Remember the Time… – Race Week Fun 2014

The actual race started out well and then drifted to a lumpy sea at the end, but man did we have fun. The entertainment began the night before with the small boat races.

There were two categories- rowing and sailing.  Oh, and a prize for the crew members who made the biggest fools of themselves.  Justin, Ella, Toni and Cassie got right into the spirit of things and dressed the part of pirates and… a moose?

In any event, Cassie and Toni, entered into the rowing race, had their oars pilfered at one point and were firing day old biscuits at competitors. Ella and Justin, the sailing contingent, resorted to using a bilge scoop to paddle the chamberlin failing enough wind and managed to both stay in their boat.  Unlike Cassie and Toni who ended up attempting to swim and tow the peapod.

Once back on board, the night ended perfectly with a collective round of Mingulay Boat Song and we went to our bunks with the harmony of the music still reverberating in our chests.

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Annie
So much laughter!

Hey Gang!  Come join us for a taste of Maine, some good fun and a lobster or three!

Photo credit: Susan Land

Bagels by Julia

Because what could be better than homemade bagels?  I must confess that years ago, before I had the hang of making bread by hand, I attempted bagels.  It’s a sure thing that when someone uses the word “attempted” that the results perhaps were not stellar.  And by not stellar I mean shriveled, wrinkley and hard as stone.

However, when I walked into Neal and Kathy’s house, of the Kitchen Gardener and Duck Fest Extraordinaire, and saw a mountain of gorgeous bagels that Kathy had baked herself, I was again imbued with a determination to try again.  Kathy uses Julia Child’s recipe and so I followed suit.  Now I’m not sure that I’ll ever want to buy bagels again (sorry bagel store down the road) and I’m working on the logistics of making them for breakfast on the Riggin.  How does bagels and lox for 30 people sound?

This recipe is not a beginners recipe, but rather one for someone who’s already successfully kneaded and baked a loaf of bread.  What I’ve done here, because the original recipe by Dorie Greenspan is so long, is to give the measurements and  ingredients and paraphrase the instructions.  Dorie’s full directions are fleshed out wonderfully in Baking with Julia and if you don’t have a copy, I’d recommend it to anyone who has an interest in baking beautiful breads and pastries at home (or on a boat!)

 

Bagels by Dorie Greenspan and Julie Child

Ingredients:
Because the work involved is not insignificant, I’ve been at least doubling the recipe for my family of four.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 1/4 cups tepid water
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons vegetable shortening
1 tablespo salt
6 cups high-gluten flour, bread flour or if you have to all purpose flour

Combine the yeast, water and sugar and let the yeast dissolve until creamy.  Add the flour, 1/2 cup at a time and stir until incorporated.  When the dough is soft and sticky and wanting to be in a ball, turn it out onto a board and knead for 5 to 6 minutes.  Transfer the ball of dough to a bowl brushed with the melted butter and brush the top of the dough too.  Cover with plastic wrap and rise until double, about 1 hour.

Deflate the dough by pressing your fist into the center of the dough and then chill for four hours or over night.  When you are ready to bake the bagels, preheat oven to 500 degrees.  Line two baking sheets with kitchen towels, dusting one with flour.  Bring a stockpot of water to a boil and add 1/4 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon baking soda.

Transfer the dough to a floured board and cut into 10 equal pieces.  Shape into balls by pinching all edges together.

Press your index finger into the center and work into a bagel shape with the hole about 2 to 2 1/2 inches wide (it will shrink as soon as you stop working the dough).  Place on the floured towel and repeat.  To keep all dough that you aren’t touching from forming a crust, cover with kitchen towels.

In batches, transfer the bagels to the boiling water with a slotted spoon or carefully with your hands.  Boil on each side for 1 to 2 minutes. 

Remove with a skimmer or slotted spoon to the baking sheet/unfloured kitchen towel.  Work quickly as they’ll stick to the towel.

Transfer the bagels to a clean, dry baking sheet and brush bagels with a glaze of 2 large egg whites and 1 teaspoon cold water.  Try not to get the glaze on the baking sheet as it will cause the bagels to stick.  Sprinkle with whatever toppings you love.

Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and toss ice cubes onto the bottom of the oven or into a baking pan to create steam.  A squirt bottle of water also works as long as you steer well clear of the oven light.  Turn the oven down to 450 degrees and bake for 25 minutes.

Turn off the oven and leave the bagels for another 5 minutes.  Open the oven door for another 5 minutes and then remove the pan.

Inhale.  Breathe.  Get out the cream cheese, cured salmon, capers and dill.  You’ll never go back to store bought.

Annie
Can’t wait to share these with you this summer!

Bamboo Yarn – Great Sock Pattern

My first pair of socks – that are actually both the same size – knit this summer on the Riggin in between stirring stew and rolling pie dough.  The bamboo yarn is yummy on my toesies and was really easy to work with.  My only question is should I have used thread to reinforce the heal.  I guess time will tell as I pad around the house in them this winter.  Dang those needles were small.

Hello yummy socks that I knit all by myself.

Annie
I know Maggie and Bill (our knitting cruise instructors) would be proud.

Carrot Banana Cake Swanked Up

One of my favorite things in life is to turn something that was useful into something else and give it new life.  For example, I just adore those blankets made from felted wool sweaters.  Another one?  I’ve been saving some of my favorite clothes the girls outgrow to eventually make a quilt.  Or knitting fingerless mittens from a ball of leftover yarn, also top of the list.  Reaching into the refrigerator and pulling out bits of this and some of that and creating a soup, fritatta or pasta sauce.  Yup.

This recipe comes under the same heading.  I make it on the boat all the time.  It’s one of those dependable recipes.  But on the boat, I can only make it in a 18×26 roasting pan.  It’s pretty enough, but tastes better.  Here, I used the basic recipe, changed a few things and suddenly found a beautiful, rustic dessert with it’s party dress on.   

For starters, the recipe calls for crushed pineapple.  I had some leftover Black Pepper and Pinapple Relish from holiday appetitizers and used that instead of canned pinapple.  The addition of the sharp spice of the black pepper combined with the tangy, sweet taste of the fresh pinapple shifted the flavor of the cake considerably to the good.   In addition, the recipe calls for baking the cake in a 9×13 pan.  I have these small springform pans that I use to make small cakes and I poured the batter into four of them and reduced the baking time somewhat. Once the cakes were cooled, I made the frosting.  The confectioner’s sugar (and I have a case of it leftover from the summer) is so lumpy from it’s moist summer on a wooden schooner that I tried breaking it up by whizzing it in the food processor.  I’ve tried other, less extreme messures in the past like sifting, which just leaves smaller balls of sugar in the canister.  What does work, but takes time, is to stir up the frosting with the wet ingredients and allow the sugar to soften, stirring frequently until all of the lumps are gone.  However, this isn’t exactly fullproof, although it is the only method available when in my non-electric galley on the boat.Whizzing the sugar and then adding the cream cheese and the butter to the food processor worked wonderfully, however, it did make the frosting looser.  I was able to frost the middle just as you normally would for a layer cake, but instead of frosting the sides fully, I just let it dribble over the edge.  Lastly, I added toasted coconut, which I just placed in a pie pan and toasted in the oven while the cakes were baking.  These cakes serve 8 people if you cut the layer cakes into 4 pieces each.

Carrot-Banana Cake
This is the original recipe from At Home, At Sea:  Recipes from the Maine Windjammer J. & E. Riggin.  

Cake:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
4 large eggs
1½ cups finely grated carrots
1 cup drained crushed pineapple in juice
½ cup mashed ripe banana
¾ cup chopped pecans

Frosting:
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Additional ground cinnamon for garnish   

For the cake:   

Preheat oven to 350°.  Grease and flour a 9 x 13-inch pan.  Sift the first four ingredients into a medium bowl.  In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, then whisk in the oil, sugar, and brown sugar until well blended.  Stir in the flour mixture.  Add the carrots, pineapple, banana and pecans and blend well.  Transfer the batter to the prepared pan.  Bake until a tester inserted near the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour.  Leave the cake in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes, then remove it from the pan and cool completely.   

For the frosting:  Beat all ingredients in a medium bowl until smooth.  Frost and sprinkle with cinnamon when done.   

