Morning tea with a lower carbon footprint

When cooking on the boat, I try not to use any electrical appliances. That means anything that plugs into an electrical outlet. Which most of you know, is most cooking appliances these days.

The reason why I am trying not to use electric appliances is because electricity will be limited (and need to be topped up) when we are sailing (i.e. not in a marina). Electricity, like water and food is a limited resource on a sailing boat. In order to generate our electricity we’ll need to either:

Our solar panels

Our solar panels

a. rely on our solar panels, an idea which I love, but they are reliant on the sun (which doesn’t always shine); and/or

b. rely on our engine, an idea which I don’t necessary love (in this context), because it uses diesel (not good for the environment or our hip pocket), can be smelly and noisy.


Once we have generated the electricity (either by solar or the engine), it then needs to be converted from 12 volts to 240 volts.  We have an inverter on the boat which converts the electricity, but it also needs electricity to work, so the whole process can be a bit draining on our electrical supplies.

To be honest, I don’t want to run the engine or drain the batteries each time I want to cook up a batch of chocolate chip biscuits or pop the electric kettle on to have a cup of tea with them.

My new best friend - a hand beater

My new best friend – a hand beater

The alternative is to use a hand beater to make the biscuits and ‘old whistler’ (kettle) on the gas stove.

So my new best friend, who I am on a mission to get to know is my newly gifted hand beater. A big thanks to my ever supportive mother-in-law, who I affectionately call MILly. After hearing of my cooking situation, Milly very kindly offered me her hand beater, which she’s had since she married my FIL (yep, father-in-law). So its a family heirloom that will need to be passed on, hopefully with many swashbuckling stories.

I’ve kept the first attempt using the hand beater a simple one –¬†chocolate chip biscuits. I have made these biscuits before with an electric beater and know they worked out well, so the only difference will be the beater.

The only downside to using the hand beater compared to the electric beater when making the biscuits was I couldn’t give Orbit a beater to lick at the end (which he loves). As an alternative I gave him the spatula with a good dollop of biscuit batter on it and he seemed quite content with that.

I am pretty confident I’ll be able to make the biscuits while we are sailing, I can pop the mixing bowl in the sink and our oven is gimballed. The challenge is going to be the cooling the biscuits when they come out of the oven – but I don’t need to solve all the challenges just yet – that’s part of the adventure!

Morning tea on the 'back deck'

Morning tea on the ‘back deck’