Monday, July 29, 2013

Risoni Summer Salad

Our 700 lb shipment that we had sent from Madison before we left in March finally arrived in Brisbane and so we have spent the past few days sorting through everything, doing laundry and dishes, and trying to find a home for everything on the boat.  It took us three trips on a very loaded down dinghy to get it all onto the boat and we probably still have one more trip to go!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

One neighbour down...

We have just had a bit of excitement and not to spoil the ending but everyone and thing is safe and sound... For now, we hope!
We were called on deck by some shouting and went up to find that the unmanned 36 ft sailboat next to us in the anchorage  had come lose from its anchor and was drifting through the anchorage. In the photo, the loose boat has an orange mast and was initially anchored behind us. If you can zoom in, it is now behind the boat in the centre of the photo. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Noodle Bowls

Today we finally had some sunshine. It was very windy so it was still cold but it was a welcome relief after many days of rain. Consequentially, we learned a very hard lesson! The reality of living at anchor, disconnected from shore power, was driven home when we ran low on electricity over the weekend. Prior to our stint back at the boat yard, we had only managed to spend one night at anchor. Finally cutting the cord, we have now realised that we need to be more aware of our input versus our output. It was a rude awakening! 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Stuffed Mushrooms

We finally went back in the water on Tuesday and are one step closer to being our way again! We went for our first sail yesterday, which was very exciting and gave us some motivation for what we are doing. We had had a bottle of champagne chilling in the fridge for the occasion that we were finally able to drink! We chose not to smash the bottle over the bow as we figured that had already been done when the boat was first launched 20 years ago and we wouldn’t dream of wasting good bubbly!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Our time on the hard - an update!

We got news back that our gear box is OK. Phew! We could have just put it back in and waited to see if it ever caused us problems but we knew that we would always worry about the next time it could happen if we didn't know for sure. The gear box will hopefully be put back in early next week and we will then get back in the water and be on our way north shortly thereafter!

While we have been waiting we have made the most of our time on the hard and gotten a lot done:

Monday, July 8, 2013

The Head

I have been meaning to give a tour of the boat but other things keep getting in the way. I finally have time to do it and since my current area of expertise on board is the head (toilet/bathroom), I figured it could be the first post!
This is a warning! If you don’t want to hear about the plumbing on Aquabat, for whatever reason, stop reading now!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Rustic Celery Soup

The rain has finally stopped but the soups keep coming! They have been really easy to make since I was given a pressure cooker for my birthday. Initially I was very skeptical about having a pressure cooker as I would hear stories from people about how "we had one twenty years ago and it exploded all over the ceiling" and other similarly terrifying stories. Well that was twenty years ago and the makers of the pressure cookers have since come up with all sorts of safety features to prevent your dinner ending up on the ceiling or in your face! Admittedly, I still look away whenever I adjust the valves but I am gaining confidence the more I use it. 

Bryce’s dad came to visit for a night and brought with him a care package from Bryce’s mum. It contained all sorts of yummy goodies, including a giant head of celery. Sometimes when Bryce asks what we are having for dinner, there are days like this when I give him some vague answer, as I really don’t know what it will actually turn out to be! I initially set out to make a cream of celery soup, but as with the Thai pumpkin soup, I didn’t have a blender to cream it, so this is what we ended up with and it was delicious!

Hot & Steamy!
Rustic celery soup

1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, diced
1 large head celery, sliced and diced
6 small red potatoes, cubed
250 g/1 package frozen spinach, thawed*
2 cups almond milk (any milk can substitute)
1 cup water
1 tsp ground Nutmeg
1 tbsp each dried Rosemary, Basil, Oregano & Parsley*
1 tbsp Chili flakes or to taste
Salt & pepper, to season

*You can definitely use fresh spinach and herbs instead but it you do use frozen spinach, it doesn't need to be thawed. It will just change the cooking time. Since we don't have a freezer, ours is already thawed!

  1. Sautee onion in oil at medium-low temp until translucent. Add garlic, cook for 1 min. Add celery, cook for 5 min.
  2. Add potatoes, spinach, milk, water and spices. I used my pressure cooker at 12 psi for 12 minutes, then removed the lid and simmered it for ~5 minutes to allow some of the extra water to evaporate.  Alternatively, it could be cooked covered in a regular pot for 30-60 minutes (estimated), until the desired consistency is achieved.
  3. Serve with freshly ground pepper and crusty bread.


Friday, July 5, 2013

Thai Pumpkin Soup

I’ve had a pumpkin staring at me, waiting to be eaten for weeks. As our current knife selection isn’t very good, the idea of using one of our puny knives to hack into a giant pumpkin wasn’t very appealing. But all this rainy weather we've been having has had me craving soup and so yesterday I finally attacked the pumpkin. This recipe is very quick and easy! There are several “boat” modifications that I made in making this soup that would definitely be made easier on land. I used my pressure cooker to cook the pumpkin quickly since we have a finite supply of gas that we need to conserve. It would also be just as easy to microwave it. Also, if I had have had an immersion blender available, I would’ve used it to puree the soup. As I didn’t, I mashed the pumpkin prior to adding it to the pot to semi-liquefy it and I actually liked the rough consistency that we ended up with.

Thai Pumpkin soup
~ 6 servings

4 tbsp Thai green curry paste
2 tbsp peanut oil
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced/diced
1 medium pumpkin, cooked, peeled & mashed
1 can coconut milk
Coriander/Cilantro, to garnish

1. Pan-fry the curry paste for about 1 minute. Add the oil and onion and cook until translucent, then add the garlic and cook for ~ 1 minute more.
2. Add coconut milk and mashed pumpkin. Stir. Cook for ~ 5 minutes to let the flavours mesh.
3. Garnish with cilantro and enjoy!