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Amanda brings you Galley Essentials gally essentials galley essentials


galley jan 2013

galley essentials

Having known Karyn for several years it was a delight to recently be invited aboard Realtime her Norseman 447, for a wonderful roast dinner when we recently shared a marina together in Tahiti. We'd first met at our seminar at Strictly Sail Pacific and in 2010 Karyn and her husband Bob sailed with us aboard Mahina Tiare in the South Pacific before they then headed out from Long Beach bound for New Zealand. Karyn didn't start sailing until 2009 but had always been attracted to water and traveling and as a young women she'd raced unlimited outboards on both runabouts and hydroplanes. Now in late 60's Karyn was thoroughly enjoying the cruising life having always dreamed of travelling by boat to foreign destinations. You can follow her adventures

My galley aboard Realtime is located on port side and is 'U" shaped with refrigerator/freezer on the left, stove (outboard) in the middle and double sinks on the right that offer a view of the main salon. My galley priorities are to be clean, organized, maintain clear counters and be relatively energy efficient. To save power I try to limit the amount of times I open and close my refrigerator and freezer. I organize plastic bins in the refrigerator to make food prep easier; sandwich makings, salad items, condiments dairy, and meats in another.

Galley must have items are a silicon collapsible bowl and colander, along with non-skid cut into sizes to fit into locker and cupboard shelves. We recently added new frying pans and cookie sheet (non- stick) and I'd like to get a non-electric yoghurt maker like the Yogotherm. We carry adequate staples for about three months including plenty of plastic bags and heavy duty aluminum foil and I try to study where we're going and what is available. I make some premade meals for rough cruising and have back-up canned goods.

As yet I have not canned or preserved but if I found enough fresh fruit, I might be led to make some jam or compote. Rice and noodle packets that can be made into a one dish meal by adding vegetables and/or meat are welcome supplies and I stock up on tortillas for when we run out of bread, they also make a tasty casseroles. I grow sprouts and for passages I provision with fresh goods that are sturdy; carrots, cabbage, zucchini, onions, potatoes, etc.

Chicken Chili Casserole

8 chicken breasts
1 packet flour tortillas
1 large container sour cream
2 cans of Campbell's Southwestern Cream soup
1 onion - chopped
1 small can diced chilies
1lb of jack cheese - grated
1lb of cheddar cheese - grated

Wrap chicken breasts tightly in aluminum foil and bake 325°F degrees 40 minutes, remove and cool. Save juices, break chicken into medium size pieces. To make cream sauce combine sour cream, soup, onion and chilies. Butter flour tortillas on one side and cut them in quarters. Put juice from the chicken in the bottom of an 8in.x12in. baking dish. Make a layer of overlapping tortilla quarters on the base of the dish and up the sides. Cover tortillas with a layer of chicken, cream sauce, and then cheese. Repeat layering until all the ingredients are used, finishing with layer of cheese. Bake uncovered 45 minutes at 325°F. Serves 8.

Fruit and nuts are my comfort food along with Earl Grey tea, and now that we're in Tahiti fresh baguette and cheese is hard to beat. Roast chicken or turkey is our favorite in port meal. It's very homey and a nice treat with carrots, onions and potatoes roasted alongside. Upon leaving port on a passage I like provisioning with a rotisserie chicken from the supermarket market as it's good for quick meals the first few days at sea. Other passage staples include quesadillas, noodle and cheese dishes (with or without meat), yoghurt and granola and crunchy and tart cabbage salads.

Cabbage Salad

½ cabbage - shredded or a mix purple and white cabbage
bok choy - shredded
diced fruit - Tahitian grapefruit, orange, kiwi
shredded pickled pink ginger
diced red onion, optional
olive oil and sweet/sour vinaigrette like raspberry vinaigrette.

Combine all ingredients adding olive oil and vinaigrette to taste.

What inspires me to cook? First, I'm a pleaser, and I like to cook and have someone especially enjoy the meal. Sometimes it's very stressful at sea and a nice meal can calm it all down so I enjoy finding creative ways to use what I have. I try to look carefully in stores for sauces, spreads, tapenades and dressings that will give me some ability to be creative. Recently I've needed banana recipes as we've been given a lot of them. I use the internet or my improvisation for ideas also gather recipes from other cruisers. I've now made banana bread, muffins and even cookies.

Banana Bread

1 2/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
½ cup oil
¾ cup ripe bananas - mashed
2 tablespoons créme fraiche (substitute yoghurt or squeeze of lemon/lime so you have the acid to activate the baking soda)
2/3 cup nuts

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a bowl combine flour, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl beat eggs until fluffy, add sugar, then while stirring drizzle in oil. Add bananas, dry ingredients, crème fraiche then nuts. Bake in greased loaf pan 350°F for 45 minutes to an hour.

Banana Cookies

1½ cups flour
½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
¾ cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup mashed bananas
1¾ cup quick cook oats
½ cup chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 400°F. Sift together flour, baking soda, nutmeg, and cinnamon. In another large bowl beat together shortening and sugar until fluffy. Add egg then bananas, oats and nuts. Stir in flour mix. Bake cookies 15 minutes.

My advice to anyone going sailing is to know the likes and dislikes of your crew. Stay focused in the galley, I think of cooking a meal at sea as meditation; adjusting to the movement, organizing ingredients, keeping things neat and tidy. Things don't always go according to plan on a moving boat though as once I went to take the fresh baked bread out of the oven and the boat suddenly heeled. The bread went flying over my shoulder and into the bulkhead on the other side of the boat. It totally deflated! Occasionally plan a nice cockpit meal dressing up your cockpit table with flowers and a favorite pareau (Good excuse to buy a new one so you can wear it too!) add some fresh flowers, battery operated candles and use large Polynesian leaves to sit your plates on for a fun tropical presentation.




When a friend told me of the launch of local salt I was eager to discover as I'd became intrigued in salt, the only rock we eat, when we'd sailed by tiny Salt Island, in the British Virgin Islands. In reading of Salt Island's industrious history in the cruising guide it tied in with the fascinating book Salt-A World History by Mark Kurlansky. I've since noticed a wide variety of global salts raise to gourmet status in the form of finishing salts such as Hawaiian black lava salt, Australian Murray River - pink flake salt, Indian black salt - Kala Namak and Celtic grey salt - Sel Gris to name a few. Now San Juan Island Sea Salt can be added to the list as when I attended an artesian fair in Friday Harbor I came across their booth and was able to purchase their salt and learn of its creation.

San Juan Island Sea Salt was founded by Brady Ryan in 2012 after a culmination of events that first started in 2008 when Brady and a friend read about making salt by cooking seawater. After many hours of boiling sea water, and a salt crust forming in their parent's kitchens, they received success but it was rather messy and was not exactly energy efficient. Now building on his knowledge that extends to a degree in mathematics, an interest in agriculture and work experience at Duvall's Local Roots Farm Ryan recently constructed a set of four hooped greenhouses on the family farm that allows the sun to do the work of boiling.

The greenhouses are flooded with 1,500 gallons of salt water to create 3-inch deep ponds upon which the sun gets to work. After a month salt rises to the pond surface and later a jumble of all imaginable shapes and sizes of salt crystals form; cubes to flakes, pyramids to tiny pieces. The salt is then placed into piles allowing any residual super salty brine to completely drain away. Grounding and sifting the salt is next and the aim is to create fleur de sel consistency but with a wider range of crystal sizes for a more dynamic salt that's a treat to use.

In chatting with Brady I asked for suggestions on ways to highlight his salt.

"Amanda, thanks for thinking of our salt. The way we make our salt is fairly rare and allows for a greater range of minerals in than most sea salt, giving it a wilder, brinier taste. Here's few ideas that I think exemplify its use.

Simple: Take a homegrown tomato freshly picked, slice off a piece, and sprinkle our salt over it. Sea and earth collide!

Popcorn: Mix our salt with nutritional yeast, parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes and apply liberally to popcorn.

Bruschetta: When making a bruschetta the trick with using salt well is not mixing it in with the ingredients, but rather pinching it on top, once the mix has been put on the bread. This gives a more dynamic experience with the salt, especially one with some crunch like ours."

Avocado Chimichurri Bruschetta

Adapted from Vegetarian Times I think is this bruschetta one of the best dishes on earth.

2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 cloves garlic - minced
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ tablespoon fresh oregano leaves
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
2 avocados - peeled, pitted, and cubed
San Juan Island sea salt
6 slices ciabatta bread – toasted

Combine lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, red pepper flakes, oregano, and black pepper in small bowl. Whisk in oil, then cilantro and parsley. Fold in avocado cubes. Spoon mixture onto toast, top with pinches of salt. Serves 6.

