Mahina Expeditions offers offshore sail-training expeditions, offshore cruising seminars and boat purchase consultation.

Mahina Expeditions offers offshore sail-training expeditions, offshore cruising seminars and boat purchase consultation.

Aloha and welcome to my first column of Galley Essentials. I'm honored to be given this opportunity to write for 48ºNorth Magazine based in Seattle and look forward to creating a nourishing relationship with you and good food, where the focus is fun, simple and healthy.

As we all know our lives continue to boil along at a frantic pace with increased demands but the hours we spend with our boats allows us the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors with family and friends or provides us the quiet space needed to keep the balance. Most often boat time revolves around food so I plan to create a column that helps you with life's busy schedule by offering recipes that are flexible but also have a robust quality about them.

I was introduced to the Pacific Northwest culture when I sailed to the West Coast from New Zealand in 1980 as teenager. I have fond memories of crabbing and oyster gathering as we cruised the Gulf Islands and the San Juans and our visits to Seattle were never complete until we'd explored Pike Place Market. I now live in Friday Harbor part of each year and enjoy the culinary delights the island offers from the vibrant farmers market to the seafood houseboat in the port.

The other eight months a year John Neal and I conduct sail training expeditions aboard our Hallberg-Rassy 46, Mahina Tiare III. On May 4th we will set sail from Auckland, New Zealand sailing through the Pacific up to Sitka and back home to Friday Harbor. I think this year's voyage will add an exciting element to the column as I explore foreign and close to home ports, and share with you the tricks of easy food management in a voyaging galley.

Spring is on its way and I know that many of you will be starting to spring clean your boats. This month's recipes are created with the theme that you're spending the weekend on the boat as a shake down to summer voyaging.

Birch Muesli
This Swedish breakfast recipe launches us into the summer mood especially when the berries at the market start acquire the taste of sunshine. Since you soak the oats for a few hours it's a good dish to prepare when staying aboard overnight.
2 cups rolled oats
milk to cover oats
1/2 cup yogurt
1 apple - grated
grapes ? cut in half
2 tablespoons honey
Optional fresh berries

1) Cover oats with milk and soak overnight.

2) In the morning, add remaining ingredients, mix and serve. Serves 4.

Penne Pasta with Chicken, Spinach, Roasted Tomatoes and Feta
4 cups cherry tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 garlic cloves - chopped
¾ teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
2 cups cooked chicken meat - shredded
8 oz penne pasta
5 cups spinach leaves
3/4 cup feta - cubed or crumbled

1) Mix tomatoes, oil garlic and crushed red pepper in a baking pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes become soft, about 20 minutes or, load tomatoes onto skewers and barbeque until soft.

2) In a large skillet combine tomatoes, juices and chicken. Simmer until heated through.

3) Meanwhile cook pasta and drain, save 1/4 pasta water. Add tomato mixture, spinach and saved pasta water to pasta. Toss over medium heat until spinach begins to wilt.

4) Mix in feta. Serves 4

Pear, Walnut, Parmesan, and Greens Salad
I love the fresh taste and crisp contrast of colors this salad provides.
8 cups of mixed greens or lambs lettuce
1 cup parmesan - shaved with vegetable peeler
1 pear - peeled, cored and cut into thin slices
1/2 cup walnuts or pecans - toasted
1 shallot or small red onion - thinly sliced
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons cider vinegar or red wine vinegar
4 tablespoons olive oil

1) Whisk dressing ingredients together, season with salt and pepper and sweeten with honey or maple syrup if desired.

2) Pour dressing over salad. Serves 4

Fish with Wasabi
4 fish fillets
2 shallots - minced
3 garlic cloves - minced
2 tablespoons ginger - minced
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons wasabi paste
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar

1) Combine all ingredients and marinate fish for 4 hours.

2) Barbecue, grill or sear fish in hot dry frying pan.
Serve with rice and salad

Sun-Dried Tomato Meat Burgundy
Here is a stout dish to chase away the last of the winter chills
3 lbs beef or lamb roast
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 cup burgundy wine
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
2 carrots - diced
1 onion - chopped
2 celery stalks - diced
1 green pepper - chopped
3 garlic cloves - crushed
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons olive oil
½ teaspoon thyme
salt & pepper to season

Pressure Cooker Instructions
Brown meat on all sides, add remaining ingredients and pressure cook 30 minutes.

Oven Instructions

Combine all ingredients inside an oven roasting bag and place in a roasting dish, make slits in the top of the bag. Roast 2 1/2 hours at 325°F.

Remove meat and slice.
Serve sliced meat with cooking sauce and hot new potatoes.

Baked Peaches with Ginger

4 large peaches or 8 medium
2 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons crystallized ginger - chopped
1) Preheat oven to 350°F

2) Drop peaches in a pot of boiling water for 40 seconds. Remove and peel. Cut in half and remove pit.

3) Place peaches in casserole dish, drizzle with honey and sprinkle with ginger. Bake 25 minutes.
Serves 4

Serve hot or at room temperature.


Exotic Oils and Spices

With the South Pacific hurricane season over John and I are returning to Mahina Tiare in Auckland, New Zealand. It's now serious time in the boat yard as we prep and pimp M.T. for her upcoming sailing season to Alaska. There won't be much time for romantic gourmet dinners aboard as we'll be spending long hours maintaining systems and going over checklist but at least we'll be able to take a keep break to sample restaurant fare and see what the trendy neighborhood cafes have to offer.

During my brief visits back to New Zealand over the past ten years I'm always surprised at the culinary advances my home country has taken. Although meat pies and pavlova's will always remain Kiwi icons they are fast being pushed aside for a more adventurous and gourmet cuisine.

This month's Essentials is devoted to the new fandangle gourmet oils that are a recent addition to the supermarket shelves. Although at first I found these gourmet oils to be rather expensive, once I started drizzling them over otherwise nondescript food I discovered they were very addictive to the palette.

Avocado Oil
The flavor is rather nutty and full-bodied. Look for a dark green color, the oil is extracted from the ripe avocado flesh not the seed. Valued for its higher smoking point than nut oil, avocado oil lends itself to sautéing, grilling and stir-fry's. Cold, it can be used drizzled over summer soups and toasted breads.

Hazelnut Oil
This oil is a smooth operator with a toasted buttery delicate flavor. A light golden color with the best brands from France. Use in place of olive oil in light vinaigrettes and try it sprinkled over sliced aged parmesan with balsamic vinegar, brush it over red peppers before grilling or drizzle it over pumpkin.

Roasted or Toasted Peanut Oil
Packing a strong fresh peanut flavor its more flavorful and darker than plain peanut oil. Toss with vegetables and experiment with it in Asian dishes such as whisked together with soy sauce and wasabi for a sushi dipping sauce.

