Category Archives: Galley

Posts related to cooking in Kool Kat’s galley.

Island friendliness…

We needed to refuel but the fuel dock on Mayaguana is no more so locals, Marissa and Dalton, drove us to Pirate’s Well to pick up fuel in two 15-gallon drums. We talked, laughed and sang and generally hit it off! We discussed all things island, and it came up that we hadn’t ever tried conch salad. Ok, says Dalton, today is your lucky day!

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OK, out to KK to refuel whilst Dalton and Marissa go fishing, or is that conching?

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We’ve never refueled like this before! Boy, those drums are heavy!

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Four hours later, we’d finished refueling and Marissa and Dalton arrived with all the ingredients to make a conch salad and with two fabulous dog snapper for our din-dins!

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Chop, chop, chop and dice, dice, dice very finely! Intersperse with jokes and a little rum and soda!

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Add some salt, goat pepper (wow, it sure packs a punch!), ground black pepper, capsicum, red and brown onion, and heaps, I mean heaps, of lime juice!

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It was sooooo good! Dalton’s THE MAN! It went down very nicely with an ice cold beer!

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Then he prepared our snapper; first he created a rub with salt, garlic, that fiery little goat pepper and a touch of black pepper.

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He made an incision on the outside and placed in the cut along with inside the fish itself.

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Then he placed sliced capsicum and onions over and inside the fish and wrapped in foil. We refrigerated it for a few hours and then placed on the grill and hmm! Need I say more!

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What a day! Thanks Marissa and Dalton for giving us a taste of island life Mayaguana-style!

Still having a blast, Sue and Mal xx

PS: Conch are everywhere throughout the Caribbean and The Bahamas and is also known as Lambi. We’ve tried it a few times in a stew-style dish but it’s always been a little rubbery. This is what a conch looks like alive….

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Photo courtesy of Google – one type of conch.

Overnighters

Doing an overnight passage is not my favourite part of sailing – well, actually, it’s my least favourite part – arriving at our destination and exploring is much more fun! But, hey, sometimes you’ve just gotta do it!

And, so it was when we had to make the big jump from the DR (Dominican Republic) up to The Turks & Caicos in our quest to reach The Bahamas. 198nm (367kms or 299miles) is the distance we needed to cover to reach Grand Turk in The Turks & Caicos.  At an average speed of 6 knots, we estimated it would take us about 33hrs and if we left at 6am from Samana Bay in the DR, we should reach landfall on or around 3pm a day later in T&C. The weather window indicated the winds were ENE which suited us but they would be light to start, building to about 25knots along the journey. Alright, let’s do it!

Of course, you can’t just throw off the lines and sail into the sunrise! We needed to prepare.  Food first! In case the weather is bad and you don’t want to spend too much time indoors, you need ready-to-go and easy-to-manage food. So I set about preparing: we’d have our normal cereal for brekky, soup with toasted cheese and vegemite sandwiches for lunch, red peppers stuffed with jambalaya  for dinner and apple fritters/pancakes for snacks. We also had fruit, dry biscuits and muesli bars in the ‘snack basket’. It’s amazing how hungry you get in the middle of the night! Oh, and we had a take-away pizza from the restaurant at the marina which went down a treat!

Cheese and vegemite sangers ready to be toasted!
Cheese and vegemite sangers ready to be toasted!

Next, check the Grab Bag. Well, actually, create a Grab Bag! One of those ‘just-in-case’ things; a bag full of everything we might need if we had to abandon the boat, God forbid!

Items in our Grab Bag: water, flares, phone, dinghy key, flare gun, torches, horn, Leatherman, whistle, passports and important documents, wallet.

Next, get our harnesses out. We both wear a harness at night or in bad weather and it is always clipped on, especially if the other person is not in the cockpit.

The Despacho, Shephard, came aboard at 6am and cleared us to leave. It  was still pretty dark and as we traversed the channel we nearly clipped the starboard buoy – it wasn’t lit and Mal couldn’t see it. Not a great start! Motoring along to exit Samana Bay we then proceeded to nudge four fishing buoys tied together – egads, I was meant to be on lookout! Luckily for us they didn’t get tangled in our props and we counted our lucky stars!

