AT THE CLOSE OF THE YEAR, HELLO 2016!

AT THE CLOSE OF THE YEAR, HELLO 2016!

On Sofresh Offshore Supply’s Facebook page where we post “Weekend Wisdom” anecdotes and encouraging words each Friday, I’ve chosen to focus the year’s final three Fridays’ posts on people. I think this is fitting, as we reflect on the year that’s ending and look forward to the one ahead, because what we do and why we do it is ultimately about people: our own staff, our cruise ship clients and their guests; our oil and gas, and commercial vessel clients, and their staff and crew.   The post on 18 December, the third last Friday of 2015, was about forgiving others, even people who aren’t sorry for their misdeeds. The real focus of that post was ourselves. That anecdote ended with the words “Holding on to anger only hurts you, not them.” There’s another saying with words that are even more vivid: holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. (And that’s not going to happen, is it?).   The post last Friday – which was also Christmas day – was on remembering the right and good that people do, and not just focussing on their mistakes or wrong-doings. It was a reminder to appreciate and love the people in our lives, because unfortunately it’s all too often that we take for granted or hurt those closest to us, whom we see everyday, and thus mistake to need the least amount (or none at all) of our attention, appreciation, compassion and affection – like our spouses, children, extended family members, old friends, and colleagues: the very same people that deserve our best,...
COME TOGETHER (TIS THE SEASON)

COME TOGETHER (TIS THE SEASON)

Christmas is a time for people to come together. And food is a way for people to come together. So, putting the time and the way together, we have a pretty good explanation why this time of the year is really the season for precious fellowship, joy, laughter, love and very full tummies.   This past fortnight, and this week in particular, has been especially hectic for all of us at Sofresh. It’s to be expected as all our clients’ cruise ships are stocking up to throw huge lead-up celebrations and Christmas parties for their passengers and crew out there on the high seas. We’ve had more loadings than normal even for our peak season, and each loading has also been heavier than usual. In addition to the regular must-have fresh produce, meats and seafood, food and beverage products, and hotel consumables, we’ve had the pleasure to supply lots of fun stuff like Christmas trees, all sorts of beautiful decorations, confetti poppers, and so on. And why not? It’s certainly the season for lots of fun!   Come to think of it, food plays such an important and central role in almost all human social activity. Aside from celebrations and parties, many new friendships are introduced and made over meals. Love blossoms into life-long relationships of marriage and starting families from courtships that with certainty involve romantic dates and nice meals. Lots of deals are negotiated and sealed over meals shared between business counterparts. And wisdom suggests that feelings are soothed, and disputes settled and put to rest while meeting and seeing eye-to-eye again at the dining table. It’s...
THE MIGHTY ROMAINE AND ITS COUSINS

THE MIGHTY ROMAINE AND ITS COUSINS

The one thing all our cruise ship clients want is to get fresh. Produce – fresh produce is what I’m talking about. Alright, that was a stiff try at grabbing some attention. But fresh produce may not strike many as sensational. Then again, I know people who love visiting wet markets, grocers and supermarkets just to look at all the produce available. We supply lots of fresh produce to our clients, and of this an especially huge amount of lettuce: a few different kinds of lettuce, in fact.   That’s actually to be expected. Lettuce is the bedrock in salads because it provides a fresh, crispy-crunchy base while adding good nutrition, texture and a light taste, so that you can still savour the flavours from the other ingredients. You can just imagine how many salads are consumed onboard cruise ships everyday, not to mention all the other dishes that use lettuce either as a main ingredient or garnish. So, what are the different kinds of lettuce that Sofresh commonly supplies?   Romaine lettuce is perhaps the “mightiest” of them all. By volume supplied, it’s certainly up there. And by nutritional content it is king. It contains vitamins K (a whopping 107% Daily Value) and A (45% DV), and folate (32% DV). It also has a good amount of molybdenum (13% DV), an essential trace element crucial for the survival of humans and animals. Severe deficiency in molybdenum results in toxic reactions to sulfites in certain foods, while studies have linked molybdenum deficiency to instances of esophageal cancer in some parts of the world, and an increase in urates people...
BLONDE, WORTH ITS WEIGHT IN GOLD

BLONDE, WORTH ITS WEIGHT IN GOLD

OK – so this one’s not really for vegetarians, or those strongly opposed to the meat industry and some of its lesser practices: the priciest steak in the world has been found! This was newsworthy enough for both CNN and The Telegraph to report on earlier this week. I’m always in for a good steak, so this piece of news sounded pretty exciting to me. If steak – or meat in general – is not your favourite thing, please take this week’s article with a pinch of salt (sea salt preferably, and freshly ground black pepper: my favourite seasoning combo to let the steak speak for itself). In any case, I learnt a couple of things researching this week’s article, and if you’ll bear with me I’d like to share some of what those things are.   On to the star of this week’s piece: the world’s most expensive steaks cost up to US$3,200! And they’re sold by French butcher Alexandre Polmard from a brand of cattle called Blonde d’Aquitaine which the Polmard family rears in northeastern France.   Polmard told CNN, “My family wouldn’t dream of raising animals in sheds where they have no space or room to roam. Here they are in the open air, living in forest and on parkland. There are shelters they can choose to visit in case it rains or snows. It’s really five-star accommodation.” Polmard also said that he talks to the cows everyday to make their lives as comfortable and stress-free as possible. To keep stress levels down, only four cows are slaughtered each week in his abattoir: “All the love...
INTO THE ROOT OF BEAUTY

INTO THE ROOT OF BEAUTY

From any angle it looks like “strange fruit”. It’s actually a vegetable. Still, it looks weird and certainly won’t win any vegetable beauty contest. Frankly, it looks like something the Star Wars props team tried to fashion into an alien character’s head but gave up midway. Recently I heard a random comment from someone that their Christmas wouldn’t be complete without Celery Root Salad, and with Christmas just round the corner I thought it a good time to write about this unfortunate-looking vegetable.   The fortunate thing celery root has going for it is that it tastes a lot better than it looks: it has a mild, celery-like flavour with a starchy-potato-ish texture. So, it manages to retain a kind of crispness of celery taste but without the strong “greenness”, combined with a substantial yet mild creaminess – a bit of a surprise for the taste buds, but a winner for many people who’ve eaten it.   In terms of nutritional content, celery root is an excellent vegetable to eat. It’s particularly high in vitamins K, C and B6, and it also contains pantothenic acid (B5), niacin (B3), riboflavin (B2) and thiamine (B1). In mineral content, phosphorus leads the count, followed by manganese, sodium, potassium, magnesium, iron, calcium and zinc. By weight, it’s nearly 10% carbohydrates and 2% dietary fibre, with water, some protein, sugar and a bit of fat content.   When preparing celery root to be used, it has to be thoroughly cleaned and peeled. Take off all the skin – this means using a peeler aggressively, and further using a knife to cut off any hairy,...