Sweet with Salty: chocolate chip cookies, when almost done in the oven, sprinkle with sea salt. We do it then so the salt doesn't all fall off like it will if salted when the cookie is done.


Photo Credit Dave Schiefelbein

To learn purchase San Juan Island Sea Salt either on line or in store visit After purchasing my San Juan Sea Salt I've enjoyed pinching it onto the following recipes.

Salty Chocolate Chip Oat Cookies

¾ cup unsalted butter - sliced, slightly cold
1 cup packed light brown sugar
½ cup white granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup rice flour
2 cups rolled organic oats
½ cup dark chocolate chips
sea salt

Beat butter until mashed. Add sugars, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon and combine until a crumbly texture forms. Mix in eggs and vanilla. Fold in flours then oats and chocolate. Refrigerate 1 hour. Pre-heat oven to 375°F. Bake cookies 13 minutes adding salt when almost done.

Sea Salt Baked Apple Chips

4 apples - core removed and thinly sliced
sea salt

Preheat oven to 300°F. Spray cookie sheet with nonstick spray, arrange with apple slices then sprinkle with salt. Bake 40 minutes, flip and sprinkle with more salt. Bake for 30 additional minutes or until crisp.

Sea Salt Crusted Burgers

sea salt
1lb ground beef
½ bunch chives - diced
black pepper
mayonnaise - preferably homemade
mixed salad leaves
4 Panini buns

Shake 1 teaspoon of salt in a skillet and to cover base. Heat over high heat for 3 minutes or until very hot. Meanwhile, combine beef and chives, season well with black pepper. Form 4 burger patties and sear approximately 3 minutes. Remove burgers, shake pan to redistribute salt to where the burgers were. Return burgers, uncooked side down, and sear for another 3 minutes or until cooked to your liking. Spread buns with mayonnaise, add patty and salad. Serves 4.

Pasta with Chicken & Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

8oz penne pasta
¼ cup olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
12oz jar roasted red peppers - drained
3 garlic cloves - minced
ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
1 small shallot - minced
1 tablespoon fresh oregano - minced
1 tablespoon fresh parsley - minced
1 celery rib - sliced very thin
2½ cups shredded roast chicken
sea salt

Prepare pasta as directed. When done, drain and set aside ½ cup of pasta water. Meanwhile purée oil, vinegar, red peppers, garlic, and black pepper until smooth. Transfer to another bowl and mix in chipotle pepper, shallot, oregano, parsley and celery. Gently mix in chicken. Add 2 tablespoons of reserved pasta water, at a time, to the pasta until penne are just moistened. Add chicken mixture and toss gently to combine. Serve with pinches of sea salt. Serves 4.


Amanda's Galley Essentials 3/2013

Amanda celebrates St. Patrick's Day
Amanda celebrates St. Patrick's Day with musical friends at Friday Harbors Farmer Market

Top o' the mornin' to ya! Sure, and it's a grand day to be dreamin' o' the wearin' o' the green. Tisn't long before we'll be tippin' our hats to St. Paddy and his Emerald Isle. You know what they say about bein' Irish, don't you? "If you're lucky enough to be Irish, then you're lucky enough! Whether you be from the Isle of Mists or no, St. Patrick's Day be as fine as any to have a hooley. So gather your lucky clover and make merry on St. Paddy's Day, because everyone knows, "The whole world is Irish on the Seventeenth o' March!" I'va even sailed and jigged to the end of the rainbow to discover some ole recipes to help ya celebrate like the Irish.

But, in passing I haven't always known of St Patrick's Day as it was not celebrated in New Zealand when I was growing up. As for St Patrick himself I learned of his origins when I chanced upon his life story printed on a souvenir tea towel whilst I was poking around a wee shop in the Aran Islands. At the time we were sailing up the west coast of Ireland and had been immersed it's Bronze and Iron Age history after visiting many magnificent stone sites like Dun Aengus so St Patrick seemed like a rather modern day chap. According to legend, he first came to Ireland in the late fourth century as a young slave, kidnapped from Roman Britain by seafaring raiders. After years as a shepherd Patrick escaped, made his way home, and grew up to become a Christian missionary. Then, as soon as possible, he chose to return to Ireland where he set about converting the pagans apparently using the three leafed shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity.

As to the wearing of green it may stem from the ancient Celtic practice of wearing green during the vernal equinox to celebrate the rebirth of the earth. When Christianity invaded Ireland, many of the Irish traditions were adopted into practice, to make conversion easier. St Patrick included using bonfires and incorporated the symbol of the sun onto the cross, creating what is now known as the Celtic cross. Since the local pagan population was hesitant to give up wearing green that too was adopted as St. Patrick's original color was blue.

Irish Eggs Benedict

1 tablespoon butter
½ onion - chopped
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
3 cups chopped corned beef
2 boiled potatoes - crushed
¼ cup cream
¼ cup beef broth
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
a few dashes of smoky paprika
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
6 tablespoons butter
4 eggs
4 English muffins

In a large oven proof skillet over medium high heat, melt butter and add parsley and onions. Sauté until translucent and slightly golden. Meanwhile in a large bowl combine the next 8 ingredients. Add hash mix to skillet and sauté, stirring occasionally, until mixture starts to crisp up. Pat down hash and with the back of a spoon make 4 indentations. Break an egg into each indentation and dot with a tablespoon butter. Bake at 450°F for 15 minutes. To serve slice corned beef hash into 8 wedges splitting each egg in half and top on toasted buttered muffins. Drizzle with hollandaise sauce. Serves 4.

Hollandaise Sauce

4 egg yolks
4 teaspoons cold water
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 cup unsalted butter - diced
pinch cayenne
pinch salt

Place egg yolks into a heavy sstainless steel saucepan on a low heat, or in a bowl over hot water. Add water and beat thoroughly. Add butter, bit by bit, beating all the time. As soon as one piece melts, add the next. The mixture will gradually thicken, but if it shows signs of becoming too thick or slightly 'scrambling,' remove from heat and add a little cold water. Add lemon juice to taste. If sauce is slow to thicken increase the heat slightly and continue to beat. Remove from heat, whisk in cayenne and salt.

Guinness Beef Chili

1lb lean ground beef
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion - chopped
2 cloves garlic - minced
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons chili powder
½ tablespoon ancho chili powder
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 28oz can fire roasted crushed tomatoes
1 15oz can kidney beans - drained
1 15oz can white kidney beans - drained
1 11.2oz bottle of Guinness Draught beer
1 tablespoon brown sugar
salt to taste

In a large pot sauté onions in olive oil 5 minutes. Add garlic then ground beef, breaking it up into small chunks, cook until meat is no longer pink. Drain fat. Add remaining ingredients and stir until well combined. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer 30 minutes. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and grated cheddar cheese!

Fruit Soda Bread

1 cup rolled oats
2 tablespoons butter - diced
1 cup flour
1 cup whole meal flour
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1½ teaspoons mixed spice
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup raisins
¼ cup sultanas
¼ cup - finely chopped
3 tablespoon mixed peel
2 cups buttermilk
3 tablespoons demerara sugar

Heat oven to 375°F. In a large bowl rub butter into oats with your fingertips. Stir in flours, sugar, baking soda, spice, salt, raisins, sultanas, dates and mixed peel. Quickly stir in buttermilk. Tip out onto a flour-dusted surface and gently bring together into a ball with your hands. Transfer to a flour-dusted baking sheet and scatter with demerara sugar, pressing it into the top. Cut a deep cross into the bread, this is called "blessing the bread and then prick it in the four sections to let the fairies out so they don't jinx it but really it aids in even baking. Bake 25 minutes, turn bread upside down and cook another 10 minutes. The bottom should sound hollow when tapped.

Irish Soda Bread

Irish Coffee Truffles

½ cup espresso
1lb semisweet chocolate
1 cup unsalted butter - room temperature
½ cup Irish whiskey
1 cup cocoa powder for coating

In a small saucepan heat coffee, pour it into a mixing bowl and cool to 120°F. Melt chocolate in a double boiler to 120°F. Whisk butter into chocolate bit by bit until mixture is smooth. Gradually whisk chocolate/butter mix into coffee, beating until creamy. Scrape mixture onto a cookie sheet and refrigerate until firm, about 45 minutes. Use a melon-ball scoop to form balls, placing them on a sheet of waxed paper. After forming 6 balls roll them in cocoa, arrange them on a serving dish and refrigerate. Continue until batch is finished. Keep refrigerated until 15 minutes before serving. Makes 5 dozen.