As we headed out of the bay our fortunes changed and we were lucky to catch sight of some North Atlantic Humpback whales. Lots of spouts and tails kept us entertained.

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During night passages we aim to have 2hrs on-watch and 2hrs asleep but it never seems to work that way. This time we got into a rhythm of Mal being 1hr off and 2hrs on with me have 2 glorious hours of sleep and being on watch for 1! 🙂 Mal was happy with it and so was I! 🙂

We set the phone stopwatch for 12 minutes. When it goes off whoever is on watch stands up and does a full 360 of the horizon. Ships can come up on you very quickly at night and we know of friends who were hit from behind by a ferry. Fortunately, they’re OK but you have to be very vigilant!

During the night we went past Silver Banks and Navidad Bank which are two shallow areas where the North Atlantic Humpback whales come to mate and calve. On my watch I could smell whales on at least four occasions which was quite scary as we definitely wouldn’t want to hit one! I cranked up the playlist and sang louder so they might hear me. The first few glimpses of sunrise are so uplifting and such a relief after a long, dark and sometimes, cold night.

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Sunrise between DR and The Turks & Caicos

As the morning progressed the winds picked up and Mal put a 2nd reef in the mainsail and pulled in the heady a little. With winds hitting over 25knots we reached 10.2 and the direction made it possible to alter our destination to South Caicos. This meant we’d have an extra 27nm to go but we had plenty of time to arrive in daylight.

9.4 knots well above our anticipated average of 6!
9.4 knots – well above our anticipated average of 6!

We are pretty good at dodging squalls but this one caught us on the edge.  We watched it edge forward very slowly but there was no escaping it.

The squall passed leaving this gorgeous cloud formation. See the  row of puppies….

How many dogs do you see?
How many dogs do you see?

And, then we arrived. We had travelled 225nm (417kms or 340miles) in just under 30 hours, averaging 7.5knots/hour. After a very brief tidy up, we had a well-earned arrival beer and promptly went to bed for some catch up sleep!

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There’s nothing quite like the arrival beer!

We’re both hoping this might have been our last overnighter.

Until next time, take care, Sue and Mal xx

Waiting, waiting, waiting…

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Kool Kat in her slip at Palmas del Mar Marina

OK, our last post had us arriving at Palmas del Mar Marina on the east coast of Puerto Rico where we planned to hire a car to provision in preparation for The Bahamas.  All our cruising friends had told us that you need to be well-provisioned before visiting this incredible archipelago of islands. According to Wikipedia, it encompasses more than 470,000 sq kms!

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So much to see….

From what we understand there is very little agriculture so most foodstuffs are brought in, often by mail boat once a week and, when that food has gone, it’s gone until the next boat arrives. Because it is imported, food can also be expensive. Cruising guides have stressed that boaters need to be independent as there may be little or no services available. So, with all this advice in mind, we got busy!

Inventories were taken in the pantry, laundry and workshop! Use-by dates were checked and some stuff was tossed! We then set about trying to estimate how many meals x how many days we might need and exactly which boat spares we should buy, just in case!

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We stocked up at Walmart, Econo and West Marine. Oh, and Gwen and I stocked up at JC Penney’s and Marshall’s too as we didn’t have anything warm to wear in the cold Bahamas, LOL! New goods were added to the inventory and excess packaging was removed, not only minimising opportunities for little beasties to stowaway on our boat, but also to reduce the amount of rubbish we’d create in The Bahamas.

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I hope we’ve got enough……
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Definitely got enough tea bags!

In the midst of all this activity we celebrated Australia Day with the Inaugural Australia Day Film Festival on Kool Kat! Banyan (Alex and Dave) and Slow Waltz (Gwen and Guillaume) joined us to watch Aussie movies Red Dog and Gettin’ Square, which is only fair as we helped celebrate Canada Day last 1st July. We had a little Vegemite overload with Banyan and Slow Waltz bringing Vegemite popcorn yes, you read that correctly, Vegemite popcorn, which accompanied our Vegemite on salada-like biscuits and Vegemite and cheese scrolls. Thank goodness I also made Anzacs and mini banana muffins! I should add Mal showed a short Youtube video called ‘Straya’ which is quite a hoot!

