Wednesday, 26 September 2007
I am sailing......
............well I'm not really, but I wish I was! We have been here in the marina for 10 weeks now and I am getting itchy feet. I know that we need to be here for a good reason but its frustrating none the less. Our emails are full of news from friends, sailing from Easter Island to Chile,from New York to Annapolis, from Scotland to Dorset...........
TBH is close to finishing his ''magnum opus', its a work of amazing originality and genius, just like the man himself............and I really mean that. I keep teasing him that I will want a new frock for the Nobel Prize awards but there is a note of truth in the leg pulling!The book is pretty much completed but there is a final glitch with the software that this is all about, its driving him mad!I have no doubt he will sort it out, he always does. His concentration is amazing even in his sleep he is thinking a way through the problem, wish I had even a tiny bit of his aptitude.
I find it quite difficult to just be in a supportive role but I guess there are times for everything as we live! Cooking has become my therapy, I am really enjoying looking out new recipes and trying them out...TBH says its like living in the 'Masterchef' programme(a BBC TV competition where three chefs compete to cook the best meal). Thank goodness he is such a good consumer.
The nice part of being here is ,that with access to the internet ,I have discovered all those wonderful foodie sites!! I am totally addicted to www.tastespotting.com. Its a portal where people post a photograph of a wonderful food or dish, you click on it and it takes you to their site-oh so yummy!I have started to cook food with much more care, and I hope, fineness. Fiddly recipes and difficult presentations.
I have been trying all different styles but ,currently, am really in to Indian meals. We have 'The Australian Womans Weekly Book of Indian Cookery' on board!! I know , I know all I can ever think of is that song by Victoria Wood- ...beat me on the bottom with a womans weekly! However the recipes are clear and they WORK!
The curries are subtle and flavorful, none of this blow the back of your throat out with hot chillies and I have even made samosas( little meat filled pastry triangles that are deep fried). They are pretty fiddly to make on the boat but boy do they taste good.
We eat extremely well on board, although we try and keep to a couple of meals a day (waistlines!). Sometimes the local ingredients can be a bit hit or miss...improvisation is often the order of the day.But the longer we stay in any one place the easier I find it to source all those little bits and pieces that I need.
One of the best things we have done is to update our gas(propane) system on board. This provides our cooking fuel for both the stove and the BBQ. When in Panama we found US gas cylinders available at $35 each, well our old camping gaz (the blue ones from Europe) were in dire straights so we made the decision to switch systems. Oh that was such a good idea. Our gas locker, it turns out, was designed for this 20lb cylinder and we are able to carry 4 of them! Thats enough for nearly a year of use!!!We also rigged the BBQ up to run off them and with the greater pressure that they deliver the temperature on the BBQ is now perfect. I have even managed to bake pizza !
We have a Magma BBQ- excellent bit of kit, but my pride and joy is the Taylors 041 Gas stove.No longer in production sadly, it is the Rolls Royce of marine cookers. Two gas rings and a double griddle/simmering plate. Large oven( I have baked a 16lb turkey and all the trimmings in there) and a good sized grill. Its as versatile as most shore based cookers and this one even swings to accommodate the movement of the boat, clever huh!
I see no reason why life on board should be less comfortable than life ashore. It seems vital to create a comfortable living space, otherwise why do it! We have seen quite a lot of couples give up because they were 'camping' on their boats. Women in particular can find it more difficult to sail away and why would they leave the homely surroundings of land based living to use plastic plates and glasses!OK when we are underway there are compromises to make but once the hook is down or the mooring lines out its time for the best glasses and fancy foods again. Cheers!