Posts Tagged ‘breakfast’
“flot flot flot… flot flot flot…”
I was trying to get some sleep before my watch when I heard it. Damn, another flying fish flew in the hatch, I thought. I’ll just get it when I get up. I promptly rolled over and went to sleep.
My alarm went off at 3:45 a.m. and I dressed for watch. Just before going up, I went to the head (toilet) in my room to brush my teeth.
“Oh!” I cried, as I turned on the light. A pigeon-sized dark-grey bird sat on the floor looking up at me. I went outside and brought Mori San, who was just going off watch, in to see. He must be one of the little dark birds we had seen flitting over the waves almost our entire 4,000 nautical mile passage.
I say he because everyone on the boat was convinced that any bird visiting the girl’s cabin had to be male. I pointedly ignored Zeus comments.
I had wondered how on earth these birds managed to make it so terribly far from land without rest. We were thousands of miles away from any land. Maybe that was the reason the little guy made his way into my cabin. He just needed a break. With a long curving beak and clear dark eyes I wondered what kind of bird my new friend was. I did want to make sure he was okay. It was night, but he seemed far too sedate to be entirely healthy.
I took a towel out of the bathroom cupboard and covered the bird, and scooped him into my arms. He weighed less than air as I carried him outside. He didn’t struggle or put up the least bit of resistance to my moving him. I was worried. Had he hurt himself on his way inside Umineko? Was he sick? Wild animals tended to avoid humans like the plague unless they are sick.
Setting him on a bench I filled a small bowl with fresh water and placed it in front of our visitor. He didn’t pay a bit of attention to it** nor did the flying fish I offered have any effect.
After 10 minutes he got down off of the bench and moved into the saloon. He tucked in behind the table and made his way into the darkest shadowy corner he could find, away from the red light in the saloon.
“Maybe just needs to rest,” Toshi San suggested. “He wants to go somewhere that’s quiet.”
At 5:45 the faintest hints of light brushed the Eastern horizon. Dawn was on its way. I went inside with the towel. I didn’t want dawn to come and the bird to start flying around the boat. It was vital to get him out when it was still dark.
He wasn’t in the saloon. He wasn’t on the port side, I peered down the dark steps to the starboard side. There he was, a darker pool in a darker shadow resting at the bottom of the two stairs. Directly in front of Mori San’s berth. I breathed a sigh of relief that Mori San hadn’t needed to use the head and accidently stepped on our guest.
This time when I draped the red towel over him he struggled. I smiled as he tried to stretch his wings and placed him on the back of the port side bench. After a few minutes he hopped down to the bench, and then thought better of it. My heart soared as he flapped his way back up to the ledge. A few minutes more and he disappeared into the dissipating night. He had just needed a place to rest.
Finding a bird in your cabin is fun, always provided you don’t step on it. On the flip side spent the next day cleaning up er… presents our friend had left.
I love breakfast burritos. They are healthy, tasty, and meet the requirements of sailing food: Easy and portable. Even better, they don’t require complicated ingredients. If you have leftover rice or beans from the night before they’re a fantastic way to use up ingredients.
Breakwater Breakfast Burritos
- 4 tortillas
- 4 eggs
- 4 slices of cheese (or 8 small slices)
- 2 c rice
- 2 c black eyed peas (soaked and cooked)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 T taco seasoning
- Crack egg into nonstick skillet over medium heat
- Immediately lay tortilla over egg squish around so that tortilla is coated in egg
- Allow to cook 2 minutes and flip onto plate
- Fry garlic in oil for 2 minutes
- Spoon rice and black eyed peas into pan
- Mix in taco seasoning
- Put tortilla in clean skillet over medium heat, egg-side up
- Lay cheese on top
- Spoon ¼ of mixture onto each of the tortillas
- Wrap and serve with salsa
*When handling wild animals always wrap them in a towel. This is safer for both of you.
- Wild animals don’t know what is happening to them. More often than not they are terrified of the person holding them and the towel protects you and curbs their movement.
- It is terrible to get human scent on the animal. Often others of its kind will shun it after that
- It is some protection from disease
**In retrospect he probably didn’t know what fresh water was! Sea birds have internal desalination systems so that they can just drink sea water. There have been numerous times at sea I wished I were built like that.
Wandering the streets of Havana Vieja is like a photographer’s wet dream. I walked from the historic Hotel Nacional with its crystal chandeliers, ornate furnishings, and pictures of stars who had visited from the 1920s to today. I walked through the crumbling sections, with the locals playing football, baseball, or dominoes in the street, and finally to the touristic “Havana vieja,” refurbished, reconstructed, and fit for outside eyes.
Like a post-apocalyptic Cartagena, vines and decay are well on their way to reclaiming parts of the city . Stunning art deco buildings are crumbling in disrepair. Bullet holes in buildings stand as ghostly reminders to the class war that ended Batista’s era of opulence. It would be tragic, but for the vibrant Cubans living in the ruins. The juxtaposition of the glorious architecture and the inhabitants, each one a story in him or herself is incredible. It is like walking back in time.
