So here we are in 2021. Was a new year ever more anticipated? Or an old year more reviled? I think not. And after a few weeks, while the jury is still out on this new year, we are looking forward to another year of life on a boat.
Winter on a Boat
In a normal year, we would be sipping margaritas and cervezas under palm trees right now. But this is anything but a normal year and we made the decision to stay put this year. So we’re experiencing a full winter living on a boat.
To be honest, winter hasn’t been too bad (so far). We did have a week of below zero temperatures and then snow and ice on the weekend. We stayed cozy on the boat thanks to our hydronic diesel heating system. The previous owner installed the system and we love it! The heat is similar to a land-based furnace and it heats all areas of the boat.
The only downside is replenishing the diesel. Since our boat has gas engines, we can’t use our fuel tanks for the diesel heating. We have a 5 gallon tank under the back deck and transfer the diesel from a jerrycan. The trick is to remember to refill the tank before it runs dry. After two years on the boat, I finally created a reminder in my calendar to refill every four days.
Luckily we’ve dodged much of the winter weather that other parts of Canada and the US have experienced recently. And according to the calendar we have on month until spring is sprung. Fingers crossed Mother Nature continues to be kind to us.
Yummy and Fun Date Nights
We’ve been good lately and haven’t been eating out much at all. But by Friday, I am ready to get off the boat and go somewhere!! Even with my regular runs, I’m starting to get a bit stir crazy with the travel restrictions. I understand why we have them; I respect them; and I really don’t want to get sick or make someone else sick, but gosh darn it sometimes, I just need a change of view.
So we started Friday night date nights where we head to a local pub for dinner. This week’s date night was at Frankie G’s Pub for their prime rib dinner. For $25 you get a 10 ounce prime rib dinner with all the fixings. I can’t make that on the boat. Can you imagine cooking prime rib for two?? And as an added bonus, Handsome Hubby gets my leftover prime rib in his his egg casserole.
Then it’s back to the boat for our Friday night Bond movie tradition. We started this tradition a few weeks ago as we struggled to find a movie to watch. Between Crave, Netflix, Prime and Apple+ TV, we have too many options and it is so hard to find something to watch. I kind of miss the days when I was growing up and we had two movie theatres and three screens.
But then Crave added the entire Bond collection and we decided to watch them all, in order. And along with our Bond viewing, we enjoy a martini – ours are stirred not shaken. Friday’s movie was For Your Eyes Only. These Roger Moore Bond movies are quite cringe worthy plus he’s no Sean Connery. But it’s a fun Friday night and so interesting to see how the world changed through the eyes of 007.
Food we ate this week
Valentine’s Day Dinner
My hubby is an amazing cook. I swear he’d be great on Chopped – give him a few ingredients and he’ll come up with an amazing meal. But he doesn’t cook often thanks to his work schedule.
So with Valentine’s Day on a Sunday and during a long weekend to boot, we were both excited for him to get in the galley.
In December, he found a couple of recipes for Duck Cassoulet which he turned into a decadent New Year’s Eve dinner. Since then, he’s wanted to make it again with some tweaks and because it’s really good.
He doesn’t write anything down – just sort of makes food. But the basic components of the dish are duck legs that he cooks using a confit process, white beans, garlic sausage, salt pork, chicken broth, duck fat from the confit process, some veggies and spices. And it is a rich as it sounds and even tastier… my mouth is watering as I type this.
Weekend Breakfast Treat
I love bagels. But only if they are freshly baked so the ones that come in bags and sold at my local grocery store really don’t cut it. A few weeks ago, I started trying to make my own. And while they were good, they were quite the sticky mess and frustrating to say the least.
But then I found a recipe on Pinterest (where would we be without Pinterest?) that claimed to recreate New York style bagels. I had to try it. And OH MY GOSH – so good, not sticky and easy to manipulate the dough into bagel shapes.
Jalapeño bagels are my favourite. But Handsome Hubby loves peanut butter toast but jalapeño bagels don’t really lend themselves to that. So I usually make everything bagels which works for his peanut butter and my hummus breakfast.
These are now our regular weekend breakfast treats. I make four on Friday afternoon and we both look forward to toasting a bagel for breakfast on Saturday and Sunday.
Cheese Tortellini in Meat Sauce: February 13 is National Tortellini Day and with a snowy forecast, this recipe just sounded good. I adjusted it a bit to cook in the slow cooker – added another 8 oz of tomato sauce and about 1 1/2 cups water. I also added some mushroom because, mushrooms.
Vegan Sausage and Mushroom Etoufee: A fat-free etoufee was a bit of ironic choice for Fat Tuesday’s dinner. But it turned out great and hit the spot. It was my first time darkening flour and I think I chickened out and took it off the heat a little soon. But with practice comes perfection.
Easiest One-Pot Veggie Pasta and Sauce (Vegan, Instant Pot): My Instant Pot veggie pasta recipe comes in handy on days when things just don’t go as planned. After hanging around the boat all day waiting for engine mechanics (that didn’t show), the pantry and fridge were a little bare. But this recipe is so versatile that a quick and healthy dinner is served in less than 30 minutes.
Easiest Broccoli Tuna Casserole (Instant Pot): After not showing the day before, the engine mechanics arrived mid-afternoon. Coupled with my boat club meeting and handsome hubby working late, I needed something quick and easy. Although I didn’t have any broccoli on board, extra peas added after cooking the noodles made a balanced meal.
Upcoming this week
What do you call a person who starts projects but doesn’t actually finish them. It’s not quite procrastination, since I start them. But I definitely procrastinate on getting them done and off the books.
One of these projects is transferring my recipes from ChefTap to Paprika. I actually can’t believe I’m doing this since I’ve been a ChefTap user for about 10 years! But Paprika has features that work better for life these days – like a desktop app and an easy meal planning process.
With over 1,000 recipes stored on ChefTap, the transfer is taking it’s time. Plus, it’s mind numbing boring. At least, it’s forcing me to evaluate whether my recipes work for our lives today. My goal for this week is transferring recipes one hour per day.
The ongoing saga of our boat’s engines
In early January, we finally found out the source of our engine woes. Turns out the supplier shipped our engines with the wrong block-off gaskets. So instead of a closed cooling system, we had an open system and continually brought in raw water to our pretty new engines.
With the final report from our mechanic in hand, we contacted both the engine supplier and the boat shop that failed to do a pressure test when they installed the engines. Not surprisingly, the boat shop has ignored our attempts to contact them – we will get them sorted out sooner or later.
But surprisingly, the engine supplier stepped up and feels the engines can be repaired. They started this week and the starboard engine supposedly has compression again. There’s still lots to do before we find out if the engines can be salvaged, if I will trust them and how this saga will end.
So this week’s agenda includes mechanics working in my living room and moving furniture around so they have access to the engines. And finger crossing that this might actually work.
What’s on your agenda for the week?
Do you use recipes when you cook or just “do it”?
I’m a recipe girl but I am getting better at not following them blindly. I take that as a win!
Procrastinate or just get it done?
I’m a procrastinator through and through. Deadlines are my friend since they force me to get stuff done. Open ended projects will drag on and on and on!