Pinky and the Brain
Before we could even pick up a mooring ball off of George Town a dinghy motored up, calling to us. “We have a mooring ball for you. Just follow me.,” a boy who couldn’t have been older than early 20′s led us around the island to the St Francis Resort. We had been looking forward to getting to the North American St. Francis headquarters. We had met George, the owner at the Annapolis Boat Show and it was always nice to see other St Francis catamarans; Umineko was a St. Francis. The first hull. But we hadn’t expected such a warm welcome.
I was still glowing from my dolphin encounter the day before. But one of my priorities reaching land was finding a home for the orphans I had acquired…
When I opened a interesting fan-shaped mollusk I had collected, I discovered two tiny baby lobsters, one pink, the other so young it was still clear. The pink one was about 1/18” from the tip of his claws to the end of his tail and the clear one smaller yet. I dubbed them Pinky and the Brain and put them in a make-shift salt water terrarium determined to find a home for them with someone on land.
The first thing I did when getting to the bar (well, after ordering a delicious frozen strawberry daiquiri) was ask around to see if anyone would take my charges. To my delight George’s wife offered to. This delightful woman adores animals and welcomed Pinky and the Brain into her menagerie. It was a wonderful introduction to the St. Francis Resort.
Okay, so it may be in poor taste to have a lobster spread, but it’s not like I actually ate either of the babies. Even nicer she doesn’t even like lobster so Pinky and the Brain are safe from becoming an appetizer.
I created this spread on crewing on a different boat and it is divine. You don’t need a food processor to make it but it is handy if you have one.
Luffing Lobster Spread
- 1 package Philadelphia cream cheese
- 1/4 c lemon juice
- 3 T milk
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 T salt
- 3 or 4 steamed rock lobster tails (about 2-3 lb lobsters)
- Steam lobster tails
- While steaming tails mix remaining ingredients in medium bowl
- Chop tails finely and mix into cream cheese mixture
- Chill in refrigerator for a day for the flavors to blend (if you can wait that long)
Umineko has been plagued with sickness. Nothing terribly serious, but I’ve had a cough for weeks and now Mori San has come down with it too. Cough drops, vitamin C… all to no avail I even got one bottle of cough syrup in George Town, went through it, and started on the second. Nothing could shake the miserable cough. I didn’t feel bad, other than feeling a little guilty for preparing food with a persistent cough. I even started wearing surgical masks while I cooked.
It could have been the weather. Grey skies and rain had plagued us throughout our time in “sunny” Florida, and the sullen weather had followed us all the way to Nassau. Even though vitamin C tablets weren’t working I wanted to do everything I could to kick the cough. Especially after Mori San caught it. Soup is fantastic, but not always the most practical at sea. Ginger on the other hand. Ginger is the miracle cure for everything. From seasickness to pretty much anything that ails you. And so ginger it was. I slipped a little (or a lot) of ginger into almost every meal, until miraculously the weather, and our coughs vanished a couple days outside of Nassau.
We anchored off of Shroud Cay, an island we had gotten an inside tip on, well, the prettiest beach in the Bahamas lay just through a thicket of mangroves. Sato San, Taira San and I set out to see this beautiful beach, both of them in the dinghy, me paddle boarding behind.
We crept through the maze of winding mangrove channels. How the plants managed to thrive in salt water always impressed me. I love exploring mangroves. No matter how rough the seas outside get, the waters inside provide a calm haven. A separate ecosystem grow up around their roots.
We trekked over a sandy hill scrub brush covered hill at the end of the channel. There it was: the secluded white sandy beach so unlike most other beaches in the Bahamas. A make-shift swing hung from a tree branch and several hammocks that had succumbed to the ravages of time hung in tatters marking the work of cruisers before us.
We played on the beach to our hearts content, but the wind was picking up. We needed to get back to the boat and move on. Sailing in 15-20 knots is gorgeous. Dinghying in that is less fun.
