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The Antarctic Book of Cooking and Cleaning

abstract:Anyone who has ventured out of the city to spend time in the wilderness knows that it takes planning, talent and ingenuity to create an appealing meal and that some of our most vivid and satisfying food experiences are heightened during such travel. Now imagine that your voyage has taken you to the polar region of the planet and your makeshift kitchen must somehow sustain the palates of a consortium of hungry volunteer workers who have joined you from seven nations and four continents for the exclusive purpose of an environmental clean-up project. That is exactly the challenge and the feat accomplished as told in The Antarctic Book Of Cooking And Cleaning: A Polar Journey, the story of Carol Divine and Wendy Trusler's "journey through an austral summer" to a small island 120 miles off the Antarctic Peninsula.

Part travel/work log, part cook book, and part homage to historic expeditions of the past, this volume will capture your heart and your stomach as you follow the team from concept to completion (and from strangers to an esprit de corps) in this collaborative effort to return the pristine environment of one of the world's last remaining wilderness destinations. The fact that it occurred 1995-96 marks this as a formative example of the positive trend toward eco-conscious travel.

In the process we see the region's unique appeal through the principal photography of Sandy Nicholson whose images comprise: ice formations, polar landscapes, rich marine wildlife and members of the team engaged in various activities, along of course with Chef Wendy, centre stage, prepping satisfying ethnically diverse food, served in appealing rustic presentations that reflect the culinary tastes of the volunteer brigade from Russia, Canada, Chile, the Ukraine, People's Republic of China, Brazil and Uruguay. To paraphrase Carol and Wendy, "Food might not be the first thing you think of when embarking upon Polar travel - but it should be the second." Check out recipes...


August 12, 2015
— like the rosemary maple borsch with zucchini toasts and white bean confit spread; sea cabbage salad and polo relleno followed by spiced Russian tea with a doughy bread confection of fruit and nuts in a braided ring. Let us not forget Shackleton's Scotch stores or the Navy's daily ration of grog, for expedition and marine tradition dictates that any work party be afforded the opportunity to fortify themselves with, here similarly represented, by an eclectic variety of libations: mulled wine, Pisco sour, Caipirinha. We can be certain rations were accompanied by an appropriate vigorous toast.

The final result is an excellent contribution to the Antarctic canon of reading material. As Carol Devine says philosophically in her afterword,

"In Antarctica, everything is stripped down. You have what you have and even less than that materially. It is only who you are and what you do that counts... Our expedition on King George Island [allowed us] opportunities to see humanity at its best [literally and figuratively] from the bottom, looking up."

Check out their website for more details and blog entries. here.



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