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    Midrats: A Sailor’s Favorite Meal

    Around The Ship

    Photo By Petty Officer 3rd Class Connor Loessin | NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (May 11, 2016) Sailors assigned to Pre-Commissioning Unit Gerald R....... read more read more

    Midrats has been a Naval tradition dating back to 1902, when the Navy decided to make changes to Sailors’ diet by introducing a new meal to the fleet. President Theodore Roosevelt signed the 1902 Navy Ration Act that included a section for additional rations specifically for Sailors who worked the night shift. At that time, enlisted Sailors who had night watches were given an extra allowance of one ounce of coffee or cocoa, two ounces of sugar, four ounces of hard bread, and four ounces of preserved meat between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. Nowadays, Sailors can choose from breakfast items such as eggs, pancakes, bacon, sausage, and French toast; or dinner items like pork chops, ribs, mashed potatoes, green beans, steak, and grilled chicken.
    “It’s like a buffet,” said Culinary Specialist 1st Class Brandon Francis, Ford’s night galley watch captain. “Whatever you’re craving, it’s usually on our menu for that night.”
    Francis says that a team of eight culinary specialists and five food service attendants prep, cook, and serve the nightly meal that starts at 10 p.m. and ends at midnight.
    “We typically cook for more than 350 Sailors and the prepping begins at 7 p.m.,” said Francis.
    Francis and his team cook over 600 slices of bacon, use more than 720 eggs, and go through five boxes of hash browns during a routine midrats meal.
    “Sailors like midrats because they’re going to be up all night working and it gives them a chance to sit down, relax, and refuel,” said Culinary Specialist Seaman Recruit Justin Handsome. “We serve comfort food and I know that they enjoy it. We’re kind of like the heart of the ship and it makes me feel good about my job.”
    Sailors who look forward to the nightly meal do so for many reasons. Whether it’s because of the variety of food that the galley team serves or the time the meal is offered, Sailors look to midrats as the meal that keeps them going through the night.
    “Midrats is a meal that I look forward to,” said Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Amatullah Seymour, who works on Ford’s flight deck during this underway period.
    Seymour said after working long hours on the flight deck midrats offers an opportunity to relax and eat her favorite meal, eggs.
    “Midrats kind of throws you off because it’s a breakfast type-meal, but I see breakfast as an all-day meal. I’m a big egg person so I always have to have a good portion on my plate,” said Seymour.
    Midrats is more than a meal that Sailors eagerly wait for at night, it’s an opportunity for Sailors to reenergize, socialize with friends, and prepare themselves for a long night of watchstanding. Because of a group of dedicated galley Sailors, a simple nighttime meal has evolved into a morale booster for Ford Sailors and for those around the fleet.
    “For us, it’s a great satisfaction to give the crew what they want, which is a hot meal that allows them to keep up the fight,” said Francis.



    Date Taken: 08.07.2017
    Date Posted: 11.13.2017 10:30
    Story ID: 255079
    Location: AT SEA

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