So, spring is upon us, the sun is shining, a small flotilla of excited guests have just engulfed the aft deck, there is animated chatter on board your boat this morning. So, Chefy – you are organised – that’s one of our huge virtues, isn’t it?
Apart from being bloody amazing, of course. You are stocked up, drinks are on ice, stewie suitably bossed around and knows what, how and when you want, in that order. Slap them around if needs must – I think they always enjoy that.
Okay, Mr Owner is on board, anxious to show off his toy, and who can blame him? I would, if I had one and not just slaved away on one. So, you’re off on a small sail, across to a neighbouring island, or maybe, participating in a friendly regatta? Brilliant. Aft lines off, Deckies doing their thing and looking very handsome; moorings off, guests a bit giggly after a glass or two of bubbles. Oh, yes – perfect. The god which is our Captain has everything in hand – stern bow thruster……brrrrrrrr, aft thruster, burrrrrrr – joy sticks and thrusters, ehhh? In my next life I want to come back as a yacht captain – just so I can play with my thrusters and get paid for it.
So, let’s peek our nose out of the bay, the light breeze that so gently lapped at the flag on the aft deck and promised so much this morning has now turned into an alarming erect being with its own mind. Erect, like a sailor that has been at sea for too many months. Captain God starts playing with his knobs and hello, the sails are being raised……oh dear, it’s tippy tippy time and strangely enough, the conversation on the aft deck starts to flag (yes, a pun, not a great one, but give me more wine) A silence descends, similar to a very bad smell that no one is courageous enough to own up to and fifty shades of green are starting to star. As the boat starts to emit violent movements, pitching and inevitably stomachs start rolling.
So, that sushi that you prepared is looking like such a good idea anymore. Maybe serving sushi is just fish karma. Raw fish anyone!? I think not. We’ve all been there, the yawning is starting along with the nausea and sweating – and that’s just you down in the galley. Up on deck your guests are too frightened to even talk to each other anymore, they are just hanging on to the railings, smiles firmly fixed on their faces. In their minds they are doing the quiet rant – I’m not going to be seasick, oh please, I’m not going to be seasick and eventually that will turn around to OMG, I’m scared I’m going to die, to, at the end, please let me die. Regretting those copas of cava now, aintcha?
Okay Chefy – the responsibility weighs heavily on your broad shoulders hey? Can’t have your guests performing any elaborate Exorcist moves can you? Witnessing your owner’s breakfast exploding out his nose? His wife in her sparkly frock talking to god on the big white telephone? None of the above and it makes such a mess of the teak.
So, I’ve been sourcing seasickness remedies – keeping our owners and guests happy is our job after all and ginger seems to be the dog’s bollocks in this small sailing arena. One site did, very reassuringly advise me that when your guests start the multicoloured yawn syndrome to take half a lime (not lemon – can there be a difference?) and wedge it up your bottom. It won’t cure the seasickness, but when you start tasting lime juice you know that you’re empty . Sage advice. Anyway, dear Chefies, I’d like to share a recipe for ginger cookies to offer your guests before or after their happy bubbles.
Anti Chunder Ginger Cookies
2 & 1/4 cup of four
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 & 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Half a teaspoon each of ground nutmeg and ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup vege oil
1/3 cup molasses
1 extra large egg at room temp
1 & half cup crystallised ginger
Okay, preheat your oven at 180C and line two cookie sheets with baking paper. In a large bowl, sift all the dry stuff – flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger and salt. Get your hands in there and mix it all around. Lovely. If you have an electric mixer, fit it with the paddle attachment and beat the brown sugar, oil and molasses on medium speed for about 5 mins. Turn it down and add the egg, using a rubber spatulla to scrape the bowl down. Beat and beat for a minute more – you know you like it. Slowly add the dry ingredients and beat for a further few minutes. Add the crystallied ginger and mix. With a spoon, or two, scoop out the dough into your hands and roll each cookie into small balls. Flatten down with your fingers. Press both sides of the cookies with granulated sugar and bake them for approximately 13 minutes. I’m being a bit anal here, but, for heavens sake, don’t over cook them please. 13 minutes people! For my sake at least. Let them cool for a few minutes and them pop these little spew savers onto a wire rack. Your owner, his wife, the guests, the hull, and those gorgeous deckies on the boat will thank you for this. Brownie points all around.
So, on the subject of seasickness, we’ve all been there, huh? Any great sailor will tell you that if you puke something hairy, it’s probably your arsehole. I must admit to have done some explosive and copious chundering in my time at sea – more than sufficient than to shock Captain God. Bit proud of it, actually. I don’t mind wearing my badge of shame – been there, done that, threw up there. We are sailors and sometimes our job demands that we have to drive the porcelain bus. But we also want to keep our keen and eager owners happy when they like to sail horizontally , but we have also to make our jobs easy in such conditions. I once had a season in the Greek Islands – never set a foot on land except in supermarkets for the whole three months – I’d still like to know what the islands look like. Anyway, my owner loved to sail – and I had just agreed to a Thai Banquet with the owners, their guests and two other smaller boats that their friends were hiring……There must have been 19 or 20 guests in total. 9 course Thai meal – no problem if you are organised, hey Chefies? But there was a Meltemi blowing that morning, of course we are off sailing and my stewie had to act as barrier for the food – I had her lying down under the crew mess table, arms and legs streched out, hanging of for dear life, protecting that food. She did love me a lot, but when the basket of 40 eggs dislodged itself and smashed into her, it was an end to a wonderful relationship. She still is not talking to me.
But, do yourself a flavour when you are out there sailing, this recipe is easy, elegant and delish.
Roasted Prawns Sarnie with Spicy Avo Mayo
400 grams prawns, peeled and de-poohed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon of both ground cumin and garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
Salt and pepper, of course
Chilli Avo Mayo
1 baguette,cut in 3 pieces
Romaine lettuce, sliced avo for serving
Chilli Avo Mayo
1 – 3 chipotle peppers – or just use a great chilli sauce
1 avo, piitted and chopped
1/4 cup mayo
1/4 cup yogurt
Juice of one lime
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 200C, line a baking tray with baking paper. To make the mayo – chuck it all in a blender and beat the christ out of it. In a large bowl, whack the prawns, olive oil, cumin, garlic powder, chilli powder, salt and pepper in, swirl it around and pop it on the baking tray. Put it in the oven and roast for 6 to 8 minutes. Serve on the baguette with all the trimmings and go sailing!!!!!!!
We all have funny memories of our regurtitative urges, I’d love to hear of other chefies stories, humour me, please good people and send me a story.
Me, I don’t alway puke, but when I do, I pretend I’m a dragon. AAARRRHHHHHHHHH
Keep it safe, enjoy the ride…..till next month dear Islanders