Books, Galley, Velkommen

Extra Virginity – the sublime and scandalous world of olive oil

No Comments 29 April 2012

No, this is not about Popeye’s love life; that subject is a little thin, don’t you think?  Food is a major component of boating.  Flavors grow in the pungent salt air.  It is satisfing  to produce scrumptuous gourmet fare from a small galley.  Gourmet fare is laced with olive oil.  How do you know you are getting the ‘good stuff’?

I had no idea, but I had just purchased an expensive bottle of olive oil with an artistic label from the grocery store.  It didn’t tast any different from the bargain brand I had just finished.

Extra Virginity is an interesting story, well worth the price and time.   Tom Mueller is an exceptionally good writer and an equally good researcher.  Extra Virginity explores the fascinating history of olive oil and the current state of a changing industry.  I had no idea of the dollars involved and the corruption attracted.  I had no idea that huge ocean tankers transported the commodity around the globe.  So I came away with an expanded view of the world economy and a new appreciation of botique venders.  I found Paradiso Olive Oil and Vinegar just a few miles away in Redmond.  Now I can better appreciate the flavors from mild to bold and the blends that accent specific foods.

You wouldn’t use inferior components on your boat.  Put the right olive oil in your galley, and on your table at home, too.  It is so worth the effort.  You can taste the difference.  Extra Virginity will put you on the right course.

Books, Galley, Velkommen

Girl Hunter – revolutionalizing the way we eat, one hunt at a time

No Comments 05 February 2012

….Girl Hunter should win a National Book Award. Vegans, vegitarians, beware….you are mere adolescents. This is adult stuff. Meat with no excuses. Read it… enthralled.

Girl Hunter: instantly the neurons flash — cool-stud-out-cruisin’-on-a-hot-summer……whoa!! There’s a picture of a girl with a shotgun and a skillet on the cover. That nano-second disconnect is the first clue. This book is wicked good! Beautiful writing, fabulous recipes and very unique perspective on hunting and eating and……….on life. This is a book that your hunting buddy will enjoy and his wife will enjoy even more. My recommendation: order several copies. By the time you have finished a few chapters you will want your friends to be reading this one, too.

Sometimes a book comes along that is so good I just have to blog on it, even though it does not have a maritime bias. So read it on your boat or just put on your watch cap and reading glasses. Georgia Pellegrini has moved the conversation to the next level.

Fascinating trip. Welsley College, Investment Banker, Lehmann Bros. – boring or perhaps she saw the writing on the wall. Food is good – French Culinary Institute. Restaurants in France and New York. So if you want the finest vegtables you grow them, but if you want the finest meats they won’t come from the organic garden. They are found in a more rugged backyard and must be harvested and prepared on a more personal level, one on one. Grab the Over-and-Under.

Eleven delicious chapters with prose so compact and rich you can taste the tenderloin. This book is a great read just for the eloquence and imagery, not to mention the uncommon theme and rare perspective. And the recipes……Mmmmmm!!

I recieved generous permission to include two of Georgia’s recipes. Click on the thumbnail for the recipe as a pdf.

Buttermilk Fried Rabbit

Moroccan Elk Stew

From the book Girl Hunter by Georgia Pellegrini. Excerpted by arrangement with Da Capo Lifelong, a member of the Perseus Books Group. Copyright © 2011.
Keep in mind these recipes work well for free-range game from the supermarket, too.

Be sure to check out Georgia’s web site: and her saucy YouTube vid. I hope she visits the Pacific NorthWet and gives us a Seafood Sequel.


Valentine Pecan Pie

No Comments 06 February 2011

Set the hook in the most fearless fisherman by serving a slice of wonderful pecan pie.  This recipe is guaranteed to promote the most humble galley-slave to Master and Commander.  And it’s so easy; any galley with a microwave and an oven can do this miracle in just over an hour.  Besides pecans, the key ingredient is Wax Orchards Fruit Sweet.  Don’t leave the dock without it.  Gram for gram is has fewer calories than sugar and it substitutes at about a 3/4 to 1 ratio.  Double win.   Baked goods stay fresh longer and they have a marvelous gentle sweetness very unlike the sharp glucose spike from refined sugar. 


3 eggs

1 cup Wax Orchards Fruit Sweet

1/4 cup melted butter

2 cups roasted and lightly chopped pecans

1 tsp molasses

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp vanilla

9″ pie crust.

First, roast the pecans…..

1.)  Toss 2 generous cups of pecans on a plate and microwave for 1 minute. 

2.)  Mix them all up and microwave for 1 more minute.

3.)  Cut the pecans in half.  OK, you can leave a few of them whole.


4.)  Blend the melted butter and Wax Orchards Fruit Sweet.

5.)  Whisk the eggs, molasses, vanilla and salt together and add it to the Fruit Sweet/butter mixture.

6.)  Stir in the pecans.

7.)  Pour the whole works into a 9″ pie shell and bake at 350° for 65 minutes.

Mmmmm, what a treat.  Bet you didn’t know how nutritious pecans are, or that April is National Pecan Month. When was the last time you baked a fresh pecan pie in your galley stove? This recipe is way too easy for the HUGE bonus points that come with it.


