Pre-heat the Oven

Posted in: Featured on Saturday, May 23rd, 2015

These are no longer depressing words to find at the start of delicious recipes!

If all goes to plan I will soon have my very own oven. I understand if you don’t jump for joy but excuse me while I do.

For the last three years aboard Tygress we’ve had only a two burner Lido Junior gas stove and grill to play with, I mean slave over, in the galley. And as you know we’ve managed quite well but it has been limiting. We packed probably more recipe books than we needed when we first moved aboard without realising just how many of them relied on having an oven. There have been many occasions when Ben and I have felt the urge to shake up our menu options and try masterchefing something new. We’d fish out the recipe books full of enthusiasm, it didn’t help we’d usually be doing this hungry, and we’d come across deliciously tempting recipes only to read further and find the dreaded phrase ‘pre-heat the oven’. After a while of pre-heating a magical oven we didn’t have books were slammed shut and stuffed back in the cupboard. “Steak and mash” Ben would ask? “Yep, you do the steak, I’ll do the mash”. No one ever gets sick of my amazing mashed potatoes, cream, butter, cheese and when i’m getting a little bit fancy, whipped with an electric beater into fluffy clouds of deliciousness…okay so maybe my waistline gets a little sick of them! But seriously folks they’re great.

Now, with the very exciting prospect of having my own oven again I’ve have fun compiling a top five list of the things i’m going to cook in it.

1. Lasagne 

Who doesn’t love a home cooked lasagne. I’ve only made one once before and yes it is a lot of work and mess, but when you slice down through that golden cheesy, crusty top layer to find the delicious mince and bechamel filling all the mess and effort seem like nothing. Served with a crisp salad, or a side of more lasagne it’s one of my favourite meals.


2. Bread

Why bother when I can walk up the road and buy a loaf? Well because I won’t always be able to walk up the road to buy a loaf and there is something deeply satisfying about the smell of bread baking. Homemade bread is an event for the senses unlike the thin white aerated impostor on the shop shelves. Home made bread gets sliced thick while still warm with butter melting dreamily into it. It gets eaten on it’s own because it doesn’t need anything else.  And I know I can work some cheese into the recipe, ooo and maybe some bacon on top! Cheesy bacon bread anyone?


3. Chips

Handmade, homemade, individually hand cut and all the frozen types too, basically any type of chip you can put in an oven will be going into mine (except maybe those hipster zucchini or kale chips, way to ruin chips guys!). Mmmm I can smell them cooking now.  There’ll be chicken salt, onion and garlic salt and regular salt. There’ll be aioli and tomato sauce. There’ll be me suffering from indigestion after eating too many chips. Totally worth it!


 4. Roast Lamb, beef and chicken

Ben loves to cook a good roast and the only way he’s been able to do that on board is in our little magma bbq in the cockpit. It gets the job done but it’s difficult to judge temperature and cooking times and just a pain to find roasts and trays the right size. So one of our first dinners aboard our new home will no doubt be a roast of some kind. What a luxury to be able to take it out the oven and put it on the bench, without having to worry about getting it out the bbq or losing it over the side in the process. Or having to navigate the companionway with a hot roast and no hands.

Roast Lamb image

5. Baked goodies of every kind

I was never a huge baker before boat life but more and more over the years i’ve really missed being able bake a cake, or some biscuits or some quadruple choc muffins.


If you’re lucky enough to have an oven, what is your favourite thing to cook in it? Do you have any oven based recipes you’d like to share?


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