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Helen's Helpful Hints

Helen’s Helpful Hints
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If dining on deck, especially with kids, avoid snacks that will blow away or are oily: “Chips, pretzels, and crackers fly away with the slightest puff of wind, and the kids’ hands get covered in grease — which ends up on everything they touch on a boat, and that can be dangerous. Cut-up fruits and vegetables work better.” Helen also recommends wrap sandwiches, which her boys love: “I use small flour tortillas that they can easily hold with one hand. I try not to overfill them — just some nice sliced turkey and a mild cheese.”

When making marinades, stay away from acids such as citrus juice or vinegar: “Sometimes a storm comes in and you have to switch gears, and the steak has to wait another day. Or you might catch a big fish that you want to grill instead. Any acidic ingredient will start to ‘cook’ the meat. If you like those flavors, add a splash shortly before you place the steak on the grill. Or use the zest of a lime and keep the juice for your gin-and-tonics. Anytime you can use an ingredient twice for dual purposes it’s good.”

Keep your eye on the salt: “I like to use saltier cheeses, such as feta, because they keep better under less-than-normal refrigeration, as do olives and other preserved foods. Just keep that in mind when you season your food.”

And a few more tips on seasoning: “I like fresh herbs, even if we’re cruising. I find that whole, small plants in plastic pots do quite well and add a homey touch to the galley. Condiments in squeeze bottles and tubes are a godsend. Aside from wine bottles, you want to avoid anything in glass.”

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