Galley Essentials April 2014

Gallery April 2014
Mum's happy hens

Eggs certainly show their true value on a cruising yacht; they're inexpensive, widely available, packed with protein and nutrients, incredibly versatile and easy to keep. Very well designed by nature, the egg is actually a single cell with the shell being a solid layer of calcite crystals which is almost impermeable to bacteria and fungus. If possible provision with fresh eggs that have not been washed as washing removes the eggs natural bloom coating that reduces moisture loss and prevents bacteria from getting inside the shell.

To check for freshness crack an egg open and check there is no sulphur or garbage smell. There are three main components - the yolk, which should be firm and plump (not wrinkled or easy to tear), and the albumen, in two distinct parts: a gelatinous mass around the yolk, and a runnier liquid. As the egg breaks down, the albumen becomes more runny therefore the runnier the white, the older the egg. As time goes by the chances of an egg being bad increase, so it's best to crack each egg into a small cup or container before mixing.

To test an egg, without cracking it, place the egg in a cup of fresh water:

    •If the egg sinks to the bottom and lays on its side, it's very fresh.
    •If the egg sits on the bottom at an angle, it's good to eat but a little older..
    •If the egg stands on end but still sits on the bottom, use for baking, or hard boil..
    •If the egg floats, it is old, and possibly rotten...

An egg's shell is semi-permeable so as an egg ages it slowly loses internal moisture. Fresh eggs can last up to five weeks unrefrigerated when kept in a cool constant temperature and one of these two techniques is applied:

    •Turning: Turn stored eggs completely upside down a couple of times a week. This avoids the eggs pulling away for       the shell causing the shell to dry out and the egg to turn bad.
    •Sealing: Seal each egg with a smearing of Vaseline or mineral oil. I use Vaseline and still turn the eggs once a week.

Ham, Cheese and Green Chili Egg Casserole

10 eggs
1 cup diced ham
1 cup cottage cheese
1 cup cheddar cheese - shredded
1½ cups zucchini - grated and squeezed
4 green onions - sliced
1 4oz can green chilies - drained
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375°F. Combine all ingredients and bake in a greased 9x9 inch baking pan until eggs set and the top is light golden brown, about 20 minutes. Serves 6.

Avgolemono Soup

This classic Greek soup is dairy-free, yet velvety smooth and a perfect way to use up leftovers.

4 cups chicken broth
1½ cups slivered cooked chicken
1½ cups cooked rice
3 eggs - well beaten
zest of 1 lemon - finely grated
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
snipped chives or parsley
salt and pepper

In a large saucepan bring broth and chicken to a gentle boil. Remove from the heat. In a medium, heatproof bowl, whisk together eggs, zest and lemon juice until smooth. Slowly pour a ladle of hot stock into the eggs, whisking all the while. Slowly add a second ladle stock then a third. You are tempering the eggs so they don't curdle when you add them to the hot broth. Slowly drizzle egg mixture into broth, stirring well, the soup will turn a cloudy creamy color. Add rice and gently heat soup for a few minutes, while constantly whisking, until it thickens slightly. Season to taste and serve garnished with chives. Serves 4.

Achieving the Perfect Poached Egg

poached egg

Bring a large deep sauté pan with water to a heavy simmer. Add 2 teaspoons of vinegar to effectively lower the pH of the water and help keep the egg white together. Crack an egg into a shallow dessert bowl. Gently slip the edge of the bowl into the simmering water and slowly pour the egg into the water. Repeat with as many eggs as you require. The beauty of using a sauté pan is that the eggs doesn't have far to fall and thus risk pulling apart their whites. If the white starts to stray gently use a spoon to fold it around the yolk. This is a no wake zone - move slowly through the water as too much jostling will disrupt the Zen. Let each egg simmer for about 2 minutes, or until the white sets and the yolk is runny. Gently remove poached eggs with a slotted spoon.

Potato, Egg and Olive Salad

4 small cooked red potatoes - cut into chunks
½ red onion - thinly sliced
¼ cup olives
flat leaf parsley
4 tablespoons lemon juice
4 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
4 hardboiled eggs - cut into chunks
red pepper flakes

In a large bowl combine potatoes, onion, olives, and parsley. In a small bowl whisk lemon juice and olive oil until creamy. Mix dressing with potatoes and season to taste. Gently fold in eggs and sprinkle with red pepper flakes.

Spaghetti alla Carbonara

1 lb spaghetti
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
8 oz pancetta or good bacon
1¼ cups freshly grated parmesan
4 eggs - separated
freshly grated black pepper
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot, add 1 tablespoon salt and cook spaghetti until al dente. Meanwhile, sauté pancetta and red pepper flakes in a large sauté pan. Drain pasta, reserving a¼ cup of the pasta cooking water. Add reserved pasta water to pancetta, toss in pasta and heat, shaking the pan, for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Add 1 cup parmesan, egg whites, pepper to taste, and toss until thoroughly mixed. Divide pasta among 4 warm bowls. Make a hollow in the center of each one and gently nest in an egg yolk. Sprinkle with more pepper and remaining parmesan.

Custard Cake

¾ cup butter - melted
3 cups milk
6 eggs - separated
2 cups confectioners sugar
1½ cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
confectioners sugar and whipped cream

Preheat the oven to 325°. Butter an 11x7x2 inch baking dish. Warm milk to lukewarm temperature. Whip egg whites to stiff peaks. In a large bowl beat egg yolks and sugar until very pale in color. Mix in butter then flour, do not over mix. Slowly beat in milk and vanilla. Gently mix egg whites until there are no big chunks, the batter will appear curd-like. Pour batter into pan and bake 45 minutes or until top is golden. Serve dusted with confectioners' sugar and a dollop of whipped cream.


Galley Essentials April 2014

Amanda ready to enjoy lunch at Ilot Amedee

...A warm breeze, blue skies, clear turquoise seas, an endless white palm-fringed beach, and a decadent melt-in-your-mouth pain au chocolate. Ah, where am I?

There are a few places where this could but Ilot Amedee in New Caledonia has to be a small slice of heaven. This country, and particularly its capital, Noumea, is a true outpost of France, while its South Pacific location possibly makes it the most far-flung of all the Pays d'Outre-Mer. Surrounding Grand Terre, New Caledonia's largest island, as well as several smaller island groups the New Caledonia Barrier Reef forms the world's largest lagoon.

John and I had been enjoying the bustle of Noumea when local friends Yves and Nicole stopped by to say bonjour. They mentioned they'd be out cruising the lagoon on their yacht and asked if we'd like to share some anchorages. A change of scenery sounded great and we agreed on Ilot Amedee as a rendezvous. It's a 14 mile sail to the palm dotted islet which is dominated by an impressive white lighthouse that marks the Passe Boulari reef entrance. Upon arriving it felt wonderful to be removed from the metropolitan buzz and have time to reflect on our experiences.

If you're of French descent and living in New Caledonia you are aptly given the name métrosand Noumea's supermarket closely resemble those in France so the previous evening I was excited to attend a country food fair held in Noumea's central park. The native Kanak (indigenous Melanesian inhabitants) diet reflects their close association with the land and we sampled tasty variations of bougna their traditional dish. Bougna is an assortment of yams, sweet potatoes and taro mixed with fish, prawn or lobsters and chicken marinated in coconut milk then cooked in banana leaves on a hot stone oven. Perhaps anything marinated in coconut milk is delicious but I later discovered if you're in the bush your bounga would more likely have, snails, pigeons, fruit bat or fat candlenut worms that supposedly taste like hazelnut.

Alongside the Kanak stalls Caldoche stockmen were busy giving children pony rides while barbecuing massive sides of beef and selling home-smoked venison sausages. Caldoche is the name given to native-born French settlers and their culture compares closely to the Australian stockmen. These French-style cowboys own and work on cattle ranches, drive large American pick-up trucks and round up their cattle on horseback with the help of blue dogs (dog with bluish fur, robust and intelligent, crossed with Australian dingoes). I purchased some of their beef and sausages to create the following recipes.

French green lentils and a selection of shells and coral from the Ilot Amedee beach.

