Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Lion Fish recipes...

Now that you know how to clean your Lion Fish you need some recipes...

Lion Fish Hunter has a bunch!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Lion Fish... It's what's for dinner!

Since Lion Fish is becoming such a problem down here in the Caribbean  it's time to make it a regular part of what's for dinner...

Monday, December 27, 2010

Biscuits...

My dad used to make ham biscuits for New Years and I've been looking for a recipe for quite some time...

Baker's Banter has just the thing!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Braised red cabbage...

Cabbage is something of a cruising staple as it keeps for ages without refrigeration and is more often than not ...cheap. What's not to like?

Sadly though, most folks don't do the noble cabbage justice when it comes to bringing it to the table and some might even be surprised that it is for something other than cole slaw or  an adjunct to corned beef...

Lucky for us that LobsterSquad has an awesome recipe for Braised Red Cabbage using a pressure cooker!  Perfect for a holiday or any old day...

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Note to self...

Before we up anchor and leave St Croix I really MUST stock up on Miss Anna's Hot sauces...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A study in contrast...

I'm really a pushover for this sort of dish...


Serious Eats has the recipe!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

All sorts of squiddy goodness...

Over at Fishing Under Sail we've showed you people catching squid and here we've shown you how to clean the critters...

Maybe we should point you to a great recipe so you can cook your squid in a pressure cooker?


Lucky for us, Laura over at the most excellent Hip Pressure Cooking has a great pressure cooker recipe just filled with squiddy goodness...

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Since the subject of pressure cooking came up...

Since we're on the subject of pressure cookers...

I was actually serious about wanting another pressure cooker. I'd love a small one that would fit in my sea swing which would be a huge help from time to time. That said, an on-board still would be no bad thing either!

The thing about pressure cookers is that a lot of folks either believe the hype that they are bombs just waiting to go off or, even worse, they have eaten horrible meals thrown together in a pressure cooker and they think that everything à la pression is going to taste yucky.

Folks, it does not have to be like that... and we never do "yucky" at Island Gourmand as we are a certified "yucky " and "Barry Manilow" free zone!

One of the problems is that most cookbooks of the pressure cooker variety are, shall we say, really awful, but that does not quite convey the gravity of the awfulness that is most pressure cooking cookbooks...

The first issue I have with said really awful cookbooks is the fact that they tend to make complicated recipes which is sort of exactly NOT what pressure cooking is all about. If you find a pressure cooker recipe that reads like rocket science, remember the famous words of Robby the Robot...

"Danger, Danger Will Robinson..."

...and avoid it like the plague! Another danger sign for pressure cooking recipes is the use of canned anything (though I make an exception to that rule with tomatoes and tomato paste).

A couple of excellent, simple, safe, and boat friendly (for the most part) cookbooks you may want to check out would be "Pressure Perfect" and "Cooking Under Pressure" by Lorna Sass. Either would be a great place to get your pressure on...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A great Galley blog...

The Boat Galley is just the sort of galley oriented websites that we need more of... Written by Carolyn Shearlock, its simple and sensible vibe goes a long way towards making it a great resource which only looks like it will get better and better..

In the something to look forward to department there is also mention a a cookbook on the way (so-authored with  Jan Irons) that I for one am really looking forward to...

Check it out!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Now this makes sense...

I've been meaning to get around to making something along these lines to deal with excess Mahi Mahi and Tuna for jerky making as well as fruit when it's cheap...


 Looks like just the thing!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Flashlight-in-your-teeth-change-the-bottle-two-step...

We use propane for cooking and grilling aboard "So It Goes" and it's a fact of life that we always run out of gas in the middle of cooking at night... Oh the fun and frolic of doing the flashlight-in-your-teeth-change-the-bottle-two-step!

That said, we seem to get a lot of cooking out of a 20 pound tank of propane as a tank lasts about 2 1/2 months which works out to a bit less than 27¢ a day.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Musing on the price of chicken...

I have always liked chicken wings, and truth be told given the choice grilled chicken wings always works for me...

The last few times shopping I've noticed that chicken wings are priced just about the same as chicken breasts. Fact is, just about any sort of cut up chicken now seems to be the same price per pound... Odd! Not sure if it is a local thing confined to the USVI but it does throw out a whole new slant on things as while I still love chicken wings they do suffer greatly on the bang for the buck scale if par with other cuts of chicken.

Meanwhile Grilling Companion makes a great case for wings...

Friday, November 26, 2010

Where I go for information on rum...