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Yep, that’s the Vegemite popcorn in the green bowl! It was scrummy!
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They tasted better than they looked!

So, back to our planning for The Bahamas. Guillaume and Mal had been checking the weather watching for a good window where we could bypass the Dominican Republic and sail straight to either Great Inagua (bottom of The Bahamas) or The Turks and Caicos, a small country next to The Bahamas. The window needs to be 3-4 days of good sailing weather and there was one coming up which looked perfect.

Kool Kat leaving Puerto del Mar Marina. Thanks Banyan for the image.
Kool Kat leaving Puerto del Mar Marina. Thanks Banyan for the image.

We said our goodbyes to Alex and Dave and headed off with Slow Waltz to the southwest corner of Puerto Rico, where we would stop for the night before commencing our journey across the Mona Passage and into the great beyond! But before long Slow Waltz had trouble with the autohelm and an autohelm is not what you want to have out of action when doing a big passage, well, any passage really! So, we both pulled into Salinas on the south coast of Puerto Rico to see what was what. Luckily for us, our hot water service gave up  the ghost whilst there. We’re lucky because if this had happened elsewhere further into our trip we would have been having cold showers for a very long time! Everyone tells us that The Bahamas is a lot cooler than we’ve been used to in the Eastern Caribbean so we wanted a working hot water service! We were able to order a new one, along with some other items and, because Puerto Rico is a US territory, delivery was estimated as three days and not hellishly expensive.

We moved to Guilligan’s Island and then on to Puerto Real on the west coast to wait for the goods and so we would be ready to go as soon as the next window opens up. Our trip was beautiful with dolphins and interesting terrain to keep us occupied.

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Dolphins playing off Kool Kat’s bow
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They love to jump and surf the waves
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The stunning lighthouse, Faro Los Morrillos de Cabo Rojo, on southwest corner of Puerto Rico
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Sunrise over the sleepy port of Puerto Real
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Homes in the fishing village of Puerto Real

The goods arrived true to their word in three days and Mal successfully installed it. Slow Waltz have also got their autohelm working and we’re all ready to go!

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One new fully-installed hot water service!

So now, we’re waiting, waiting, waiting. The winds are very light and there doesn’t seem to be a big enough weather window for The Bahamas so, we think we will do one overnight hop across the Mona Passage to the Dominican Republic where, once again, we’ll be waiting, waiting, waiting.

Until next time, Sue and Mal xx

Postscript: We’ve woken this morning (Sunday 7th February) to 20-30kn winds so we’re off! Woohoo!

Non-negotiables on Kool Kat

A follower of our blog asked me about ideas for space saving when travelling in a caravan and after recently reading Windtraveler’s post Ten Simple (and inexpensive) products we Love on our boat, I got to thinking about the products I use that are a must-have, non-negotiable item on Kool Kat. By the way, if you haven’t tapped into Brittany’s blog before and you want to put a smile on your face, do yourself a favour and check it out here. She, Scott and their three little poppets lead an amazing life.

So, getting back to non-negotiables, I got to thinking and I got to talking to other cruisers in the sailing sisterhood, and this is what I came up with.

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No 1: Totally in agreement with Brittany, and many others, that the ‘Turkish’ towel is brilliant! It takes up no room, is light, dries quickly and is super versatile, morphing from a towel into a sarong/pareo into a beach blanket! There are many versions available but my favourite is Hammamas which we bought in Australia. Other cruisers I know who swear by them bought their towels in the US or in St Maarten. What I like about the Hammamas is that mine has softened up beautifully over time and they have a huge range of colours.

