The first throwback of Galley Week is one of Amanda’s favorite culinary memories… What to do when the officers welcoming you to a remote Norwegian port give you a giant bag of one overstocked ingredients?

Magdalene Fjord, 79° north, is one of the few places in Spitsbergen that cruise ships are allowed to anchor and land people ashore. To keep visitors from trampling the historic whalers’ graves and ensure the polar bears don’t eat any more tourists, as in 1977, two Sysselmannen (governor) representatives are stationed in the area for a few months in summer. We had intended to visit the Sysselmannen, but as we entered the fjord, the cruise ship Saga Rose was in the middle of a shore landing. We knew the Sysselmannen would be busy, so we bided our time with lunch at the fjords glacier wall and waited until the ship’s work crew were in the last stages of disassembling their kitset beach before we anchored off the Sysselmannen’s hut stationed above the beach. 

Assuming that the Sysselmannen had had enough socializing for the day, we planned a brief visit – long enough to say hello, bring a gift of Caribbean jerk seasoning, and offer our services. But instead of gruff and weary patrol personnel, we met Live and Cecilia—captivating city policewomen from Oslo smartly dressed in blue uniforms, lace up boots, and accessorized with an assortment of weapons attached to wide belts. Both girls were bright-eyed and fresh at their posting to one of Norway’s most remote police locations and eager to be of assistance. Live spread a chart on the ground to show us where polar bears had been recently sighted while Cecilia engaged us with humorous anecdotes of her work. 

As we prepared to leave they asked, “Would you like some vegetables?” explaining that not only had they been over-supplied with food, but a cruise ship had insisted they take a 25kg sack of potatoes. “Yes please!” was our immediate reply. As our crew lugged the English Kent spuds to the dinghy they jokingly remarked, “We’re gonna see these tatties in every meal to come!” I inwardly panicked. Maybe I’d bitten off more than I could peel, boil, roast, and disguise.

Onboard, an over abundance of any perishable food item quickly becomes an opportunity for sharing and creativity. We’d survived the accidental provisioning of 25 pineapples on a passage from Tahiti to Hawaii, three entire stalks of bananas ripening on the same day, and the simultaneous landing of two enormous tuna. Even though I was now juggling an enormous sack of hot potatoes, I was determined not to be mashed. Two months later, I’m still steadily plowing through tasty Kent tatties, thankful the fever of consumption has subsided and life is back to normal. 

Enjoy these “Tattie” Themed Recipes:

Norwegian Creamed Potatoes 

Creamed potatoes are usually eaten with cured and smoked fish or smoked meat. Season the potatoes with dill when eaten with fish.

7 large potatoes

1 cup water

1½ tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons flour

4 tablespoons cream

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

3 tablespoons dill

Peel potatoes and dice into cubes the size of sugar lumps. Boil potatoes in water until three quarters done – 12 minutes. Blend butter and flour and add to potato water and potatoes; cook 5 minutes. Stir in cream, and season to taste with salt and pepper; cook 3 minutes. Add dill just before serving.


Norway’s Tortillas – these potato crepes are often served with dried meats or sliced geitost—a sweet brown goats cheese.

2 lb potatoes

1 teaspoon salt

1½ cups flour – approximately

Boil potatoes with skins on. While they are warm, peel and mash them with salt. Knead potatoes with flour. (The less flour used, the better the lompe.) Roll dough into a long sausage and divide into equal pieces. With a rolling pin, roll into round 6 inch flat cakes, approx ⅛ inch thick. Fry in a hot fry griddle or frying pan.

Greek Potato Terrine with Pine Nut and Currant Dressing

As this terrine looks dramatic when sliced it‘s fun to share at potlucks.

6 bell peppers

olive oil as needed

2 potatoes

1½ lbs crumbled feta cheese 

½ cup yogurt

¼ cup olive oil

Preheat oven to 450°. Rub bell peppers with olive oil and roast until their skins have blackened. Remove, cover with a damp cloth and set aside for an hour. Remove pepper skins and cut peppers into quarters. Meanwhile, boil potatoes until tender. Slice potatoes. Blend feta with yogurt and mix in olive oil. Line a terrine with cling film and cover the bottom with half the bell pepper, half the feta mix and potatoes. Layer with remaining feta and bell pepper, seal with cling film, refrigerate 4 hours.


¼ cup red vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

salt and pepper to taste

½ cup olive oil

⅔ cup currants

½ cup pine nuts – toasted

1 clove garlic – crushed

Whisk together vinegar, honey, salt and pepper, slowly incorporate olive oil, whisking all the time. Add currants, pine nuts and garlic. Set aside for an hour to allow flavors to develop. Unmold terrine onto serving plate, serve with dressing. Serves 8

English Blue Cheese, Broccoli, Cauliflower and Potato Soup

3 tablespoons butter

1 onion – chopped

1 clove garlic – minced

¼ cup flour

4 cups milk

1 cup crumbled blue cheese

1 cup grated cheddar cheese

1 teaspoon dried herbs

2 medium potatoes – cubed

2 cups chicken stock

½ cup cauliflower florets

½ cup broccoli florets

splash of white wine

salt and pepper

Melt butter in saucepan add onion and garlic, cook until translucent, about 10 minutes. Add flour and cook a few minutes. Gradually stir in milk. Bring to a simmer and cook stirring frequently for 5 minutes. Add cheese and herbs; continue to stir until cheese melts. Set aside. Meanwhile cook potatoes in stock adding cauliflower and broccoli after 10 minutes. Cook 5 minutes then add to soup.. Reheat soup thoroughly but gently before serving. Add a splash of wine and season with salt and pepper. Serves 6.

 Italian Caponata

The acidity of this dish gives it a long life, and it has been speculated that it originated from seafarers. When I opened the bag of vegetables from Live and Cecilia, I discovered a heap of tomatoes and a fabulous shiny eggplant. 2 eggplants (about 2 lbs) cut into ¾ inch cubes

1/2 tablespoon salt

1 cup olive oil

1 onion – chopped

4 canned anchovies – chopped

3 tomatoes – chopped

2 celery stalks – sliced

1 red pepper – diced

4 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoons minced, plump, sun-dried tomatoes

2 tablespoons capers

2 tablespoons pine nuts

2 tablespoons golden raisins

18 green olives – pitted and halved

2 tablespoons – chopped basil

2 tablespoons – chopped Italian parsley

Toss eggplant in a colander with salt. Let it drain for 30 minutes, rinse and squeeze dry. Heat ⅓ cup oil in skillet, brown eggplant in batches; 8 minutes. Drain on paper towel. Add more oil, and cook onion with anchovies until soft; 10 minutes. Add tomatoes, celery, and red pepper; cook 6 minutes. Add vinegar, sugar, and sun-dried tomatoes; cook 4 minutes. Add capers, pine nuts, raisins, olives then eggplant; cook 5 minutes. Remove from heat, let cool, and toss with basil and parsley.

As always, you can follow Amanda’s adventures at Check throughout the week for some terrific Galley Essentials columns from Amanda’s 16 year run, and be sure to come back on Friday for the final Galley Essentials column in the series.