Walnut Oil

Darker than vegetable oil, walnut oil boats an enjoyable full-bodied polished taste. Drizzle over hot pasta or brush over grilled shrimp or fish. Walnut oil also contains omega-3 fatty acid, the same heart-healthy fat embodied in many types of fish.

Cherry Hazelnut Oatmeal
4 cups water
2 cups rolled oats
2/3 cup dried cherries
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 cup hazelnuts - chopped
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons hazelnut oil

1) Combine first four ingredients in a pan, simmer until oats are cooked, stirring occasionally 2) Stir in cinnamon, 1/2 the nuts and sugar. Serves 4 Serve oatmeal in bowls topped with nuts, sugar and a drizzle of hazelnut oil.

Dukkah [DOO-kah]
John and I were first served this Egyptian crumbly spice and nut mixture when we ordered an antipasto platter while on tour of a South Island NZ vineyard. It was served in a small dish in partnership with a gourmet oil and is designed to be used as a dip, preceded by oil, for breads or to be sprinkled over meats and vegetables.

1/2 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup blanched almonds or a mixture of almonds with macadamia, hazelnut or pistachio nuts
1/4 cup whole cumin seeds
1/4 cup whole coriander seeds
11/2 teaspoons rock salt
1 tablespoon ground paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme - optional for herb blend

1) Toast the nuts in a hot oven for about 15 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent burning.

2) Toast the spice, sesame and sunflowers seeds separately in the same way. Take out when the seeds darken a little and have an appetizing aroma.

3) Cool and combine with the remaining ingredients, grind in a food processor. The final mixture should have a dry crumbly texture, like small breadcrumbs - it should not be an oily paste. You may also chop the nuts or use a mortar and pestle.

4) Do the same with the seeds, one sort at a time, then combine with remaining ingredients. Store in an airtight container in a cool cupboard.

Toasted Hazelnut Focaccia
1 cup warm water
1 teaspoon sugar
1 packet dry yeast - 2 1/4 teaspoons
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon hazelnut oil
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon plus 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1/4 cup hazelnuts - chopped

1) Combine 1/4 cup warm water, sugar and yeast in a bowl in 3 minutes when water becomes foamy, add the remaining water, 1 tablespoon hazelnut oil and salt.

2) Stir in 1 cup of flour to yeast. Keep adding flour, mixing until dough ball forms.

3) Knead dough on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic. About 8 minutes.

4) Place dough in large oiled bowl, turn to coat, cover and let rise in a warm draft free place for 30 minutes, until double is size.

5) Stretch dough into a 13x9 baking dish with non stick spray, cover and let rise until double in size.

6) Preheat oven to 400°F. Make indentations in dough with fingertips brush with remaining oil, sprinkle with nuts and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

7) Bake at 400°F for 35 minutes, until golden brown.

Romaine Salad with Avocado-Lime Vinaigrette
These simple ingredients allow the avocado oil to shine through but the following seasoned shrimp can be added for a more robust salad.

6 cups shredded romaine lettuce
1 cup cherry tomatoes - halved
1/4 cup red onion - sliced
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon

1) Toss lettuce, tomatoes and onion in a large bowl. 2) Wisk remaining ingredients together and toss with salad.

Seasoned Shrimp
These spiced shrimp are an added bonus to any dish such as a salad or pasta, or simply enjoy them on their own. If you have mixed up the Dukkah you can substitute it for the spice mix.

1 1/2 pound medium shrimp - peeled and divined
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 1/2 tablespoons avocado oil, divided
lime wedges

1) Sprinkle shrimp with sugar and salt.

2) Combine chili, cumin, coriander, and oregano. Coat shrimp.

3) Heat 1 teaspoon oil in skillet and sauté half shrimp 4 minutes or until done.

4) Remove shrimp and repeat with remaining oil and shrimp.

Serve drizzled with remaining avocado oil and lime wedges.

Sesame Crusted Fish

1 tablespoons light brown sugar
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoon tahini
4 fish fillets
3 tablespoons black sesame seeds
3 tablespoons white sesame seeds
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoon peanut oil

1) Whisk together first 4 ingredients, pour into a dish with fish.

2) Cover and marinate 6 hours turning occasionally.

3) Remove fish and pat dry with paper towels.

4) Combine sesame seeds and flour. Coat fish with sesame seed mixture (You could also substitute Dukkah)

5) Heat oils in skillet, add fish and cook 3 minutes until golden. Turn over, reduce heat and cook until fish flakes with a fork.

Cheese and Fruit Deserts Using Oils
Slice pears and brie cheese and drizzle with hazelnut oil or perhaps brush grilled pineapple with walnut oil and serve with vanilla ice cream.

When Karen crossed the Atlantic with us aboard Mahina Tiare in 2001, she started out rather cautiously, not sure if she was cut out for ocean voyaging. By the time we reached Antigua and her husband Jerry met her, she claimed, "This was great! Quit your job and let's get that boat you've been dreaming about so we can go cruising!

They ordered a Hallberg-Rassy 43 from Pete McGonagle in Seattle and took delivery in Sweden at the yard, located on a small island north of Gothenburg. After spending two summers cruising Europe they left Heron in Majorca for the winter.

On a recent visit to San Francisco I caught up with Karen, discovered she is looking forward to sailing the Med this summer, and now loves taking the helm especially when the winds are over 25 knots. When not cruising, Karen works as a physician assistant in Mill Valley and Central America.

How was it outfitting in Sweden?
The first thing we did was borrow a car for a visit to a mall to buy the basics. We'd brought nine containers from the states but it was mostly electronics and bedding. In particular I purchased 12 red open weave baskets and I found places where they fitted, from underneath the vanity, the main cabin cupboards, to placing them in the space under the main cabin seats. Their storage uses also varied from bathroom items to spares, clothes to snacks.

Everything in the stores was in Swedish, but there were enough people speaking English that it was not a problem. What I really enjoyed was shopping with my dictionary. I would look up words I couldn't figure out and when that didn't work I would just ask somebody. At first I'd say, "Do you speak English?" They always said "Yes", especially the younger people. I ended up approaching young people and not ask them if they spoke English, just starting off with "Would you please help me with this?" or, "Can you tell me where this is?" or "What is this?" They were always helpful and seemed to enjoy speaking English.

How does the galley work for you?
I was surprised how quickly I got used to the galley. You just learn to be very efficient; it's the refrigerator that's the bane of my existence, I hate it! It's so deep that it's hard to keep organized. Instead of buying bottled water as many European boaters do, we installed a Seagull water filter in the galley which I highly recommend. I didn't get into baking bread, we're trying to stay away from it plus it was fun to try all the different breads. I did buy a French casserole dish in Sweden, its navy blue with a white interior and I ended up doing quite a few dishes in it as they looked pretty.