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Hammamas Turkish Towels

No 2: Second on my list is Silicone bakeware. Cruising provides many opportunities to ponder one’s navel, even on a 3-hr crossing, and one thing I have discovered is I love to cook. Hold your horses, I need to be more specific here! I love creating healthy, SIMPLE, food and I’m not into creaming butter and sugar or sifting flour six times! I like it pretty damn easy, particularly as I’m in a cosy (read small) environment. Okay, monohull girls, I know I’ve got it pretty good but everything is relative! Anyway, I don’t like having to clean up a big mess afterwards either and this is where my silicone products shine (well, not really as silicone is quite dull).

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Silicone bakeware: muffin tray, loaf pan and baking sheet.

Last year I bought, through Amazon, a silicone 12-muffin tray and two silicone baking sheets. Then on one of the French islands I spied a silicone loaf pan. All I can say is that I use these four items at least once a week. They are light and flexible which makes them easy to store and they are an absolute bonus when it comes to cleaning! Check out my previous post about using the muffin tray and the baking sheets and pay particular attention to my advice about what to look for when buying silicone products as there are varying standards. Some people worry that they don’t brown the food but my experience is the opposite except on one occasion and you’ll see why when you read the post.

No 3: Before we set out on this adventure I read an article about one item women cruisers seriously valued and the TEFAL Ingenio saucepans came up a few times. I set about trying to find them in Australia only to find out they weren’t available. Long story short, I was able to get a set and they have been one of our best purchases. Our set is made up of 3 pots; stainless steel inside and out, 3 glass lids with silicone edges, removable pot handle, removable lid handle and three plastic lids. The beauty of them is that they take up much less space than regular pans with attached handles, I can see through the glass lid as food is cooking and I can reseal with a plastic lid for storage of leftovers in the fridge or freezer. They are easy to clean and the large one is plenty big enough for pasta and soups. Check out my Galley Series post to see one being used to cook callaloo soup/fritters.

I have prepared a short video showing how easy it is to affix and remove the handles.

No. 4: Brittany refers to a flexible chopping board and I’m thinking I might get one of those too but I do like my Joseph Joseph chopping boards. This isn’t actually a non-negotiable but I do really like them. I have a small white one and a larger green one. The bit I find really handy is the lip on one side which catches runaway liquids and, on a boat, they runaway alot! The boards are reversible, meaning the lip is on both sides and one side also has several prongs to secure whatever it is you are carving. They work really well.

Slant on board catches juices in lip.
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Reverse side with prongs to prevent slipping.

No. 5: Moving away from the galley, another excellent purchase we made was the hose we use for washdown. I read an article on the Boat Galley blog about the XHose Pro and we decided to lash out and pay a little more when we needed to replace ours. It has been so worth it! It takes up very little space as it retracts when not in use and expands when filled with water. It is light, easy to manoeuvre, covers a large area, packs away in a small space and we love it!

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This is expanded with water and remains easy to take anywhere on the boat.
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This is deflated with no water in the hose and it just fits really easily.

The above items are all purchases Mal and I made but we were fortunate enough to have alot of equipment left on our boat by the previous owners; thanks John and Linda. It’s a running joke with our friends that when someone asks us where we bought something, eg: dinghy ladder, we reply ‘it came with the boat’ much to their chagrin!

No. 6: Yes, the dinghy ladder! It is an invaluable aid when you are exhausted from snorkelling and you need to drag yourself back up out of the water and into the dinghy. Without a ladder it can be like watching a whale beach itself, only not as gracefully! The ladder ‘that came with the boat’ is called “Up-n-out” by Scandia Marine Products; it is sturdy and collapses into a small bag for storage.

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Ladder extended.

No. 7: The Tervis tumblers ‘that came with the boat’ have been a godsend in the sometimes sticky but always hot Caribbean weather.  We have both the tall and the short and they keep those deliciously refreshing G&Ts we are so fond of, beautifully cold!

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Gin and Tonics in our Tervis tumblers at the end of the day!

So, there we have it, some serious non-negotiables and some must-haves when cruising. What are your non-negotiables?

Cheers, Sue and Mal.

Silicone – Yes or No?

I know what you’re thinking – what is she on about now? I am, of course, talking about silicone kitchen tools and how they are a must on our boat. I am in love with them!

