A Girl in Every Port

009011015The boat has arrived!

The dog has been aboard for a preliminary inspection. (She gave it two paws up.)

Tomorrow, we hit the waves for our first family cruise!

My sailor is so excited at the prospect of sharing his grand passion with the family, he’d be satisfied with a bag of Doritos and a couple of cans of pop for our first picnic on the waves.

I wouldn’t.

This is such a big deal for him that I went all Martha Stewart and put together a meal befitting our family’s inaugural voyage in Two Bears. (We still haven’t decided on the new name.)

While undertaking my catering frenzy, I learned a couple of kitchen lessons.

I started with mini Quiches, substituting bread pressed into muffin tin cups for pastry. As well as being healthier than pastry, it was much easier (in theory.) Because we’re all such fussy eaters (by all, I mean my boy and me. My sailor will happily eat anything), I made three different varieties of Quiche. Vegetarian for me, sausage and cheese for my boy and everything for my sailor.

Mmm! They looked and smelled delicious–sort of rustic and hearty–coming out of the oven. Unfortunately, they melded to the muffin tin during baking and I had to chip them out with a steak knife. Instead of the pretty, delicate Quiches I envisioned, we’ll have cold scrambled eggs with chunks of flattened bread. Kitchen lesson number one: a light coating of olive oil is not enough to keep eggy bread from sticking to a baking tin, even a supposedly “non-stick” pan.

Because Two Bears has an adorable little fridge, we can bring strawberries and raw veggies to munch with our egg disasters. Translation: I washed. I peeled. I chopped, I sliced.

I promised my boy homemade cookies for the cruise. I usually have a stash in the freezer, but it’s been so hot lately I haven’t baked for ages, so the cookie situation was dire. After wrestling the Quiches out of the muffin tin, it was time to start baking, even though the kitchen was scorching from having the oven on earlier. I made a big batch of chocolate mess cookies. Kitchen lesson number two: when you’re experiencing a heat wave, keep your chocolate chips in the fridge so they don’t all melt together and look like something that came out of the pet rabbit you had in middle school.

Whew!

By the time I cooked, packed the food and cleaned up the kitchen, I was ready for a nap, not an adventure on the high seas.

I finally understand the old saying that a sailor has a girl in every port. He’d need them all to keep up with food production!

Winner, Winner–Chicken Dinner!

020015
A quiet weekend, but that’s about all I have the energy for these days.

Lots of time in the kitchen, but I enjoy cooking when it’s not the weeknight dinner scramble.

We ran out of cookies and my boy requested a new batch, so baking was first on the agenda. This time instead of chocolate chips (which I adore), I used Reese Peanut Butter chips in my go to Martha Stewart recipe. My boy loves anything peanut butter flavoured, but I’m not wild about these chips. Hopefully this means I won’t end up eating all his cookies. In the total absence of self-restraint, I have to bake treats I don’t like too much.

The highlight of my kitchen adventures? A roast chicken with parmesan potatoes and baby carrots for Sunday dinner. Nothing makes the house feel as cosy on a rainy afternoon as the scent of some unfortunate creature roasting slowly in the oven. As usual, the dog parked herself in front of the stove, sniffing and drooling. I think she expects the ill-fated hen to stage a break out. It hasn’t happened yet, and I’ve tripped over the dog more times than I can remember, but I don’t have the heart to shoo her away and destroy her dream of meat that’s as big as she is.

With any luck, I’ve generated enough leftovers that I won’t have to do any major cooking until Wednesday or Thursday. If that happens, I’m the real chicken dinner winner.