Thanksgiving (in Canada) and my birthday are either on the same day or in the same week. And this year was our first Thanksgiving actually on the boat and a milestone birthday, so recently our Life on a Boat was pretty much one big party!!
Thanksgiving on a Boat
We celebrated Thanksgiving on the boat!! It’s our third thanksgiving since we moved aboard but the first we’ve actually been home for the holiday.
I put our Thanksgiving chicken dinner into the slow cooker first thing. Who needs a turkey? Not me. I love this slow-cooker chicken dinner recipe from The Magical Slow Cooker. It doesn’t crisp up like it would in the oven, but it’s so juicy I just don’t care.
We pretended to be good Canadians in the afternoon and watched some Thanksgiving CFL games. It was good background entertainment while I baked our Thanksgiving Banana Upside Down Cake from David Le Bovitz. OH MY GOODNESS – it was soooo good. I did cut the amount of sugar in the cake batter and made a few little adjustments based on what we keep on the boat, but this recipe is a keeper.
Overall it was a pretty easy dinner to make. The chicken, potatoes and carrots were all cooked in the slow cooker, my mom’s Classic Holiday Stuffing recipe (prepped the day before), gravy (from the drippings in the slow cooker) and of course the banana upside down cake. I realized I should have included cranberry sauce too but I forgot. Oh well, it was an incredibly tasty dinner.
Milestone Birthday on a Boat
Birthday Celebration #1
Okay, the birthday wasn’t really celebrated on the boat. Instead we headed to downtown Vancouver (a serious rarity in general and even more so since last year) to see the Imagine Van Gogh exhibit.
Since parking was surprisingly easy, we popped into Tap & Barrel for a birthday cocktail. I loved my choice – the West Coast 75 (gordon’s gin, bumbu rum, lemon, elderflower, pineapple, mint, sparkling wine – 1.5oz spirits, 2 oz wine). Handsome hubby enjoyed the Georgia St. Sour (old forester bourbon, apricot brandy, lemon, ruby red grapefruit, egg white, angostura bitters, dried apricot – 2 oz).
After cheersing 50, we made our way to the Imagine Van Gogh show. It was amazing. For months I ignored the ads on my Facebook feed, because well, I hate ads on Facebook. But I’m so glad I finally decided to look into it and we booked tickets. It was so good!!
Dinner was at R&B Brewing on 4th near Main in Vancouver. Nice beer, good ambiance and tasty pizzas. It’s great to try new breweries and their beers. I probably wouldn’t seek out their beer – like I said, it was nice but not great.
Birthday Celebration #2
And if celebrating my birthday in Vancouver was fun, doing it twice was even better. On Saturday, we met friends at Odd Society Distillers for more birthday fun. Their spirits were yummy!! We had a few drinks there before heading over to Callister’s Brewing for a flight before wrapping up the night at the Princeton Pub for dinner.
The Princeton reminds me of a cross between the our former local pubs the Meridian Arms and Cat & Fiddle Pub. They had a meat draw and 50/50 going on. One our friends tried to win those but ultimately won two tickets to at BC Lions game! The food was good and the other patrons were fun. Pretty much the whole bar sang happy birthday and another table bought the birthday girl a drink. All in all a fun night and a wonderful birthday celebration.
Projects on a boat
Turns out Thanksgiving was also boat project and maintenance day for my handsome hubby. We recently switched Shifty’s batteries from AGM to lead acid so it was time to check the water levels. Keeping our batteries happy keeps us happy so we check those once a month (or so).
While he was getting the deionised water for the batteries, he picked up some rubber feet to install on my new butcher block cutting board. It is replacing the ugly lid on what we call the snack hole in the kitchen counter. It’s actually more than just snacks that live in there – all the beans, lentils, rice, oils, vinegars and yes, snacks are in the hole. The new one looks great and can be used as a serving board too (dual purpose items are a must on a boat).
After adding water to the batteries, handsome hubby emptied the compost from the toilet. I’m very grateful he takes this chore on. The new C-Head composting toilet is much easier in terms of getting the bucket out of the unit and the boat.
It doesn’t seem like quite the ordeal it was with the Natures Head toilet we originally installed. They both have their pros and cons but at the end of the day, easily getting rid of the compost part is probably the most important for us.
Since it was a sunny and kind of warm day, he tried to get Shifty’s upper ignition working. I prefer to start where I mean to drive the boat and generally that is the fly bridge. But sadly, it looks like more wiring beyond just changing the ignition switch is required. So I’ll add that to my list of projects to work on.
She does like to fire up though – Handsome Hubby spent much of last summer and bit this spring working on her various engine components. He did a great job and she sounds like a completely different boat than when we first got her.
Food on a boat
Between Thanksgiving and my birthday, not a lot of cooking was done on the boat. But there were a couple of good ones – an old favourite and one to work on.
In honour of National Gumbo Day I tried making gumbo from scratch. I’ve had some good gumbos at restaurants, all of which sadly are no longer in business… Anyway I started prepping it fairly early so I could make a good roux.
Well, after an hour of constantly stirring, it was no where close to being the colour of chocolate but my arm and hand were aching and I was scared of burning it so I decided to go with a milder roux. I’m pretty sure I didn’t have the heat on high enough for the first half of my stirring time. It’s hard with the propane stove to get the temperature exactly where you want it.
But even with that less than stellar beginning, it was very good. Handsome Hubby went for serious seconds so that is a good sign. I’ll try again with the roux and see what it takes to get it just right.
This is one of handsome hubby’s favourite dinners (I like it too but he really loves it). Only thing was I thought I had ground beef in the freezer but when I started making dinner, I found it was stir-fry beef. I forgot about a substitution a few weeks ago with my grocery delivery. It still worked and was quite good. I add mushrooms to the recipe – the last layer before the tomatoes. And this time, I used diced grape tomatoes to use them up.
What’s on deck?
I’m off the boat for an extended period. It’s time to visit Ontario, my mom and other family and friends. I haven’t been on a plane since February 2020 but hoping all goes well with a cross-country flight and travel to and from airports.
Handsome hubby is staying on the boat with plans for some projects. But with fall weather and his work schedule, I’m not sure he will have time for too many checks on the list before I come home.
Stay safe and happy cruising.