Pre-Season Provisioning

provisioning_nuts_05 Sorry for the long absence; the beginning of this season was really busy for us!  As I look through my pantry, I realize that my priorities have changed over the years for what items I bring down to the boat from the United States (other than boat parts, of course!).  In our early years, we usually made a special provisioning trip up to Tucson once Legacy was re-launched and the refrigeration up and running.  Then we would bring down a car load of hard-to-find groceries, including frozen meats, cold cuts, and cheeses.

SodaStream flavors travel with us.

SodaStream flavors travel with us.

Now we’ve discovered wonderful places in Mexico such as Henderson Meat in Mazatlan and the “Canadian deli” in La Manzanilla.  We still make a provisioning stop in Tucson on our way back to the boat, but the items we bring are different.  Here’s what was on my list this year:

Chocolate and treats from Trader Joe's are a favorite.

Chocolate and treats from Trader Joe’s are a favorite.

Trader Joe’s:

  • Lots of Pound Plus bars of chocolate, both for eating and for baking
  • Sesame Sticks (a favorite snack item)
  • A couple of bottles of nice olive oil
  • Chicken broth concentrate (see note below)
  • Dried cranberries
  • Slivered almonds
  • Canned pumpkin
  • A few bottles of “Two Buck Chuck” wine

Note:  Trader Joe’s chicken broth concentrate has become a staple on Legacy.  Each box has about ten small packets that contain enough viscous liquid to make one cup of broth.  Even if a recipe doesn’t call for broth, we’ll frequently squeeze in a packet of concentrate to boost the flavor.  It’s also wonderful for making sauces, especially pan sauces.


  • Pistachios and Trail Mix for snacking
  • Walnuts for baking
  • Peanut butter
  • Batteries
  • Ibuprofen and other OTC medicines
  • Scotch-Brite sponges
  • Dawn dish soap
Common grocery items may be hard to find in Mexico.

Common grocery items may be hard to find in Mexico.

Grocery Store:

  • Sliced black olives
  • Diced green chiles
  • Coconut milk
  • Spices
  • Zip-lock bags
  • Shelf-stable pepperoni
  • Grape-Nuts and low-sugar granola (to mix with yogurt for breakfast)

In other words, I concentrate on items that are important to me, but expensive or hard to find in Mexico.  Here are a few things that I didn’t bring that will be on my list for next year:

  • Sriracha (available in Mexico, but good brands are very expensive)
  • Fish sauce
  • Pecorino Romano or other good grating cheese, if I have a way to keep it cool
  • Peppermint lifesavers (good to counter dry mouth from motion sickness remedies)

Remember that everyone’s list will be different.  You are the only person who can decide what is important to you.  Maybe it’s a hometown specialty, or a particular brand of snacks.  Or maybe you just can’t live without your (fill in the blank)…..  Bring what you don’t want to be without, but relax and find new favorites available in your cruising area!

Fair winds and following seas,

Heather, The Cruising Cook

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