Warm French Lentil Salad

8oz smoked sausage or diced bacon
1 red onion - diced
2 carrots - diced
4 stalks chard - stems diced and leaves chopped
1 clove garlic - minced
2 cups French green lentils - rinsed
3 tablespoons of Dijon mustard
1 lemon - zest and juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup minced parsley
salt and pepper

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add lentils and cook until tender 20-30 minutes. Meanwhile in a large saucepan, sauté sausages over medium high heat. Set aside onto paper towels to drain then slice. Saute onion, carrot, and chard stems in fat from sausages or 2 tablespoon of olive oil for10 minutes. Add garlic and chard leaves, saute 2 minutes. Drain lentils and combine with sausage and vegetable mix. Add mustard, lemon juice and zest, vinegar and oil. Stir in parsley, season to taste.

Pressure Cooker Beef Stew

If you don't use a pressure cooker add an extra 20 minutes cooking time.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1½lbs flank steak - cubed
2 celery stalks - sliced
4 carrots - sliced
4 leeks - sliced
5 cloves garlic - minced
1½ lbs potatoes - cubed
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3 cups beef stock
1 cup red wine
2 teaspoons chopped rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
salt and ground pepper

Heat olive oil in pressure cooker over medium-high heat. Season beef with salt and pepper then brown for 4 minutes each side. Add remaining ingredients, except salt, and seal pressure cooker lid. Cook 20 minutes under pressure. Remove from heat and release pressure. Season to taste. Serves 8.

The next morning Yves and Nicole offered to be our guides on snorkel safari where we encountered colorful coral cover, green turtles, giant trevally and more intriguingly the banded sea krait, a venomous sea snake that is inquisitive but generally not aggressive. Returning ravenous from our morning excursion I invited Nicole and Yves to lunch of Salad Nicoise with grilled tuna and mustard dressing.

Dijon Mustard Dressing

2 shallots - minced
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
¼ cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
salt and ground pepper
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Whisk together first 5 ingredients. Slowly whisk in oil, first in droplets then in a steady stream.

Later we decided to take a closer look at the lighthouse. Started in 1862 by an engineer from the Eiffel Tower workshop, the cast iron lighthouse was erected in Paris for two years to show off its new technology before being disassembled and shipped to New Caledonia. As we approached we could see it was special, particularly for its extreme height, 185 feet, and decorative construction. Inside, as we climbed the 247 spiral staircase, rather than being starkly functional its interior is trimmed with impressive mahogany paneling.

Nicole and Yves invited us aboard for a scrumptious dinner which included the following recipes and when I asked Nicole how she created such a delightful meal in her galley she replied that she'd previously prepared most of the meal at home in her kitchen.

Fillet of Salmon a la Mango

1salmon fillet
fresh sage
2 lemons - sliced into rounds
1 mango - cubed
1 apple - cubed
1 pear - cubed
1 cup green grapes - sliced in half

Place salmon on baking paper or aluminum foil and sprinkle with fresh sage. Cover with lemon then top with fruits. Bake at 350° F until salmon is cooked.

Raspberry Clafoutis

½ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
pinch of salt
3 eggs
3 tablespoons unsalted butter - melted
zest of 1 lemon - grated
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
3 cups - raspberries
confectioners sugar

Preheat oven to 350° F. Butter a 9-inch gratin dish. In a bowl, whisk together flour, sugar and salt. Whisk in eggs, butter and zest. Whisk in milk for 3 minutes until light and smooth. Pour into dish and top with raspberries. Bake 30 minutes, until set and golden. Cool slightly then dust with confectioners' sugar. Serves 6.


Galley Essentials April 2014

galley essentials june 2014
I was first introduced to Marcie Connelly-Lynn and David Lynn aboard "Nine of Cups" in 2009 at a cruiser's potluck barbeque on the island of Niue. While chatting I was impressed to discover that they were not your typical South Pacific "Milk Run" cruisers as they'd sailed to South Africa from South America and twice cruised to Chile. In a recent edition of the Seven Seas Cruising Association bulletins upon reading that Marcie and David were now enjoying Australia I decided to ask Marcie if she would share some insights of her galley life.

Nine of Cups is a center cockpit 45' Liberty cutter designed by Peter Hoyt and Doug Peterson. The name derives from the tarot card signifying "dreams realized". We've lived aboard since April 2000 and are sailing around the world...ever so slowly. The independent lifestyle, travel, pride in self-reliance, cultural immersion is what attracted us to cruising. Currently we're cruising the Western Australia coast then crossing the Indian Ocean to arrive in Cape Town by end of the year. We will then have tied the circumnavigation knot along with rounding all the great southern capes. After that...who knows?

The galley is located on the starboard side, midships featuring double sink, limited counter space, 3-burner Force 10 oven and a 12V Adler-Barbour fridge with a cold plate. We only use the freezer in cooler climates and when in warmer climates, we use the fridge/freezer as a cold box. The microwave is only useable when we're in a marina, which is seldom. There is good stowage plus we have space for several crates in the forward cabin, use hammocks and store tinned goods beneath the salon floorboards. Wine is stored in lined locker under the aft berth; it can hold 7 cases as we enjoy wine. David just completed a refit of new countertops, necessitated more by re-insulating the fridge/freezer than cosmetic issues.

galley essentials
Jelly, the ships cat, supervises Marcie in the galley

Galley priorities are easy, safe to prepare and cook meals underway making the best use of limited space. My motto in the galley is: It's a one-butt galley and it's my butt. I do the majority of the cooking although David is the master of bread baking and pizza. An item I really like is a traditional English teapot. We've used for ours for 10 years and it still shines up like new. I also use a little plastic food grinder, like the ones used to grind up baby foods, it's handy since we don't have a food processor. Our old simple top of the burner toaster works quite well and I use my pressure cooker frequently especially for cooking dried beans, peas, etc. I love the new silicone bake ware and utensils, they're easy to stow (it smushes up), and clean and no greasing the pan first.

We really don't have an "at sea" vs. "in port" recipe distinction, it's usually whatever is available, but I don't feel constricted in my cooking when we're at sea. Depending on weather, sea state and what's in the larder, I might decide on one recipe or another, but in general, I cook the same fare at sea or in port. More fish at sea though, it's our favorite food on passages. We fish lots and have advice and recipes on our website, also our new cookbook will be available soon. First day of fresh fish is usually sashimi, sushi, poisson cru or pan-seared sesame-coated tuna; next meal is grilled or baked fish; Thai satay follows then if there's a little fish left I'll make chowder.

Thai Satay

1½ lbs fish, shrimp or chicken - cut into bite size chunks
½ cup chunky peanut butter
2 cloves garlic - minced
1 tablespoon peanut oil
2 teaspoons ginger - minced
½ cup soy sauce
1 15oz can pineapple
hot sauce or crushed pepper
2 green onions - chopped

Melt peanut butter in a large skillet with oil, garlic and ginger. Add hot sauce to taste. Bring to a gentle boil while stirring. Add soy sauce and liquid from pineapple to equal one cup. Add fish and simmer 10 minutes. Add pineapple and heat through. Serve on rice or couscous garnished with green onions. Serves 4.

Any Fish/No Fish Corn Chowder

When we're in the mood for chowder David's throws out a line and I make corn chowder. If he catches a fish, we have fish corn chowder and if he doesn't...well, we have corn chowder.

½ onion - chopped
1 tablespoon butter
6 medium potatoes - diced
1-15oz can corn
1 bay leaf
salt & pepper
1 cup milk or cream
½lb fish or seafood - cut into bite size pieces

In a soup pot sauté onion in butter till soft. Add potatoes, the liquid from the canned corn and enough water to cover. Add bay leaf, salt and pepper to taste. Simmer until potatoes are nearly done. Add fish, cook 10 minutes. Add corn, and milk, gently heat through. Serves 4-6.


We tasted this curry dish (pronounced plo!) first in Tristan da Cunha, but found out it was traditional St. Helena fare.

3 tablespoons oil
1 onion - chopped
4 potatoes - chopped
½lb bacon - chopped
½ cabbage - chopped
2 large carrots - chopped
2 slices of pumpkin - chopped
1 tomato - chopped
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup white rice
salt to taste
1 heaped tablespoon curry powder
1 tablespoon tomato sauce
1-2 cups cooked chicken or beef
1 tablespoon minced parsley
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Sauté onion in oil till slightly brown. Add curry and sugar, cook 2 minutes. Add bacon and vegetables, cook 10 minutes. Add water to cover ingredients. Add rice, salt, herbs and sauces. Cover and bring to a boil then simmer till water has evaporated and veggies are tender. Add more water as necessary. Add chicken or beef when veggies are nearly cooked. Serves 4-6.

