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 Author  Topic: PT Boat Cooking
whitakermk

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message   Posted on: May 26, 2009 - 12:29pm
Hello, My name is Kent Whitaker and I am working on a piece about cooking in the military, military food stories, best worst etc. I would like to include some info about PT Boat cooking and was hoping I could get a contact from this site. But, if you read this and have a funny food story then feel free to contact me as well. Any service branch any era.

thedeckchef@hotmail.com

On a site note. This is one of the best sites I have ever been on. I have always enjoyed movies, stories and books about PT boats and my son and I have dreamed for years about building a clone boat to look like Mchales Navy. It would be a blast to try it.

Thanks for any info - Kent Whitaker

I am a proud Army Strong Dad who has a deep appreciation for all who serve and have served our country.

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Jeff D

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Jeff D   Send Email To Jeff D Posted on: May 26, 2009 - 1:44pm
Welcome aboard Kent, you came to the right place. A member here was a cook on the 108, Earl Richmond. His Spam Surprise recipe is delicious.

Have you seen this?:
THE COOK BOOK OF THE UNITED STATES NAVY
BUREAU OF SUPPLIES AND ACCOUNTS
NAVSANDA PUBLICATION No. 7
[REVISED 1944]

http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/ref/CookBook/index.html


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earl

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of earl  Posted on: May 26, 2009 - 3:01pm
hello kent i am earl one of the 108 boat cooks. if you go back thru the messages you will many of my.and others, post regarding pt boat cooking and recipes.it will take a while but along the way you will also find a lot of good info about the boats.
if there is anything specific you ight want feel free to contact me at pt108earl@aol.com i am starting to get along agewise but still remember some things.since there have beren many posts on this board about cooking i don,t feel i should repeat and tie up the board so if you want you can contact me,. if there ism anything new to reoport about this subjeect we can post it here so others can read it. thanks for asking. earl

earl richmond

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whitakermk

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message   Posted on: May 27, 2009 - 5:17am
Hey Jeff, Hey Earl. Thanks for the reply. I got a few emails last night from some people that I think saw this post. Jeff, I did get a copy of the book. Both the NAVY Historian and Coast Guard Historian sent me some info.

Earl, thanks much. I did look through the boards yesterday. I will look harder today and I will shoot you an email as well.

Thanks guys, have a wonderful day.

I am a proud Army Strong Dad who has a deep appreciation for all who serve and have served our country.

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  Glenn Anderson

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Glenn Anderson  Posted on: May 28, 2009 - 4:09am
How about some AVR cooking? The folowing is an excerpt from my time on a 63' AVR with the Kearny Sea Scouts on my first cruise as the cook.



First cruise Day 1

So now I finally get to cruise! Saturday, August 11th 1973 would be our departure date. To the displeasure of the Captain and crew the 2 weeks before our intended cruise date my family and I were on a Pocono vacation. After a day early Friday afternoon departure from Tannersville Pa, and much to the disappointment of a summer romance and her family, I arrived back in town, quickly packed and headed to the base.

Expecting comments and glares, I got them! Wanting to jump right back into the fray, I got all last minute dirty jobs, back in the bilges, cleaning the head and oh by the way I was volunteered to be the ships cook. The menu had been planned, a shopping list created, and off to the Shop-Rite. So how hard could this be? Ive always accompanied Mom shopping growing up, was aware of bargains, generic brands, and family packs. After a grueling two hour shopping spree as this was our first ever cruise and had to buy everything from dish soap to pepper, pulled in at 2300 back to the boat.

Everyone was still working on last minute details, adjustments and painting, I commenced to stock the galley and stow the groceries. Shortly after midnight we all geared down and would pick up at 0700 Saturday morning. I walked home for a shower and a few hours sleep in my own bed. After a hearty breakfast headed back to the base where I was promptly sent to the Arlington Diner for a breakfast run for the crew.