Greek Chicken Casserole
4 chicken breasts
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
2 cups Greek black olives
2 cups red wine
5 mushrooms - sliced
1 carrot - grated
1 zucchini - sliced
3 garlic cloves - chopped
2 tablespoons capers
2 tablespoons Italian herbs
1/4 cup feta cheese
salt and pepper

1) Marinate chicken in red wine

2) Sauté chicken, add garlic and onions, cook 3 minutes.

3) Add remaining ingredients, including wine marinade

4) Bring to a boil, sprinkle with feta bake uncovered in over 15 minutes or pressure cook 10 minutes, adding feta when serving.

Serve with couscous or rice, salad and crusty bread

Did you pre cook meals?
Yes definitely, that's when I'd use the pressure cooker. Before crossing the Bay of Biscay and I did different meals. I didn't have a chance to freeze them as we left sooner than planned due to a weather window. I kept the meals in the fridge and heated them up when needed. Everyone just loves the all-in-one pressure cooker dishes.

Foreign Shopping
I was in the Swedish supermarket and saw a meat that looked like ground beef or lamb. After looking it up in the dictionary it translated to bulls testicles minced up. I was a little suspicious but I bought it anyway, as Jerry will eat anything. I cooked it up, making hamburgers but I could not eat it as I was afraid to. Jerry said it was really good.

I try to remember to take our canvas bags to the stores and we also have a cart that folds away into nothing. It's usually a big help but I have to check that there's not too many cobble stones.

While shopping at a lovely small open market in France, I joined a long animated line at a cart flying a flag of a horses head. After speaking with some women I discovered they were lining up for horse meat! They were really encouraging, "Mai oui! You'll have to try it, it's tres superb, make it into hamburgers". Again I returned to the market and bought horse meat, in chunks this time for a stew.

I liked the hamburger but then, I don't know, something happened after that, I just couldn't bring myself to eat the stew, Jerry ate it, I kind of picked around it. We had horse meat left and debated whether we should serve it to visiting friends without telling them, we didn't.
Cheval Bourguignon
2 lb horse meat or beef - chunked
3 bacon rashers - diced
red wine - as needed
1/4 cup brandy
1 cup beef stock
3 onions - diced
3 carrots - chunked
6 mushrooms - diced
2 potatoes - cubed
3 celery stalks - chopped
2 cups frozen peas
1 tomato - diced
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce or 1 tablespoon each of soy sauce and vinegar.
4 garlic cloves - chopped
French herbs - thyme, rosemary, tarragon, bay leaf
1 onion stuck with 8 cloves
orange zest
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked pepper

1) Sa1uté bacon and remove.

2) Coat meat with flour and brown in bacon oil, remove.

3) Sauté onions and garlic, mix in remaining flour.

4) Add all ingredients and cover with wine.

5) Bring to a boil then simmer covered, in oven or on stovetop, 1 hour or pressure cook 15 minutes.

6) Add peas and simmer 10 minutes uncovered.

We're not big on breakfast, mainly cereal, although occasionally we'd make a Frittata.

6 eggs
3 cups diced vegetables - zucchini, mushrooms, asparagus, bell pepper, cooked potatoes, tomatoes or spinach
2 onions - chopped
1 carrot - grated
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese - grated
2 tablespoons basil - chopped
salt and pepper
*optional - spicy sausage or bacon - cooked

1) Sauté onion and vegetables until soft

2) Beat eggs, cheese, herbs and salt and pepper together, mix in vegetables

3) Pour mix into greased pan and cook on stove top until half way done. Don't stir but occasionally lift the edge and tip pan to allow the raw egg to scoot under the cooked.

4) Place pan in oven and bake until set, about 10 minutes

Oh, I had a friend bring Bisquick, you don't get it over there. They're from Vermont and also bought real maple syrup so we had pancakes for a while.

These are fairly simple, relaxed meals; fresh bread from a local bakery, local chesses, olives, cold cuts and fruit. I like to keep a live herb plant going, generally basil; you find them in the markets. It's nice to have something that's alive, I miss that, my plants from home. Light interesting salads, with something like beans, couscous or bulgar wheat, are always a popular addition with lunch.

Feta and Olive Taboule
This Mediterranean salad has been liberated with feta, olives and walnuts.

2 cups hot water
1 cup bulgar wheat
2 cucumbers - diced
2 tomatoes - chopped
1 red onion - diced small
1 cup olives
1 cup parsley - chopped
1/2 cup feta cheese - cubed
2 tablespoons mint - chopped
2 tablespoons basil - chopped
2 tablespoons walnuts - toasted
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon walnut oil
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove - minced salt and pepper to taste

1) Combine bulgar and water, stand 30 minutes or until soft. Drain in a strainer.

2) Mix in remaining ingredients.

I like to use olive oil, Majorca makes a great olive oil so I'm stocking up on it when we return.

In England friends put us onto an ice cream in that had ginger in it. It was so good! We bought four before leaving and I'd serve it with fancy cookies from a bakery. We also loved the digestive cookies from England.

Any Advice?
This may seem silly but I didn't find zip locks anywhere in Europe, I'd ask friends to bring them when they came to visit.

Loading up the boat and cruising off to a quiet bay is one of my favorite rituals, it instantly transports me into a laid-back mood. There's not a lot of pressure to do much but read, swim, hike, gather shellfish and eat... or what ever I fancy. The holiday spirit is exactly what I feel as I sit anchored in a quiet bay in Auckland's Hauraki Gulf enjoying a seemingly endless Indian summer. Kiwi's are also out in force, piling on and off the ferries headed for beach picnics and bush walks, zipping around in runabouts looking for the perfect fishing spot, racing on the harbor or relaxing, like me, in Izzi Bay.

It's just John and I aboard for a quiet weekend, a time to unwind from the busy boatyard and rejuvenate before sailing to the marina downtown and provisioning for our expedition season to Alaska. We take a walk ashore and step back in time. Old holiday batches (beach cabins) dot the foreshore. Handed down through generations, they can not be sold as they are on parks land. Families gather around the barbeque cooking the morning's catch and knocking back a few beers while kids swing on ropes hung in trees and play cricket on the hard sand beach.

