Continuing the peach extravaganza, but muffins seemed like the natural thing to follow scones. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a muffin tin. I was lamenting that fact when Judy, one of the nicest people at the already effusively kind Detroit Yacht Club kindly offered to lend, and then donated her muffin tin. Sure I could have made a peach tea bread, but muffins are always just more fun.
I naturally told Judy that I would bring her and her husband some muffins in thanks. Like the best laid plans of mice and men this fell by the wayside when the muffins vanished almost as soon as I took them out of the oven.
These spicy muffins call to mind sipping apple cider on a brisk autumn day with bright blue skies and a stiff breeze. Quick and easy, they’re perfect for whipping up before a day-sail.
Peach Spice Mizzen Muffins
1 c sugar
2 eggs egg replacer (1 T replacer and ¼ c water)
¾ c vegetable oil
1 c milk
3 c. flour
1 t baking soda
½ t salt
1 T vanilla
1 T ginger
2 T cinnamon
1 T nutmeg
4 small ripe peaches (2 large)
Cinnamon sugar for top
preheat oven to 350◦
grease muffin tin
mix dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and spices)
make a well in the middle and mix in remaining ingredients except peaches
when thoroughly mixed gently stir in peaches
Spoon batter into muffin tins
bake for 30 minutes
brush tops with butter and sprinkle cinnamon and sugar
It’s peach season and my favorite time of year. When I got to Eastern Market, Detroit’s extensive farmer’s market, and peaches overflowed the baskets I almost fell to my knees. Peaches are delicious, but sadly dreadful cruising food. While
Of course you can buy frozen peaches, or lower yourself to canned one but it’s not the same. Still, I wasn’t going to let peach season slip by without treating myself, and my boat to a peach extravaganza. Starting with Schooner Scones.
A a delightful treat at breakfast these scones are quick to be snapped up. If you like your scones a little sweeter, sprinkle a little cinnamon sugar on top.
Ginger Peach Schooner Scones
3 c flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 ½ t Tablespoon baking powder
½ t baking soda
¾ c butter (cold)
1 cup milk
2 T lemon juice
1 t salt
2 T fresh ginger
2T ground ginger
1 t nutmeg
1 t cinnamon
2 T almond extract
½ cup candied ginger
Preheat oven to 375◦ F
Mix milk and lemon juice and set aside (or if you have buttermilk use that instead)
Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt
Cut in cold butter until forms pea-sized crumbs
Gently mix in milk and extracts with hands (do not kneed)
Mix in spices
Carefully stir in peaches
Spoon large dollops of batter onto well-greased cookie sheet
It is always fun to start your day off with a pretty breakfast. It can really set the mood. Light and colorful like pretty parachute sails this easy breakfast is always a hit. I love using seasonal berries but frozen berries work wonders for buoying spirits on long passages.
Parachute Berry Parfait
¾ c granola
1 c plain Greek yogurt
½ c raspberries
½ c blueberries
¼ c almonds
Place a layer of granola at the bottom of a clear cup or bowl
Spoon a dollop of yogurt on top and spread it over
Layer berries on top of the yogurt
Spoon yogurt, granola, and berries in whatever order you’d like
Just like a good bowline knot, I find banana bread to be a staple in nautical life. Bananas are cheap and ubiquitous in so many sailing Meccas. The hot places. The ones where bananas ripen as soon as they are picked. And what are over-ripe bananas good for? That’s right… banana bread!
When I stumbled across 4 blackening bananas in our fruit hammock I knew what I was making that day. But plain banana bread, tasty as it may be, can get boring. And I was in Michigan, where good cherries go to die. And so cherry almond bowline banana bread was born.
Okay, so banana bread might not be quite as useful as a bowline, but it sure is tastier.
Cherry Almond Bowline Banana Bread
Makes 2 loaves
3 ripe bananas
1 c sugar
¾ c vegetable oil
½ c milk
2 ½ c. flour
½ t baking powder
1 t baking soda
½ t salt
1 T cinnamon
1 t vanilla extract
1 T almond extract
½ cup chopped almonds
½ cup chopped tart dried cherries
Handful of slivered almonds to sprinkle on top
Preheat oven to 350◦ F 176◦C, or medium on your oven
Oil 2 loaf pans
Mix dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt)
Make a well in the middle and pour in milk, oil, eggs, and sugar
Stir 2 minutes stirring in the cinnamon and extracts
Squish the bananas into the batter. The riper they are the better.
Blend batter until smooth
Add nuts and dried fruit
Pour mixture into pans
Sprinkle almonds on top
Bake for ½ hour turning after 15 minutes
Leave the bread in the pan for at least ½ an hour so that the crumb can set and it doesn’t fall apart when taking it out
Many baked goods are best fresh out of the oven. Not banana bread. After 24 hours the banana goodness infuses the bread and the flavors come out singing together in perfect harmony. I’ve found it reaches its peak at 2 days. Just cover the loaves in cling wrap and wait. If you can keep yourself from eating it, that is.
“The oven is a little tricky. You need to turn the pans a lot,” Captain X had warned me. I was used to cooking on the road. Through Couchsurfing, I had had the opportunity to cook in all varieties of stoves throughout South America; from wood-burningovens, to little propane camping torches. I’d seen it all. This yacht’s propane oven couldn’t scare me.
And so my battle with the propane stove began. As they say, pride cometh before the fall, and thinking your first try is going to be perfect is downright hubris. I went into it fully warned what I was up against, but even so, the resulting cranberry lemon bread (the kind of bread that would have been muffins if I had had proper muffin tins) was not my best work. Even with a well-oiled pan and turning every 5 minutes, the bread still wasn’t baked completely evenly. Worst still, it stuck to the pan.
After trials, tribulations, and much turning (the pan, not me), I was the victor of my battle with the propane oven, but only by a razor thin margin. Devoured in a few hours, it was tasty enough; unfortunately the presentation left something to be desired. A golden-brown top would have been impossible unless I charred the bottom.
Cooking in an oven heated by one thin row of propane flames pushed my baking expertise to its limits. Even so, the recipe is quite tasty.
This was 3 years ago, my first time crewing on a yacht. The Wonderwall was a beautiful catamaran with a lovely galley,and I am very happy that I had my first experience cooking on a boat on her. But even with a nice galley, cooking on a boat is different from cooking on shore.
Since then I have learned a lot from cooking in different galleys.
Even on land every oven is different, but boats take this to the extreme. Temperamental ovens are pretty standard on yachts. I haven’t crewed on a boat yet whose oven didn’t need careful watching or at the very least a few turns. But this is by no means an insurmountable challenge. Once you get to know your oven’s quirks everything will fall into place. Just remember, at least the first few times remember to stay in the galley and turn whatever you’re baking every 5-10 minutes
And if you have to leave the galley for any reason for you to leave the saloon/galley area be sure to turn off the gas. No one wants to come back from an emergency sail change to the smell of burnt bread .
Cranberry Lemon Tea Cake (muffins if you like- or have muffin tins on board)
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
½ cup vegetable oil
1 cup milk
½ teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 t vanilla
3 T lemon juice
½ c dried cranberries
Preheat oven to 350 f (175 c ), or medium
Grease and flour loaf pan (I made the mistake of not flouring my pan)
Stir dry ingredients together in large mixing bowl (flour, sugar, and baking powder)