An anticipated ETD (estimated time of departure) of 1200 we finalized all preparations
for getting underway. Last minute engine adjustments and some trouble shooting on the boats generator, had difficulty starting sometimes. Sent on last minute errands for dry ice, block ice and items that were forgotten last night like toilet paper and cooking oil.
I
A few delays and we were finally off on our first ever overnight cruise. The long and tedious navigation thru all the bridges on the Passaic River gave me a chance to settle in and rethink the galley and menu, I wondered if Id get seasick. Too late now, cruising south on Newark Bay past Roosevelt marina and around Bayonne thru the Kill Van Kull I got my first waterborne glimpse of New York City and rough water from ferry and tugboat wakes.

Our destination would be a favorite anchorage just below Haverstraw New York on the Hudson River across Croton at Hook Mountain State Park. Just upriver of the flashing white 6 second, rip rapped platform tower. Not entirely sure if it was numbered or if it even was a channel marker as it was well outside the normal navigational aids.

Arriving shortly before dusk and setting the anchor the generator was started and I commenced with the evening meal. Fried chicken was my first and Ill never forget to this day! We didnt have our stove/oven combo yet so it was electric skillets and an alcohol two burner stove. Canned potatoes and corn completed the meal with a salad, iced tea, and coffee.

The alcohol stove sat on a short cabinet under the dish and cup rack just inboard of an opening in the counter where the oven would go later. Frying the shake and bake coated chicken in two electric skillets started out well with the first batch served to the senior officers and crew, As the first shift ate I started the next batch of chicken for the last shift.

With all the skillets and alcohol throwing off heat I turned on out ventilation system that exhausted heated chicken smoke and supplied fresh air. The second batch of chicken for some reason wasnt cooking the oil was not coming up to temperature. The skillet indicator lights were on and felt warm but not hot, the genset was cranking and the lights were normal but still the chicken wasnt frying. As Skip got up from the mess table he walked over to the supply fan switch and turned it off, the skillets came up to temperature! The supply air blew directly down onto the countertop where the skillets were plugged in. The last batch was extremely greasy when finally done and it was my turn to eat with the crew. For some reason they didnt want seconds.

Clean up from dinner with assigned mess cooks took hours. To conserve fresh water dishes and appliances were washed in soapy river water and rinsed in fresh. We only carried two 60 gallon water tanks that were fed via a manual switched water pump. Dishes done, table cleared and deck swept the genset was shutdown. To maintain refrigeration I put in some dry ice next to the milk.

Lounging about the decks it was time to turn in, the anchor watch was set. With three first timers the watches were doubled for on the deck training. Two hour watches from 2300 to 0700 were stood without incident.

Day 2

Zero seven hundred, Reveille, reveille, now up all hands, Reveille. Sunday morning breakfast; cereal, toast, coffee and orange juice, start the genset nothing, rolls over but will not start. Skip and crew attempt repair with negative results. Ok we can still have cereal and orange juice. Set the table, wait a minute only one bowl and three spoons? Who stocked this galley? Broke out the cereal boxes, then orange juice, finally the milk - frozen solid! Never put dry ice next to any liquid, lesson learned the hard way. Brought the two blocks of ice milk on deck to let the sun melt them, two hours later!

Thank you all for your service!


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Jeff D

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Jeff D   Send Email To Jeff D Posted on: May 28, 2009 - 5:13am
Here's one sent to me from Master Chief Jack Duncan, retired, who served as torpedoman on PT 103 from 1943 to 1944. Jack also served on PT 62 and PT 318 as well as the PTFs of the 'Nam era:

MESS KIT SPECIAL
*************************************************************

This is a tale from an island far, far away at a time long, long ago.

Specifically, Stirling Island in what is now the nation of the Solomon Islands. Food was very, very scarce and monotonous as our little, green "plywood" warships, actually just overgrown speedboats, tied up to the trees in one of several inlet arms. We could rest there, rearm and refuel before going out to beard the Imperial Japanese Navy and Army in their own lairs. The trees provided cover from the constant air raids with Jap planes hoping to smash our puny onslaught against them.