Ed Hamilton is the The Man from the Ministry of Rum and what better place to start than Rum 101!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Tasty...

Stone Soup does it again...

Monday, November 15, 2010

Rum and spice...

Serious Eats continues with their rum series How to Make Spiced Rum From Scratch
and only one word comes to mind... YES!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Pancakes...

Chuck and Laura Rose make pancakes on their Albin Vega 27...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A quest for a decent Mai Tai...

It's pretty amazing when you think about it, but I don't think you can get a decent Mai Tai anywhere in the Caribbean...

Beachbum Berry (my main resource when it comes to Tiki culture and libations) has been on  something of a quest for Mai Tai's in Europe and having a lot better luck than he'd find here in the Caribbean. You should also note a previous post of his on the correct recipe for a Mai Tai... You might be surprised!

Monday, November 8, 2010

A good read...

A great (albeit in French) explanation on why dried fruits and vegetables make sense on a boat...

Check it out!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Just the thing...

Garbanzo beans or Chickpeas are a very boat friendly staple and Smitten Kitchen has a great way to use them in Spaghetti with chickpeas...

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A quick pre-Thanksgiving thought...

Most folk have more sense than to deep fry a turkey on a boat but then again, a lot of folks just voted Republican, so you can't be too careful...



That said, you may want to reconsider that deep fried T-Day Turkey in the cockpit idea...

Monday, November 1, 2010

Chocolate cakes...



 More importantly she does it right!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Another lobster recipe...

Our friends on the charter yacht "Three Moons" sent us some recipes recently and this one also has me looking for my lobster snare...

Grand Finale Grilled Caribbean Lobster

Ingredients: Serves 6
  • 6 (10-12 oz) lobster tails
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Mrs. Dash original seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • Lemon wedges for garnish
  • 1 cup drawn butter, divided
Instructions:
  1. Preheat grill.
  2. While grill is heating, boil lobster tails in a large deep pot of salted water for 3 minutes or until the tails JUST begin to curl.
  3. Remove the lobster with tongs, drain excess water and place on a cutting board. Allow to cool slightly.
  4. With a very sharp knife or kitchen scissors, split the lobster tails all the way through, top and bottom.
  5. Melt butter, stir in seasonings, and brush the tails liberally with seasoned butter mixture.
  6. Place the lobster tails on the grill for 3-4 minutes and baste occasionally. Don't overcook!
  7. Place the lobster tail on serving plate and place a ramekin of drawn butter in the center of the "V".
  8. Garnish with lemon wedges.
  9. Add your favorite side dish and veggie.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

On making your own ricotta cheese...

The other day while shopping I noticed that ricotta cheese had had a big price hike to make it simply too expensive for anything but serious entertaining which is silly as ricotta is more of a basic day to day staple...

As it happened the store in question always has near its end day milk on deep discount and as I passed the milk section I wondered why things I don't use are always cheap and on sale while the stuff I want keep going up.

What did not occur to me at the time is that ricotta is so easy to make (even on a boat) that it's really silly to buy it when cheap milk is available.

So it goes...

Friday, October 22, 2010

Butter poached lobster sounds like just the thing...

Steamy Kitchen is always a must read for us here on "So It Goes" and her recent lobster recipe is a great example of why...






















Simple, tasty and impressive so go and check it out and while you do that I'll be looking for my lobster snare ...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Color me surprised, dried eggs I like...OvaEasy

Back when we were living in France and cruising about, eggs were a non-problematic issue as they were mostly not refrigerated. In fact, it was illegal for anyone to sell refrigerated eggs in France and this was no bad thing...

It might surprise most people but refrigeration radically cuts down on the shelf life of a lot of products, especially eggs. In the States and down here in the Caribbean almost all eggs are refrigerated and unless you keep them refrigerated they tend to go off.

The other day at the local discount store they had some packages of dried eggs with a clever name. My last memories of dried eggs was the sort of awful breakfast you'd find yourself trying to feed to feral dogs in the boonies of SE Asia (who, I might add, had better sense than to actually eat it). So dried eggs are not exactly a warm & fuzzy memory.

Old memories aside, with the recent problems with eggs and the recalls, I've been somewhat nervous about buying eggs of late and so with a "what the hell" bought a package to give them a try...

The verdict after trying them is way better than expected. In fact, hardly any difference could be found between the OvaEasy eggs and those that came fresh out of a shell. The downside, of course, is that if you sre like me and addicted to over-easy eggs with runny yolks, you're just plain out of luck. On the other hand, for doing omelets, scrambled and general cooking purposes, the OvaEasy eggs are excellent and for a cruising boat something of a slam dunk!

