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Heloise on the high seas
January 1, 2010 6:02 AM   Subscribe

Offshore drilling/container ship catering crews know some really cool kitchen tricks. (equipment cleaning/maintenance/repair tips, not cooking tips.)

Also they seem to be funny. (Both intentionally and unintentionally - their About Us page is a whole nother source of delight.)

(my first post, btw.)
posted by magdalenstreetladies (37 comments total) 39 users marked this as a favorite

 
I don't know. Equipment cleaning tips are interesting, but maintenance and repair tips just seem boring to me.
posted by twoleftfeet at 6:16 AM on January 1, 2010


Those are pretty cool. Several are well-known, but others (the rutababga trick?) are totally new to me.
posted by OmieWise at 6:20 AM on January 1, 2010


Thanks for the post (and welcome!) I'm off to buy a rutabaga.
posted by Nick Verstayne at 6:22 AM on January 1, 2010


Hmm.
Cutting Board:
Smelly: Rub it with a sliced lemon or lime.
If you have a stinky cutting board after cleaning it, maybe you need a new board or a much stronger cleaning method. A little lemon juice, though mildly antiseptic, might just leave fragrant but nasty bugs for the next meal.
posted by pracowity at 6:31 AM on January 1, 2010


Some stuff I knew, some stuff I didn't. Thanks for posting!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:37 AM on January 1, 2010


I really don't understand why the About Us page is so delightful. Or how anyone could claim that it was.

Sorry.

I'm sure Global Sea Services is wonderful but I don't understand why you want me to look at that.
posted by twoleftfeet at 6:38 AM on January 1, 2010


twoleftfeet - sorry - I'm a sucker for things like people talking about 'completing the sylvan picture in totality' ... '1,000 miles from the nearest land'. For instance. Or commenting on Conrad's 'loving eulogy to the seas' (ok, techically eulogy can just be nice things, but the primary connotation makes it funny. to me. is all.).

I should have been more specific or left that bit out. Will do better!
posted by magdalenstreetladies at 6:45 AM on January 1, 2010


>If you have a stinky cutting board after cleaning it, maybe you need a new board or a much stronger cleaning method.
Fine, you go swim ashore to Williams Sonoma, matey.
posted by mccarty.tim at 6:50 AM on January 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


I've got some dull, cheap scissors and some tomato sauce stained plastic containers I was about to throw out, but I'll give these tips a try. The one about boiling cracked plated in milk is new, as is the rutabaga advice. Thanks magdalenstreetladies!
posted by biddeford at 6:50 AM on January 1, 2010


I feel like I learned a lot. It's great of them to share their tips and tricks with those of us who don't spend months at sea.

I'm totally printing this out and putting it up next to the sink.
posted by mccarty.tim at 6:53 AM on January 1, 2010


PS: Great first post in my opinion. Looking forward to many more!
posted by mccarty.tim at 6:54 AM on January 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh, this is good. Thanks!
posted by mkim at 7:01 AM on January 1, 2010


If you have a stinky cutting board after cleaning it, maybe you need a new board or a much stronger cleaning method. A little lemon juice, though mildly antiseptic, might just leave fragrant but nasty bugs for the next meal.

Double hmmm, I just read on another "zany kitchen tips" list that lemon is a very strong acid that'll kill anything chilling in your cutting board. Oh, internet.
posted by thylacine at 7:07 AM on January 1, 2010


I hate to be mean to a newcomer, magdalenstreetladies, it being the New Year and all, but may I politely suggest that the tips that GSS offers us have been copied and pasted from other sources, particularly this page? Would it destroy the illusion that these tips were conceived by crusty offshore drillers? Yes, it would.
posted by twoleftfeet at 7:09 AM on January 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


Wow, you are all mean. I'm off to soak my griddle in turpentine!
posted by gjc at 7:35 AM on January 1, 2010


Boy is my face red, twoleftfeet. I obviously didn't do enough research here, and I worded my link really thoughtlessly, too. If I could do it all over again (which I obviously shouldn't) I'd say 'Holy crap! Rutabagas can make your griddle stop smoking?? And you can boil crockery in milk to 'fix' a hairline fracture?? As several folksy kitchen tips webpages point out but I'm not sure I believe but it's possibly absurdly amusing and potentially actually useful?? I personally find this interesting/funny! Maybe other people will, too!'