Bucket in hand I hike along the coast in search of a free lunch. As I scramble over the rocks I'm reminded of past summer holidays spent cruising with poppa and nana (my grandparents). While my brother and nana wadded in the shallows at low tide gathering pipis and clams, Pop and I would disappear around rocky points in search of a secluded spot. Armed with a screwdriver and hammer we would pry open oyster shells popping their juicy morsels into our mouths. We'd roll the oyster around for a bit savoring its salty tang and burst of flavor, spitting out any bits of wayward shell, before letting it slide down the hatch. Back then it was illegal to eat the oysters so we'd have to be very discrete about it all. Although we were law abiding citizens when it came to a couple of oysters Pop would say "What harm can we do, there's plenty of the little buggers". Now it's legal to eat rock oysters as long as you eat them in place.

Upon retuning to the boat we'd cook up the shellfish and sit around the table with the steaming pot in the middle. We'd pile the hot pipis and cockles between thick slabs of buttered bread, adding a dash of vinegar for an extra punch. Nana would chat away and Pop would become bored, soon sneaking off to turn on the radio to quickly catch the latest rugby score. Once the lunch dishes were done nana would already be planning the dinner menu over a cup of tea and slice of apple cake.

Today I'm only going to eat a couple of oysters, and take home a little bucket of pipis for lunch; a small reminder of lazy summer days and pleasant times gathering shellfish be it here in New Zealand or in the San Juans. That's also what I've planned for this months' recipes, a simple carefree menu to be shared with family and friends.

These little fellows are a dainty version of the American pancake. Served for morning or afternoon tea with a generous spread of butter and a dollop of jam they are often made when unexpected quests drop by or as a warm treat before or after a shore side excursion. Kept warm in a pile under a tea towel, many a child's hand has been caught sneaking the odd pikelet before they are ready to be served at the table.

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/4 cup butter - melted

1) Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl, add the combined eggs, milk, sugar and butter and mix until the batter is smooth, caution: over mixing produces tough pikelets.

2) Drop tablespoons of mixture from the point of the spoon onto a hot greased frying pan. Flip over when bubbles start to burst and cook second side until golden.

Makes 30

Crab Lime Salad

3 cooked crabs*
2 cucumbers - sliced
2 cups shredded green papaya or mango
1/2 cup lime juice
1/3 cup mint - chopped
1/3 cup cilantro - chopped
2 tablespoons brown sugar
lime wedges for serving
1 tablespoon fish sauce

1) Combine cucumber, fruit, juice, herbs, sugar and fish sauce - marinate 30 minutes.

Serve salad topped with crab and lime wedges

*You may substitute shellfish, sashimi fish or cooked prawns for the crab.

Lemon Couscous

1 cup couscous
1 1/4 cups boiling chicken stock or water
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons lemon rind
2 tablespoons capers
3 tablespoons shredded fresh sage leaves
1/4 cup slivered almonds

1) Combine couscous and stock, cover and let stand 5 minutes.

2) Melt butter in frying pan, add rind, capers, sage and almonds and cook 7 minutes until almonds are toasted. Mix in couscous.

Serve with grilled chicken, fish or shrimps, grilled lemon halves and green salad

Lamb Cutlets with Rosemary

12 lamb cutlets
8 anchovy fillets - chopped
2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoon rosemary - chopped
2 tablespoon olive oil
5 garlic cloves - chopped
4 teaspoons brown sugar
cracked black pepper

1) Combine all ingredients and brush over lamb.
2) Grill lamb 3 minutes each side or to your liking. Serves 4

Serve with a summer salad.

Fish with Crispy Caper Sauce

4 fish fillets
2 tablespoons olive oil
sea salt and cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh lemon thyme leaves
Caper Dressing
2 tablespoons salted capers - drained
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice

1) Brush fish with oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and thyme. Grill to your liking.

2) Cook capers in butter and oil until the capers are crisp, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and add lemon juice.

To serve, pile a mound of salad greens onto each serving plat, top with the fish and pour over the caper dressing adding hot potatoes on the side.

Apple Cake
3/4 cup butter - softened
1/3 cup caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 eggs
1 1/2cups flour
1/3 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup milk

4 apples peeled, halved and cored
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
7/2 cup apricot jelly - warmed

1) Preheat oven to 325°F. Mix butter, sugar and cinnamon until creamy add eggs and beat again. 2) Sift in flour and baking powder and stir in milk.

3) Line a 9 inch tin with baking paper and spoon in cake mix.

4) Cut numerous parallel slits across the back of apple halves, and arrange over the cake with slits up.

5) Combine cinnamon and sugar then sprinkle it over the apples.

6) Bake 40 minutes, remove from oven and brush with jam, bake another 10 minutes.

After sailing 2,300 miles, arriving in a new country after 15 days at sea is likened to being woken up after 100 years of sleep. Our first leg of the season saw us leaving New Zealand in blustery conditions on a course north of the usual westerlies to avoid a stalled out low pressure system. As our weather became balmy so did life onboard and our days began to revolve around a steady pattern of watches, sleep, fishing and meals. Although life at sea has its own rewards time seems to stand still and you're forever wondering what new adventures wait for you at landfall.

What a thrill it was to witness the majestic island of Rurutu loom out of the sea, dead ahead, on the morning sunrise. By noon we had skirted the coast line of the island, about the same size as Lopez, and tucked ourselves inside the cemented break water of the small harbor. Once the dock lines were secure we were overwhelmed by the steady stream of locals who came to welcome us bringing gifts of fresh fruit. Stalks of bananas, oranges, papayas and handfuls of bright Tahitian limes or citron were gratefully accepted aboard but the most prized item was pamplemousse, a grapefruit the size of volleyball. We quickly devoured a pamlemousse each and were soon making space to stow away several week's supply as this fruit keeps well even in the tropics.

When our visitors tapered we set off on foot and bicycle to explore the island. Tidy villages lay dotted around the fringing coastal road. Homes are brightly painted, small and inviting with low garden walls containing a profusion of herbs, flowers, shrubs and a stately pamplemousse tree. The large fruit trees act as shade barriers and the open homes were trimmed with gay tropical fabrics. Ornaments ranging from strung coral, shells and toys also hang in the trees as if their owners have hung offerings to an ancient fruit goddess. I passed by a house with a long vibrant hedge of basil and instantly decided to make summer pasta for our evening dinner. Only finding a group of young children in the yard I slowly eased them out of their shyness and soon had them eagerly plucking basil leaves. Phew, I needed all the plucking help I could get to meet my basil quota for the dish.

Summer Pasta
This tasty dish is quick and easy to prepare is and is a cool treat on hot days.

5 large tomatoes - chopped
2 garlic cloves - crushed
2 cups basil - chopped
Salt and pepper
8 oz uncooked pasta
1 large brie or camembert - cut into small cubes

1) Combine tomatoes, garlic and basil, season to taste.