In a previous blog (October 2014) entitled Gallery Series: Part 2, I espoused the benefits of my newly-purchased silicone muffin trays from a baking point of view but I also want to say they are perfect for those of us who have limited space, seriously DISLIKE scrubbing pans, and want something light-weight. But, of course, not all tools claiming to be silicone are the same. I did a little research (click here) before purchasing my Artisan baking sheets and Grazia 12-cup muffin tray and, as they say, the proof is in the muffin, or pudding! I’m super happy with them.

Ready to eat

According to the those who know about such things, you need to make sure the silicone product you purchase doesn’t have any ‘fillers’ as this will reduce the quality. This can easily be checked when buying in-person by bending the product; if the colour of the product doesn’t go all the way through and you see some white or lighter colour, it includes fillers. I purchased my items online through Amazon and read reviews on the brands before making my choice. Fortunately, when mine arrived, it was red all the way through!

From a baking point of view, nearly all my muffins have browned when using the silicone tray. However, there was one occasion when they didn’t brown and I’ve put that down to my choice of ingredients: I used wet coconut rather than dry. In addition to traditional sweet muffins I bake savoury, such as cheese, zucchini, and also bake meffins. Yes, meffins; that is, meat muffins. These are really good during a sail 🙂

Brown all over!
Brown all over!

The cleaning of the tray is probably the best feature – it’s soooooo easy and, apart from initially greasing the molds, I never add oil or butter prior to filling. How easy is that 😉

From a limited storage point of view, the muffin trays can be cut into 2 x 6 cup, 3 x 4 cup or 4 x 3-cup trays, plus they are light. I haven’t needed to cut mine down but I have seen it done.

The baking sheets have also been good; no greasing and cleaning of trays. They are a little ‘limp’ so I place the sheet on an inverted baking tray for stability and it works well.  I also leave one on the bench beside the oven and use it for hot pots and pans.

Artisan baking sheet
Artisan baking sheet
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Baking sheet with inverted tray for stability

I am now ready to dispose of my hard, slightly rusty, muffin tray and I’m happy not to be using baking paper or disposable muffin cups, which usually end up stuck to the muffin.

So, there you have it, silicone kitchen utensils gets a big YES from me.

 

Galley Series Part 2: Food, recipes and disasters!

This is part two of our post about cooking on the boat. It’s only taken six months for us to:

  • acclimatise to working within a confined and movable space (sorry monohull cruisers but it is still small compared to our land-kitchen and does rock n’ roll, albeit a little)
  • calculate quantities: if I want 500g minced steak, how many lbs and ozs is that?
  • appreciate different names: coriander is cilantro and very similar to shadow benny
  • make food we’ve always bought commercially, eg: yoghurt and mayo. This is for two reasons: 1) We are trying to lower our sugar and preservatives intake and both these products commercially have higher levels of sugar and additives than we need, and 2), they aren’t always available when we go shopping which can be trés frustrating!

Retirement is good – I’m enjoying the time I have to experiment in the galley even when it’s a bit rocky and rolly! Mal doesn’t do much of the cooking, except on the barbie, as his skills are better utilised elsewhere on the boat and I know I got the better deal!

Mal in action
Mal in action

One experiment has been learning to cook with new and different ingredients. A vegetable I’ve loved in local restaurants is callaloo. It’s a little like spinach and I have now made callaloo soup and callaloo fritters. Both are Mal favourites! Callaloo, also known as amaranth, is a large leafy green vegetable available readily and cheaply. You commence by washing it and then de-veining the stork from the leaf. I then slice it and saute in coconut oil with onion and garlic, always a good start! If I’m making soup I then add stock, salt and pepper and either a carrot or potato. Traditional callaloo soup includes okra but I haven’t tried this yet. When this is cooked, I remove from heat, process with a stick blender and fold through coconut milk. If I’m making the fritters, once the callaloo, onion and garlic are sauteed, I add that mixture to flour, egg, salt and pepper. Callaloo fritters often have saltfish included but I haven’t gone there yet as Mal doesn’t like it! I did add some crab meat the other day but it didn’t make a huge difference so I won’t bother next time. I’ll slip some saltfish in one day and see if he notices.