I'm taking careful notes. Thank you for your grandmotherly kindness.
posted by magdalenstreetladies at 7:43 AM on January 1, 2010 [5 favorites]


I can never get enough useful tips to figure out whatever the hell is happening in this life. Thanks for trying to help me a little more.

Happy New Year!
posted by twoleftfeet at 7:56 AM on January 1, 2010


Jesus, twoleftfeet, you posted three times in this thread deriding the post? And you researched the post further so you'd have more bad things to say about it? Maybe you should just let it be.
posted by OmieWise at 7:59 AM on January 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


That wasn't really derision.

And don't call me Jesus.
posted by twoleftfeet at 8:16 AM on January 1, 2010


Great, and useful, post magdalenstreetladies--thanks!
posted by Turtles all the way down at 8:27 AM on January 1, 2010


Twoleftfeet - let it go, man. What the hell.
posted by kbanas at 8:40 AM on January 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Not to derail this thread (i found GSS charming, for what its worth), but twoleftfeet may have it backwards. Per my highly thorough and scientific research at the Wayback Machine: the GSS site dates back to 2006 or 2007, while the opossum homestead page seems to only go back to 2008 (clear caveats: i didn't search too hard and i'm sure these tips could have come from anywhere), but in this case, it seems that GSS came first.
posted by jindc at 8:56 AM on January 1, 2010 [6 favorites]


I have to admit that a good part of the appeal of the original link was the absurdity of finding this sort of thing on that sort of site (I think I landed on it as a result of a search on 'can I use my cast iron at sea or will it rust no matter what I do to it' or similar). The idea that they lifted the whole thing verbatim from somewhere else (if that's what happened) and then filed it under 'Best Practices' - this only adds to my enjoyment of it.

But I certainly will be more careful before I post next time =).

(and twoleftfeet's comments are also hella funny.)
posted by magdalenstreetladies at 9:04 AM on January 1, 2010


magdalenstreetladies thanks for posting, I enjoyed it. Nice to see another SOTON alumus here.
posted by arcticseal at 9:06 AM on January 1, 2010


jindc we can go back further than that. A little Googling shows the list appearing in How to Repair Food which was last revised in 1998. I suspect list predates that significantly.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 10:01 AM on January 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


oh! CheeseDigestsAll, you rock! That's a John Bear (et al.) book, and totally explains the tone. I'd forgotten about him... Must check out that book. Thanks!!
posted by magdalenstreetladies at 10:05 AM on January 1, 2010


"We believe in completing the sylvan picture in totality" is nice sounding, but I don't think sylvan means what they think it means.
posted by ericost at 10:07 AM on January 1, 2010


ericost - no, that's the point. That's what I love so much about that page. There are a few others like that on the same page, which is amazing given that they don't say very much. The verbal absurdities-to-total-wordcount ratio is not off the scale, but it's high enough to make me grin. Reminds me of an ex... 'Well, from what you're telling me about your engine troubles, I would demise that the problem is the carburetor...'. Sheer joy.
posted by magdalenstreetladies at 10:14 AM on January 1, 2010


Metafilter: Rub it with a sclice of lemon or lime.
posted by longsleeves at 10:19 AM on January 1, 2010


Or sclices!
posted by longsleeves at 10:20 AM on January 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


I agree with magdalenstreetladies that the funny part is imagining a bunch of hard-hat clad oil workers tsk-ing over a smelly cutting board. Also that instead of having a crusty old cook who just knows this stuff, they tried to be all "information age" and "knowledge capture" about it and made a "best practices" file. In case, you know, the cooks get blown up and someone needs to fix a cracked plate in a hurry.
posted by ctmf at 10:21 AM on January 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ships cooks are old school and must be respected. I loved this post. Thanks!
posted by jeanmari at 11:23 AM on January 1, 2010


ooh I know. Cause then you can slice apples on the cutting board and they won't brown.
posted by Babblesort at 12:54 PM on January 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


And don't call me Jesus.

Actually, he was calling you Haysoos.
posted by bwg at 3:49 PM on January 1, 2010


that chef type character laden with food in the about page looks like he needs a shower and a shave, just sayin'
posted by infini at 7:27 PM on January 1, 2010


hmph i was right, no mention of showers or shaves, just flowcharts
posted by infini at 7:30 PM on January 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


magdalenstreetladies is right; the about page is hilarious! It's like Mrs. Malaprop goes to sea.
posted by taz at 10:03 AM on January 3, 2010


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