2) Cook pasta until el dente. Serve pasta topped with tomatoes and brie, and garlic bread on the side. Serves four.

Green Papaya Salad
A stunning refreshing salad for lunch or for a heartier dinner cooked shrimp, crab or chicken can be added.

2 green papaya - peeled and julienne-cut or grated
3 carrots - cut into match sticks
1 firm mango - cut into match sticks
3/4 cup cilantro - chopped
1/2 cup lime juice - about 3 limes
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
2 chilies - finely chopped
2 garlic cloves - crushed
1 tablespoon ginger - minced
Salt to taste

Combine all ingredients, chill and serve sprinkled with chopped dry roasted peanuts. Serves 6.

Grilled Steak Tacos with Corn Relish
Serve tacos with red bean and rice salad, garnish with sliced avocado and grapefruit.

4 pieces steak
1 ½ teaspoons chipotle chili powder - divided
3 tablespoons olive oil - divided
3 tablespoons lime juice - divided
6 green onions
3 ears corn - husked
1/4 cup cilantro - chopped
1 teaspoon lime peel
8 corn totillas

1) Sprinkle steak with salt and chili.

2) Whisk 1½ tablespoons olive oil and 11/2 tablespoons lime juice, add meat and marinate 20 minutes. 3) Grill to your liking and slice thinly.

4) Brush green onions and corn with oil and season with salt and pepper.

5) Grill vegetables until just charred, 2 minutes for green onions, 8 minutes for corn.

6) Cut corn from cob; add chopped green onions, cilantro, lime peel, lime juice, oil and a dash of chili. Season with salt and pepper.

7) Grill steak to your liking and slice thinly

8) Warm tortillas on edge of grill and create tacos with steak and relish. Serves four.

After an eventful three day visit we sadly departed from Rurutu. The islanders did not let us leave empty handed and even as we were weighing anchor friends appeared at the breakwater with wheelbarrows of produce. Mahina Tiare was loaded to the top sides with a hoard of fruit that included three green stalks of bananas, each a different variety, hanging in the rigging. Unfortunately during the passage the entire stock of bananas ripened on the same day so it was time to get creative. A banana cake only takes 3 mashed bananas, not really enough to warrant the trouble but here's a secret, you can freeze bananas to use at a later date.

Fish with Curry and Bananas
Catching a mahi mahi on the passage to Huahine provided another opportunity to use our fast ripening bananas.

4 fish fillets
2 teaspoons curry paste
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 limes - juiced
1 1/2 cups coconut cream
3 bananas - sliced long and thin

1) Mix curry and sugar together, coat fish and sauté in butter. Add lime juice and coconut cream.

2) Remove fish, arrange on platter.

3) Add bananas to pan, warm and pour over fish.

Serve with salad and couscous that has chopped dried apricots and walnuts added.

French Toast
We've now been cruising French Polynesia for 2 weeks and are well immersed into the local diet. French baguettes are plentiful and cheap and if you don't make it to the store for your warm breakfast bread, making French toast out yesterday's baguette is an option.

3 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla or 1 tablespoon rum
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 slices of bread or 1 baguette cut into rounds

1) Lightly beat eggs and milk together, add salt and vanilla.
2) Dip bread in egg and brown each side in well-buttered hot skillet. Serves four.

Pineapple Flambé
Our Rurutu bananas have been given away to fellow cruisers and frozen and on the island of Moorea where pineapple has replaced our past bounty of bananas. Here's a decadent desert that makes quick work of any wayward pineapple but can be equally made with fresh peaches, papaya, canned fruit...or bananas.

1 small pineapple sliced into rings
1/4 cup rum
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 butter

1) Melt butter in skillet, add sugar and heat. 2) Add fruit and stir until butter and sugar caramelizes. 3) Pour in rum, set alight and serve immediately.

Nora and Bruce





Sharing an anchorage on Moorea, Tahiti with Bruce and Nora of Sisters Oergon, aboard the Island Packet 485 "Jamboree” gave me the chance to find how the "Galley Cruising Life” was treating them.


What inspired you to go Cruising?

We've always been water people, but Bruce has always dreamed of going sailing. While chartering in Mexico we got inspired by a couple we met who were in their 80's, and we thought if they could do it so could we. We'd worked together in our construction business and so the self sufficiency of cruising as couple appealed to us. Last year as ashake down we went to Alaska on the Inside Passage and on the way back cruised the Queen Charlotte Islands and west side of Vancouver Island.


Who does the cooking aboard?

Nora - For the first few days at sea I get out of chores like cooking as I get queasy whenever I do anything that requires total attention. Although Bruce is a good cook he's a little reluctant so I help him out by chopping all the stuff for him in the cockpit where I don't get queasy.


Did you do any fishing?

Bruce is a great fisherman and in Alaska we fished for salmon and halibut; 250 ft deep, not much current, ¼ oz line, wet worm just jigging on the bottom. At times our back deck became a major fish processing factory and we'd often catch so much fish we'd be giving it away.

How do you cook your fish?

We've used a lot of recipes from our favorite cookbook Life's a Fish and Then You Fry, by Randy Bayliss. For halibut we'd cube it or steak it, dip it in bread crumbs or parmesan then sauté it in garlic butter and we always cook up plenty. �The nice thing about fish is that you can do wraps the next day, just by adding a different it seasoning and heating it up in the microwave you get a completely different meal.

Burrito Wraps

We're really big on wraps and experiment with different ingredients such as cabbage and pineapple instead of lettuce. In the states and Canada you can get spoilt with all the variety but in Mexico you only get fresh little ones so we often stocked up in the hard shells as they last longer.

Limes are our must have staple aboard, a fish wrap just doesn't have the same little kick with out it. We also now make our salsa and shop early at the markets to hunt down the necessary ingredients such as cilantro.


Mango Salsa

When we arrived in the Marquesas it was Sunday so everything was closed, we'd been 17 days at sea and were just taking a walk when we came across all these mangoes just lying in the street. We ripped one open and it was so good that we hurried back to the boat with some and made the best mango salsa.

3 mangoes - chopped

1 red bell pepper - chopped

½ cup cilantro - chopped

¼ cup lime juice

¼ cup red onion - finely chopped

1 tablespoon minced seeded jalapeno pepper

1 garlic clove - crushed

¼ teaspoon sea salt

Combine all ingredients and chill before serving.


Halibut Poisson Cru

This recipe we enjoyed in Alaska. I wasn't until we arrived in Tahiti that we realized you're supposed to grate real coconuts then squeeze out the juice to make coconut milk. We'd just been adding a dash of our favorite is the pina colada drink mix, Kurumba crema de coc, although it's pretty sinful.

