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by Ron Thweatt - Hermitage Tennessee - USA


Little boat: Big Yummie!

Ever noticed when visiting boat shows most visitors go below first and then say “Look! Great stove - we could cook some good stuff in here.” Then they buy the boat and never light the stove.

I am still puzzled when I hear questions like, “How many does she sleep? How big is the head? And is there a “Kitchen”? Who cares? No one ever sleeps, eats or does the other thing on most of these boats. They just pay for them and look at them sitting in their slips.

Now I am not a person who dislikes big boats, but give me a break. Don’t look down on the rest of us when our bottoms attached to our legs take up just as much room on a 7 foot rowing boat as it does on a 68 foot “Yacht”.

As I bored you with in the past, I have had lots of boats, both big and small, but the one thing they all had in common is I was able to cook a great meal on each. I think the Swing stove is a great piece of equipment that can be made to fit on any size boat and the Origio non-pressurized stove with its no slide rail is great, but the piece of equipment I love the best for cooking is the Heat Pal.

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I love the Idea of baking on our boats ever since reading the Pardeys’ book of their first trip around the world

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My Wife, the queen, and I were docked at a local marina spending the evening making a great one pot Chicken and French cut green bean dish and baking fresh bread. Yep, BAKING,, when a young couple walked by and stopped. After saying, “Cute boat,” the question was asked, “Do you smell Fresh Bread Being baked?” Yep, it is coming from our stove. “Sure,” and they walked on. Please Note: They had a new 28 foot ODay with all the trimmings and only used it one time that I know of. It was their first and last boat, I think.

As we camped and then traveled, we always took the Heat Pal with us and when one of our boats sank, all we had to do was to dry it out and put some new alcohol in it and it worked great.

I was always wanting to improve the baking process: One, because I love the Idea of baking on our boats ever since reading the Pardeys’ book of their first trip around the world and baking their own bread and two, because I love the smell and three, Because I CAN!

Here is how to make a oven that will work on any size boat, soon to be tested while Kayaking in my 9 foot Heritage.

First, get a Heat Pal made by ORIGO. West Marine and other marine dealers sell them. I like these most because it makes four things. One, a heater, great for warming the cabin, tent, or house when a twister removes all the electric poles in the city; two, it makes a great place to dry your socks after getting your feet wet; three, when you invert the dome top or remove it, a tea kettle will set nicely and when you are ready for a great cup of tea or Instant coffee {although we always use a pour through filter holder} or making a pot of stew. I have taken 30 degree heels and never had a pot fall out {Just remember to allow to leave 30 degree space in the pot}; and last but not least, I took a porcelain bean pot (we call them “slop jars” here in the south. If you don’t know why, ask someone over 60 who has lived in the south.

A porcelain bean pot (we call them “slop jars” here in the south. If you don’t know why, ask someone over 60 who has lived in the south.

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I bought mine at the Dollar General Store. Goodwill is a good resource or raid your grandmother’s closet - just don’t get the one she keeps under her bed! Hint! Hint!

After getting one, drill about 10 - 1/8 inch holes in the bottom. Then get some big wooden balls or knobs and add them to the handles of the pot and one to the top of the lid.

Now you have an oven. You will also need something to raise the cake pan up from the bottom of the stove, so get a smaller pie pan or anything that will not melt to allow the heat to move around the cake. Install the top and use a little piece of line {Rope} to keep the top on and wait about 30 minitues,DON’T TAKE THE TOP OFF TO PEEK IN!!!!!!!!!! Then remove the top and use a pair of vice grips to pull the cake pan out and flip the cake over onto a plate.

There you go… Note on high the Heat Pal will bring the stove to 350 degrees in about 10 min and the sides will never get hot.

We have also used a new clay flower pot to bake bread just use as you would a cake pan. Don’t forget to plug the bottom with a large glass marble or anything that will not kill you from being in contact with your bread.

We have included a recipe for a Pineapple Upside Down Cake:

Pineapple Upside Down Cake – Baked on a Boat

  • Jiffy Golden Yellow Cake Mix or ½ recipe of any yellow cake mix
  • Pineapple Rings
  • Marischino Cherries
  • ½ stick of butter, melted in pan
  • ½ cup brown sugar

Melt the butter in an 8” round cake pan and sprinkle brown sugar over it to cover the bottom. Place pineapple rings on top of the butter/brown sugar layer. Place a maraschino cherry in the center of each pineapple ring. Mix the golden yellow cake mix according to package directions and pour into the pan. Bring the heat inside the “oven” on the Heat Pal to approximately 400 degrees. Bake for about 30 – 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Turn out onto a plate and serve warm.

You can bake any type of cake or cornbread or pie or pizza, etc., in this oven.

We have also had great success using an omelette pan - the kind with a hinge. Just make up the cake or whatever - use over any small stove, flip it over and cook on the other side. Then, dump out and eat.

Pass the Gift along… Bake a Cake while hanging out on your dinghy or any small boat and take it to a person you don’t know who has a big boat and give them a boat warming gift. That will blow their mind and you could make friends with some one with a big boat, and even better, they will make a new friend with a great dinghy with a stove.

Any Questions E mail me if you give me yours I will respond. And No there is no cookbook in the future or any Boat Cooking Show!
On Second Thought...

To Recap:

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Step One: Heat Pal

Step Two: Show Alcohol Resevoir...

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... Filed with Denatured Alcohol

Step Three: Recipe Ingredients

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Step Four: Mixed

Step Five: In the Stove. Put top on and wait 30 minutes

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Step Six: cake out of oven Get Ready to Enjoy. Use Vise Grips to take out of Oven it will be HOT!

Step Seven: Enjoy Life

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It will also hold a Tea Kettle - just invert the Cover, or invert the cover and keep the Cabin or under the Feet Warm While Doing What you Do.

Any Additional Questions E mail me with your address and I will Try to answer.

Capt Ron - Living High and Dry while shouting 'LET THEM EAT CAKE' from the bow.

We are now anchored off the coast of Pa Pa Island next to Nana Island in the Chain Linkas.

P.S. Drinking Rum while eating could cause Sleepiness. IT can also make u pell rong and see Trouble I mean Double!

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