space
space
Peshtigo Times
space
space
space
Perspectives
* Jeff Jandrey's Letter to the Editor
space
space
Sports Shorts
* Marinette's Schreiner Named NEC Soccer Player of the Year
* Peshtigo's Peters Is Packerland Softball Player of the Year
* Peshtigo's Peters Is Packerland Softball Player of the Year
* Team and Individual Champions Crowned at State Track & Field
* WIAA Softball Tournament Starts Thursday at Goodman Diamond

space
Peshtigo Fire
space
e-Edition
Now Available
For more information
click here
dot
THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
space
dot
space

From My Window

Issue Date: February 23, 2022

Jane Thibodeau Martin

Boat Cook

**********

"At suppertime the old cook came on deck saying "fellows, it's too rough to feed you." "At seven p.m. the main hatchway gave in, he said "fellows, it's been good to know ya." " ?? Gordon Lightfoot, "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald."

I have been fascinated my whole life with the big freight boats on the Great Lakes (always called "boats," and not "ships" like their ocean-going sisters.) I spend some time keeping up with the lakers via some shipwatching facebook sites, and on one of them began following regular posts from a woman who is a chef on Canadian lakers. She's a talented cook and writer who has great enthusiasm for her highly unusual occupation.

I was excited when she announced she was creating a cookbook based on her onboard work, and ordered a copy which arrived right after Christmas. I just love her story of interesting foods, a lifestyle that is utterly different from what most of us know, and the "travelogue" of her observations as her boats go port to port around the lakes. It helps that she's irrepressibly optimistic and funny, too.

The book contains "down-sized" versions of her onboard cooking, where she feeds as many as 25. On boats with bigger crews, she is given a helper, but on most of the boats she works on, she's the chief cook, galley housekeeper, dish washer, orders the groceries three weeks at a time and everything else involved with keeping the crew fed. She makes it a point to welcome crew special requests, including vegetarian accommodation, ethnic foods for those from other cultures and healthy options for diabetics, weight watchers and other special needs.

Her days normally span 12 working hours, seven days a week, for stints of many weeks or even months at a time. When her day is done, she goes "home" to her little room on the boat with a bunk, desk, chair and private bathroom. Think about that ?? there is no "punch out and go home" for her. She must stay on board. If the weather is fair she can walk the decks for exercise, and if there will be a lengthy port stay due to loading or unloading, she can sometimes get off for an hour or two, if she can do so while keeping up with her duties. Since the crew members work equally long hours without time off; calling to order takeout, making their own food or going to a restaurant are out of the question for them if they get tired of the cook's food. It is up to her to keep them happy with their onboard meals which take on outsized importance in such a restricted environment. Crews don't have a whole lot else to look forward to, and she takes this responsibility seriously. Nothing makes a crew grumpier than substandard food.

Every morning she rises early and preps standard breakfast items, and then acts as a short order cook for two hours. Lunch always includes three options ?? normally a homemade soup, a sandwich and a hot meal plate plus sides and dessert. Dinner is always two options and a fancier dessert choice. Then she stocks a refrigerator with snacks and leftovers for the overnight crew. I have worked long hours at points in my life but nothing like this. What astonishes me the most is how she handles the menu planning, which must precede the grocery order, which was placed as much as three weeks before she starts cooking while staying within her budget. No running to the store to get something you forgot to order. You have to be a marvel of creativity and organization to pull it off while cooking and baking as much as she does. It usually takes me longer to decide WHAT to make than I spend actually making it!

The cookbook is illustrated with her photos of the boats she works on, crew's accommodations, the galley, the lovely scenery so typical of the beautiful Great Lakes, and the food pictures, which are guaranteed to make you hungry. Many of the dishes are original, and she makes most of her own sauces and dressings.

She also addresses some of the challenges: two days before a new "three week's" grocery order will arrive, when her stores are depleted, an unexpected breakdown keeps them at anchor for two extra days waiting to unload ?? delaying her grocery delivery. She always manages to scramble and find something without complaining, and no one is the wiser. She also addresses those times she gets a phone call of warning from the ship's master that rough weather will arrive shortly, sending her scurrying around strapping down chairs and bracing doors; other times the uncomfortable boat rolling starts with no warning, and she has pictures of the mess in her galley that results.

It is interesting she has a sister who has also been employed as a chef on a laker, and their joy when their ships were occasionally in the same port and they could steal a few hours together.

