It’s easy to have a successful party (in this case a Saturday brunch) when the guests are funny, warm, and smart sailors. (Well, the guy in the back wearing a red cap is a power boater – but we’re not a prejudiced group.) EW and I invited the captains, first mates and guests from the vessels Amandla, Crow’s Nest, Mairead, and Zephia. In the ebb and flow that is cruising life we had met Crow’s Nest in Nassau and they introduced us to Zephia. We met Amandla in Black Point and they introduced us to Mairead. today we brought them all together to consume two frittatas, toasted home-made bread, fruit salad, and mimosas. Our guests brought southern sausage gravy (Crow’s Nest) on home made biscuits (Zephia) , and a coconut tart for dessert (Mairead). Amandla contributed fresh grown basil for the frittatas. (I have to start an herb garden.)
We ate very well and we talked, laughed and shared stories and cruising information. We’re from Massachusetts, England, New York City via Italy, Colorado (or Wyoming, depending on who you ask), Connecticut, and Maine. There is a 20 year age difference from oldest to youngest, our careers are diverse and each story unique. The photo shows a rare moment as all listened to EW describe one of our favorite Maine ports, but most of the time the boat was abuzz many conversations at once. It was a lovely day. (Or brilliant, as they say in England.)
Meeting new people is my favorite part of this cruising life. It’s fascinating to observe the ebb and flow of the cruising community. We’ll make new friends and head off in different directions, or in the same direction on a different timeline, and then be delighted when they sail in to anchor near us; or we might run into them on shore here in Georgetown or at one of the many cruising events. We’ve often met new cruising friends and quickly discovered that they knew folks we had met just a few days ago. As we found while living aboard in Maine, the boating lifestyle allows you to make friends quickly and introduces you to folks who are generous with their smiles, knowledge and spare parts.
Back in Maine, we were frequently given boat cards presented by more experienced cruisers. We collect them and keep them in a safe place because if you’ve forgotten the name of their boat, there is no way to reach your friends on the radio. We finally created cards to hand out so our friends can contact and refer us and invite us for things such as yoga on the beach and drinks on their boat, or call us for assistance.
Meeting and getting to know these other travelers is wonderful, saying good-by is not. All of the folks we’ve played with these last weeks will head back to the states when the season is over, while we’ll head south to the Caribbean. Since leaving Maine in October our lives have been one long good-by. There are couples we would like to spend more time with, but it’s just not possible. Some we may never see again. All have enriched our lives and all have taught me something about this lifestyle. I’m very grateful.
Two of my favorite cookbooks are Cruising Cuisine, Fresh Food From the Galley by Kay Pastorius and the Little Italy Cookbook by David Ruggerio, so the main course for breakfast came from those two books: Kay’s No Knead Yeast Bread and David’s Frittata Contadina. Here are the recipes:
No-Knead Yeast Bread
1 envelope (1 1/2 tablespoons) yeast
2 cups tepid water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 cups unbleached white flour
Proof the yeast in a small amount of the water with a pinch of sugar. When it begins to foam, combine it in a blow with the remaining water, sugar, and salt. Stir in the flour. The mixture will be runny.
Cover the bowl and allow the dough to rise in a warm place until it’s doubled in size. Punch it down and allow to rise again. Shape into tow loaves and allow to rise once again. (This process takes three or four hours.)
Bake at 350 F until done – about 45 minutes.
NOTE: You can turn one or both of these loaves into great thick crust pizza dough by kneading in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil after the first or second rise. Simple spread it into a pizza pan or cookie sheet, top, and bake.
Frittata Contadina a Farm-Style Omelet
Serves 4 (usually with some left over)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1/4 pound mozzarella cheese, finely shredded
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
salt to taste
Heat the olive oil in a skillet. (I use my iron one) over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent about 3 minutes. While the onion is cooking, place the eggs in a bowl and beat with a fork. Add the salt and mix in the cheese and basil. Pour the mixture onto the onions in the pan.
Cook for about 1 minute then place in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes or until firm in the center. Carefully flip onto a plate and serve. Leftovers may be stored for a couple of days in the fridge.
NOTE: Since we served 11 folks aboard La Luna, I tripled the recipe (except for the oil) then cooked the ingredients in two pans. Both frittatas came out great.