Chocolate Mousse

For chocoholics, this easy-to-make, light, but rich mousse is wonderful.
6 oz dark bitter chocolate
1 teaspoon milk
6 eggs - separated
sugar to taste

Melt chocolate with milk. Add the yolks to chocolate and mix well till cooled. Whisk egg whites separately till firm and fold into chocolate mixture. Serve in individual ramekins or custard cups. Serves 6.

My advice for the galley is don't outfit with a lot of extra stuff until you find you need it. We brought along plenty of "must have" gadgets that we later gave away as we had no use for them. Other items such as manual juicer we picked up when we found abundant citrus and wanted an efficient way to juice them. Check out our website at for more information and we also blog daily at


Galley Essentials April 2014

A sunny day at Kingston, Norfolk Island: Photo Credit Norfolk Island Tourism

Also our crew wanted heavy weather experience at sea rather than at anchor. My disappointment in not stopping was that they were going to miss a unique entertaining island as was proven our previous visit. Back then an equally pesky frontal system was passing but we chose to wait it out at Norfolk Island.

We'd dropped anchor in Sydney Bay located on the South side of the 4 x 6 mile island. It's a picturesque bay with a stone breakwater-jetty, sandy beaches and the impressive cream-painted Georgian stone buildings of Kingston. Norfolk was uninhabited when the British attempted to establish a penal colony in Kingston in the early nineteenth century but it became uneconomical and was moved to Tasmania. A second penitentiary established in 1825 soon became a place of infamy and dread. When the prison was abandoned in 1855 Britain decided to resettle the then-overcrowded Pitcairn Islanders, descendants of Bounty mutineers, to Norfolk.

After only a brief visit to town to clear customs there was a possibility we would soon be forced to put to sea as the wind was shifting to the east causing large rollers in the anchorage. We decided to give our six crew shore time and John and I would take anchor watch. With a loaded dinghy and rain forecasted I recommended crew dress in quick-dry gear and they replied that was perfect as they were only going for a hike. Little did we know that by the time the tail-enders of our crew had reached the road the front runners had thumbed a truck for a ride to town.

By early afternoon John and I were stir-crazy from the rolling boat so we headed ashore to check out Kingston. Upon arriving at the landing a local climbed down to fill a substantially large pot of corn on the cob with sea water. After a brief g'day he asked if we'd join him and his mates up on the hill for a drink. We'd just wandered up to the group when it started tipping buckets, though no one was too fazed as someone dug out the boat shed key from their pocket. Before long as more mates, dressed in various outdoor work attire, arrived and a sizable party had formed. The corn, set upon and outdoor burner was no sooner cooked when it was switched out for an equally large pot of small mottled eggs. It so happened that the season for collecting shearwater eggs was now open and a few sprightly lads had been on an egg mission to nearby Phillip Island.

A number of families also arrived each bringing a mix of items from bread, dips and chutney to ginger crunch. It was all delicious and as I stood about chatting and munching it was interesting listening to everyone joke about in the Norfuk dialect which is blend of 18th century English and Tahitian. When the rain eased it was time to head back to Mahina Tiare although while we were going about our thanks word spread that we were from the yacht. Folks were soon dashing off to their vehicles only to re appear with a bounty of fresh garden produce for us.

Amanda and locals enjoying shearwater eggs and ginger crunch

Our crew soon appeared in high spirits. Apparently when they arrived in town they realized that all but Brad had left their wallets behind. At the Sportsman's Club Brad's Speedos weren't appropriate attire and he was hurried into Michael's spare dry shorts. He presented his only Aussie bill, a $50 note, from his socks in a Ziploc bag asking what the cheapest beer was. A round of Tui beer left $25 and Brad said, "We can either use this for the taxi (there is only one) or buy another round". They ended up hitching back Kingston; the locals thanking and even hugging them for letting them give them a ride!

It was time to put to sea but we'll always remember Norfolk's hospitality and the following tasty recipes it inspired me to create.

Broccoli & Parmesan Soup

4 heads broccoli - chopped including tender stalks
2 pieces of parmesan rind
2 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoon lemon juice
shaved parmesan
salt and pepper

Bring 4 cups water to boil in a saucepan. Add broccoli, parmesan rind, and soy sauce. Cover and simmer until broccoli is tender, 8 minutes. Puree with a stick blender until smoothish. Add lemon juice and season to taste. Serve garnished with parmesan. Serves 4.

Couscous with Tuna & Cherry Tomatoes

2 cups couscous
1 bunch green onions - chopped
1½ cups boiling water
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic - crushed
2 5oz cans tuna in olive oil
4 cups cherry tomatoes - halved
salt and pepper

In a medium saucepan combine couscous and scallions, boiling water,  and olive oil. Season to taste and cover. In a skillet saute garlic, tuna and tomatoes until tomatoes have broken down and everything looks saucy. Season to taste. Serve couscous topped with the tuna and tomatoes. Serves 4.

Lamb, Feta and Eggplant Casserole

2 tablespoon olive oil
1½ lbs lamb shoulder - cubed
8 shallots - peeled
2 garlic cloves - crushed
1½ tablespoons flour
3 cups beef stock
1 tablespoon each - chopped fresh thyme, rosemary and parsley
grated zest of 1 lemon
1 medium eggplant - thinly sliced
5oz feta - crumbled
¾ cup grated parmesan
salt and pepper

In a large skillet heat oil and brown lamb in batches transferring to a plate. In same skillet saute shallots and garlic 2 minutes, sprinkle with flour, add stock and cook stirring until boiling. Return lamb with herbs and zest. Season to taste. Cover skillert and simmer 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 390° F. Place lamb in an ovenproof dish, arrange eggplant over lamb, slightly overlapping, sprinkle with feta and parmesan. Bake 20 minutes. Serves 4.

Ginger Crunch

¾ cup butter
2 tablespoons golden syrup
¾ cup brown sugar
¾ cup coconut
1½ cups rolled oats
¾ cup flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons ground ginger
4 tablespoons butter
4 teaspoons golden syrup
2 teaspoons ground ginger
8 tablespoons icing sugar

Preheat oven to 350° F. In a saucepan melt butter, golden syrup and brown sugar. Ina bowl combine next 5 ingredients then mix into saucepan. Press mixture into greased 8x8 pan; bake 15 minutes. In a saucepan heat remaining ingredients until melted; beat until smooth and pour over cool base, slice when set.


Galley Essentials April 2014

galley essentials
Crew of Mahina Tiare and Gracious enjoying dinner

On a typical Fijian sunny day last August we set sail from the island of Makogai on the start of our passage thorough Bligh Waters. This body of water named after Captain William Bligh, is a shallow marine area of approximately 3,700 sq. miles of water in western Fiji east of the Yasawa Islands. The first Europeans to visit the area was the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman in 1643 and James Cook who later sailed through the area in 1774 but it is Bligh who is most commonly credited with the "discovery" of Fiji having sailed through Fiji in 1789 following the mutiny on the H.M.S. Bounty and again in 1792

After successfully navigating the reef strewn Vatu-I-Ra passage we sailed for Volivoli Bay. This was a new anchorage for us but we'd heard there was a small kiwi-owned resort with road access for running. As soon as we anchored one of Volivoli's Beach dive boat crews came by, welcoming us to the anchorage and inviting us ashore for their sunset beach meke. A kava drinking ceremony during where the performers and guests shared coconut bowls of kava started the meke, after which the resort's friendly and outgoing staff performed numerous chants and war dances. Although they were a little disorganized their music, chanting and dancing was enthusiastic and authentic. Afterwards they eagerly encouraged everyone to join in their follow-up kava drinking but we declined in lieu of our waiting dinner aboard Mahina Tiare which included the following recipes.

Smoked Chicken, Apple and Walnut Salad

3 apples - diced
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
4 smoked chicken breasts - thinly sliced
1½ cups chopped celery
4 cups chopped watercress leaves
1¼ cups chopped toasted walnuts

In a large salad bowl combine salad ingredients. Serve with lemon-mustard dressing. Serves 6.

Lemon Mustard Dressing

4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 egg yolk
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 cup olive oil

Combine lemon juice, mustard, egg yolk, salt and pepper in a blender. Add oil in a slow, steady stream and blend until emulsified. Makes 1¼ cups.