She's "ashore" now for a brief vacation until shipping begins again in a few weeks after icebreaking starts and the locks re-open. That means I am missing her frequent "on-board" posts, but they will return soon. While her occupation as a cook is different than that of the other crewmembers, their lifestyle is similar to hers, with no weekends or holidays off; lengthy absences from home and little or no time on shore during shipping season. I found myself wondering what in the world would happen if she got sick on a trip and was unable to cook ?? she has no one to cover for her, and I'd find that a heavy mental burden to bear.

A few notes about the food ?? she's creative and has unique twists on many old favorites we are familiar with, but also has an inventory of interesting ethnic foods and of course, some Canadian favorites new to me. She uses some ingredients we won't be able to find by brand name but substitutes can be found for nearly all the recipes I've read. I have already tried her cole slaw dressing which contains maple syrup and Dijon mustard ?? very different, and Mike and I both liked it.

I enjoy my peeks into Catherine's day. We don't often recognize the contributions of hard-working people like her. She's ever so much more than just a cook, and I really think with her can-do attitude she'd excel at whatever she chose to do. Authoring a cookbook is a good example of that. And it is very intriguing to me to be able to "walk in someone else's shoes" as they work. Doubt I could keep a sunny disposition as well as she does. "Ship to Shore Chef" by Catherine Schmuck ?? "recipes and stories as I sail through my day." The book is self-published and not inexpensive, but if you'd like to learn more you can find her at www.shiptoshorechef.com.

You can reach me for commentary, alternative viewpoints or ideas at this e-mail address: JanieTMartin@gmail.com.


Recent stories, opinions and photos

Issue Date Department Headline
06-23-2022Sports
Marinette's Schreiner Named NEC Soccer Player of the Year

06-23-2022Sports
Peshtigo's Peters Is Packerland Softball Player of the Year

06-23-2022Sports
Peshtigo's Peters Is Packerland Softball Player of the Year

06-23-2022Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Invites Veterans To March Or Ride In July 2 Parade

06-23-2022Community - Wausaukee
Parker-Jose-Stockwell Legion Auxiliary Celebrates Memorial Day

06-23-2022Community - Wausaukee
Athelstane Raises Building Permit Fees, Adds New Cemetery Rules

06-23-2022Community - Wausaukee
Amberg Adopts Sex Offender Ordinance

06-23-2022Front Page
Raven Wood Gardens Reports Successful Caregiver Retreat Weekend

06-23-2022Community - Coleman
Nine Suring Students In Summer Credit Recovery

06-23-2022Community - Coleman
Jessica Olson Seek Clerk of Courts Post

06-23-2022Community - Coleman
Coleman School Board Okays New Track

06-23-2022Perspectives
Jeff Jandrey's Letter to the Editor

06-23-2022Perspectives
The Lion in Winter - From My Window 6/22/22

06-23-2022Perspectives
Country Cousin 6/22/22

06-23-2022Obituaries
Randall T. Anderson

06-23-2022Obituaries
Carol J. Beaudoin

06-23-2022Obituaries
Dorothy E. (Limberg) Caebe

06-23-2022Obituaries
Barbara J. Carlson

06-23-2022Obituaries
Barry Flannery

06-23-2022Obituaries
Allan L. Hummel

06-23-2022Obituaries
Dennis E. Kenney, Sr.

06-23-2022Obituaries
Peter J. Krulatz

06-23-2022Obituaries
Randal K. Meyers

06-23-2022Obituaries
Don Pazynski

06-23-2022Obituaries
Rex R. Radley

06-23-2022Obituaries
Kimberly M. Roberts

06-23-2022Obituaries
Dwane D. Rohleder

06-23-2022Obituaries
Lori Ramsey

06-23-2022Obituaries
Janet L. Shevy

06-23-2022Obituaries
Louis S. Skarda

06-23-2022Obituaries
Keith M. Thoune

06-23-2022Obituaries
Tammy Tuma

06-23-2022Obituaries
Edward Waldron

06-23-2022Obituaries
Barbara L. Wolfe

06-23-2022Front Page
Judge Dismisses All Six Criminal Charges Against Kelly Casper

06-23-2022Front Page
Marinette County Breakfast on the Finger Farm Sunday

06-23-2022Front Page
Town Of Peshtigo Okays New Custom Fire Truck

06-23-2022Front Page
Town Of Peshtigo Okays New Custom Fire Truck

06-23-2022Front Page
Deacon Richard Elfering Charged With 2nd Degree Sexual Assault