2 lb. fresh fish

1 cup coconut milk

limes or lemons

carrots - grated

tomatoes - chopped

sweet onion - chopped

Tabasco or chili peppers - chopped

ginger - grated

garlic - crushed

Cut fish into thin strips or small cubes. Cover fish with lime juice and marinate an hour until fish turns white. Drain, add remaining ingredients and serve chilled.



Ever since our arrival in French Polynesia we've been serving these whenever we have friends over for drinks; they are so good that who cares what dinner is like!

Slice a French baguette into rounds and toast or bake with garlic butter until brown. Serve topped with sliced tomatoes, mozzarella, fresh basil leaves and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.


Crock Pot Chili Pork Shoulder Roast

This is our big get together dish and also works with chicken. We often make it when in port and freeze small batches to reheat at sea.

5 lb loin of pork

1 large can of green enchilada sauce

1 small can chicken broth

Cook on high in crock pot until done, 4-5 hours. Break up meat with a fork and mix well.

Serves 14

Cinnamon Fruit and Nut Bread

We don't really eat deserts but if we do fell like a treat we often have Cinnamon Fruit and Nut Bread.� We have a Williams and Sonoma stainless bread maker and there's always something comforting about the smell of baking bread. �Our daughter made us vacuum packs of the dry ingredients for a 2lb loaf, minus the fruit and nuts, this makes bread making a lot quicker and easier.

3 1/3 cups flour

1-1/8 cup warm water

½ cup dates, cranberries, dried apricots or raisins

¼ cup milk

1 egg

3 tablespoons sugar

1 ½ tablespoons butter or vegetable oil

2 teaspoons cinnamon

2 teaspoons dry yeast

1 teaspoon salt

Add all ingredients to bread machine and bake.


We were on route to Rarotonga and as steady winds held, interspersed with some rain squalls, we closed on Mopelia not long after sunrise. Mopelia atoll is located 120 miles west of Bora Bora and its small circular shape is about 5 miles across. When we arrived at the pass entrance, several hours before high slack water which is at noon daily, the lack of any S or W swell meant that, for the first time out of many visits, the current was actually flooding into the lagoon. After we'd navigated the narrow NW pass and picked our way across the lagoon, dodging coral patches and many pearl farm floats, we were rewarded with the quintessential tropical anchorage, shared by three French yachts.

Mopelia Anchorage

I'm all smiles at being anchored in paradise

Island time stands still here, the 12 islanders who have established small homes harvest black-lipped oysters for pearl cultivation and enjoy welcoming the few yachts that stop by. While our crew napped (they were pretty tired after the overnight passage) I headed ashore to catch up with my old friends Hina and Lionel and deliver their baguettes. I soon found Hina resting in a hammock strung between two palms; she was chatting with a visiting French yachtie and warmly thanked me for the gift. Lionel was not as easy to find as he'd gone fishing.

I decided to take a hike on the windward beach and net a friendly French family from a Privilege catamaran. With children nine, seven and eight months, Emmanuelle and John Paul had been living and working in French Polynesia for over ten years and were now headed west, keen to visit Samoa and Fiji. As my French is rather rudimentary I was relived that they both spoke "Queens English" and enjoyed a brief introduction before the setting sun forced me to go off in search of Lionel. His fishing expedition had been successful and he too thanked me for the baguettes that would compliment his evening meal, asking if I'd join him for dinner. Knowing I had a rested but hungry crew aboard Mahina Tiare I declined his evening offer but said maybe tomorrow.

The following day excitement boiled with the arrival of Rob, an Australian single hander who we'd previously had to dinner, and Convergence, West Marine's founder Randy Repass's Wylie-designed cat ketch. Convergence had heard we were in the area and Randy, his wife Sally-Christine and son Kent Harris were keen to catch up with us. Mopelia's wide white sand beach beckoned and sunset drinks ashore soon turned into a beach potluck. We swung by Lionel's and Hina's to invite then to join us, but Loinel said he'd promised to take the guys off two of the French yachts on a night reef lobster hunt and Hina said she was dinning aboard with the girls.

Knowing that the French family spoke English I choose to invite them while Randy set about inviting everyone he met ashore. At four our crew set ashore to establish the bonfire site. Little did we know that Chris, an Aussie, was an outback bushman and before sundown he'd dug a bonfire pit, complete with draft tunnel, strategically stacked the bonfire and enlisted Bill from Boeing to establish a huge main feed pile.

The Bonfire

At five the food came ashore and was spread along the edge of our sailing awning. It was time to mix and mingle as the sun started to set. The three kids had no problem communicating, and with the arrival of another yacht arrival we were 19 yachties. Forever the expedition leader I set up a few party tricks from rope tying competitions to contorting yourself though a long stick to help break the ice.

Amber successfully accomplishes the stick contortion

With a darkening sky the fire was lit and we loaded up our plates while we could still see what we were eating. Kaloni and his cousin, local boys from down the beach, stepped out of the shadows bearing two coconut crabs to add to the potluck, plus some coconut homebrew. Needless to say the food was excellent and recipes plus credit follow (minus the coconut crabs and brew). Whew, in the cruising life I live in fear that every potluck will only be an assortment of pasta.


Enzo lights the bonfire

Kaloni display a coconut crab

We had a magical time as we waited and watched for the stars to appear and the moon rise over the palms to shimmer upon the white sand beach. The bonfire grew huge as the kids drug and added dry palm fronds which burnt furiously setting off great showers of sparks. Kent Harris fiddled Celtic tunes on his violin, the French kids Amber and Enzo sang Tahitian and French songs, and Kaloni mysteriously produced a ukulele. He strummed and sung Tahitian songs as his cousin played the spoons and Amber and I danced by the light of a silver moon. Ah...the enchantment of the South Seas!

Kent Harris plays fiddle while mum, Sally Christine, holds the music

Kaloni plays ukulele

Vegetable and Chickpea Curry
Rob, a vegetarian, prepared this dish saying it was his favorites as the aromatic Indian spices mingle well with the chickpeas plus you can substitute any vegetable.
3 cups chickpeas - cooked
3 cups spinach
2 carrots - sliced
2 potatoes - cubed
1 onion - diced
1 green pepper - diced
1 can tomatoes
1 can vegetable broth
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup green beans
2 cloves garlic - crushed
1 tablespoon curry paste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 inch ginger - grated
1 chili - sliced
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
8 lime wedges

Sauté onion, carrot and potato, 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients except coconut milk spinach and lime. Simmer 10 minutes until potatoes are done. Add spinach and coconut, stirring until spinach is soft. Serve with lime wedges.