The cost down here was $3.39 for an envelope containing the makings of a dozen eggs which is not too much higher than what a dozen eggs go for locally. One thing that surprised me about our price when compared with stateside pricing, $3.39 is actually cheap. I'll be seriously stocking up on these next time I go to the store.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Really simple chicken...

Lobstersquad on how to poach your chicken in a pressure cooker...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Liz Clark gets serious in the galley...

Liz Clark doing the galley thing on her CAL 40 "Swell"...

Monday, October 18, 2010

If you have an oven...

Stone Soup is talking sourdough and we should be listening!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Squid... it's what for dinner!

Squid is pretty awful when cooked wrong (well unless your tastes run to old bicycle inner tubes) but Serious Eats tells us how to cook it just right!

Monday, October 4, 2010

A years supply of food...

I noticed today that CostCo has a deal going on dried and freeze-dried foods in a years-supply-for-one-person selection that comes to a total of $799.99... YOWZA! That said, like all of the years' supply of food kits I have seen, the selection of actual food selection is somewhat dire but there is a lot to be said for $2.19 a day price tag!

Over the last couple of years we have been making an effort to incorporate more dried and long-life foods into our diet for a variety of reasons...

One being that the cost of food in the Caribbean has been getting more and more pricey and a second reason is that while the prices of produce and suchlike keep getting higher there seems to be an inverse situation with quality. As the prices go higher the quality gets more dire. Case in point: the other day we were shopping and the scraggy/gnarly only good for pressure cooking carrots were selling for $1.79 a pound as opposed to the normal 69¢... OUCH! It's scary when meat has become cheaper than vegetables!

Another reason being that, living down here in the Caribbean, we often have periods where some produce and other foodstuffs just don't make it down to the islands. Sometimes for  a week or so you will have empty shelves in the supermarkets until the next container ship from Miami makes it down... It's a bitch being at the last link of a distribution chain whether it is toilet paper, cat food or broccoli!

Canned goods have fallen out of favor here on "So It Goes" as the quality of cans are such that they tend to rust in short order and we have never liked canned vegetables (we'll make an exception with canned corn or green beans) but for the most part, canned goods just don't cut it as far as we are concerned.

Dried vegetables on the other hand are pretty good as they store well, taste good (drying actually intensifies flavor) and are pretty reasonable cost-wise. The downside is that there is bugger all in the way of how to cook with dried vegetables cookbooks of a culinary bent and the learning curve in how to use dried food is something of a steep sucker.

Getting back to the CostCo stuff, I should point out that most of the purveyors of dried fruit and vegetable are not really boat-friendly in that they are seriously into bulk packaging which for most companies starts at number 10 cans (1 gallon) and goes up from there... I don't know about you, but trying to stow 84 gallon sized cans around the boat is somewhat problematic or in the case of our 34-foot boat, simply impossible.

Which is one of the reasons we like companies like Harmony House as they have a variety of sizes that range from a cup (sample size), quart pantry size, and in gallon family sized jugs (not cans) which are all very boat friendly resealable packaging and sizing. An added bonus of the smaller packaging is that you can try something and if you don't like it you are not stuck with nearly a gallon of beets (or whatever) that you hate!

For us, the advantage of having a store of dried food is that when carrots reach a silly price, dreadful quality or are simply not available where we happen to be, we can still have carrots or whatever on the menu tonight...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I'm certainly looking forward to finding this on my local news stand...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Chicken wings done right...

On a boat there's a lot to be said for simple and easy...


 Guilty Carnivore gets it right and shows us how!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Happy national waffle day...

On this day (August 24) in 1869 Cornelius Swarthout took out a patent for the waffle iron...

Do the right thing... You know you want to!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Some time back I mentioned I liked the Coleman  all stainless French press coffee maker and was getting one...

We've had it for a while now and it is even better than I expected. It's easy to use and clean and one advantage I had not considered is that being stainless you can simply boil water in the coffee maker... No messing about with sauce pans or kettles!

Best yet, is the fact that it is unbreakable so no worries like we had with our glass coffee maker or annoying plastic tasting coffee like the other sort (plastic) of unbreakable coffee makers provide...

Friday, August 6, 2010

Bummed...

Since I've been concentrating on the weather and keeping an eye on "Colin", I seemed to have missed two very special days. Then who knew that National Cheesecake Day, International Beer day and Tropical Storm Colin were barreling down the track so quickly...


