Thursday, March 22, 2007

2 Days Left, and counting...

Day 7: Two days left and counting.

“Come on little herb leaves, you can last me two more days. Just two more days”…

3pm: My galley clogs have taken on a new sheen, like paten leather, they glisten under the glow of the halogen bulbs. The stewardess and I are wrecked, but we’re keeping each other going with anecdotes of yachting and charter guests, and plenty of caffeine. “Cortado”, I’ve learned means a “split” in Spanish. So, everyday around 5ish, Cristina (the stewardess by the same name) makes us a cortado, espresso coffee “split” with something – usually milk, but the cortado of choice is cortado de Baileys, which sounds so much better with a Spanish accent. Then, we take a few minutes to yammer about politics, men, life, family and home… And then, it’s back to the grind.

Today the guests requested a plate full of steamed vegetables for breakfast; this meant the end of my snow peas that I had planned on using for dinner. I’m now down to a hand full of sugar snaps, bok choy and zucchini. The guests don’t care for eggplant or peppers – so the crew will be seeing a lot of those in the next few days, but hopefully the crew won’t shrivel up and die of scurvy from lack of Vitamin C and green leafy vegetables. Oh wait, we’ve got beer – that contains some vitamins, doesn’t it?

I made 5 salads for lunch today and have only spinach and romaine lettuce remaining for two more days of salads. God, please don’t let them request vegetables for breakfast again tomorrow! In a mere two days I have already blown through the vegetables that I had delivered to the yacht. Now, when we’re out, we’re really out…

My grandma’s four-letter-word of choice when she’s mad is F-I-S-H. When she’s really mad about something, or stubs a toe, she clenches her fists, looks to the heavens and says, “aw fish!”. I can’t help but wonder if she was once in the same predicament as me, having to cook fish for lunch and dinner for 9 days straight. Now, I understand. I too clench my fists, look to the heavens and curse, “AW FISH!”. I’ve prepared a variety in every conceivable healthy manner ways this week – baked, steamed, grilled, broiled, poached, en pappiote, etc. Fish, fish, fish – if I see fish again in this lifetime, it will be too soon!

I used to think that healthy eating was the way to go. Now, I’m not so sure. I mean, what is life without a little bacon involved? What is a simpler and better pleasure than a wedge of stinky cheese and a glass of wine? And how about the old adage, “a spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down”? I’m craving a Big Mac – and I haven’t touched one of those in decades!

10pm: The evening has come to an end. To start dinner, I steamed clams in ginger, shallots, lemongrass, kefir lime, cilantro and coconut milk and prayed to God that the guests wouldn’t request a salad. They raved about the clams and thankfully I have enough salad greens now to get through the morning. Dinner was red snapper on a bed of sugar snap peas and portobella mushrooms with a saffron sauce. They raved again. As I went into the dining room the guests made a request, their final request for the trip. They said that since it was their last full day tomorrow they would like to have a nice dessert after lunch. And not one, but two! A chocolate dessert of my choosing and either an apple tart or an apple tart tatin. Since I’ve never accomplished a successful tart tatin, I figure why not give it a shot. If it fails, well, to quote my friend Charlie speaking on pizza, “it’s like sex, when it’s good it’s great, and when it’s bad, it’s still not so bad…”. And for the chocolate, I’ve decided to test out a flourless chocolate-coconut cake that I read about a few months ago on my favorite food blog Zucchine & Chocolate.

One of the guests is a painter - so I decided to add my own painterly touch to dessert:

Flourless Coconut-Chocolate Cake with Coconut Sorbet:

Individual Tart Tatin:

A little of both:
But for now - it is time to sleep…

My creative juices have been reduced to a demi-glaze, or perhaps more like a thick sludge. Just two more days- and it’s going to take A LOT of creativity to get through with what few ingredients remain…

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