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S/V Mari Hal-O-Jen
Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Mango, Mango
July 20, 2007, 12:15 pm

Do we have that luscious fruit on the brain!

A nearby tree has been dropping its fruit, and our arrangement with the traveling owners results in any ground dwelling fruit belonging to us while the tree hanging fruit is theirs.



Gazing at this basket of golden globes made me remember a poem I'd heard forever ago with the line: ...there was a season when mango is king. Thank you, Google, you wonderful facilitator of knowledge, you led me right to Valerie Bloom's poem Two Seasons. But not just any old copy of the poem but rather a fabulous audio recording Valerie Bloom made for Poetry Archive in 2000.

...an' de sun turnin' de sea into a hot bath,
an' de grass bake so dat it crackle like parchment
under yuh foot; when de beach dem crowded
wid folk cooling off; de season when mango is king.


Perfect.



We do not have the usual seasonal markers, fireflies for mason jars in the summer? 'Fraid not. Ironed autumnal leaves in waxed paper for fall?? Nope. Snowflakes??? Don't be silly! That is why finding seasonal poetry addressing our seasons has filled me with joy today! Make sure you click through and listen to the entire poem. Think of us while you listen, her descriptions are spot on.

And where in the world have I been that the Poetry Archive is only now entering my radar screen??? What an amazing source! As Basil Bunting said on the Home page: "Poetry, like music, is meant to be heard." I am going to enjoy investigating this site! Lessons, interviews, poems both written and read...if only they had recipes!

What would you do with a basket of mango gold?

I'm all at Sea with this Recipe!
Solar Oven Tests
Very cool this morning - 67 degrees!!! Can you believe it?
May 8, 2007, 2:59 pm, Aft Deck

One thing this particular boat is missing is an oven. We've owned several types including a great alcohol fiddled version, but have opted not to install an oven on this boat as we find it is a major waste of space in the sub-tropics where all the cooking is done on the grill.

We never miss it unless someone like Cay decides to post a scrumptious cookie recipe to tantalize her readers with.

Well, it was the last straw for Marianna. She had to have homemade cookies!!!



To bake homemade cookies a person is first going to need an oven. Then that person is going to have to determine how hot the oven will get.

Marianna designed her oven from two foil pans lined with black paper and my only saran wrap which happens to be green (Merry Christmas everyone!). A support stick or two, a bit of string and some tape completed the oven.

To determine how hot it would get she decided to place a candle inside and see if it would melt since Hal wasn't home with his super cool infrared thermometer. An hour later we had one melty candle, green saran wrap and all!

Tomorrow at noon a batch of cookies will be placed in the oven and watched very carefully. We'll let you know how they turn out!

I'm all at Sea with this Recipe!
Portabello Burgers
March 24, 2007, 5:30 am, Boca Chica!

One of our favorite styles of burgers, though we can't really call them HAMburgers now, can we?

So very simple to make and so very delicious to eat!

This version has a soft goat cheese spread over the gills and is grilled till the cheese is gooey. It doesn't take long at all but the timing will depend on the size of your mushroom. Ours were fairly large and went for less than 10 minutes last night. I'd have to ask Hal for exact times, but it was very quick and that is one reason we love them so - they use less propane to cook! Good boat food.

Last night we placed them on a lightly toasted bun and topped with grilled onion slices, a tomato, and spinach.

Other options include:
*drizzling with specialty vinegars during grilling, balsamic is a favorite here.
*stuffing with a seafood mixture and cooking slowly.
*grill eggplant too and use Greek Seasonings and feta cheese. These are good on Pita bread rather than buns.

The options are truly limitless, I don't know why I thought I'd try a list! What are your favorite ways to grill mushrooms?

I'm all at Sea with this Recipe!
Steamed crabs and Old Bay, The land of pleasant living, Please pass the butter!
Do you like the haiku for today's title???
March 15, 2007, 2:46 pm

We renewed our aquaintance with a beloved food - Golden Crabs!

