Great boat snacks

Snacks for a day spent on the water don’t have to be boring. Jimmy Kennedy shares seven delicious and simple recipes to take on the boat.

Cheese platter bento box

As with our use of a small boat paddle as a cheese board, we’ve decided to use other fishing items as part of the food-service plan. When organizing tackle in storage trays, I couldn’t help but think how they would make for a fun and creative way to store and present a charcuterie tray or cheese board. It’s as easy as can be and leaves a lot up to your own imagination and taste. This is also another great snack to get the kids involved with, so much so that you may end up needing a couple of storage trays. I recommend buying new trays, such as the Flambeau Tuff Tainer 5005 Divided or Plano 3600, and not using the extra dividers. Give it a good washing and let it dry — then the fun begins. Simply load it up with your favorite cheeses, crackers, fruits, veggies, pickled items, dips, condiments or whatever. You can lay a sheet of plastic wrap over the top and close and lock the lid, then place it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to hit the road. Just place it on top of your other packed cooler items and it’s ready when you are. This is one of those treats that’s fun to surprise your friends with.

Pimento and cheese with vegetables

Pimento cheese or pimento and cheese, no matter how you say it, makes for the best sandwich, spread or dip that has ever been created. It’s often been called “the peanut butter of the South,” and while I agree with that assessment, it’s so much more. I have strong and fond memories of traveling home to Mississippi from my Northern travels, thinking about a pimento and cheese sandwich on white bread, a plate of fried chicken and a big glass of sweet tea.

As a boat snack, make a batch of pimento cheese at home and refrigerate it in a bowl with a tight-fitting or locking lid. Cut your favorite vegetables, fruits, crackers or bread and store them in a separate container or bag. Pack this in your cooler with a little ice or a freezer block and enjoy a great picnic, and if you’re from the South, reminisce.

The recipe is so simple, it really shouldn’t be this good, but it is. Use quality sharp cheddar, like Cabot Creamery Seriously Sharp, and keep a bowl in the refrigerator.

Thermos dogs

Hot dogs might be considered more of a lunch or dinner than a snack, but I like to cut these in half or even thirds and stick a toothpick in the top to give them the appearance of little treats. You can make these anywhere you can boil water, but I like to make them at home for day trips. This is another recipe that’s easy as pie and fun. Just boil water and place as many hot dogs as you’ll need — plus a couple more — in a thermos. Pour the boiling water over the dogs and close the lid. The hot dogs will be nice and hot when you’re ready for lunch or a snack. I like to place the buns in a resealable plastic bag and store them somewhere they won’t get squished. You can pack condiments in small containers with lids or just grab a couple of packets at the local convenience store or save them from restaurants. When you’re ready for fine dining, get the buns ready and then open the thermos and either use tongs to remove the dogs you want or just carefully pour the hot water out. Dress the hot dogs with your favorite condiments and cut them into snack-size pieces or just enjoy them as is.

Watermelon bobbers

Sticking to the boat and fishing theme, these little watermelon balls give the kids a chance to get involved in the snack making at home and on the boat or at camp. If you don’t have a melon baller, do yourself a favor and get one. They’re sold at most grocery stores and can easily be found online. To get started, cut a seedless watermelon in half and start making watermelon balls with the melon baller. Place them in a container with a lid and refrigerate them until you’re ready to pack them in the cooler. The rest of the work comes at snack time. When you’re ready for the bobbers, take them out of the cooler and cut small pieces of a paper straw into around 1/2-inch to 1-inch pieces, depending on the size of the melon balls. Carefully stick one end of the straw into the melon ball while twisting it until a small piece is left sticking out, somewhat resembling a fishing bobber.

Granola bites

I originally made this recipe for a hiking treat, but they are so good and easy that I’ve started making them as snacks for hunting, fishing, boating and just to have around the house. I like to bake them in a mini-muffin tin, but you can make them any size or shape you wish.

Peanut butter and jelly crackers

Of all the boat snacks, this one is definitely the easiest. Just pack a sleeve or two of Ritz crackers where they will not get broken. Pack a jar of your favorite peanut butter and jelly or jam and a butter knife or some type of spreader. When it’s snack time, just make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, but use the Ritz crackers for the bread. On the other hand, you can make these at home and pack them in a container that will keep them safe, fresh and in one piece, then break them out when you’re ready for an easy and really tasty treat. This is Justin’s favorite, by the way.

Dessert fruit crepes

These are a huge hit with the kids, and not just because we top them with whipped cream. The crepes take a little work to make but are well worth the effort. Plus, once you get the hang out of it, it’s fun and you can make a bunch at once. I recommend making the crepes at home and storing them for travel with a small sheet of parchment paper or paper towel between each one. Strawberries and Nutella are hard to beat, but use whatever you and your family like and enjoy.