I purchased some kale the other day which was different to the type I’ve bought in Australia, but it tasted the same and my kale chips were a success! The leaves weren’t curly but more elongated and easier to work with. I ripped these into bite-size pieces, drizzled them with coconut oil and sprinkled them with sesame seeds and a spice mix of cumin, coriander, turmeric, chilli flakes, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. I then baked them until crispy and we devoured them with a Bloody Mary. Seriously good!

As you may have realised I’m hooked on coconut oil, use it in just about everything and feel very lucky that we have good locally made choices here! Superb! This graphic is obviously from the cooler climes as we don’t have to worry about coconut oil hardening here but it reflects my passion for it 🙂

10388640_715539305196500_2219424242554610827_nThis segues very nicely into one of my mishaps. Not all products are available each week at the local IGA and, of course, some products only have a certain shelf life, even fridge life. Thus, when I couldn’t get my Natural (no flavouring) yoghurt that is a must on my morning muesli, or a mayo that didn’t have a host of ingredients I couldn’t even pronounce, then it was time to have some fun! I’ve mastered the yoghurt making now which I will touch on later but the mayonnaise is where my mishap occurred. With my love for coconut oil, I gaily added it ever so slowly to the egg yolk and dijon mustard mix and it emulsified exactly as my NomNom Paleo app said it would. [See previous post for details about this app.] Everything went like a dream and I decanted it into a glass jar and immediately used it on coleslaw and it was delicious. I was so proud until I went to the fridge to spread it on my turkey wrap the next day. Hard as a rock and, of course, it separated when I warmed it albeit slightly. I then made a batch with almond oil and it worked a treat! It lasted in the fridge for a week and was so worth it. Bad luck about the coconut oil because it gave it a lovely flavour!

Breakfast is one of our favourite meals of the day and we both enjoy making chia puddings. Again, it isn’t always available so I’ve done this with sago too but I bought up big when we saw chia recently. Soak the chia overnight in coconut milk and in the morning place some in a glass, a bowl or mason jar. We use whatever fruit we have on hand so these photos show some added mango and sliced dates, topped with some shredded coconut (preferably unsweetened), more fresh fruit like bananas, passionfruit and sprinkled with pepitas and/or sunflower seeds. I also drizzle a few more drops of coconut milk over the top. It is so refreshing and has a good dose of protein to keep you going.

Speaking of breakfast, I’ve probably been making my own yoghurt now for about three months. I started off with a small amount from the commercial pot I had bought (Natural, full-fat). Mostly we use long-life milk here and I’d been advised by Nikki, from s/v Iza, that it may not work well. So I purchased full cream powdered milk, Kerry Gold from NZ, and made up a litre. I then added 4 tbsps of the yoghurt to it, poured it into clean glass jars, wrapped it in a towel and put in an insulated bag for 9 hours. I found it a little runny so I’m now adding 6 tbsps and it seems to be fine. I always make a small jar as my starter for the next batch. I’m not sure why but I really like making my own yoghurt. 🙂

Friends Gagi and Rudy tease me about how much I use coconut, either fresh, dried or oil. What can I say, I’m my mother’s daughter! Anyway, I normally add shredded coconut to muffins which I like to bake often but both Mal and I got so frustrated cleaning the tray that we decided to go silicon! Gagi wanted one too so we purchased them via Amazon – that’s another story which I won’t go into today – and we’re all super happy with the trays. They clean up beautifully and they brown the muffins, which was my major concern. Now I’m baking banana, coconut and choc chip, mango, coconut and passionfruit, and pawpaw, coconut and walnut. Delish! Whatever fruit is in season, I’m using it! I did have one minor hiccup the other day when I used fresh coconut – nothing browned and they were more like little puddings. Mal still loved them though!

Mal and I try to watch what we eat and over here we’re loving the lifestyle and the fresh, local foods we can use. We have cut down our sugar intake considerably although we didn’t add much sugar to our diets before, there’s so much hidden in products that we were taking it in unknowingly. I read the ingredients list on every product we now buy and the rule of thumb is if it has more than five ingredients, I usually don’t buy it. The arthritis in my big toe has all but gone and we’ve both dropped a size in clothing. Of course the weather and  exercise plays a part, but we both feel a whole lot better.