Cucumber Mango Salad
This fresh salad was created at the last minute due to a plentiful supply of cucumbers.
2 cucumbers - sliced
2 mangoes - peeled and sliced
juice of 2 limes
1 chili - seeded and thinly sliced

Combine all ingredients and serve chilled

Satay Pasta
Sally Christine prepared this dish and says that chicken or shrimp can also be added
2 cups snow peas
2 cups broccoli florets
1/2 cup cilantro
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup peanut butter
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
juice 2 limes
1 chili - seeded and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic - crushed
1 inch ginger - grated
8 oz pasta

Cook pasta. Meanwhile whisk peanut butter, soy sauce lime juice and coconut milk together. Saute snow peas and broccoli with ginger, garlic and chili until tender. Add peanut sauce and heat through. Combine with pasta. Serves 4

Another curry you say...but yes, this is a cruisers potluck and it's my all time winner dish. Enjoy!
2 lb chic
1 can tomatoes 1 cup dried apricots - chopped
1/2 cup slivered almonds
2 bananas - sliced (frozen also work great)
2 onions - chopped
1 apple - chopped
2 garlic cloves crushed
1 tablespoon curry paste

Sauté onion, garlic and chicken. Add remaining ingredients and simmer until cooked

Tropical Upside-Down Cake
Emmanuelle stunned us all with this elaborate looking cake but she ensured us that it was easy to make. The secret is to cook it in a cast iron skillet as this ensures an even cook, crisp edge and moist cake.
1 can pineapple
1 cup coconut
1 cup flour
1 banana - mashed
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Melt butter in a 9 inch skillet, sprinkle in brown sugar. Arranged pineapple rings in skillet and sprinkle with coconut. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and soda, cinnamon and salt, adding banana, oil, egg and pineapple juice. Pour mixture into skillet. Bake 30 minutes.

Saturday's sunrise on the small island of Rarotonga in the Cook Islands anounces market morning, a time when laden trucks and cars pull into an open park and politely jostle for space to set up stage. Early morning risers are rewarded with first choice produce; the biggest, best and freshest. No time for squeezing or second decisions; if you want it, buy it. I too am up early as I'm provisioning for a three week voyage to Hawaii and need to ensure that my memorised shopping list is met.

What is it about markets that makes them so appealing? I've shopped Europe's sleek open market stalls, Mexico's festive alleys, Pike Place Market's pantomime and homegrown Friday Harbor's Farmers market, and always I come away with a laden bag, a happy smile on my face and an urgency to get creative in the galley. Whenever I visit a market I always feel a sense of excitement, as if something magical has happened, and perhaps it has. Colourful umbrellas, poled tarps, draped tables, open truck beds, and chalk boards with todays prices are the basic props for a colorful performance of fresh goods. And always the produce is the star attaraction but not without the hard work of the producers and presenters.

Buying herbs

Chalkboard with prices

Raro's market is a highly social event. As the women shop and chat the guys hang out at their regular food stands ordering a bacon and egg sandwich or fried flying fish breakfast. John has come along to help with the money changing and bag carrying. Not one for a big breakfast the fresh baked muffins quickly attract his interest and also include the purchase of a hot loaf of bread. On the social program there's a lot of meeting of friends so my first purchase is a flower crown, the local dress code for looking ones best. If I had a garden I'd have woven my own crown this morning.

I quickly scout the throughfare where surfaces overflow with a profusion of color but I'm looking for yellows. No bananas or papayas! "Sorry, they were wiped out during the five cyclones that struck us this past year, how about some oranges?" A slight pause before a table of jars filled with dark liquids produces an excited response from the vendor who eagerly asks if I'd care to try a sample. My sip of noni juice doesn't taste too inviting but the local honey, licked off a wooden stick, is definitely a treat crew would enjoy. "I'll take a jar".

Four cabbages, at two dollars each, look a little more bug eaten than at another stand but I tell myself they probably contain fewer pesticides. Tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers and limes get stacked into bags that are now heavy so I leave them behind at the lettuce stand after adding a bag of sweet potato and onions. I mentally scan my list trying to ignore my rumbling tummy that keeps prompting me to have an intermission from shopping. The rumbling wins over and I go in search of some local food.

A woven fond plate with an array of cockles, marinated fish and seaweed, garnished with an orange wedge looks appealing. I strike up conversation with a seller and we discuss the local names for the items; rourou, kai, ika mata and remu, and the hours spent collecting and making the dish. I take a seat next to her stall and quietly devour the tasty delicacies.

Collecting a recipie

My local sefood lunch

Recharged I move along, I'm now on the final act of topping up my bags. As I gather up bunches of herbs I rub their leaves between my fingers to release their secret scent, I'll freeze the basil and keep the parsley in the fridge. Shopping completed I return to the yacht whilst mustering the energy to stow it all. The market magic still lingers as I gently and methodically pack away each item and I say a quiet thanks to all the growers and gatherers knowing that our passage will be greatly enriched due to their efforts.

Speaking of thanks, I know that many of you will be celebrating Thanksgiving this month so the following recipes contain a seasonal autumn twist.

Autumn Muffins
2 cups flour
½ cup coconut
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup pecan
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups grated carrot
1 cup vegetable oil
1 apple - grated
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
cream cheese

Mix dry ingredients together. Mix wet ingredients together. Add wet to dry. Half fill greased muffin tins and add knob of cream cheese. Fill tin with rest of mixture. Bake at 350ºF for 25 minutes. Makes 12

Thai Butternut Squash and Coconut Soup
1 medium butternut squash - peeled, seeded and cubed
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 can coconut milk
1 cup water
1 cup raw shrimp - shelled, deveined, minced
2 onions - minced
1 tablespoon lemon grass - minced
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 chilies - seeded and minced
1/4 teaspoon shrimp paste
20 basil leaves

Sprinkle squash with lemon juice, let stand 20 minutes. Blend shrimps, onions, lemon grass, chilies and a little water to a paste. Combine water, coconut milk, fish sauce and sugar in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, add squash and simmer 20 minutes until done. Add basil and serve.

Green Beans with Red Onion
2 pounds green beans
2 tablespoons butter
1 red onion - thinly sliced
2 anchovies - chopped
1 tablespoon capers
fresh ground pepper

Cook beans. Melt butter, add onion, cook 5 minutes. Add anchovies and capers, cook 1 minute, combine with beans.

