nicole's favorite galley tools and goodies

*Pressure Cooker:

I've had a pressure cooker all of my adult life. On the boat it is an essential tool for me in the galley. Not only does it save cooking fuel (in our case propane), by cutting down cooking time by half or more, but it is also much safer too.

I use it to make soups, boil potatoes, make beans or refried beans (we love mexican food and in most parts of the world can't find black or pinto canned beans (these keep for months in the freezer). Also, it's great if you want to can anything along the way. When it's so rough on passage and I worry about cooking with a normal pot on the stove, I reach for our pressure cooker. The lid locks on and if for some reason it got tossed out of our pot holders and off the stove, I wouldn't have scalding liquid anywhere, just likely a big dent in the floor (thankfully it hasn't happened yet).

*Yogurt Maker

If you eat yogurt, making yogurt on board is a must. It's super healthy, yummy, fast and easy and most of the time the ingredients are readily available. You don't have to do it in a specified yogurt maker but it sure makes things easier. After I heard so many cruisers raving about their yogurt makers and longing for the one I had seen at the Carrefour in Tahiti, I got one immediately upon arriving in New Zealand. The best one I found to suit my needs is Easi Yo, it takes no electricity, just yogurt starter, powdered milk, drinking water, and boiled water to warm the yogurt.

---to buy easy yo maker in the US:

---to buy easy yo maker in Europe:

to get starter packs when you run out of starter yogurt or need to start over use easy yo yogurt mix or Yogourmet freeze dried yogurt starter (these are easier, they are small and can be used with any milk.)

International and Canada

located in Quebec, Canada
Tel.: 1-450-562-8525


V.M.C. Corp.
located in New Jersey
Tel.: (800) 863-5606 toll free
Web site:

*Fast Homemade Yogurt Recipe

2 tablespoons of yogurt or a packet of starter
12 heaping table spoons of milk powder
drinking water to fill the yogurt maker
boiling water to fill the thermos

(Variation with UHT milk):
4 cups of UHT milk
1/3 cup of powdered milk
as much as 1/2 cup yogurt can use less if need to (this is your starter) or use starter packet

Heat milk until it is around 170 degrees (not boiling). Let cool to 108-112 mix in starter. To mix starter mix some milk with yogurt or starter packet once it has cooled to 108-112 degrees. Fill container and let sit. If you don't have a yogurt maker, put mixture in pre-warmed thermos and insulate, let sit 8-12 hours.

Pour boiling water into yogurt making thermos place yogurt jar in, let sit 8 -12 hours, once set, refrigerate. For Greek yogurt, once the yogurt has set put it in cheese cloth and let it drain for 1/2 an hour (thanks Nadia).

If you don't like plain yogurt try a splash of vanilla and some maple syrup, fresh mangoes, or compote mixed in.

Egg Cartons

I finally got it! After carrying eggs home one too many times in plastic bags praying I didn't knock them together, or sandwiched in between what were likely cockroach hotel egg cartons, I finally got a plastic egg carton delivery. Thank you mom! Now we have cartons that stack easily and that we can bring to the market without wasting another packaging product or worrying that we're bringing little nasties onboard.

There are a lot of choices out there. Below are links to the ones I use. We store our previously un-refrigerated eggs in one of our cabinets. We have had great success keeping eggs even in the tropics for 3-4 weeks un-refrigerated. Turn them periodically when you remember and always crack them into a small bowl individually in case you get a bad egg.

LINK to the Container Store Here

For a half dozen hard boiled eggs I put in the fridge in one of these cases:

Braun Handblender

I am a smoothie addict. When my ancient blender died in the Solomon Islands with a cockpit full of bananas just waiting to be dropped into a yogurt smoothie, I was so sad. I knew new blenders required way too many amps for our little electrical system and didn't know what I would do. Jill, on SV Daemon, sorted me out and sent me to the grocery store in Palau that thankfully socked 120V appliances and had this handy mixer.

For those of us who like to make smoothies, blended soups, sauces, and even mix cakes or chop vegis, the Braun mixer is an indispensable tool in the galley. Thanks Jill. I have the "Multiquick 3" but the "Multiquick 7" cordless looks like it could be a great option...check them out.

LINK to Braun Handblenders

Tupperwear Ice Cube Trays

My dear friend Gisela, from SV Far Niente and now, SV Dulce, once showed me all of her kitchen gadgets while waiting for a weather window to sail from Tonga to New Zealand. These "Tupperware Fresh N Pure Ice Tray Set" were my favorite. They are a must have for any ice loving cruiser who wants to do things the simple and clean way. The trays are the only ones I have found that never leak or spill and stack perfectly in our tiny freezer. Hello margaritas and good morning smoothies.

(Note: These are a bit tricky to buy as you have to get them through a Tupperwear distributer. Search onlin on or Ebay and you will find them.

Lime Squeezer

Everyone has a tool they can't imagine living with out. For me, its my lime squeezer. Seriously, how did I make lime or lemonade, margaritas, or key lime pie without this thing? What would I have done in the Solomon Islands to squeeze the hundreds of tiny sweet lemons I traded with amazing kids for pencils? Just a few years ago you could only get this squeezer in Mexico, now it can be found in almost any high-end grocery store or cooking store in the US. My first one was a Mexico original, a last minute purchase, thanks to Peggy on SV Sol Searcher. It has long since corroded and been replaced by a new one from the States.

There seem to be way too many options out there to choose from. Just make sure the handle is comfortable to hold and it looks like it will last. Happy juicing.

Sprouting Jar

There's nothing quite like crunching into live food you just made in the middle of the ocean. Seriously, sprouting is NOT just for "Hippies". Sprouts are tasty, easy, and so good for you.

You can get something fantastic like these jars Gar bought me a welcome to DK gift before leaving Sausalito, or you can do it the old fashioned way with a mason jar and some mesh screen.

Sprout People have tons of resources for organic seeds, sprout kits and anything you want to know about sprouting. Unfortunately, they no longer make the plastic lids I have but make a mesh screen with plastic rim, seemingly a good alternative.

Note, whatever you decide to sprout be sure you rinse and drain well at least 2-3 times a day.

Silicone Pot Holders

These just make life a little bit easier. We have three hanging in the galley and I use them almost daily. They are hot pads to protect the counter and teak tables, perfect for grabbing things out of the oven or moving them off the stove, also they kind of work like non skid when the boat is rolling and we are trying to keep our plates on the table.