Coconut Shrimp Risotto

2 cups risotto rice
¾ cup fresh grated coconut
2 cups coconut milk
1 cup vegetable stock or water
2 tablespoon sour cream
2 tablespoons mascarpone
24 cooked shrimp
2 teaspoons honey
2 tablespoons butter
salt and ground pepper
pea sprouts

Melt butter in a pot and sauté rice 4 minutes. Add half the coconut milk, don't stir for 4 minutes. When the rice has absorbed all the coconut milk, begin adding more coconut milk 2 tablespoons at a time. When the coconut milk covers the rice add honey, sour cream and mascarpone, salt and pepper. When the rice has absorbed all the liquid, begin adding the stock spoon by spoon. Cook until al dente. Add coconut and shrimps. Serve garnished with peas sprouts. Serves 4.

Volivoli staff gathered around the kava bowl

The next say we set sail in the early morning and continued our passage along the scenic shore line and numerous reefs. We were sailing in the company of Mum and Dad aboard their Oceanus 432 Gracious so it was day of concentrated sail trim and smart helming to keep them from passing. That evening we ended up in the strange but one of our favorite anchorages off Ba Roads. The anchorage is far from land and near a shipping channel but in shallow water with sandy bottom and an amazing 360 degree view of the surrounding islands and waters. Thankfully Gracias had caught a couple of fish so we rafted for an enjoyable meal.

Eggplant, Basil and Mozzerella Involtini

½ cup golden raisins or sultanas
3 large eggplants
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups arrabiata (spicy pasta sauce)
¾ cup olives
2½ cups mozzarella cheese - roughly chopped
½ cup torn fresh basil
2 tablespoons pesto
¾ cup toasted pine nuts
chopped fresh parsley

Place raisins in a bowl and cover with hot water, soak 20 minutes then drain. Meanwhile cut eggplants lengthwise into 1/8in thick slices and brush with olive oil. Preheat non-stick skillet and cook eggplant in batches 3 minutes each side. Preheat oven 400 F. Reserve 12 eggplant slices, chop the remaining into a bowl. Stir in, basil, raisins, 4 tablespoons arrabiata and half the olives and mozzarella. Spread each eggplant slice with pesto then a twelfth of the mixture on one end. Roll up and place seam-side down in a baking dish. Spoon over remaining arrabiata and top with remaining mozzarella. Bake 20 minutes. Serve garnished with pine nuts, remaining olives and parsley. Serves 4.

Fish Vegetable Casserole

1 cup V-8 juice
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped green or red bell pepper
2 cloves garlic - minced
fresh ground pepper
1½ lbs firm white fish
grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375° F. Lightly grease and 8x8 inch baking dish. In a medium bowl stir together V-8 juice, onion, mushrooms, celery, bell pepper, garlic and pepper to taste. Place half the mixture in baking dish then layer fish over vegetables. Cover fish layer with remaining vegetable mixture. Bake 20 minutes or until fish and vegetables are desired doneness. Sprinkle top of casserole with Parmesan and bake an additional 5 minutes. Serve with crusty bread. Serves 4.

Papaya Spice Cake

4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 cups flour
1¾ cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon salt

Beat eggs well and add sugar, oil, lemon juice and papaya. Sift flour, soda, salt and stir into mixture. Pour into a well-greased baking pan. Bake at a moderate temperature for 45 minutes or till testing skewer comes out clean.

Unfortunately Bligh's first passage through these waters was not so pleasant. The mutineers led by Fletcher Christian provided Bligh and eighteen loyal crewmen with a 23 foot launch, so heavily loaded that the gunwales were barely inches above the water. They were given four cutlasses, only enough food and water to reach the most accessible ports, a quadrant and a compass. Bligh decided to head for the nearest European outpost of Timor a seemingly impossible 3,618 nautical mile voyage to the west.

In need of more supplies Bligh first decided to visit the volcanic island of Tofua in Tonga but they were attacked by hostile natives and a crewman was killed so they fled to Fiji. Bligh did not dare to stop at the Fijian islands as he had no weapons for defense and again expected hostile receptions. With little water and only meager rations of rum, coconuts, bread and salted pork, Bligh and his crew succeeded in reaching Timor after a 47-day voyage which is considered one of the most remarkable feats of seamanship ever.


Galley Essentials April 2014

Caption Picton Castle and Mahina Tiare

...While med moored in our home port of Avatiu I was below working when I heard a deep resonating rumbling through the hull. Instantly two thoughts "tsunami or possibly ship" quickly sent me bolting up the companionway to the cockpit. Gazing at the quayside I fast ruled out tsunami as everything appeared normal but as I scanned out into the harbor my vision was filled with a mass of moving spars and white hull that I soon determined to be the180' three-masted sail training barque Picton Castle.

Best known for her sailing voyages around the world she was currently sailing entirely within the Cook Islands; offering her award-winning sail training program while delivering cargo and passengers between the islands. I've known of her since my days working on New Zealand's tall ships so I was excited to see her for the first time and watched in awe as she was skillfully maneuvered quayside with the aid of her slow reverberating B&W Alpha engine and the little harbor tug Toa. Picton Castle was built in 1928 as a Swansea motorized fishing trawler. At the start of WWII she was conscripted into the Royal Navy as a mine sweeper and afterwards hauled freight in the North and Baltic Seas. In 1993, Captain Daniel Moreland found her in a fjord in Norway and took her to Nova Scotia where she was converted into a square rigger.

Over the next few days Picton Castle kept us entertained with her activities. First there was the offloading interisland passengers then the heavy duty yard tackle was rigged and put into action hoisting cargo from the center hold. This was repeated numerous times with supplies that included large chest freezers packed with fish, building material and a motor scooter. In the afternoon as the sun set the islands dramatic mountain peaks vanished and the lit-up Picton Castle seemed even more majestic than she appeared during the day. A drum BBQ had been placed quayside and was soon emitting the unmistakable smells of grilled meat while crew worked on projects or socialized.

The next morning crew where hard at work. Painting seemed to be the easy task while others overhauled the spanker gaff and boom. Picton Castle had recently undergone a near complete total crew turnover with 15 new trainees, 5 apprentices, and 5 new staff crew so training became the next focus. Aloft training involved all new hands climbing ‘up and over' the fore top with encouragement from the pro crew and was followed by drills of bracing, setting and striking sail, loosing and stowing square sails and walkthroughs on deck to learn the hundreds of lines. In the late afternoon the launching and recovering the ship's boats was drilled culminating in a fun rowing races around the harbor.

Throughout the day the chippy had been building a small hutch shore side. When I enquired as to its purpose he replied that it was to be the home for the new ships pig. Later when I heard loud squealing I decided to visit Picton Castle's newest addition. The piglet's name was Keiko and he was soon at home in his new surroundings. In chatting with the chippy it must have appeared that I would delight a tour of the ship so he invited John and I aboard. Even though it was dinner time the second officer Dirk gave us a fascinating and detailed tour that of course included the galley. It was cook's day off but on duty cook's helpers happily show cased their creations which were a variation of the following recipes.

Caption  Amanda chats with the chippy while checking out Keiko

Asian Pasta Salad

½ pound whole wheat fettuccine noodles
1lb snap peas
2 carrots - shredded
1 small red onion - diced
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
½ lemon - juiced
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
fresh cracked pepper

Cook pasta according to directions and let cool. Meanwhile, cook snap peas in simmering water, 2 minutes. Drain and add to a large bowl with pasta, carrots, and onion. In a medium bowl whisk remaining ingredients together and combine with pasta. Let flavors marinade one hour in fridge before serving. Serves 8.

Swiss Chard and Chickpea Curry

2 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion - diced
3 cloves garlic - minced
2 red potatoes - chopped
1 14.5oz can diced tomatoes in juices, plus 1/2 can of water
1 15oz can chickpeas - drained
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 bunch of chard (about 3 cups) - chopped
salt and pepper

In large pot, heat oil over medium-high. Add onions and saute until beginning to brown. Add garlic and potatoes, cook for 3 minutes. Add tomatoes, water and spices. Bring to a low simmer, add chickpeas and cook until potatoes are nearly tender, about 10 minutes. Add chard and cook 10 minutes. Season to taste. Serve over rice.

Orange & Garlic Roast Pork Loin

2.5lb pork loin roast - trimmed of excess fat
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon pepper
6 cloves garlic - minced
1 red onion - thinly sliced
juice of 2 large navel oranges
juice of 2 limes
¾ cup water
cilantro for garnish

Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper on all sides. Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high, sear pork 5 minutes on all sides to form a golden brown crust. Add remaining ingredients, minus the cilantro, cover and reduce heat to medium. Cook 45 minutes, rotating every 10 minutes. It's done when meat thermometer reads 160° or insides are a pale pink. Remove to platter, cover with everything in the pan, sprinkle with cilantro and let stand 5 minutes before slicing and serving. Serves 8.

