It’s been a week now since our last sailing day and already I miss the wide open sky; seeing the horizon when the sun sets and rises; and living outside.
Our first day on shore saw the entire boat change. Within hours the cabins were empty of linens, mattresses, curtains, and anything else that makes them habitable – for people or for mice. The galley was a whirl of banana boxes and milk crates filled to the brim with dry goods and equipment. After two days of bee-hive like intensity, the galley is also barren of any sign that on a daily basis, all summer long, three abundant meals are produced and consumed in short order by our guests.
These changes help me recognize that our transition to shore has begun. The ending of each season brings both satisfaction and a little melancholy. The feeling of a job well done in creating a safe and happy season for our crew and our many beloved guests is strong. This is also tinged with a tiny sadness that it has again come to an end. At the same time there is more space in our days which we quickly fill up with private conversation and cozy time on the couch, riding horses, playing music, talking with family, and even cleaning the house.
What’s interesting is that I don’t pine for one place over the other. When I’m cooking on my wood stove I never yearn for my gas stove at home and when I’m at home cooking for us or catering for a crowd, I don’t wish for my wood stove. The same is true for my bunk. When I sleep on the boat, I love hearing the light lap of the ocean against the hull, the rain on the deck, and the smell of pine tar and wood. When I’m home, half the time we sleep with the window open so we can smell the fresh air and it’s luxuriant to climb into cozy sheets under a beautiful duvet and have a little space to spread out.
The settling in to either of our homes, the boat and our house, always feels like the shifting of weather seasons, sometimes there is resistance to what is coming and also a knowing that whatever we are leaving will come around again. There is also a looking forward to the new.
You’ve been asking for it and we’ve found a way to bring it to you – with your help. What have you been asking for, you say? Why a new printing of the red cookbook, At Home, At Sea, of course. I’ve heard ALOT over the past several years it’s been out of print that we should do a second printing. We are ready!
But here’s the thing… We just printed Sugar & Salt: The Orange Book last year and we haven’t had enough time to recoup our printing costs to turn around and do another printing. However, E and I are ready and up to the task of putting together a new and updated version of At Home, At Sea for you.
Now, we just need your help! Check out the details of our Kickstarter campaign. There are a bunch of fun gift levels from mini-notecards, a Riggin apron, the cookbooks, Maine lobster sent to your door, me as your personal chef, a trip on the Riggin, and an elegant dinner made for you and your 8 guests in your own home. Thank you for taking the time to check out our latest effort!
In the fall, we removed the masts and bowsprit so that we could get at the deck up forward and replace deck planks and any deck beams that needed tending. While we were at it, we also removed the anchors and three out of the four spars. Now that the winter deck project is complete, it was time to put all of those sticks back in place so we could look like a schooner again.
Early yesterday morning, we set out to North End Shipyard where the masts and spars were stored. With the help of a masterful crane operator, we had everything back in place by lunch time. What a difference a couple of hours make!
Happy to have the ole’ girl back together in one piece.
Preserved lemons are still a favorite of mine and especially this time of year when fragrant, floral Meyer lemons are available. I preserve a bunch over the winter and then use them as little bursts of flavor in salads and sauces all summer long on the Riggin. Not wanting to wait until the summer to have these beauties, this recipe with red potatoes and baby kale was born.
Preserved Meyer Lemons
The remaining oil is also be lovely in salads or for dipping bread.
5 to 6 Meyer lemons
1/2 cup coarse sea salt
4 sticks of cinnamon
8 whole cloves
1 bay leaf
1 quart-sized Ball jar with lid
extra virgin olive oil
Make sure the jar you are using are very clean and sterile – as you would for jams and jellies. The salt is a preservative as well, but it’s better to be safe. Cut all of the lemons into 8 wedges each or slice them cross‐wise. Toss the lemons with the salt and place them in the jar. Add the cinnamon sticks, cloves and bay leaves and cover with the lid. Shake once daily for 10 days to coat the lemons with the salt. You don’t need to refrigerate them at this point. After 10 days, cover the lemons with extra virgin olive oil and refrigerate for up to one year.
Red Potatoes, Baby Kale, and Preserved Lemons
If you don’t have preserved lemons in your pantry, salty, umami-rich black olives are a good substitute.
2 pounds small red potatoes
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cups sliced onions; about 1 large onion
8 ounces baby kale
1/4 teaspoon salt
several grinds of fresh black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup preserved lemons
In a large stock pot, cover the potatoes with 1-inch of salted water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are just tender when pierced with a fork. Drain and return the empty stock pot to the stove over medium-high heat while the potatoes remain in the strainer. Add the olive oil and onions and sauté for 12 minutes or so or until the onions begin to brown. Add the potatoes back to the pot and combine gently with a wooden spoon the rest of the ingredients. Serve immediately.