Spinach-Feta Stuffed Turkey Breasts
1 packet baby spinach
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup shallots - minced
2 garlic cloves - minced
1/2 cup feta
1 tablespoon bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon salt
fresh ground pepper
1 egg white - beaten
1 half turkey breast - boneless
1/2 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon corn starch
1 tablespoon butter

Cook spinach in 1 tablespoon water, 5 minutes. Place in colander and squeeze out water. Saute 2 tablespoon shallots and garlic in a little water and oil, 3 minutes. Combine shallots, spinach, feta, breadcrumbs, egg. Season with salt and pepper. Slice breast, nearly through, open like a book. Pound to an even 1/2 inch thickness. Spread stuffing over the turkey minus the edges. Roll up the turkey and secure with twine. Season with salt and pepper. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in Dutch oven, brown turkey on all sides, 5 minutes. Add wine, broth and remaining shallots. Cover and bake at 325º for 40 minutes. Remove turkey. Place Dutch oven on stove top, medium heat. Combine cornstarch and 1 tablespoon water, whisk into broth to make sauce, add butter. Cut turkey into 8 slices and serve with sauce.

Nutty Maple Pie

1 pie shell
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1 cup hot water
1/2 cup hazelnuts - chopped
1/2 cup walnuts - chopped
1/2 cup pecans - chopped
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup maple syrup
3 eggs
1/4 cup butter
2 tablespoons bourbon
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
1/8 teaspoon salt

Soak cranberries in hot water, 10 minutes, drain. Toast nuts in oven, 6 minutes. Combine sugar, syrup, eggs, butter, bourbon, vinegar and salt. Mix in nuts and cranberries. Pour into pie shell and bake at 325º for 40 minutes.


Christmas Galley

A knock on the hull and a friendly call announces the arrival of Keith, a friend we'd invited to join us for cruise south over the Christmas holidays from Puerto Montt towards Cape Horn. After unpacking his bags and settling down with a cup of tea he asked what was I was planning for Christmas dinner.

"I've no idea," I replied in shock, Christmas was well over a week away! "Well, leave it to me!" he announced, "I'm eager to explore town and there's no better way than to do so on a mission."

Keith was gone all day and his return was accompanied by an assortment of boxes and bags. "Wow, that was really fun," he said grinning. "I met some great people, had quite a few adventures and we're sure in for a tasty Christmas dinner. Oh, by the way, do you have space to stow two cases of canned smoked trout that I also bought today?"

As I reorganized storage space for Keith's shopping I couldn't help but wonder about his days outing. He wasn't letting anything out of the bag, not even for a sneak preview, it was a case of wait and see he said.

Christmas Day dawned sunny, still and clear, though cold for Patagonia summer. We'd been having a marvelous time in the canals, long days under sail, quiet remote anchorages and the odd small town to explore. Today we were heading 60 miles further south and set out early to reach Puerto Melinka, our proposed stop, with plenty of time to explore before dinner. Setting anchor in the small harbor, we launched the dinghy then asked Keith if he was ready to go ashore for a hike.

"No, no, you guys go ahead, I'm going to make Christmas dinner" he replied. My heart beat frantically at the thought of someone home alone in my galley. "Don't you need a hand," I hinted. "Relax, I've been aboard a while now, I know where everything is and how it works," beamed Keith.

As John and I set out through the village and beyond into the cow pastures I felt awash with continued panic attacks over Keith in the galley. John sensing my anxiety soon had me walking at a brisk pace; his goal was the top of the hill that offered a rewarding view of the peaceful countryside. On passing back through town I remembered a request from Keith for some fresh cream. The tiny store only had canned cream but at least I'd been able to contribute to dinner.

On approaching the boat wonderful smells emanated from below. Dinner was ready. We dinned like kings and queens, a wonderful feast of cider-roasted chicken, local produce and wine. As we toasted absent family and friends around the world Keith described his escapades on acquiring each item, from a truck ride to a farm in search of a non-existent duck, to selecting the appropriate wine at a vineyard. We laughed at his antics enjoying dinner even more. The fact that someone had navigated the secrets of my galley was a big Christmas treat.

Cider-Roasted Chicken
Overnight brining makes this chicken incredibly flavorful and moist.
    3 quarts water
    1 quart apple cider
    1/4 cup kosher salt
    1 tablespoon black peppercorns
    1 bay leaf
    1 (6-pound) roasting chicken
    2 cups apple cider
    1 onion, peeled and halved
    4 sprigs Italian parsley
    4 garlic cloves - peeled

    In a saucepan bring first 5 ingredients to a boil, stirring until salt dissolves. Place chicken in a container and add cooled brine. Refrigerate overnight occasionally turning chicken. Preheat oven to 400º. Bring 2 cups cider to boil. Cook until cider has thickened and reduced to 1/4 cup, about 15 minutes. Remove chicken from brine and place onion, garlic, and parsley into cavity. Truss legs. Bake for 1½ hours. Baste chicken with reduced cider. Return to oven for 10 minutes. Baste with remaining cider and transfer chicken to a serving platter.

Swiss Chard with Pine Nuts, Raisins and Feta
    1 1/2 lb Swiss Chard - sliced into thin strips
    1/2 cup pine nuts - toasted
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1 onion - finely chopped
    1 cup water
    3/4 cup crumbled feta

    Cook onion in oil, add chard and cook, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes. Add raisins and water and simmer until leaves are tender. About 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve sprinkled with nuts and feta. Serves 4.

Potato and Pumpkin Gratin
This gratin is unusual for having no cream or cheese - letting the natural flavors shine.
    1 lb potatoes - thinly sliced
    1 lb pumpkin - thinly sliced
    1/3 cup water
    1/3 cup dry white wine
    3 large springs of rosemary or thyme - leaves finely chopped
    1 garlic clove - crushed

    Preheat oven to 375º. Butter 10 by 9 inch baking dish. Arrange a layer of potato in the dish, season with salt, pepper and herbs. Continue in layers finishing with pumpkin. Mix garlic with the water and wine, pour over the to. Cover the dish with foil and bake until the slices are soft, about 45 minutes. Remove the foil and cook further 15 minutes until the top is brown and bubbly. Let rest 10 minutes before serving. Serves 4.

Brown Sugar Pavlova
Brown Sugar added to this traditional down under dessert gives it a butterscotch flavor. It can be made several days ahead and stored undecorated in an airtight container.
    3 egg whites
    3 tablespoons cold water
    3/4 cup granulated sugar
    1/4 cup brown sugar
    1 teaspoon vinegar
    1 teaspoon vanilla essence
    3 teaspoons corn flour
    2 cups whipped cream
    Fresh strawberries - halved

    Preheat oven to 250º. Line an oven tray with baking paper. Draw 8-inch circle on paper. Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites until stiff. Add water and beat again. Add sugar very gradually while still beating. Slow beater and add vanilla and cornflour. Spread the pavlova within the circle, smooth the top. Bake 45 minutes, leave to cool in the oven. Carefully lift pavlova onto a serving plate. Decorate with whipped cream and fruit. Serves 6

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