Mango Ginger Crumble

1½ cups flour
½ cup rolled oats
1 cup granulated sugar
pinch of salt
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup (8oz) cold unsalted butter - cubed
2 tablespoons chopped candied ginger
3 - 4 tablespoons cold water
2lbs fresh or frozen mango chunks (about 7 mangoes)
¼ inch ginger - grated ginger
¼ cup white grape, pear or apple juice
juice of ½ lemon

Preheat oven to 350 F. To make topping, place flour, oats, sugar, salt and ground ginger in a bowl. Rub in butter with fingers, until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add candied ginger and water, a tablespoon at a time, until you can clump mixture with your palms. In a large bowl combine mango, ginger, and juices. Place mango in an ovenproof dish then cover with topping. Bake 45 minutes, until topping is crisp. Serve with custard or ice cream.

Picton Castle is currently on her sixth around the world voyage, heading ever westward and you're welcome to sail aboard. Visit for information.


Galley Essentials April 2014

Mahina Tiare crew ready to savor Moroccan Cuisine in Noumea

Harissa, tagine, preserved lemons, ras el hanout are words I'd associated with Moroccan cooking but had yet to experience until recently when I had the opportunity to dine at a Moroccan restaurant. We were completing our Vanuatu to New Caledonia expedition in the port of Noumea which is affectingly nicknamed the Paris of the South Seas and to celebrate our crew offered to explore town and choose a restaurant. Michelle and Megan teamed up and arrived back at the boat excited to suggest "La Kasbah" a small restaurant they'd discovered beside the central town park. It certainly seemed a perfect choice as Michelle spoke French and Megan had recently spent a year studying in Morocco.

Stepping into La Kasbah was a world far removed for the tropical evening walk we'd experienced from the marina through the lush palmed central park where locals were enjoying games of boules. The rich and lavish Moroccan décor provided a cozy atmosphere that included accompanying music and we were smartly escorted to a large table. Thankfully, with some recommendations from our waiter, Michelle and Megan were able to interpret the extensive menu and before long three large elaborately glazed earthenware dishes were set upon our table along with a steaming platter of couscous.

Megan explained that these dishes were tagines and that same word is used for both the vessel and the food prepared in them. Made of clay the tagine consists of two parts: a base that is flat and circular with low sides and a conical shape lid that sits on the base during cooking. The lid is designed to retain the one commodity in short supply in the desert: moisture. They originated with the Berbers, the nomadic indigenous people of North Africa. After a long day of camel travel, these wanderers would make a campfire and when the fire burned down, tagines were cooked on the embers. Having cooked with tagines Megan finds that the cooking method, low-and-slow, certainly uses little fat and liquid compared with other cooking methods and that the Moroccan, Tunisian and Algerian dishes, which form the basis of tagine cuisine, feature an abundance of "warm" spices - cinnamon, cumin, coriander - along with garlic, onion, and sometimes lemon.

Upon lifting our tagine lids we discovered three amazing dishes with a wonderful enticing aromas. Megan added that in Morocco, each guest eats directly from the couscous platter using a large spoon or they may roll the couscous up in little balls and pop them into their mouth, alternating with the tagine dish but we opted for individual plates and forks. After devouring our tagines we were all hooked Moroccan cuisine and a refreshing mint tea accompanied by delicate honey nut pastries completed a delightful evening.
The next day still savoring my new dining experience I ventured into Latin Quarter of town in search of a recommended Moroccan specialty store. Here I was served by a lovely girl who helped introduce me to the appropriate spices and ingredients to create the following Moroccan themed recipes.

Minty Quinoa Moroccan Salad

½ cup uncooked quinoa
juice of 1 orange
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 garlic cloves - crushed
¼ teaspoon cumin
1 orange - chopped
2 red bell peppers - diced
1 can chickpeas - drained, rinsed
½ cup pistachios
½ cup black olives - diced
2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley - minced
1 tablespoon mint - minced
salt & pepper

Cook quinoa according to directions. For the dressing, whisk together the next 5 ingredients. In a large bowl combine cooked quinoa and next 7 ingredients. Chill salad and dressing separately before serving.

Ras el Hanout

Ras el hanout is a complex aromatic Moroccan spice blend that can have up to fifty ingredients it's literal translation from Arabic is "head of the shop", implying that it's "the best of the shop." Typically prepared by grinding together whole ingredients this recipe keeps things simple by using ground spices.

2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
2 teaspoons ground mace
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon ground anise seeds
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
Blend spices together and store in a glass jar.

Chicken Tagine with Apricots and Almonds

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion - diced
2 teaspoons ras al hanout
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground coriander
6 thighs and/or drumsticks
1 carrot - diced
4 cloves garlic - minced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger - minced
salt and pepper to taste
15 dried apricots - chopped
1½ cups chicken broth
½ cup sliced almonds - toasted

In a bowl, combine oil, onion, and seasoning. Add chicken and marinate 1 hour. In tagine base combine all ingredients except almonds. Cover, and cook over lowest heat for an hour, stirring occasionally, breaking up apricots. Be patient - this will turn from a thin, watery sauce to thick and a nice orange color, towards the very end of the cooking time. Garnish with almonds and serve with couscous or warm bread and harrisa.

Lamb Tagine with Pumpkin and Prunes

2lb boneless lamb leg - cut into cubes
1 onion - diced
4 garlic cloves - chopped
1 tablespoon ras el hanot
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
large pinch saffron
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 teaspoons honey
½ cup canned crushed tomatoes
3 cups pumpkin chunks
¾ cup pitted prunes - halved
¼ cup water
1 cup canned chickpeas - optional
¼ cup cilantro - chopped

In a tagine base brown lamb cubes in oil. Add remaining ingredients except chickpeas and cilantro. Cover, and cook over lowest heat for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, breaking up prunes. Add chickpeas and cook and additional 15 minutes. Garnish with almonds and cilantro serve with couscous or warm bread and harrisa.

Moroccan Spiced Gingersnaps

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
3 teaspoons ras el hanout
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup packed brown sugar
¾ cup melted virgin coconut oil
¼ cup mild-flavored molasses
1 egg
¼ cup granulated sugar

Heat oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. In medium bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, 2½ teaspoons of ras el hanout and salt. In large bowl, beat brown sugar, coconut oil, molasses and egg until blended. Stir in flour mixture. In small bowl, mix granulated sugar and remaining ras el hanout. Shape dough, by level tablespoons, into balls. Dip tops into granulated sugar mixture. On cookie sheets, place balls, about 3 inches apart. Bake 10 minutes. Makes 3 dozen.


Galley Essentials April 2014

If you're in Friday Harbor on Thanksgiving Day there's no need to be alone as you're invited to San Juan Grange Hall to share a good old-fashioned community Thanksgiving dinner with friends, family and neighbors. It takes a village to create a true sense of community! Bring a pie, sign up to cook a turkey, help in the kitchen, or just join us for a wonderful dinner. There's a fire in the fireplace and everyone is welcome. Most important of all, there is plenty of turkey, dressing and all the fixin's and it's free.

The Journal of the San Juans.

This is the 16th year for the Community Thanksgiving celebration and Minnie Knych is the current dinner organizer. "We have much to be thankful for in this community. The Community Thanksgiving Dinner is a way of expressing that gratitude with more than 100 volunteers working together with a positive and welcoming attitude that any fine dining restaurant would be proud of. These energetic volunteers prepared and served a traditional Thanksgiving dinner to over 400 diners last year and we never know who or how many will show up", says Minnie Knych, "but that just makes the day more interesting. Many diners also pitch in and help. Sometimes there are a dozen people in the kitchen peeling potatoes, washing pots, stirring gravy or slicing turkey. There's always another chore that needs to be done so there's plenty for everyone who enjoys that part of the day, too. It's always good fun and reminds me of my big family childhood holidays when uncles, aunts and cousins gathered in one home for this special day."

John and I were two of the thankful diners last year. We'd not really considered attending as we'd just returned from our expedition season in the South Pacific and were in the process of settling back into island life. To shake off our jet lag John and I eagerly strapped on our running shoes Thanksgiving morning to join in the 9th annual Turkey Trot. The registration fee included donating two cans of food to assist the Friday Harbor Food Bank and Animal protection Society and over 160 happy faces took part. Having enjoyed the camaraderie of the run and with nothing special scheduled for the rest of the day we decided to answer the request in the journal for volunteers at the Community Thanksgiving Dinner.