As for Cheesecake Day... Well, I did make a cheesecake yesterday, and while it was not the day in question, it did taste mighty fine. On the other hand, International Beer Day took us completely by surprise and there was not a drop on board... Bummer!

I did, however, read some very interesting stuff about beer over at Balloon Juice and you should too. If only to realize just what a great president Jimmy Carter was and how without him the whole micro-brewery thing would never have happened!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Water,water everywhere...

One of the first things that living on a small boat teaches you is your place in the eco-system... Unlike most land dwellers, you know exactly how much stuff you consume, how much waste you generate, how much electricity you use and how many hours of sun/wind or generator used to replace it. In other words, living on a boat gives you a clue (which I guess makes most land-dwellers clueless?).

Water for most newbies on boats is something of a panic-attack inducing conundrum as the wasteful practices ingrained in the resource wasting land dwelling model is very hard to break and trying to make these ingrained bad habits work on a cruising boat... Well, that way lies madness!

On the other hand, water IS serious stuff. We need water to live so it is something that does need to be factored in terms of how much you use, how much you actually need, how to obtain it, and how to keep it.

Throwing money at the situation with something like a watermaker or turning your boat into a sailing tanker truck seems to be the two most popular initial answers to the problem of having enough water. The real answer is getting in touch with the need/want equation and begin using what you need, rather than what you want or think you need or, in other words, get smart and waste less...


Speaking of waste and water, here is a great presentation on a perfect example of silly waste/being dumb where water is concerned and a great example on how what we think is true, simply is not.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Great ideas to save money...

Stone Soup is on something of a roll these days with eating on $1.50 (US) a day series and even better they just did 18 tips to cut your food costs... Read it here!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Green Chile pancakes...

I've always felt pancakes and waffles were especially boat-friendly foods and I have been working on various cunning plans to make pancakes and waffles a not just for breakfast and Sunday brunch event...

Serious Eats gets it all kinds of right!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A cooking blog of note...

One of our readers just dropped us a line about Galley Notes...

Check them out!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The basic bookshelf... cooking on boats

On the whole. I'm not a big fan of nautical/cruising cook books as they always seem to leave me with a serious lack of appetite and something akin to wonderment that people actually eat some stuff... Does the word "dire" resonate?

Maybe it's that I like cooking, and as such the labor saving (if any) sort of recipe that opens a can of this to add to a can of that and top with a can of sauce just does not make me all warm and fuzzy. Which is not to say that I think cooking on boats needs to be complicated or labor intensive, simple is a good thing, but it really does have to taste like something you want to eat!

A book of some interest you might want to check out is "The Care and Feeding of the Offshore Crew"  (or the updated version "The Care and Feeding of the Sailing Crew") by Lin and Larry Pardey which while not overly exciting to the taste buds it does give  a lot of needful information about such things as cooking on passage, provisioning and storing food and other such needful stuff. So much so I'd recommend this book to anyone considering going cruising as the first book to read on the food front.

The second book I'd recommend "Cheap Chow" by Kenneth Lo is somewhat difficult to find but well worth the search and for me was something of an enabler that made cooking on boats on a budget go from getting by  to thriving. I should point out that "Cheap Chow" has nothing to do with boats but has everything to do with boats if you know what I mean. Fact is if I were to limit myself to one single cookbook aboard "So It Goes" "Cheap Chow" would be it.

You also need something like the "Joy of Cooking" or the like which pretty much covers any food and any situation, so that when you find yourself in some strange place and all that is available is something you have never used or know how to cook, you're covered.

"Diet For a Small Planet" or one of it's many sequels or spin offs would also be no bad thing as it deals with the whole meatless thing in a way that both makes sense and tastes good... I'm pretty sure over the next few years most of us are going to be eating a lot less meat and "Diet For a Small Planet" makes it pretty painless and enjoyable.

Lastly, you really need a cookbook that is fun and will stretch your boundaries... Maybe something you have always wanted to try or thought was beyond your abilities because one of the nice things about cruising is that you will have all sorts of time to do the galley thing if you want to...

Friday, July 16, 2010

Friday, July 9, 2010

A decent coffee grinder...

As coffee is the drug of choice on "So It Goes" we take coffee gear and paraphernalia very seriously and have been keeping an eye out for a real non-electric coffee grinder for some time...


The GSI Javagrind sure looks like the real deal and unlike most of the manual grinders I've seen is more about doing the job rather than looking "quaint" and being something that would rust out in short order. Throw in the fact that we have a GSI Blender that is finest-kind makes us think the Javagrind just may be the right choice...

