Monday, February 22, 2010

February 22, 2010 - Enroute to St. Helena

It is one of the great paradoxes of our peripatetic lives that when we have the time and inclination to cook we are usually no where near a grocery store. During the three months we spent in South Africa, we hardly cooked. We spent so much time on the road, traveling around the country, that we tended to stick to yogurt and muesli for breakfast. And dinner was usually cheese and olives or something tossed on the braai. The first few days of this passage we ate meals that I cooked up and froze before we left. But now that we have gotten into the groove of this passage we have started to cook as a way to pass the time.

Flipping through cookbooks we keep saying, oh, if only we had avocados or mint or plums or whatever. After months of being completely spoiled for choice in South Africa's excellent and affordable grocery stores, we are finally in a position where we have the time to do some serious cooking and we find ourselves 850 miles from the nearest market.

I spent the last of our Rand at the Saturday market in Simonstown, buying whatever looked good. It turns out that 120 rand buys an awful lot of fruit and veg. Unfortunately, a week on much of it is already starting to turn. So we have returned to true cruiser cuisine - cooking whatever looks set to go off next. These past few days we've re-embraced the Old Food Movement with gusto. Sten kicked it off with banana walnut pancakes (thanks to Jody for the Maple Syrup), followed by a veggie omelet.

Yesterday I woke up smelling peaches and knew it was time to use them or lose them. While I flipped through all the cookbooks onboard, reviewing peach recipes, Sten quietly sat at the computer reading an article he had downloaded. Eventually I announced that I was going to make Rick Bayless's pineapple upside down skillet cake, which I made while his mom was with us in Madagascar, but with peaches instead of pineapples. He sighed and said, "I was hoping you would say that." It was delicious. But next time I decide to use the last of my local currency at a market, I'm buying nectarines. Peeling peaches is a pain in the patookas.

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