Golden Crabs are a Florida Keys specialty, fished for at amazing depths, 1,140 to 2,880 feet in the Gulf of Mexico north of the Florida Keys. Very similar to other crabs in taste I suppose, the meat is delicate and sweet. However, they are the hardest things to get into. A hammer does absolutely no good in this case! Under the hard shell there is a very thick membrane that doesn't smash but needs cut if one wants to make progress and not starve to death while eating.

So we gather our largest knives for this crab feast. A quick press down along the shell, not across the shell, and the crab leg can be pried into two halves easily and the delectable portion removed and transferred to the mouth after a quick bath in the butter! Yummm...

Though I have publically proclaimed that we have completed our studies of Greece, it seems Greece is not quite finished with us! Yesterday we discussed Archimedes Number, otherwise known as Pi and tonight the Greek story of The Golden Crab in The Yellow Fairy Book by Andrew Lang would go quite nicely with this dinner!

I'm all at Sea with this Recipe!
It's Four O'Clock, Do you know where your dinner is?
January 25, 2007, 7:01 pm

A frequent entry in my New Year's Resolutions usually reads like this:

I will not wait untill 5pm to plan and buy dinner as leads to evening focused entirely on food, but rather will plan, buy, and even prepare, food earlier in day.

I think this may be a common refrain for many people and Meredith at Sweetness and Light has decided to do something about it! A Menu Planning Carnival is in the works to help bust us out of our usual meal ruts.

I'm trying to eat out of our pantry more, use up some of that stuff and give us more room for planning for our voyage to Key West. So let's see what I think I could make this next week.



Sunday: I have three chicken breasts that need to be eaten so I think I'll make a foil packet for the grill with onions and either green peppers or yellow squash and zucchini over the breasts with Greek Seasoning sprinkled heavy over all. A side of mashed potatoes from the pantry will make this meal super easy.



Monday: Since I won't eat a whole chicken breast most likely, I'll take the leftovers and turn them into enchiladas today. Mix chopped or shredded chicken with refried beans and black beans (both from pantry) spread on wrap, roll up and top with Mole sauce (canned, in fridge, must use up because if it falls on my foot one more time it is going to be fed to the fishes.) Heat to bubbly then top with shredded cheese and heat till melty. Fresh Pineapple would be nice with this.

Tuesday: Pasta and clam sauce from pantry. Cook pasta, heat spaghetti sauce, add can of clams with juice (extra flavor!) and heat gently. Spinach salad with honey dijon dressing and cranberry-walnut topping. (from one of those autumnal salad packs that we didn't use the included dressing/toppings, get it out of my fridge!)



Wednesday: Spinach Salad with strawberries, apricots, and canned chicken (again with the pantry cleaning) and poppy seed dressing, hopefully using last of the jar of dressing!



Thursday: My famous camping soup. Take one can whole corn, drained, one can black beans, drained, one can diced tomatoes, not drained. Heat and eat. Top with sour cream or jalapeno cheese dip or green onions or shredded cheese or crushed chips...



Friday: Cocktails under the Tiki Hut: Shrimp cocktail would be lovely. Buy already cooked shrimp, Marianna will hang them about the edge of the martini glasses with an extra spicy cocktail sauce. Everyone brings something, perhaps Brushetta, or Veggies, Crackers or Chips and Dip, Quesadillas - yummy stuff to graze on!



Saturday: Our famous Bleu Cheese Burgers! Only with bacon too! And mine will have spinach on it as well, yum!

So there is the plan...now for the execution!

I'm all at Sea with this Recipe!
Marianna's Strawberry Delights
Drizzly rain in the evening, very warm - 80's.
December 23, 2006, 10:39 am

A very successful treat Marianna makes every holiday season is also a very simple, very quick, no bake delicacy. Therefore, very boater friendly!

Spread cream cheese on top of White Fudge covered Oreos. Top with a sliced or fanned strawberry.

Enjoy!

I'm all at Sea with this Recipe!
Key Lime Snowballs
December 3, 2006, 9:37 pm

Living aboard the S/V Mari Hal-O-Jen is a grand adventure. It does however, come with it's own particular quirks and one of these is a lack of an oven. It is rarely missed and I have adapted many a recipe to the grill! Cookies, however, are sorely missed during the holidays. Marianna and I are slowly building up a collection of no-bake cookies. Some are stovetop oriented while others are chilled. This year's favorite (so far!) are Key Lime Snowballs - delicious!