Thursday, July 8, 2010

A galley gear thought...

I've long been of the opinion that to be happy cooking on boats it is needful to take a step back and think before you try to recreate the sort of kitchen and cooking gear you are accustomed to on land. Which, is not so hard when you consider that most of the gear in your land bound kitchen never ever actually gets used if you are like most people. The trick is not to change the way you cook but to simply take note of how you really cook and the tools you use.

All of us who cook tend to use the same tools all the time and the rest just gets stuck back in a cabinet and waits till the urge to pull them out and do something with them... Face it, when was the last time you used that set of jello molds?

On "So It Goes" I use three pans and a pressure cooker that get constant use and a corner of my galley storage has some pans that never get used so why are they there? The fact is, If I had a huge kitchen with all the room in the world I'd still use those three pans because that is what works.

The point it... You don't really have to change how you cook or what you use simply work out what you don't use and give them to the goodwill or some such and they might actually wind up with someone who will use them (well maybe not those Christmas Jello molds...) but you get the idea!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Perfect for a cruising boat...

One of the things I've learned to be afraid of are cook books aimed at boat-folk which always seem to be of the open-three-cans-and-mix-together school of cooking or books that seem to think you have a commercial kitchen (with a staff), three ovens and a supermarket just down the road...

The things that would make a good cookbook for boat folks are simplicity, not overlong cooking times and (dare I say it) dishes that taste really good. Not exactly rocket science but you'd be surprised at just how many boat cookbook recipes have super complicated and hard to find mile long ingredient lists, too long (let simmer for two hours) cooking times and in the end of the process taste like something you could have put together with three cans  and a dry mix sauce!

Of course, there are no shortage of great cookbooks out there just very few that are geared for cooking on boats! For example one of our favorite blogs Stone Soup just released a new cookbook "Stone Soup Minimalist Home Cooking" and it is everything that one could want in a sailing cookbook. Simple recipes with minimal ingredients, reasonable cooking times and the sort of taste that has people asking for seconds and thirds... The perfect boat cookbook if you will except that they never mention boats!

What is even better is that the cookbook is available in e-book (PDF) form and to make it even better still is... FREE! Now does that rock or what?

Do I have to say more? Go get it!

Monday, June 21, 2010

A great recipe from Pacific Wave...

Pacific Wave sent us a great recipe...

Dorado Stacks with Salsa Verde

Ingredients – Serves 4
  • 4 Dorado fillets (or any other meaty white fish with no bones)
  • 1 large Aubergine (Eggplant) – cut into ½ inch thick slices
  • 2 Beef Tomatoes – thinly sliced
  • 1 Small ball of Mozzarella Cheese – thinly sliced
  • 1 handful of Fresh Basil – remove stalks
  • 2 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons Olive Oil
For the Salsa Verde
  • 2 large handfuls Parsley – finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Capers – rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon Dill Pickles – finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Anchovies – finely chopped
  • 2 cloves Garlic – crushed
  • 3 tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
  • 3 fl oz Olive Oil
Process
  1. Make the salsa verde by combining the parsley, capers, dill pickles, anchovies and garlic in a bowl, then stir in the red wine vinegar and olive oil. Set aside.
  2. Brush the aubergine (egg plant) with some of the olive oil and cook under a hot grill or in a griddle pan until golden brown on both sides. Drain on kitchen towel.
  3. Heat a little oil in the griddle pan and cook the dorado fillets until golden brown. Add the balsamic vinegar to the pan with the fish and cook for 1 minute.
  4. On 4 serving plates layer the aubergine (egg plant) followed by the basil, tomato, mozzarella and dorado. Then drizzle with the salsa verde and serve...


Contact Paradise Connections Yacht Charters to book PACIFIC WAVE
View Pacific Wave's online brochure
For more yachts, visit our website: www.ParadiseConnections.com

Sunday, June 20, 2010

More than lentil soup...

I've always really liked lentils and they make an incredible lot of sense on a boat as they are tasty, quick to cook, and cheap...

Whole Story makes a great case for the much underrated legume. Check it out!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Would you eat this at home?

While change is most certainly in the cards for most people setting off to go to far flung places on a sailboat, change is not always such a good thing...

We have always been amazed what some people think of as "cruising food" and wonder why folks load up on some foods they would not touch with a barge pole back in their normal world. For instance, when was the last time you had folks over to the house or went out for a big heaping plate of Spam?