I modify most recipes that include sugar and I don’t use white sugar. I use Organic Coconut Palm Sugar which is still not particularly good for us but it’s better than white and some of the other substitutes. If you’re interested in finding out more about coconut sugar read this article from the I Quit Sugar team. I use their website alot. http://iquitsugar.com/whats-deal-coconut-sugar/

I’m very happy to share any recipes so just let me know in the comments section of this post or via Facebook if we’re connected there. I’m also keen to receive any good hints/recipes so please forward if you think I’d be interested. Cheers and happy eating, Sue and Mal. xx

Galley Series Part 1: Apps for the Galley

I started this post to talk about my galley experiences, specifically using apps rather than traditional cookbooks and experimenting with different foods. It soon became obvious that it was going to be a large post, even for me, so I decided to split it into two and have called it the Galley Series! Sounds pretty impressive, huh?

I love technology, especially when it makes my life easier. So, when we decided to live on a boat I decided to use apps or download e-cookbooks to my iPad, a brilliant space-saving measure! Back in Sydney, with excellent wi-fi connection, I eagerly downloaded lots of apps from some of my favourite chefs, Donna Hay, Karen Martini, Jamie Oliver, etc. and the new I Quit Sugar (IQS) e-book from Sarah Wilson. I arrived on board and was very disappointed to find some of my longed-for recipes couldn’t be accessed when we didn’t have wi-fi or if the connection was poor. So, I’ve been ruthless and only kept apps that are downloaded to my iPad and I want to share with you some that I’ve found really useful.

iCookbook (FREE): I use the Diabetic version as I was looking for low-sugar recipes but I’ve since discovered they also have iCookbook and iCookbook Gluten-Free. The link to their website is here http://icookbook.com/products/icookbook%E2%84%A2-for-ios-device/. What is particularly handy for me, and what I use 99% of the time, is My Recipe Box, a storage area in the app for my personal recipes. I find one online, cook it and, if it’s a success, I add it to My Recipe Box. I often make notes, rate the recipe for future use and email or print the recipe without needing any wi-fi connection. It works a treat!

The 2nd app is Michelle Tam’s NomNom Paleo which I absolutely love. I’m interested in Paleo and find her app beautifully designed and very practical. From memory this is around $6US. I don’t normally pay for apps but I like her recipes and think the app is gorgeous. Recipes are detailed in two different modes: step-by-step with illustrations for each step or in a recipe card style. I use the card style but can check the step-by-step illustrations if I’m unsure as to how it should appear. It’s very good and I’m pretty sure it’s won an award.  Check out her website at http://app.nomnompaleo.com/. Note: it is large so you’ll need a good connection for the initial download.

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Michelle Tam in her kitchen – cute isn’t she?

I also use apps by Karen Martini, Donna Hay’s What’s For Dinner, Clean & Green and Paleo Recipes (Australia) which are all FREE and available on my iPad without wi-fi connection, but the above two are my go-to apps.

An app I’ve found particularly helpful is Subulator and it’s FREE. Living in another country and living on a boat means you sometimes, well often actually, have to find substitute ingredients. Voila! I open my Subulator, find the required ingredient and it provides a variety of substitutes with proportions, etc. Brilliant! It hasn’t had every single ingredient I’ve wanted, but nine times out of ten it’s done the job! http://www.cakebaker.co.uk/apps-for-bakers/subulator-ultimate-food-substitutes-app/

The final app I’d like to mention is the Unit Converter shown above. This has been invaluable coming from an Aussie metric system to a mostly lbs/ozs one. We’ve also used it for other conversions on the boat, like how many litres are in a gallon? There are many out there to choose from and this one is easy to use and FREE.

So, these are the apps that I’ve found helpful when creating my culinary delights in the galley! If you have any that you would like to share with me, I’d love to hear from you.

Part 2 in The Galley Series is about some of our more successful dishes that we’ve created on board.

I hope this was helpful, Sue.