat on Mr. Piggie accomplishes is to make a mess on the bottom of the pressure cooker.
Once the pig is prepped and ready, I place him shoulder bone down on the small trevette to keep him just off the bottom of the cooker and thus out of the accumulated droppings of grease and juices that develop during the cooking process.
With the pig part in place, I pour one, twelve ounce can of orange juice over him and I then add half a can of water to the mix. Next, seal the pressure cooker lid on tight and we're ready for ignition.
Experience has taught me to bring the pressure cooker up to pressure under maximum flame (about 8 minutes) and then reduce the burner setting to the lowest possible setting. Now, all that's left is to let the pig cook for 90 minutes.
When time expires, turn off the flame and allow the pressure cooker to come back down to room pressure without lifting the pressure release valve. This may take ten or twelve minutes, but it lets the roasted beast inside cook for a few more minutes.
When the pressure is finally released, remove the lid and the place your ham particles on a cutting board. Use your fillet knife to remove hunks or slices of meat and store them in plastic baggies or Tupperware if available. One 10 to 12 pound should will produce 6 or 7 pounds of ham and will also leave a great shoulder bone for ham soup if that's your thing.
Typically we can make between 15 and 18 meals out of one shoulder for the both of us, depending on whether it's ham sandwiches, ham, egg and cheesies for breakfast or a ham and assorted side dinner.
With the possible exception of using a whole, locally produced, frozen chicken, the pork shoulder represents the best bang for the buck when it comes to eating well and on the cheap (seafood excluded) while down here.
More to follow, end of line ....