06-23-2022Front Page
Tornado Destroys 9 Silver Cliff Buildings, Fire Station

06-16-2022Community - Wausaukee
Spring Trap League Results at Lake Noquebay Club

06-16-2022Community - Wausaukee
Camp Daniel To Hold Grand Opening

06-16-2022Community - Wausaukee
Amberg Legion Post 428 Meeting

06-16-2022Community - Wausaukee
Niagara Lions Community Picnic Set For June 24-25

06-16-2022Community - Crivitz
OK Plans To Name Crivitz Bandshell For Bob Berndt

06-16-2022Community - Crivitz
New Garbage Containers Ordered for Middle Inlet

06-16-2022Community - Crivitz
Country Music Jam is June 17

06-16-2022Community - Crivitz
Change Allows More to Participate With NLMG at Harmony Arboretum

06-16-2022Community - Coleman
Village of Coleman Resident Brazeau Running for Clerk

06-16-2022Community - Coleman
Pound Fire Dept. Receives Grant

06-16-2022Community - Coleman
Equity Hall Bar & Grill Announce June Events

06-16-2022Community - Coleman
Coleman School Board May Accept Track Bid On June 20

06-16-2022Obituaries
Frances (Fran) M. Alsteen Everson

06-16-2022Obituaries
Glenn E. Anderson

06-16-2022Obituaries
Robert "Bob" G. Boettcher

06-16-2022Obituaries
Russell J. Coble II

06-16-2022Obituaries
Darwin Dale Grosse

06-16-2022Obituaries
Bernita C. Heisler

06-16-2022Obituaries
Beverly "Bev" Kratz

06-16-2022Obituaries
Frank J. Kusnierz, Jr.

06-16-2022Obituaries
Geraldine LaCount

06-16-2022Obituaries
Norman E. Olson

06-16-2022Obituaries
Mark A. (Fuzzy) Pleshek

06-16-2022Obituaries
Lona Schindler (Jutte) R.N.

06-16-2022Obituaries
Patricia "Pat" M. Sebero

06-16-2022Obituaries
Harvey Otto Seefeldt

06-16-2022Obituaries
Adriane L. St. Pierre

06-16-2022Obituaries
Barbara L. Wolfe

06-16-2022Perspectives
Roger Lanich's Poem - "The Child in Your Younger Days"

06-16-2022Perspectives
Mary Labunski's Letter to the Editor

06-16-2022Perspectives
Kathleen Marsh's Letter to the Editor

06-16-2022Perspectives
Carol Fick's Letter to the Editor

06-16-2022Perspectives
Bill Blair's Letter to the Editor

06-16-2022Perspectives
June Bugs - From My Window 6/15/22

06-16-2022Perspectives
Country Cousin 6/15/22

06-16-2022Front Page
Town of Grover Hears Road Damage Report

06-16-2022Front Page
Rain Dampens Attendance At Veterans, Responders Weekend

06-16-2022Front Page
Oconto Co. Deputy Involved in Shooting

06-16-2022Front Page
Peshtigo Sets Flat $35 Rate For Septic Waste

06-16-2022Front Page
Middle Inlet Cemetery Items Removed, Speakers Upset

06-09-2022Sports
Team and Individual Champions Crowned at State Track & Field

06-09-2022Sports
WIAA Softball Tournament Starts Thursday at Goodman Diamond

06-09-2022Sports
STAA's Bailey is 10th Place at State Meet; Badker/Derusha are 1st/2nd in UP Finals

06-09-2022Sports
Area Athletes Earn Medals at D3 State Track & Field Meet

06-09-2022Sports
Lena/Oconto Win Regional Championships

06-09-2022Community - Wausaukee
Expressions of Gratitude and Thankfulness

06-09-2022Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Club Honors Scholarship Recipients

06-09-2022Community - Wausaukee
Silver Cliff Fire, Rescue Auxiliary To Meet June 13

06-09-2022Community - Wausaukee
Legion Post Held Amberg Memorial Day Services

06-09-2022Community - Crivitz
University of Dubuque Lists Spring Graduates

06-09-2022Community - Crivitz
Rescheduled Camp Bird Painting Day

06-09-2022Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Legion Post Celebrates Army Birthday, Flag Day

