Tag Archives: sailing

Ouch

I’ll be honest. These pictures are more than a month old. I haven’t had purple basil in my kitchen since July and it’s been weeks since we sailed my dad’s boat up the California coast. I needed to look at something to remind me what life can be like when I’m able-bodied.

On Thursday morning I hurt my back at the gym. I spent most of the day hobbling around with a grimace on my face and lying on an ice pack. After a visit to the physical therapist (conveniently located in the same gym) and a massage (also at the gym!) I feel much better. I’m still not back to normal and my back will probably never be the same. I’m optimistic about being healed enough to to the triathlon we’re signed up for on the 16th. Rest and ice will get me there!

Rather than complaining about my compromised mobility, I thought I’d break this long post-less streak with some food and sailing pictures I’ve been accumulating.

This was kind of a fun trip, despite the fact that we spent more time motor-sailing than really sailing. We saw tons of wildlife, even sharing an anchorage with three humpback whales for a day. I only had one seasickness episode and one disastrous spill in the galley (wet coffee grounds get in EVERYTHING when they go flying across the boat).

Now Unbroken Wings is docked  next to Fish, my new favorite restaurant, and the Heath Ceramics factory store, which is equally drool-worthy.

Thanks to a Mariquita Farm bulk delivery today I have a flat of beautiful tomatoes and a basket of Fuji + Macintosh apples on my counter. I think I’m going to can some quartered tomatoes, and make something yummy to eat now with the rest. Lee and will eat as many of the apples as we can (he loves Macintosh and I’m a Fuji girl). The rest might become apples sauce or maybe even pie filling. Stay tuned!

With this looming change of seasons I feel a renewed sense of commitment to this blog. There is too much good food not to share.

I leave you with Golden Gate fog horns. Enjoy.

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Filed under inspiration and musings, other goodies

Who is this person who bakes all the time?

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        I love what I’m doing. I love being on the water and being free. That said, I really miss full-size kitchens, high-speed internet, and grocery stores. I’m torn between loving this life and trying to do things that don’t come easily on a boat.
        At least I have bread. I find comfort and redemption in my every-other-day baking routine. I may not be able to put together a fresh, green salad but I can bake a loaf of delicious bread. After two astoundingly successful loaves my bread ego has risen to match their lofty heights.
        What began as a cookbook recipe is now decidedly my own recipe. I’ve changed flour types, baking pans, and techniques to suit my taste and needs. After experimenting with the French Bread and Tuscan Loaf in Joy of Cooking, I found the most success with my Tuscan Loaf-inspired creation. With only my bare hands and some ingredients I carried here from Maine, I produced something with crust, springiness, chewiness, flavor, and nutrition!
        I don’t know what Lee and I love more: the smell of bread baking overpowering the usual boat smells or sandwiches made with fresh, warm slices. I like my first slices topped with tahini and Lee prefers butter.
        I’ll start with the original recipe, then give my own. When I made my loaf yesterday I weighed the flour so I am listing those weights as well.

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Tuscan Loaf
From Joy of Cooking by Irma S. Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker

Mix in a large bowl:
        2 cups lukewarm water (85 F)
        1 cup whole wheat flour
        3/4 cup all-purpose flour
        1 package (2 1/2 teaspoons) active dry yeast
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for 8-12 hours.

Stir in:
        2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
        1 tablespoon olive oil

Adding up to 1 cup more flour as needed, mix until a soft, slightly sticky dough forms.
Knead by hand for 15 minutes (dough should be very elastic but a little sticky).
Transfer dough to oiled bowl and turn once to coat.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise and room temperature until doubled in volume (2 hours).
Punch down dough and knead briefly.
Shape into an oval loaf by stretching and tucking dough underneath itself.
Lightly oil a baking sheet and sprinkle it with cornmeal.
Place loaf on baking sheet, brush surface with oil and cover with plastic wrap.
Let rise at room temperature until more than doubled (1 1/2 hours).
When the imprints of your fingers remain in the loaf when pressed, it is ready to bake.
Preheat oven to 425 F. Set a baking pan on the lowest oven rack.
Score the top of the loaf with a crosshatch pattern and place it in the oven.
Immediately add 1 cup hot water to the baking pan and close the oven.
Bake until the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped (about 40 min).
Cool completely on a rack.

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(I still can’t believe I can make bread) Bread
Adapted from Tuscan Loaf above

Mix in a large bowl:
        2 cups lukewarm water (85 F)
        1 cup whole wheat flour (4 oz)
        3/4 cup all-purpose flour (3.8 oz)
        1 package (2 1/2 teaspoons) active dry yeast
        2 teaspoons vital wheat gluten
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature overnight. (I put mine in a cupboard that gets quite warm during the day)

The next morning, stir last nights mixture and add:
        1 cup wheat flour (4 oz)
        1 cup all-purpose flour (4.2 oz)
        1/2 cup buckwheat flour (3.7 oz)
        2 teaspoons vital wheat gluten
        1 tablespoon olive oil

Adding up to 1 cup more flour (I added 4-5 oz this time) as needed, mix until you have soft, sticky dough.
Knead by hand for 15 minutes. The dough should not quite come un-stuck from your hand.
Transfer dough to oiled bowl and turn once to coat.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume (around 2 hours – I’ve left it for less and more time).
Punch down dough and knead briefly.
Lightly oil a loaf pan and sprinkle a pinch of oats over the bottom.
Shape dough into a loaf and place in pan.
Brush the top of the loaf with oil, cover lightly with plastic wrap, and leave in a warm place to rise until the top of the loaf is 1/2 to 1 inch above the edge of the pan.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Place loaf on center rack and bake for about 40 minutes, or until the top and bottom sound hollow when tapped.
Remove bread from pan and cool on a wire rack.