Spam, by the way,  is no bad thing and I have spent enough time in Hawaii to be amazed and delighted at what can be done with it, but unless you already have a taste for Spam (or other interesting canned mystery meats) you might want to rethink the canned meat scenario. On the other hand, if you have already laid in a couple of cases you might want to check out "Hawaii's Spam Cookbook" or "Hawaii Cooks with Spam" which may help you survive the experience.

Actually, cans of any sort on a boat can be problematic... It's not that they rust (but they do) or the hassle factor but simply that most canned goods are really big on additives and salt. While a can here or there is no bad thing but a steady diet of canned food is simply not real good for you. and just about every place we have ever sailed fresh vegetables and suchlike have always been available... The idea of being someplace in the Med with awesome markets and a cornucopia of fresh vegetables freshly picked and then sitting down to dinner of Libby's canned brussels sprouts you've had for a couple of years is just not part of my cruising scenario.

The fact is, most of what you eat on land works just fine on a boat  so while you may have to change some aspects of your galley experience you really don't have to swap your favorite dishes for spaghetti O's!

Monday, June 14, 2010

The cost of cruising... First steps

One way or another when you begin to cruise you will change your eating habits... Face it, it's all part of the gig and it is a lot easier to embrace this as a positive than to bitch and moan and be an unhappy camper.

Some years ago while in the Canary islands we were talking to a couple with a great boat, a large budget, and all the toys, who could not wait to get back to the US of A and quit cruising because they could not find Hellman's mayo (and suchlike) ... REALLY! The fact was on Las Palmas there is really great (exceptional) shopping and any number of excellent mayo's available and all the fixings for making mayo from scratch but for them, life without their favorite brand was just not in the cards...

Which brings us to the bottom line of eating happily on boats is you will have to be able to adapt and if anything, you should look at it as a positive and enjoy it.

Since you will have to adapt, in the long run, it makes a lot of sense to adapt with a plan rather than simply react... Whether it is evolving a more frugal diet, a healthier one, or simply taking the opportunity to get involved with various ethnic foods and means of preparation, it is always easier with a plan! Since the subject at hand is the cost of cruising we will be talking more about the frugal side...

For most folks, meat is the first problem they run into. Meat has a limited shelf life, requires either refrigeration or preservation of some form (canning, drying, smoking), and when you get to far flung places it is often not at all like home in such things like the way cuts of meat are presented or aged. Face it, when a steak is not a steak for a lot of people it is serious culture shock.

Most people simply adapt by cutting back on meat which is no bad thing health or budget wise and some even cut out meat entirely... Both options you should consider or at least factor in to the equation as one of the easiest ways to cut down on the grocery and provisioning bill is to cut back on protein costs to a need rather than want level.

Which might be a good time to point you towards a couple of great links... 10 in 10 Diet is a great resource and makes it both easy and rather tasty to adapt towards a $150 per person per month food cost scenario and The Hummus Blog which I've recently found to be a finest-kind source of frugal and very tasty recipes for a meat light diet.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The cost of cruising...

One of the problems with modern society is the cost of things seldom reflect their actual value... In fact, to say things have become somewhat nuts is something of an understatement!

Down here in the Caribbean very little is produced food-wise, so pretty much anything you find to provision comes from some faraway place. As a result the price really has nothing to do with the cost of the food but everything to do with the cost of getting that food to you and various middlemen taking a profit in the process.

Take the cherries in the picture... Coming all the way from Washington state (and they certainly show the wear and tear) the price is $6.99 a pound which in this case translates to roughly over sixteen cents a cherry! I guess I should feel better as in Japan they often cost as much as a dollar a cherry, so it could be a lot worse. Then again, I am way too cheap to spend that kind of money on low quality cherries!

The other downside is that being at the end of the line of the food train we get the lower quality, picked over and damaged goods at premium prices... Bummer!

Sadly, what few locals foods there are, tend to reflect the price established by the imported products  as opposed to what they actually cost to produce... Which means if someone here was growing cherries he'd price them to match or exceed the imported Washington state cherries which creates an even more distorted market.

Cherries are something that most of us can do without so it is easy to deal with the high prices by simply not buying them but what do you do about the items you really need and staples? How to you keep the food budget in check?

More on that soon...

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I need this book!

I don't often get the urge to go out and buy cookbooks but I have been hearing so much good stuff about "The Tex-Mex Grill"  that I don't just have the urge... I need to get it!

I've been a follower of Robb Walsh for some time and he brings so much more than just recipes to the party, a thing a lot of cook book authors should seriously consider as a little history and heart really makes it all come alive.

More soon come after I get my copy...

Friday, June 4, 2010

The perfect boat coffee maker...