One of my favorite creations from the sick days was ginger pancakes with ginger sauce. I am a confessed pancake syrup snob. Our store of Canadian maple syrup was dwindling and I wouldn’t subject myself or anyone else on Umineko to fake maple syrup. The only thing to do was to make my own syrups or sauces.
Ginger honey butter is a stand-out sauce that would grace any pancake, ginger or not. It isn’t bad drizzled on bread either…
Ginger Pancakes with Ginger Honey
2 cup milk
3 c flour
2 T lime juice
¼ c sugar
1 t baking soda
2 t baking powder
½ t salt
1 T ground ginger
2 T grated ginger
1 T honey
4 T butter
If anything can keep you alert through the wee hours of morning when you’re on watch it’s a shot of wasabi. And how better than to get wasabi into a scrumptious and easy spread than to mix it with cream cheese? It gives a sandwich, crackers, or whatever you put it on, a whole new dimension. And for those of you not as excited about spicy food, the cream cheese tones down the bite of the wasabi.
Wasabi and cream cheese might not be the first combination that comes to mind. Oh sure, there’s wasabi mayonnaise, some sushi uses cream cheese, you put wasabi on the sushi, but wasabi cream cheese? The first time I tried horseradish cream cheese was at Russ and Daughters bagel shop in New York, my all-time favorite deli. Their masterful creation the “Super Heebster” has wasabi roe, horseradish cream cheese, and not one but two tasty fish spreads. From the second I bit into their bagel I was hooked. Now I can’t recreate wasabi roe. I think you have to force feed fish a steady diet of wasabi for that to happen. So I may not be able to have Russ and Daughters anywhere in the world, but I’ve found a pretty tasty alternative. Here is my nautical take on the “Super Heebster.”
On Watch Wasabi Bagels
- 8 oz lox
- 4 bagels
- Wasabi cream cheese spread
Wasabi cream cheese spread
- 2 T wasabi (if you aren’t a fan of spicy then you can just use 1 T of Wasabi)
- ½ c cream cheese
- ½ red onion finely chopped
Mix the wasabi, cream cheese, and red onion together and voila! Brilliance. It is better the second day.
Dried herbs and seasoning are fine, and a good mix of seasoning can make or break a meal, but nothing beats fresh herbs.
You don’t have to give up your herb garden living on a boat. Granted, I haven’t tackled international travel with herbs yet, but in the States, or in domestic travel regardless of location, turning your yacht into a floating herb garden works brilliantly.
We only have a small one on Umineko so far, rosemary and basil. Two of my favorites, but it may grow (no pun intended). It is easier on a catamaran, but I have seen more than one monohull resplendent with hanging herbs.
This is my absolute favorite pesto recipe. You really do need a food processor to make it. A food processor, I’ll admit isn’t the most practical thing to carry on a boat. That said, I’ve crewed aboard several yachts with food processors because they can be used to make many great cruising foods. You just have to figure out where your space and weight priorities lie.
This delicious pesto can be frozen and lasts for ages. It will get better over a few days as the flavors disperse.
- 1 cup basil leaves firmly packed
- 1 cup spinach
- 3 cloves garlic
- ¾ cup olive oil
- 1 cup walnuts
- Juice from 1 lemon (or to taste)
- 7 oz tofu
- 1 Tablespoons salt (to taste)
- 2 teaspoons pepper (to taste)
- Put (pealed) cloves of garlic into food processor and chop finely
- Add basil and spinach and pulse food processor
- Add walnuts and, lemon juice, and olive oil and grind for 20 seconds
- Add tofu, salt, pepper, and blend until smooth.
Because it uses tofu as well as nuts, this pesto is extra protein-rich and filling. More than just over pasta, I love using it
- As sandwich spread
- In a wrap with a tomato and sprouts
- On pizza in place of tomato sauce
You can add parmesan cheese to give it that extra kick
Please post your pesto-spread ideas. I would love to hear and try them!