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Peanut butter chocolate M&M bars

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        I didn’t know what to call these. The recipe I started with but quickly departed from was for peanut butter blondies. Having made those once before, I knew they were more cake-like than blondie-like. I added chocolate to mine so are they brownies? I don’t think so – not fudgey enough. If I hadn’t baked them in my tiny quarter sheet pan these bars would be thicker and I’d call them cake. As is, I say these chocolatey, M&M studded squares of peanut butter heaven are good, whatever they are.

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        This afternoon, when we rounded Manhatten and left the East River’s swift current behind, baking seemed like the best way to spend the rest of the trip. It was is bitterly cold and I’ve seen the shoreline along the Hudson before. I made sure Lee was good to last another hour on deck and hunkered down in the galley.

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        Oooh, I almost forgot my ode to Pretzel M&M’s! Lee and I are addicted to them. I buy a bag whenever I see them and sneak them into movie theaters on the rare occasion that we visit one. I think they’re probably the best invention since the M&M…and the pretzel. They’re crunchy, slightly salty, slightly sweet, and chocolatey. We have kind of a surplus of Pretzel M&M’s right now so I decided to throw some into the bars, in addition to some regular M&M’s from some friends’ Halloween candy bowl. They’re awesome in these bars, as I knew they would be, and I can’t wait to bake them into something else!

        Of course we ran out of propane shortly after I put the bars in the oven and right as we were pulling into the boat basin. By run out, I mean the tiny propane tank on deck that powers the stove was empty. We have another, full-sized propane tank next to it but usually do all kinds of tank juggling to get them both stowed and the small one hooked up and filled. Lee quickly swapped tanks – placing the large one on the cockpit floor temporarily and attaching it to the supply line.
        I don’t think the oven really lost much heat before I relit it down below. I did give the bars a little extra time to bake, though. They made the whole boat smell like peanut butter cups!

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Peanut Butter Chocolate M&M Bars

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
3/4 cup granulated sugar (or 1/2 cup liquid sweetener like honey or agave)
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt, nonfat or regular
1/2 cup peanut butter
About 1/2 cup (or more!) M&M’s of any type

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a bowl.
Beat egg, sugar, yogurt, and peanut butter together in a larger bowl.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir till fully blended.
Stir in M&M’s (I added the regular ones this way and pressed the Pretzel M&M’s into the batter once it was in the pan).
Pour batter into a lightly oiled quarter sheet baking pan or 8×8 in. cake pan, spreading it all the way to the edges.
Add more M&M’s if you’d like.
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until the edges are starting to crisp and the center is springy.

Cool completely before cutting. Enjoy!

I’m so excited to be moored right next to New York City! We spent a few days here in the summer so we know where the closest subway station is etc. It’s time to do some urban exploring!

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Jammy muffins and a wild week

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        Finally – a chance to sit down and write something! A week isn’t really that long to go without a post but I’ve really missed my blog, not to mention all the fabulous blogs I love to read! There was really no way for me to sit down at my computer this past week, let alone bake something to write about. MuffinEgg has undergone a visible change, though. I joined Foodbuzz and Lee took care of the technical hosting set up. Things are still under construction so you may see more changes in the coming weeks.
        Lee and I had a traumatizing passage on our boat last Friday that left us shaken and discouraged. We faced some serious wind and waves and spent half the night trying to get to shelter before things could get any worse. If you’re interested, you can read the full story here.
        After what felt like a near death experience, I needed some serious baking therapy. Warming up the boat with the oven was also a motivating factor, since it’s been ridiculously cold for the past few days. Muffins were first on the to-bake list. Lee had requested “stuffed muffins” so I decided to inject my cranberry conserve from last week into some whole wheat muffins. We have been really enjoying the conserve on toast and in PB&J sandwiches. I wish I had more than two jars of it left!
        I wanted to try the whole wheat muffin recipe in Joy of Cooking for my jam vehicles. It’s a simple recipe with room for lots of variations. My variation ended up halfway vegan out of necessity. Lee ate the last two eggs that morning so flax took their place. I did use regular milk but you could make these muffins completely vegan by simply using non-dairy milk.
        Biting into a sweet, tangy pocket of cranberry conserve makes these muffins gooey and satisfying. The batter isn’t very sweet but the nutmeg makes it more than just a vehicle for jam. I think I’ll be playing around with jam-filled muffins more from now on.

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Jam-Filled Whole Wheat Muffins
Adapted from Joy of Cooking by Irma S. Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker

1 2/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons flaxseed meal + 1/4 cup water
1 1/4 cups milk + 1 teaspoon vinegar
1/4 cup honey or agave
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Your favorite jam or preserves

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

Whisk the flours, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl, combine flaxseed meal and 1/4 cup water, allowing it to sit for a few minutes.
Add the vinegar to the milk, then combine milk with the flax mixture, honey, and oil. Beat until well blended.
Pour liquid ingredients into dry ingredients, stirring briefly to combine.
Spoon into muffin cups lined with paper or silicone liners, filling each about half full.
Add a teaspoon of jam to the center of each muffin.
Cover the jam with the remaining batter.

Bake in a 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes until lightly browned. (Mine did not rise above the edges of the cups so don’t worry if they’re not getting huge)

        Hopefully I’ll be a little better connected from now on. Our internet access has been problematic and it was harder than I thought it would be to get back into the rhythm of transient life.

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