2/3 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 4 sheets, crushed)
6 Tbsp sweetened condensed milk (fat free works, too)
1 Tbsp grated Key Lime rind (must buy new grater, X-Mas list perhaps?)
1 1/2 Tbsp fresh Key Lime juice (if Key Limes are unavailable, use Persians.)
1 tsp vanilla (when did vanilla get so expensive?)
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut, divided (with a good grater I might - I said might, Marianna! - try a fresh coconut but then additional sugar or maybe flour for thickening may be needed)
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar (the snow portion of the snowballs, I suppose)

Combine crumbs, sweetened condensed milk, rind, juice, and vanilla. If you are of Marianna's frame of mind, you'll use your hands, if you are like me this is why wooden spoons were invented. Add 2/3 cup coconut and beat briskly for 1 minute. It should no longer feel 'grainy' but will give the appearance of mittens if you are still using your hands to mix. Add remaining sugar 1/4 cup at a time, beating until well combined, or dough pulls away from hands and is able to form a large ball. Cover and chill 20 minutes.

Roll dough *using hands now* into balls about the size of quarters. Roll in remaining 1/3 cup coconut and additional powdered sugar if balls feel wet.
Makes 24 Snowballs.


I'm all at Sea with this Recipe!
Bleu Cheese Burgers at Sea Recipe.
Marianna wrote this!
November 22, 2006, 6:40 pm

We had wonderful burgers tonight. Dad has found a way to cook them to perfection.
Step one: Buy the cheapest hamburger, ( $1.19 at Winndixie very fatty.)
Step two: Get the flame going and turn the propane off.
Step three: If it is fatty the grease fire will start and you don't have to cook them long!
Step four: Enjoy!
It was wonderfull!!!

I'm all at Sea with this Recipe!
Coda to Cole Slaw
October 19, 2006, 8:44 pm

As a secondary recipe involving that yummy poppyseed dressing, this one cannot be beat!

Inside tinfoil packets place chicken and veggies.
I used boneless, skinless breasts and yellow crooknecks, zuchinni and an onion tonight.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper, heavy on the pepper if you are a member of my immediate family. ;)

Drizzle a bit of the poppyseed dressing over the top of the chicken.

Roll the foil edges together to create a packet, toss on the grill on low and come back for dinner an hour later!

Couldn't be simpler and I keep meaning to make these ahead of time to pull out and grill when anchored out for a weekend. They'd be great for camping trips too. But seriously, don't wait for a special occasion and do give the poppyseed dressing a try. This packet meal is too good to miss!

I'm all at Sea with this Recipe!
Grandma Lou would love this Slaw!
October 15, 2006, 7:32 pm

My Great Grandma on my Mom's side was the loveliest, tiny, dear lady who homesteaded on the Western Slope of Colorado nearly a century ago. This, coupled with the fact of a few World Wars, lead her to perfect the art of not wasting food, much to her great granddaughters chagrin!

It had been rumored that Grandma Lou had been known to carve up the broccoli stalks to resemble celery and pile them up on the ubiquitous relish tray. I never could decide if Uncle Donald was pulling my leg on this topic or not and usually decided to stick with the carrots sticks just to be safe.

Well. She would have loved this Slaw mix I fould in the store the other day! Shredded up broccoli stalks - who decided this was a good idea? Though in fact it is just that - a great idea as it tastes wonderful and fills the void that spinach has left in the produce section!

My favorite way to serve Grandma Lou's Slaw so far is to mix up
1 Bag of Broccoli Slaw
1 Can Pineapple Tidbits
Slivers of Onion
and
Poppyseed Dressing

Deliciously crunchy!

I'm all at Sea with this Recipe!

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S/V Mari Hal-O-Jen
Who: Capt. Hal, Jennifer, and our daughter Marianna, a great photographer!
Port: Boca Chica
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