Anniversary Pumpkin Pie

No Comments 02 February 2011

Ok the secret is out.  Today, February 1, 2011, Luann and I have been married 30 years.  Now, that’s a lot of green water through the scuppers, matey.  I’m here to tell ya.  So I thought I’d bake Luann a loaf of banana bread, but I was fresh out of Wax Orchards Fruit Sweet, and I just don’t bake without it, anymore.  Their Woodinville location is close, so I cruised over to fetch a half gallon.  While there, they handed me a number of new recipies.  Now pumpkin pie is Luann’s all time favorite.  And there it was, right on top.  The banana bread idea went over the side and I set a course for QFC to garner a few components.


  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1 — 15 oz. can pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup Wax Orchards Fruit Sweet
  • 1 -1/4 cup evaporated milk (10 oz)
  • 1 — 9″ pie shell
  • Mix it all together until well blended (I use a stick blender, because it’s so easy.)
  • Pour the filling into the pie shell and bake at 350° for 60 minutes.

I could only find a 30 oz can of pumpkin pie mix, so I  doubled everything and made two pies.  Double the bonus points – just makes the case for that new boat toy a whole lot easier. 

So after a wonderful salmon dinner, Anniversary Pumpkin Pie was our dessert……with just a touch of vanilla ice cream.  You should be so lucky……..

This recipe is so easy.  What a delight it would be to have the aroma of fresh baked pumpkin pie fill the cabin after a full day of fishin’.  The only thing better would be the eatin’.  I guarantee it!


Ishmael’s Banana Bread

No Comments 24 May 2010

b-bread_tnBanana bread is always a big hit.  Any time, day or night, it’s just right; it fills the void and keeps the crankshaft spinnin’ when the wearies are about to take over.

Here’s Bert Bender’s recipe for an Ishmael favorite – a one-pan batch of banana bread.  Part of the appeal is that it reduces dish-washing, because you can mix it all in the same pan you bake it in (if you choose a pan that is a little larger than the volume of ingredients, and if your oven is large enough).  But of course, you can always mix it in a larger bowl and transfer the mixture into a loaf pan for baking. 

  • Mash 4 large bananas
  • Mix in 1-3/4 cups of pancake/baking mix (Bert now uses Trader Joe’s multigrain mix)
  • 3/4 cup old fashioned oats (or a combination of old fashioned oats, wheat or oat bran, wheat germ)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup of chopped nuts
  • 1/2+ cup of dried cranberries or other chopped dried fruit
  • 1/3 cup canola oil (or other vegtable oil)
  • bake at 350° for 60 minutes

Bert recommends making a double batch of the batter and freezing half for future use.
However, if you can handle going first-class……buy Bert’s book: Catching the Ebb: Drift-Fishing for a Life in Cook Inlet and read it while feasting on his banana bread. Literary cusine par excellence!

….Velkommen Variation….

ingredients_tn All these ingredients have multiple uses, a big consideration on a boat with limited storage. Krusteaz for pancakes or biscuits. Oats for oatmeal or cookies. Nuts to go atop oatmeal, ice cream, salads and the same goes for dried fruits; perhaps some almonds sprinkled over baked cod or halibut. And everyone knows a carton of baking soda keeps evils odors away from the refrigerator. Of course, the uses for Bourbon are legendary.

1.)  3/4 cup shelled walnuts
2.)  3/4 cup shelled pecans
3.)  3/4 cup dried cherries, cranberries or craisins
4.)  1-3/4 cup pancake or baking mix
5.)  3/4 cup oats
6.)  3/4 cup Wax Orchards Fruit Sweet (If you aren’t already using this product, it’s time to start.  Sugar is ancient history.)
7.)  1/3 cup canola oil or melted butter, if you prefer
8.)  2 eggs
9.)  1 tsp vanilla
10.) 1 tsp cinnamon
11.) 1 tsp baking soda
12.) 1 tsp baking powder
13.) 1/2 cup sliced almonds
14.) 3 very ripe bananas
15.) (optional) 1 Tbs bourbon…..and maybe several for the chef

First……roast the walnuts and pecans…..
1.)  Dump 3/4 cup of walnuts and 3/4 cup of pecans on a plate and microwave for one minute.
2.)  Mix them all up and microwave for one more minute.
3.)  Lightly chop the nuts into bits about the size of a raisin
4.)   Add the cranberries to this nutty mix and set aside.
Then……preheat the oven to 350°
5.)  Throw the remaining ingredients in a big bowl. (Yes, that includes the sliced almonds, too…they don’t get the roasting treatment.)
6.)  Mix well with a stick blender until you have a light brown goo.
7.)  Add the roasted and chopped walnuts and pecans plus the cherries/cranberries/craisins to the mix.
8.)  Still well with a big spoon.
9.)  Pour the final mixture into a greased or non-stick loaf pan.
10.) Bake at 350° for 55 minutes.
Finally……let cool a bit and enjoy………Mmmm, warm with a bit of butter…..heavenly.

Now you can mix everything in the loaf pan, but a high sided bowl is more user friendly.  If  you choose the one pan method, a light touch is required with the stick blender to keep all the ingredients in the pan.  A good stick blender like the Viking is more than handy; it’s indispensable.  Norpro makes some nice nonstick pans and they are local, too.  My particular favorite is the Norpro nonstick meatloaf/bread pan.  It’s exceptional for meatloaf and bakes a fine banana bread, too.

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