Cars from the ‘40s, and ‘50s line the streets. I had heard of this phenomena, but I thought it would be one or two, but no. Every second car is a beautiful vintage automobile. The engines have been replaced by Russian diesel motors, but the shape that they are in is fabulous.
One of my favorite corners had a building that said it all. The skeletal remains of a building with the street sign “Havana” still hanging on the corner. A Canadian cruiser I know lamented the art deco buildings falling into ruin. No amount of reconstruction could help these buildings. Not when the rebar skeletons of the buildings had rusted and collapsed.
According to him what they needed to do was just to tear the buildings down and rebuild them from the inside out. Brushing up the exteriors wouldn’t prevent the building from collapsing in a year or two. When I peered inside some of the buildings I was shocked. Many of the buildings with passable exteriors were destroyed inside. But with Havana a UNESCO world heritage site it was illegal to tear the buildings down.
In the potholed streets surrounded by dilapidated grandeur, fruit sellers pedal their wares, children play games, and day to day life continues. But one story up, buildings appear in better repair. The people leaning out over their balconies and interacting with one another from on high fascinated me. The colorful clothes hung out to dry and their residents washing windows, chatting, or gazing out at their surroundings piques the curiosity.
I am overjoyed that I got to see Havana when I did. Before it was flooded with American tourists. Before it was remodeled into something else entirely.
This French toast is a delightful twist on the normal style. More than that you can just throw it in the oven and then everyone’s breakfast is ready at the same time.
To me rum always gives French toast a little something extra and, of course, some of the best rum in the world comes from Cuba.
My absolute favorite rum is a Cuban brand called Legendario. The sweet nectar is certainly meant to be sipped in small quantities than mixed or (god forbid) used for cooking. Okay, it’s more of a liqueur than a rum. Even though I didn’t actually use this delicious drink in cooking I thought a picture of the bottle was necessary when writing about Cuba.
Cutter Cuban French Toast
Makes 6 portions
- 1 ½ c butter
- 1 ½ c sugar
- 2 T molasses
- 2 t cinnamon
- 1 t nutmeg
- 1 French baguette, sliced in about ½” slices
- 1 T vanilla
- 8 eggs
- ½ c milk
- ½ c rum
- 2 T sugar
- Preheat oven to 350° F 170° C
- Combine butter, 1 ½ c sugar, molasses, 1 t cinnamon, and nutmeg in saucepan
- Cook over med-low heat stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves and mixture is uniform
- In a small bowl whisk together vanilla, eggs, milk, rum, and remaining t cinnamon
- Arrange bread in greased baking pan in two layers (a lasagna pan is ideal)
- Pour egg mixture over bread
- Bake ½ hour or until center has risen slightly
Remember to take all of it out of the pan immediately. When the sugars cool they will harden and stick!
I hate mornings. Not that I loathe the actual time of day. Sunrise can be stunning, animals come out to play, and the world is bright and fresh. No, what I despise is the actual getting out of bed portion of it. Leaving your toasty covers for the chill air to shock you awake, and unless it’s sweltering out the air is always chilly compared to the nice pocket of warmth under the blankets. That and the fact that I just don’t seem to function as well at that time of day. No matter what time I go to sleep, 6 am is just early.
Unfortunately, as cook, I have to get out of bed before everyone else. Nightwatch notwithstanding. Because I lack the proclivity for mornings that some do I would much prefer to have something that doesn’t take terribly long to prepare and one way to do that is to work with leftovers.
I often try and have a bit of cooked rice around because, especially on a Japanese boat, the variety dishes that one can make with a little cooked rice are astounding.
“Rice for Breakfast?” a disbeliever asked me.
Rice for breakfast isn’t simply Asian. Far from it, these rice pancakes are one of my childhood favorites. Quick, easy, and requiring minimal preparation these pancakes are perfect boat food. Sometimes I add a little corn or other veggies for variation.
Reef Knot Rice Pancakes
- 2 c cooked rice
- 4 eggs
- 2 t Vegeta or seasoned salt
- 1 T butter (for frying)
- In medium bowl mix eggs, rice, and vegeta
- Let stand 3 minutes
- Melt half of butter in frying pan over medium heat
- Spoon rice batter onto pan and fry each cake until golden brown on the bottom 2-3 minutes
- Flip and cook until golden brown on the other side
These rice cakes can be served hot or cold and are tasty either way
I’d never had egg in the hole before sailing. The first time I tried it, I couldn’t believe the delicious, simple breakfast wasn’t more popular. The perfect sailing food. One pan, you can eat it with your hands, there’s protein, there are carbohydrates. It’s quick, tasty, filling, and so easy even someone with problems boiling water can make it.
Growing up I always liked my eggs poached or over-easy (very easy). The tasty treat was getting to spread the flavorful yolk on the bread. Egg in the hole takes out the middle man. Rather than using a toaster and another pan to fry the egg this takes care of everything in one pan.
I find it especially tasty with the rich-slightly sweet Heave-Ho Challah bread.