The espresso maker we mostly use on "So It Goes" is just a bit past it's sell by date and every day I expect it to go towards the light...

While we have a French press style coffee maker the problem is it's glass and just that little too delicate for life aboard a sailboat so we never use it as the practical toughness of our espresso make always wins out.

That said, I really like French press coffee and have been keeping an eye out for years for something tough enough for the boat and not plastic... I don't know about you but for me coffee brewed in plastic always tastes... Well, kinda like plastic!

So I was very happy to find that Coleman has a new (well at least to me) all stainless French press coffee maker and it is exactly what I have been searching for...

Life is GOOD!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Good reads...

Leslie Kelly has a great post on Serious Eats though it is hardly surprising as her Blog Whining & Dining is one of my must read foodie-on-a-budget blogs...

Monday, May 24, 2010

A small galley must read...

There is no reason at all that one needs to give up anything dealing with a small galley and the somewhat limited space found on a boat... You simply have to work out what you need.

While not about a boat this is one of the best reads on the subject of small kitchen that I have come across... How to Stock a Minimalist Pantry  from the always excellent Stone Soup!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Friday, May 14, 2010

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A bit of savings is always a nice thing...

We really like Harmony House products and they are the backbone of our long range provisioning plan. So it is always nice when you can save a bit when stocking the larder and as Harmony House is having a 15% discount through Sunday it's kind of a no-brainer for us.



Just use the code MOM

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Blog roundup...

Just a quick note between building mast, sewing sails and otherwise not having the time to devote to this blog...

Check out Serious Eats for some great Pineapple Salsa, Stone Soup (always a galley friendly read) takes Cheese on toast to a new height and Homesick Texan makes me want a Hot Dog...

Friday, April 16, 2010

Pizza...

I'm a huge fan of pizza which is really close to a perfect boat food in my opinion... Especially if you use your BBQ as a pizza oven!



Baker's Banter gives us three versions that seriously rock!

Monday, April 5, 2010

An alternative to meat...

Meat while cruising can be (depending on your mindset) either problematic or "interesting" and a fallback protein source is no bad thing to have onboard. This one over at Cheap,Healthy,Good is way better than a fallback and could easily become a regular part of the menu...

Sunday, April 4, 2010

More Pressure drop...

LobsterSquad comes up with another hit-it-out-of-the-park winner doing the old pressure cooker standby of Rice Pudding...

Friday, March 26, 2010

Speaking of beer...

Since we were speaking of beer...

One of the main uses of beer on "So It Goes" is not so much for drinking but for cooking. Beer is a needful component of everything from chili to stew.

One of the canal boats we work with in Ireland "Shannon Princess" just sent us a cake recipe that uses Guinness, which looks like just the thing... Check it out!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

99 bottles of beer...

Being marooned in St Croix sans mast, one of the first things you notice is that the cost of beer is much higher than say, St Martin... Well, at least it is one of the first things I noticed!

Fact is, I'm not much of a beer drinker or to be more accurate I'm not big on the same old semi-generic lagers that pass for beer these days. Now if we were talking Moose Drool, it would be a whole different story...

Which has had me thinking along the lines of brewing my own beer... Sort of a nano-brewery I suppose.

The upside is that instead of paying $4 for a pint of decent beer (or $3 for Bud/Heinenken/Caribe) at the local micro brewery, I'd be paying less than 50¢, which makes Mr Cheapseats all warm and fuzzy, and the ability to have (at least if I get it right) beer that tastes like the sort of beer I actually like!

The downside is that finding room for said nano-brewery on "So It Goes" is going to entail building a "cool space" to house it (which is doable) and, well, just doing it... So these days, I'm spending some time reading various tomes on brewing and brewing equipment. While looking at various home brew kits like this one which seems to be the defacto standard or the smaller sort of the Mr Beer variety which would be a lot easier in the "I-live-on-a-very-small-boat" vein.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Well Key limes are green...

Shelly ace chef on the charter yacht "Three Moons" just sent me a great recipe to share... Good stuff!

