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Food on the Shackleton - 30 January 2008

30 January 2008
7:30 am GMT
Overcast but bright with lively sea

The food on the Shackleton is superb. There is always a selection of nice things to eat at breakfast, lunch, dinner and even snacks in between.

At breakfast there is always a cooked English breakfast option with black pudding (although to some it is not an option), yoghurts, cereals and fruit. At lunch and dinner there is always a selection of about three cooked meals plus salads, cold meats, breads and cheeses etc. There is always a selection of yummy puddings too. It’s very simple – you just go up to the servery with a plate and help yourself to whatever you want. It’s all delicious too! They must be proud of what they do.

The Chefs are very talented and creative. As little food as possible goes to waste (as should be the case). For example, left over roast meats are turned into stews, and left over fajita breads are combined with other dishes to create cheesy type wraps with sweet-corn and peppers.

What strikes me is how modest the chefs are with their work. For example, once when I was making a cup of tea, I saw one of the chefs making something with the hot water. I asked him what it was and he said ‘soup’. I said ‘lovely’ and asked him what kind of soup he was making and he said ‘same old shite soup!’ A humbling moment.

In addition to all the food there are tea, coffee and soft drinks facilities available round the clock. Around this deck, in the lounges and TV room there are also a number of fridges containing goodies like beer, cokes and confectionary etc. My favourite is in the TV room. The fridge there is jam packed full of chocolate. It’s not free - you have to sign out what you take on a ‘tick sheet’, but it’s there (and it’s learnt my name). Three days into the voyage and it has already been completely re-stocked. I’m not saying it’s all my doing but I hope I don’t go through the sea ice when we get to Halley.

Tomorrow I am on ‘Gash’ which means I will be spending a lot of the day washing dishes, cleaning tables and floors, and generally helping to keep the servery, mess room and lounges stocked up and clean and tidy. You never know – with a bit of luck I might learn some cooking skills! Andy Cheatle, the M&E sub-contractor, is down there at the moment. I’ll go down and see how he is doing. I was going to play a prank and take my laundry down to him – but on second thoughts I’d better not.

P.S. The ship is really moving about now and its getting colder!!!.

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