Ease Off Egg in the Hole
- 4 thick slices of Challah (or 8 pieces of store-bought sandwich bread)
- 2 T butter
- 4 eggs
- Heat a frying pan over medium flame
- Slather one side of bread with butter and cut an egg-sized hole in the center
- Pick up a slice of bread and butter the other side and put it in the pan
- Crack one egg into the hole in the center of the bread
- Butter the unbuttered side of the cut out bread-hole and place it in the pan.
- Cook for 1-2 minutes (depending on how well-done you like your egg)
- Flip bread and cook for another minute
- Repeat process with other slices.
If you have a large enough frying pan you can cook more than one egg in the hole at a time
If you are using store-bought bread simply double-up the slices (one slice is too thin to contain the egg)
Cooking up a storm
We’re stuck. We got the news this morning when Sato San went to pay the marina bill. Brewerton Boatyard had just gotten the fax. The Erie Canal was closed for repairs. Locks 12-14 were drained. For 3-weeks.
Marion, our French crew-member, had taken her 2-weeks of holiday to spend sailing up the Erie Canal with us. She’d only been with us 2-days and now we were stuck! Even worse, we had plans to meet friends at Annapolis Boat show on October 10. If the canal was closed for 3-weeks there wasn’t any chance we could make it to the boat show on time.
I called, hoping to find out it was all a big joke, a mistake, some kind of misprint anything! But no. Flooding had washed out reinforcements and a dam was on the verge of bursting at lock 13. It just wasn’t safe to keep it open.
The canal’s navigation manager tried to help us figure out an alternate route. Going North and up to Montreal might work… Umineko only had a 3’ ½ draft… But when he asked our beam he groaned. The narrowest lock on the Chamblee Canal was only 21’ wide. There wasn’t any way we would fit through. We were stuck until they opened the canal.
In the face of disaster we did the one thing we could: turned to sweets. I grabbed the sugar and started in on my twist on a traditional French dish.
Canal Closing Caramel Apple Crepes
- 1 recipe Cardinal Crepes
- 1 recipe Cumulus Carmel Sauce
- 1 recipe Cinnamon Sugar Apple filling
- Spoon cinnamon sugar apples onto crepe in line
- Spoon a bit of caramel sauce over
- Fold edges over until tube-shape
- Drizzle caramel sauce over top
Cumulus clouds indicate fair weather and caramel sauce always lifts the mood and thus cumulus caramel sauce earned its name
Caramel is basically burnt sugar, well singed a bit, but it always tastes delicious, and the more cream and butter you add the better. I almost always have sugar around but don’t often carry cream on board. No worries though because caramel sauce, caramel candy’s thinned-down cousin doesn’t need cream to taste delicious.
Cumulus Caramel sauce
- 1 c sugar
- 2 T butter
- ½ c water
- Spread sugar in thick-bottomed pan and melt over low heat stirring constantly until liquid and turning golden brown
- Remove from heat and add 1 T butter stirring furiously as sugar boils up and butter melts into the mixture. When mixed add second tablespoon of butter.
- Return to heat until mixture liquid
- Add thin stream of water stirring constantly until a thin consistency
- Remove from heat and enjoy
- You may want to add a few tablespoons more water if the sauce starts to thicken.
Cinnamon-sugar Apple Filling
- 2 granny smith apples peeled and diced
- 1 T lemon juice
- ½ c sugar
- 2 T cinnamon
- Place apples and lemon juice in saucepan over medium-low heat
- Mix in cinnamon and sugar
- Cook for 3 minutes, or slightly longer depending how well-done you like your apples
Fairlead French Toast
The latest loaf of bread had lasted 3 days. Its time had come. It’s time to transcend into something sublime… into French Toast.
I personally think that its name in French is far more apt… pain perdu… lost bread. For years I had thought it was bread lost in a sea of egg and milk. Marion, our French crew member, gave me the real scoop. Nope… it was because the bread itself is lost… too stale for other use. Pain perdu is the second life of zombie bread. And what a second life to have.
As it happens, boating bread is perfect for French toast, Pain Perdu if you will. I don’t make a habit of cruising with heavy cream, but it makes this recipe. A simple way of using up bread on its way to going stale and making it tastier than it was to begin with. I am dreaming of the next day I have Fairlead French Toast to guide me to a good day.
Fairlead French Toast
- 6 thick slices boating bread
- 3 eggs
- 1/3 c milk
- 1/3 c cream
- ¼ c rum
- 1 T nutmeg
- 1 T butter
- Fresh fruit
- Real maple syrup
- Thoroughly mix eggs, milk, cream, rum, and nutmeg
- Soak slices of bread
- Melt butter in skillet over medium heat
- Cook soaked bread in skillet until golden brown
- Flip and cook other side until golden brown
- Pour maple syrup over French toast
- Serve fruit on side or over top
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
- 3 peaches
- 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
Bake 15 minutes
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
- Maple syrup
- 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
- Spread a final layer of yogurt on the top
- Garnish with a berry
- Drizzle pure maple syrup over the top