We were all in danger of contracting scurvy with the shortage of nourishing, fresh food, so the cooks on our boat, a guy named Larson, a Ships Cook First Class, decided to build us a stew. France, Ships Cook Third Class, who was his helper, were really not doing much as "belly-robbers" or "stew burners" otherwise. They were included in the crew mostly to man the guns. The PT Base, was it 9 (?), was supposed to feed us after we had trekked through the jungle and after we had dipped our mess kits in a boiling, 55-gallon drum of disinfectant.

Now, the PT-103 for some odd Bureau of Ships reason had in its equipage a couple of .22 rifles down in the armory just behind the wardroom. And flocks of white parrots or perhaps cockatoos lived in the trees we were hiding under. "Parrot stew" it would be, so a couple of us began "harvesting" the birds. They would land and they would die.

Finally, we had collected enough so that with some withered vegetables begged from a nearby seaplane tender, we kids could feast right there on the boat. We had to be very careful to avoid the tiny bones. The beautiful birds filled our empty bellies and we enjoyed a respite from "corned willy," "meat and vegetable stew ration" and whatever that was in cans labeled as "Vienna sausage."

Later, our diet became largely coconut as those three entrees became unbearable. Ripe coconut like you can buy in a supermarket. Green coconut with a Jello-like substance and overripe coconuts containing a palm tree bud that became our "salad."

Little did we know that shark was delicious and even octopus tastes great. The "word" was out that most of the tropical oceans denizens were poisonous!

For some still-unfathomable reason the Navy always provided canned grapefruit juice for us to be forced to drink, also to prevent scurvy. A canteen cup of that was used to wash down the daily Atabrine tablet that was supposed to prevent malaria. If the Supply "wienies" managed to get that vile stuff to us, we called it battery acid, why didnt we get better or at least a larger variety of food?

The point? To this day, no grapefruit and no coconut. Now, I havent tried parrot stew of late . . . . . . . ,


Other stories by Jack can be found here:
http://www.pt103.com/PT_Boat_Veteran_Stories.html



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whitakermk

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message   Posted on: May 28, 2009 - 10:00am
Jeff - Glen - Can you guys give me permission to use these in my piece? Just reply here or shoot me an email at thedeckchef@hotmail.com

The stories were great - Thanks - Kent

I am a proud Army Strong Dad who has a deep appreciation for all who serve and have served our country.

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  comcardiv1

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message   Posted on: May 28, 2009 - 10:01am
Jeff, that's too funny--I'm laughing my butt off as I read this.


Can you ask Jack what exactly was corned willie?

Thanx,
Gene K.


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BobPic

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message   Posted on: May 28, 2009 - 11:51am
One story reminds me of another. We had befriended a local couple of brothers (about 9 yrs and 6 yrs). We had trouble communicating with them (New Guinea natives were forbidden to enter our harbor for what that's worth)) These kids had never seen ice or even felt anything that cold. We had a rare treat of ice from somewhere and gave the kids some. They giggled and screamed, put it in their mouth and stepped on it. The older one wanted to take some home to his mother. He wrapped up a couple of cubes in his shirt and headed home in 95 degree heat, he indicated he lived about an hour away. We saw him a couple times after that and he said he got home with nothing but a wet shirt. Simple things we took for granted were miracles to those poor kids. I wish we had had ice cream!


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Jeff D

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Jeff D   Send Email To Jeff D Posted on: May 28, 2009 - 1:12pm
Funny Bob, it must have been amazing stuff to those kids! Not as amazing as ice cream would have been though...

It's one of my favorite stories of Jacks too Gene, here's what he replied:

What we referred to as corned willy would today be labeled as mystery meat. It came in a can from Australia. Most said it was horse, but knowing the Aussies, it might have been 'roo.

I found the bit about coconuts interesting, I have a tree in the yard. I'll have to try an unripe one.

Kent, what kind of piece are you doing? Published book, internet, etc.?



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