Upon entering the grange we were surprised how quiet and orderly everything appeared. We were welcomed by a number of pleasant greeters who explained how to go about getting a meal and after joining the small line that snaked out into the hall we soon arrived in the kitchen. We'd now entered the center of the hive and everyone was a worker bee. Workbench stations were established with turkey carvers, salad mixers, pumpkin mashers and green bean dressers hard at work and in no time flat I had a plate of delectable Thanksgiving dinner which I enjoyed in the cozy dining room of the hall. The desert pies with were equally delicious.

I was helping bus tables when Minnie entered the hall and surveyed the scene like a Queen. Going over to say thanks and I also gave our pledge that we'd bake pies for next year event. "This is one of smoothest running Thanksgiving dinners and we're grateful to all the volunteers who roasted the 28 turkeys, baked the pies and helped us over the two days of preparation plus today. We are especially thankful to all the local business and service clubs who also help create a successful event”, said Minnie.

For information on how to join the fun, visit and if you can't attend then perhaps the following recipes will help make your Thanksgiving Dinner a success.

Leafy Waldorf Salad

10 cups (5oz box) cups of mixed leafy greens
two Macintosh apples - diced
4 celery stalks - diced
2 cups grapes - halved
1 cup of toasted pecans
¼ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon plain yogurt
½ tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

For the dressing whisk or shake last 5 ingredients together. Place lettuce in a large bowl and toss with dressing. Top with the diced apples, celery, grapes and toasted pecans. Serves 4 side salads.

French Green Beans with Shallots

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 large shallots - thinly slice
1 cup water
¾ pound French green beans
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and mellow, 8 minutes. Add beans, salt and pepper and cook, stirring frequently, 2 minutes. Add ½ cup of water and cook, stirring frequently, until water evaporates, 5 minutes. Add remaining water and continue cooking until beans are tender and the pan is completely dry, 5 minutes. Serves 4.

Mashed Pumpkin with Garlic and Parmesan

1 small pumpkin (3 lbs) - peeled and diced
¼ cup heavy cream
½ cup grated Parmesan
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Place pumpkin in a large, microwave-safe bowl. Cover with cling wrap and microwave on high for 15 minutes, stopping once to stir the pieces, until very tender. Mash pumpkin and stir in remaining ingredients. Serves 6.

Cranberry Sauce

1 12 ounce bag fresh cranberries
½ cup dried tart cherries
zest of one orange
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¾ cup water
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup maple syrup

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine all ingredient. Bring to a boil while stirring frequently. Cook until the sauce has thickened and most of the berries have burst, about 10 minutes. Serve warm, room temperature or chilled.

Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake

2 15oz cans pumpkin
1½ cups finely crushed gingersnaps
¼ cup melted butter
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 8oz package cream cheese - softened
1¼ cups packed brown sugar
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
5 eggs - slightly beaten

Position two oven racks with the bottom rack in the lowest position. Pour water 1-inch depth into a 13x9x2 inch baking pan and place on bottom rack. Heat oven to 350° F. Drain pumpkin through a paper coffee cup while preparing crust. In a bowl stir together gingersnaps, butter and 2 tablespoons sugar. Press mixture into a 9x3 inch springform pan. Bake 5 minutes. In a large bowl beat cream cheese, 1¼ cups brown sugar until smooth, beat in pumpkin, flour and spice. Stir in eggs. Pour filling into crust and bake on top rack 1 hour or until filling appears set. Turn off oven and let cheesecake stand in oven 30 minutes. Top may crack as it cools. Cool in pan on wire rack 15 minutes. Remove from pan and chill before serving. Serve with cranberry sauce and spiced whipped cream. Serves 12.


Galley Essentials April 2014

lime kiln

Lime Kiln State Park, located on the west side of San Juan Island would have to be one of my favorite places to visit. I'm always captivated by the commanding views of Haro Strait, the Olympic Peninsula and Canadian islands off in the distance as I trail run the paths through some of the of parks 36-acres. The parks name is from the lime kilns that ran for nearly sixty years, starting in the 1860's and the area surrounding the kilns was quarried for limestone while a good portion of the island was logged to feed the fires that transformed the limestone into lime, which was then used in mortar. On the trails it's not uncommon to see fox and deer and generally there's bald eagles perched in the cliff top trees. I always add a scramble down to Deadman Bay's stony beach where I frequently spot seals, otters and orcas.

Last December I donned my ugliest holiday season sweater in answer to an invitation from Friends of the Lime Kiln Sate Park to help celebrate the holiday season. At the parks interpretive center I was greeted by my friend Erin who eagerly asked if I wished to join the first tour of a lighthouse keepers quarters. I'd often passed the two houses, set back on the cliff behind the lighthouse and wondered what happened inside. Our small tour party was greeted by Ted, the head Park Ranger, who along with his wife JoAnn now reside in the house.

Entering the house it was like stepping into a bygone era as the place is furnished in early period pieces and was wonderfully decorated for the holiday season. Ted and JoAnn explained that the furnishings were theirs and that over the past years they'd been slowly restoring the reinforced concrete house. I delighted in JoAnn's collection of quilts and needlework while John admired the small nautical chart room adjacent to the kitchen. The basement is immense and Ted had set up an impressive railway set that wound about a seaside port where a lighthouse took center stage. Ted explained that the original keepers and their families took turns monitoring the lighthouse and weather around the clock.

As we left the house we spent time on the front lawn making popcorn and berry garlands for the Christmas tree. A top of the lighthouse tour followed and it's certainly an amazing place to view orcas. The lighthouse was built in 1919 of reinforced concrete and consists of a thirty-eight-foot octagonal tower rising from the fog signal building. The original Fresnel lens revolved atop a mercury float to produce a group of three flashes every ten seconds. Kerosene for the incandescent oil-vapor lamp was stored in a tank at the foot of the tower and was forced to the service room by compressed air.

With our tour complete it was time to say goodbye to Erin. I was not to win the ugliest sweater contest but a sampling of the amazing treats Brooke had baked left me very inspired to get creative in the galley. To discover more on Lime Kiln State Park visit and

lime kiln
Brooke, Amanda and Erin ready to serve treats

Ginger Cake

1½ cups whole-wheat flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
½ cup molasses
½ cup brown sugar
2 eggs
¾ cup low-fat milk

Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan. In a large bowl, whisk together first 7 ingredients. In a medium bowl, whisk together butter, molasses and sugar. Whisk in eggs and milk. Gradually whisk wet mixture into flour mixture until well-combined. Pour into pan and bake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, 35-45 minutes.

Lemon Honey Pound Cake

1½ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup honey
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup unsalted butter - room temperature
2 eggs
½ cup milk
1 lemon - zest and juice
1 tablespoon honey for glaze
¼ cup powdered sugar for glaze

Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan then line it with parchment paper. In a small bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, blend together honey, sugar, butter and eggs. Add milk, zest and half the lemon juice. Add flour mixture and blend it until smooth. Pour into loaf pan and bake 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. For the glaze whisk together reserved lemon juice, honey and powdered sugar. Drizzle glaze over warm cake and let it soak in for 10 minutes. Remove cake from pan and let it cool on a wire rack.

Zucchini Bread

1 cup white flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour
2 tablespoons wheat germ
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
½ cup sugar
1/3 cup each raisins
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1 egg
1¼ cups shredded zucchini
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1¼ cups skim milk

Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan, then line it with parchment paper. In a mixing bowl, combine first 11 ingredients. Mix in remaining ingredients. Pour into the loaf pan.

For the topping:
2 tablespoon flour
2 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1½ tablespoons butter

In a mixing bowl combine topping ingredients, using a fork, until large crumbs form, then drop over the top of the batter. Bake 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove bread from pan and let it cool on a wire rack.

Vegan Pumpkin Coconut Bread

1¾ cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup pumpkin puree
¾ cup coconut oil - melted and slightly cooled
1/3 cup coconut milk
1/3 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1 teaspoon raw sugar

Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Add pumpkin, coconut oil, and coconut milk and mix together until flour disappears into wet ingredients (do not over mix). Stir in shredded coconut. Pour into prepared pan and top a sprinkle of raw sugar and cinnamon. Bake 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Once you remove the pan from the oven, cover it tightly with foil and allow the bread to steam for 10 minutes. Remove foil and let cool completely.


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