Galley Tips and Recipes Feed

Asking Questions - of Those Who've Sailed Around the World

Last week one of our boating friends stopped by Harpswell asking for directions. This person had made an appointment with someone in the area who was selling some boating gear and our friend couldn't find their home. When I was told that the folks doing the selling had left Maine in 98 and sailed for ten years, going around the world, I decided to show my friend how to get to Bailey's Island and hopped into the front seat. 

Thankfully, the couple selling a few things (things they don't need to cruise Maine) are truly sailing folk and delighted to talk with both of us. I love listening to folks who have lived the dream to remind myself that someday EW and I are going to set sail on our own journey.  

We spoke for less than an hour. Our friend ended up talking with the husband about boat parts while his wife graciously answered any question I could think of. They are going to be around a while and as we get closer to setting our date, EW and I will invite this wonderful couple to visit La Luna. In the meantime, here are a few practical tips from a woman who has sailed around the world. 

Here's what "M" said:

  • After we left Maine I never wore my foul weather gear. In fact, I had purchased new jacket, pants and boots and never wore the pants and boots in ten years.
  • You will want a hard dodger. If you have a fabric dodger, be prepared to repair the stitches as the sun does a number on the thread.
  • You will get used to not wearing shoes. You will take too many shoes. I couldn't give Tevas away in the islands.
  • You will trade clothes for hand made goods.
  • If you want to give things to folks in remote areas, take cheap reading glasses, pads of paper, pens, and "penny" candy. 
  • Kids love balloons. Take lots of balloons.
  • Learn dominoes--every cruiser in the Caribbean plays dominoes. Purchase the game and learn it.
  • Take UNO, of course. You don't have UNO???  It's a great game for all ages. One of my favorite memories is playing UNO with a group of teen boys in the Pacific Islands. You don't have to speak English or know the game to pick it up quickly.
  • We had a lot of book trades. Take paperbacks and trade them. But I'm not sure how the Kindle will make a difference. We traded a lot of books with other sailors.
  • We didn't do much with DVD's until we got to Malaysia and other places where they were cheap. When cruising boats were watching DVD's they didn't interact as much with others.
  • You will need a lot of swimsuits. And sunscreen. Wear a shirt when you snorkel.
  • You don't need a wind generator. You do need solar panels. 
  • Take a few of your favorite cookbooks and get ready to learn new recipes with new foods. Enjoy that.
  • Just go.

Thank you. Thank you very much, "M". You made my week.

Texas Bourbon Pehh-CAN Pie (Or Pecan Pie)

One of the things I learned after moving aboard was how much EW loves it when I cook. I'm not sure how I missed that message during the first 16 years of our married life, but I've got it now.

_Media Card_BlackBerry_pictures_Texas Home Cooking
We started buying a cookbook when we traveled to someplace interesting, (a practice that will get too unwieldy on the world cruise). One of our favorites is
Texas Home Cooking by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison. One of EW's favorite recipes from the book is "Perfect Pecan Pie" a recipe the authors say was influenced by John Thorne.

I make it every year for Thanksgiving. (One year I made two so we would have one to eat. That story can be found here.) 

Here is the recipe:

1 Cup Dark Brown Sugar

2/3 cup Cane Syrup (or 1/3 Cup light corn syrup and 1/3 cup Unsulphured Dark Molasses)  I Find  Cane Syrup in specialty or gourmet stores or on the web.

1/4 Cup Unsalted Butter

3 Tablespoons Bourbon

1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla

1/2 Teaspoon Salt

4 Eggs

2-3 Tablespoons Half-and-Half

2 Generous Cups Pecan Pieces

Unbaked Single Pie Crust

Whole Pecan Halves

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees. In a large, heavy saucepan, melt the brown sugar, syrup, and butter together with the bourbon, vanilla and salt. Continue heating the mixture to the boiling point, stirring frequently. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove the pan from the heat and let the mixture cool.

In a bowl, beat the eggs with the half-and-half until they are light and frothy. (I am so not a chef and don't know why the recipe was vague on amount of half-and-half. I use 3 tablespoons.) Add the mixture to the cooled syrup, beating until the mixture is well incorporated. Stir in the pecan pieces. Pour the filling into the pie shell. Top with a layer of pecan halves. (I make a nice spiral design, totally covering the pie filling with pecan halves. It is one of the few times I focus on "presentation" when cooking. I am so not a chef!)

Bake the pie 45 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Serve the pie warm or at room temperature. The Texas book says that if you store unshelled nuts in a cool, dry place they will keep for a year. Once I thought we would have fun if I purchased pecans in the shells and we shelled them ourselves. EW and Favorite did not have fun. I was forbidden to do that ever again. So much for authenticity. 

When I make this year's pie, I will post photos here. Really.

Living With Less Equals Fixing Not Throwing

Here are two facts for those who Live Aboard:

1. You need to pair down your belongings. 

2. You need to learn to fix not throw

One of the top ten questions people ask when they hear we live aboard is "What did you do with your stuff?" The answer of course is that we got rid of most of it. We had the mother of all house sales. Everything on the first floor and in the yard (except for the dog) was for sale. We had a second sale 6 weeks later trying to get rid of the left overs.  We still ended up with a full 6 X 10 foot storage locker and a lot of framed art.

Two years ago, we hauled the boat for extensive work, cleaned out the shore side storage locker and sold/donated even more. Even now we still have stuff to get rid of. 

The boat rule is if a new (pair of shoes, pan, computer, fill in the blank) comes on board, the old one is taken off. This is actually an easy and freeing way to live. I know that many years from now when we move back on shore I want a small condo with a lot of built ins. When you have a lot of space you fill it up, and I no longer want to fill my space with things that don't matter. 

However -- one can get carried away. During that haul-out/clean-out I insisted that we didn't need two coffee pots to go with our electric coffee maker and got rid of one. The pot is stainless steel so I wasn't worried about shattering the one we kept. This week, the handle broke. Stew wasn't happy that we didn't have the extra pot, but he got to work evaluating the situation, and collecting supplies. The result: a perfectly functioning pot with an epoxied handle. Cool. I look forward to getting rid of the electric coffee maker when we take off. The 12 cup, old-fashioned percolator is waiting for action. In the meantime, we make coffee just like landlubbers, but we fix and keep things like Live-Aboards.