Kiss-Me Key Lime 'n the Coconut Chocolate Cheesecake
Serves 16
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Baking Time 55-65 Minutes

Crust:
1 Pkg plain devil's food cake mix
6 TBS butter, melted
1 large egg, at room temperature
Filling:
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 Pkgs (8oz each) cream cheese at room temperature
1 can (14oz) sweetened condensed milk
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup Key lime juice, at room temperature
Meringue Topping:
8 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. coconut flavoring
Garnish: Toasted coconut & twists of lime

1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Set aside a 10-inch springform pan.
2. Place the cake mix, melted butter and 1 egg in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 2 minutes. Stop  the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. The batter should come together into a ball. With your fingertips, pat the batter evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the springform pan, spreading it out with your fingers until smooth. Set the pan aside.
3. Place the chocolate chips in a medium-size glass bowl and heat in the microwave on high for approx. 2 minutes. Remove the bowl from the oven and stir with a small rubber spatula until they are melted. let the chocolate cool slightly. Place the melted chocolate, cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk in a bowl and blend with a mixer on low speed until just combined, 30 seconds. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat 1 minute more to thoroughly cream the mixture. Add the 3 eggs and the lime juice to the batter. Beat on medium speed for 1 minute scraping down the sides of the bowl periodically. Pour the filling into the crust and place into the oven.
4. Bake the cheesecake until it looks shiny and the center barely jiggles when you shake the pan, 55-65 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool for 30 minutes.
5. Preheat broiler. Beat egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar and coconut flavoring until stiff peaks form. Spread on top of baked cheesecake. Place under the broiler and watch carefully as the meringue browns. Remove when when lightly browned and cool.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Pressure drop...

The one can't be replaced tool in the "So It Goes" galley is the pressure cooker and as I write this the pressure cooker is doing it's thing and making BBQ pork and carrots.

One of our favorite foodie blogs LobsterSquad just dicovered the wonderful world of pressure cookers and i'm interested to see where it goes...

Sunday, March 7, 2010

I am in awe...

The trick to living on a budget food wise is simply a mix of  being creative with ingredients as well as portion control which sounds a whole lot easier than it is...

For an exceptional example of someone who has it down to an art run over to Cheap Healthy Good and check out how you can get 17 meals for a couple out of $27 in 1 Chicken, 17 Healthy Meals, $26 Bucks, No Mayo...

Color me in awe!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Basics...The bottom line

The other day I was thinking about basic provisions and the first thing that came to mind was garlic, followed closely by onions, but garlic is almost always the beginning of whatever gets cooked on "So It Goes".

Which is why My Sisters Kitchen caught my eye this morning with tales of Mojo de Ajo...

Friday, February 26, 2010

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Hope for Tiki culture...

One of the real problems with the whole Tiki food and drink thing is that the basics are not really there. Where to find the needful stuff for a real Mai Tai or a Zombie is often a whole lot  problematic!

I long ago gave up drinking Tiki drinks in bars as they were never ever right and sadly most people think that what passes for tropical drink is just bad rum, fruit punch and too much sugar... Face it, it's a lot more than a cute mug and a swizzle stick!

Enter Trader Tiki who is doing stuff right with an interesting product line of ingredients for folks who feel that a Mai Tai should actually taste like a Mai Tai.

Monday, February 15, 2010

More chicken... PIZZA!

I was just working though this weeks coming menu on "So It Goes" and the word pizza just kind of resonated...

Baker's Banter had a recent post on a Thai fusion pizza that is just the sort of thing to use up those chicken leftovers... Spicy!

I'm still working out the best way to bake on our BBQ and it is an ongoing project but the big advantage is that it does not heat up the interior of the boat...

Friday, February 12, 2010

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Chicken on the grill...

Down here in the Caribbean chicken, is more often than not, what's for dinner! Being that it is, one tends to appreciate and keep a wary eye out for good chicken recipes for the grill...

Grilling Companion has just the ting!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Just in... Kraken reviews



 Check out the reviews of the new hip rum Kraken over at Bitter End...

We're interested in this rum as they certainly have a pretty awesome advertising program and a sense of fun but we will reserve our opinion until we have a bottle in hand!

Friday, January 15, 2010

A slightly new direction...

We have been getting quite a few requests to beef up the cruising cookbook and living aboard frugally content here at "An Island Gourmand" and while we are happy to oblige it does bring up a misconception about what food on a cruising sailboat should be...

Over and over we hear people talking about cruising cuisine as if it were some sort of dire punishment rather than what it should be... Real Food!

So while we will beef up the cruising content please do not expect us to forgo good food for add a can of this to a can of that and hey presto we have something that almost makes spam edible mish-mash recipes.

Soon come...

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Dumplings...


I've always loved dumplings... On a boat they make all kinds of sense in the tropics for the bread component even though a lot of people have a cold weather and dumplings go together mindset. As chicken is also the cheapest and most available protein in the Caribbean this recipe for Chicken and dumplings from Homesick Texan is just the thing!