06-09-2022
Vannelli Earn Degrees from Shorter University 

06-09-2022Community - Coleman
Pound Village Clerk To Present ARPA Update

06-09-2022Community - Coleman
Lena Knights Hold Knowledge Contest

06-09-2022Perspectives
Kristen Edgar's Letter to the Editor

06-09-2022Perspectives
Summer Neighbors - From My Window 6/8/22

06-09-2022Perspectives
Country Cousin 6/8/22

06-09-2022Obituaries
Howard T. Ballard

06-09-2022Obituaries
Augusta M. Baumler

06-09-2022Obituaries
Elizabeth R. Caine

06-09-2022Obituaries
Charlotte M. Christensen

06-09-2022Obituaries
Nancy M. Ebidon

06-09-2022Obituaries
John T. Flood

06-09-2022Obituaries
James W. Gunderson

06-09-2022Obituaries
Teresa A. Meyer

06-09-2022Obituaries
Joseph A. Milan

06-09-2022Obituaries
Charlotte Olsen

06-09-2022Obituaries
Arleen Rocheleau

06-09-2022Obituaries
Gloria A. Smith

06-09-2022Obituaries
Blanche M. Sweig

06-09-2022Obituaries
Katherine C. Waldrop

06-09-2022Obituaries
Barbara L. Wolfe

06-09-2022Obituaries
Edith M. Woodward

06-09-2022Obituaries
Roy V. Yeazel

06-09-2022Front Page
Received Certificates

06-09-2022Front Page
Ron Wenzel To Chair June 9 Middle Inlet Board Meeting

06-09-2022Front Page
Marinette Council Hears Drug Abuse Up In City

06-09-2022Front Page
County Public Services Discuss Jailer Protections

06-09-2022Front Page
Peshtigo Council Accepts $3 Million Grant For City

06-02-2022Sports
STAA's Bailey Returns to State; Marines 3rd at Sectional

06-02-2022Sports
Area Athletes Advance to State in 17 Events

06-02-2022Sports
Regional Champion Bulldogs Bow Out in Sectional

06-02-2022Sports
Coleman and Oconto To Face Off in Regional Final

06-02-2022Perspectives
Pete Pfankuch's Letter to the Editor

06-02-2022Perspectives
Again - Thoughts and Prayers - From My Window 6/1/22

06-02-2022Perspectives
Country Cousin 6/1/22

06-02-2022Community - Wausaukee
Price Of Garbage In Dunbar Is Going Up

06-02-2022Community - Wausaukee
PDP Schools 5th Day of Caring on May 18th

06-02-2022Community - Wausaukee
Niagara Knights Duck Race Set for July 23rd

06-02-2022
Local Author Andrew Graff at Niagara Public Library 

06-02-2022Community - Crivitz
Northwoods Apostolic To Hold Pentecost Sunday Gatherings

06-02-2022Community - Crivitz
Crivitz American Legion Gun Show Set for June 4

06-02-2022Community - Crivitz
CCBA Networking Breakfast June 2nd

06-02-2022Community - Coleman
Lena School Board Finalizes 2022 Summer School Plans

06-02-2022Community - Coleman
Faith Christian School Commencement Jan. 3

06-02-2022Community - Coleman
Coleman-Pound Legion Celebrate Memorial Day

06-02-2022Obituaries
Richard D. Anderson

06-02-2022Obituaries
Tara L. Boutin

06-02-2022Obituaries
Elmer D. Cherry

06-02-2022Obituaries
Colleen B. Christensen

06-02-2022Obituaries
Ned G. Christiansen

06-02-2022Obituaries
Benjamin W. Conley

06-02-2022Obituaries
Nancy M. Ebidon

06-02-2022Obituaries
David Gordon

06-02-2022Obituaries
Tina M. Lacanne

06-02-2022Obituaries
Gregory L. Maas

06-02-2022Obituaries
Teresa Ann Meyer

06-02-2022Obituaries
Elizabeth H. Peanasky

06-02-2022Obituaries
Helen Robinette


space
Peshtigo Times
WEB Poll!
space Yes
No
Undecided
space
TO VOTE CLICK
YES, NO or UNDECIDED

Suggest a Question
space .
space
FRONT
space
.
space
CLASSIFIEDS
space
.
space
COMMUNITY
space
.
space
GUEST BOOK
space
.
space
NEWS
space
.
space
OBITS
space
.
space
PERSPECTIVES
space
.
space
SPORTS
space
.
space
SUBSCRIBE
space
.
space
.
space
PESHTIGO FIRE
space
.
space
CUSTOM PRINTING
space
.
space
TIMES' SAVER
space
.
space
Click for Peshtigo, Wisconsin Forecast
FORECAST
space
Quick...
News or Ad Search
Enter News key words.
Enter Ad key words.



Peshtigo Times
841 Maple St
PO Box 187
Peshtigo, WI 54157
Phone: 715-582-4541
Email:
News@
PeshtigoTimes.com

space
Fax: 715-582-4662
© 2000-2022
All right reserved
space
Powered by
WEB Media
Interactive
COMMUNITY
WEB sites