Makes 12 large or 16 smaller pieces
Annie   

No I will NOT sneak a piece before I’ve eaten my dinner   

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Carrot-Banana Cake       

        

Cake:       

2 cups all-purpose flour       

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon       

2 teaspoons baking soda       

¼ teaspoon salt       

1 cup vegetable oil       

1 cup sugar       

1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar       

4 large eggs       

1½ cups finely grated carrots       

1 cup drained crushed pineapple in juice       

½ cup mashed ripe banana       

¾ cup chopped pecans       

Frosting:       

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature       

1 cup powdered sugar       

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature       

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon       

Additional ground cinnamon for garnish       

        

For the cake:        

Preheat oven to 350°.  Grease and flour a 9 x 13-inch pan.        

Sift the first four ingredients into a medium bowl.        

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, then whisk in the oil, sugar, and brown sugar until well blended.        

Stir in the flour mixture.       

Add the carrots, pineapple, banana and pecans and blend well.        

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan.  Bake until a tester inserted near the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour.       

Leave the cake in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes, then remove it from the pan and cool completely.       

For the frosting:        

Beat all ingredients in a medium bowl until smooth.  Frost and sprinkle with cinnamon when done.       

        

Makes 12 large or 16 smaller pieces       

Schooner J. & E. Riggin – Our Maine Windjammer

Jer72007
Many years ago, I graduated from college and traveled from my home state of Michigan to the Coast of Maine to learn how to sail on a Maine Windjammer.  I thought it would only be for the summer and then I would go on to get a job that required the purchase of a blue suit for the interview. 

Instead, I fell in love with sailing and a boy and Maine.  A few years later, we got married, bought a boat and had two kids.  The first baby and the boat came all in the same year, not something we would recommend!  We’ve now owned the Schooner J. & E. Riggin for 11 years and what I would highly recommend is sharing a business with your husband and best friend, sailing all summer long on Penobscot Bay with guests who become lifelong friends, raising a family together within a purposeful, out-of-doors life and cooking and growing fresh, local food with the bounty that is provided by Maine’s waters and soil.

Our Maine Windjammer, the Schooner J. & E. Riggin was originally built in 1927 as an oyster-dredger.  In the 70’s she was converted to provide sailing vacations to guests and is still doing that same work today.  She is listed on the National Historic Landmark Registry and is a collective part of our American history.  My husband, who is also the captain, and I treat our guests to 3, 4 and 6 day sailing cruises all summer long.  We sail with our family, take care of our guests and are stewards of this vessel until such time that we pass her on to someone else who will care for her with equal pride.

These pages are meant to share little snippets of that life with you amidst the context of yummy food.  I look forward to having you join us and me on these pages or on our schooner. 

Annie
It always comes back to food, don’t you think?

Schooner J. & E. Riggin – Our Maine Windjammer

Jer72007
Many years ago, I graduated from college and traveled from my home state of Michigan to the Coast of Maine to learn how to sail on a Maine Windjammer.  I thought it would only be for the summer and then I would go on to get a job that required the purchase of a blue suit for the interview. 

Instead, I fell in love with sailing and a boy and Maine.  A few years later, we got married, bought a boat and had two kids.  The first baby and the boat came all in the same year, not something we would recommend!  We’ve now owned the Schooner J. & E. Riggin for 11 years and what I would highly recommend is sharing a business with your husband and best friend, sailing all summer long on Penobscot Bay with guests who become lifelong friends, raising a family together within a purposeful, out-of-doors life and cooking and growing fresh, local food with the bounty that is provided by Maine’s waters and soil.

Our Maine Windjammer, the Schooner J. & E. Riggin was originally built in 1927 as an oyster-dredger.  In the 70’s she was converted to provide sailing vacations to guests and is still doing that same work today.  She is listed on the National Historic Landmark Registry and is a collective part of our American history.  My husband, who is also the captain, and I treat our guests to 3, 4 and 6 day sailing cruises all summer long.  We sail with our family, take care of our guests and are stewards of this vessel until such time that we pass her on to someone else who will care for her with equal pride.

These pages are meant to share little snippets of that life with you amidst the context of yummy food.  I look forward to having you join us and me on these pages or on our schooner. 

Annie
It always comes back to food, don’t you think?