You all know the story of the castaways on Gilligan’s Island: Stranded for years on that tiny island, fighting for survival, like Robinsoncarruuso, as primitive as can beeeee….

Like all red-blooded American boys, I spent a lot of time in the late 1960’s debating on Mary Ann versus Ginger  and wondering exactly how Mr. and Mrs. Howell got all those trunks aboard that little boat.

I don’t remember when I first started to think about what they ate on Gilligan’s Island, but as I remember, the only thing I ever saw them cook was Mary Ann’scoconut cream pie.

This started me to thinking: If I knew I had to pare my kitchen tools down to “Desert Island Survival Basics”, what would I take? What are the essential gadgets and gizmos that no cook can do without?

So without further ado, let’s load up the galley and set sail with:

A 10-inch Chef’s knife- Ideal for chopping vegetables, chopping coconuts and scaring away errant head hunters.
A 3- or 4-inch paring knife- For the rest of the kitchen chores

With all these knives, we’re going to need a good cutting board. I’ll forgo the beauty of wood for the practicality of plastic on the harsh island environment. Besides, when the Professor gets that dishwasher powered by Gilligan on the bicycle put together, it can go right in with no trouble.

Next on the order of business, we’re going to need a few pots and pans. A good basic collection would be 1-, 2-, 3-, and 4-quart sauce pans with lids. Since this is a desert island, we could do without the 3-quart if we HAD to, but I use mine a lot. If  Mrs. Howell can have all those outfits, I can have my 3-quart pot.

In a perfect world, we’d want 8-, 10- and 12-inch non-stick skillets, but if I have to sacrifice, let’s go for the 12, a good, thick restaurant grade with slopping sides so I can saute some crawfish and impress Mary Ann with a little etouffee.  In case there’s any wild chickens on the island, add a 14-inch cast iron skillet for frying them up.

Since Mr. Howell is on a low-fat diet, we’d better add in an 8 quart Dutch oven with lid so we can roast his wild chicken and also have it for soups and stews. The cast iron will last through many seasons of re-runs and can go directly into the fire.

For baking, a good jelly roll pan equiped with a SilPat mat and 2 or 3 9-inch cake pans are in order. Ideally, if you’re a serious baker, you’ll want 3 8-,9-, and 10-inch ones, but we’re talking survival here. Add in sone glass pie plates for those delicious coconut creme pies, and we’re all set. As for rolling out those crusts, I like the French style rolling pin, which doesn’t have handles. It’s just a big ol’ whanging stick, useful for rolling out dough, pick-up baseball games, and whacking Gilligan upside the head when he drops a load of firewood  on the Professor’s radio transmitter when the rescue plane is flying overhead.

Not much galley space left, and we haven’t covered the most fun an important things; gadgets and gizmos. Let’s throw into the ol’ sea bag an oval whisk, spoon-spatula, SwingAway brand can opener, and an OXO vegetable peeler for all those mangos. A good digital readout chef’s thermometer is essential, as well as a good set of crab and lobster crackers for all that seafood we’ll be eating, and we’re good to go.
Since man cannot live by coconut creme pie alone, click on the link below for a recipe for Florida coconut shrimp.

Coconut Shrimp

1 Comment so far »

  1. yemek said

    August 17 2012 @ 5:37 pm

    You can expect to have inspired our guild to attempt to start

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