Friday, July 8, 2011

Sails, Milo’s Tail, and Empty Crabbing Pails

It all started with dessert somehow. Post dessert even. If you can imagine, it started with Friandise – the sailboat that is. I was as unclear as you are now back in the late fall when I went on search for a boat to charter on the Chesapeake Bay.

A dear friend, his hottie Norwegian wife and their two young children wanted to join our upcoming BVI cruise in the winter, but alas, editing, social work, child-rearing and general awesomeness in Manhattan does not always afford every opportunity when family obligations et al are present. No fear! I told my friend. You are just the excuse I’ve been seeking for a spring Bay charter. Allow me to cruise the inet for a master plan.

I came up bust as I searched in places closer to my childhood port of Bodkin Creek. Nothing in Annapolis or Baltimore seemed to quite work. Then I remembered that I’d be married and living south of the Mason Dixon soon, and that I remember this nice place Solomons Island. And the perfect boat appeared, and only a day’s sail from the perfect creek.


A 39′ Jeanneau with 3 cabins, great online charm and a delicious name. I scratched my head, surfed the charter company’s website and rewetted my contact lense a little when I felt that I saw my culinary school’s Chef/Owner Francois, the Pastry Chef at my time of attendance, Chef Mark and others in chef coats aboard my new find. Sure enough, the boat is owned by the pastry chef from my culinary school! So we booked it, and had a great sail and a great time this past week thanks to the Bay’s great adventures and Chef’s great taste in sailboats. Here I am with wenchettes in training, practicing hiking out for the close hauled long ride. Milo the stuffed cat was below with a figure 8 knot leash for this part. The girls did great!


Fast forward to crudite. And by that I mean the most pedestrian pepper sticks, carrots… ok fine, some peanut butter snacks and dare I ‘fess? velveeta.. which I mixed with organic wheat pasta goddammit. ech. Even the crab that bit our line didn’t make it into the bucket. My ‘gourmet’ plans all rotted on board while we made sure the girls had full bellies and avoided motion sickness. I made crab cakes one night but otherwise I cleaned dishes more than I cooked. I realized though, that I have something culinary to share beyond my fun ride with the girls as I went to email the spinach ‘dip’ recipe that my friend asked me for the whole trip. It’s humble and simple, but it’s versatile, portable, will appease your gastroenterologist, your figure, and also works great on a burger or alongside a piece of fish. To my most recent shipmate, ¬†your requested recipe : )



Sailory Spinach Dip

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Healthier but delicious spinach dip


2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. sea salt
1 Tbsp. garlic, minced
1/2 c. onion, chopped
1 tsp. cracked red pepper flakes
1-2 bags baby spinach or local cleaned leaf spinach
1 pkg shiitake mushrooms, sliced, seared until golden, finish with red wine, then chop down a bit
1 small bottle artichoke hearts marinated, chopped
Parmesan cheese and a grater


- heat the oil over medium heat and add the salt, onion, and red pepper
- when onion starts to soften, add the garlic
- after about 30 seconds add the spinach... as much will fit and allow to wilt, turning with tongs and removing to a cutting board; cook the remaining spinach with a little more oil or spray and add to original batch of spinach
- chop spinach and toss with artichoke hearts, mushrooms and cheese to taste




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