(Photos by Gabriella)
Just before our wedding my future mother in law, the late Yonata Jalon, gave
Nirit some advice for a successful marriage.
In a nutshell it was, "Food comes first." The details were something like
this, "When your man comes home, feed him. If you want to cuddle, that can wait
until after dinner. When you need to tell him you've smashed the car, must have
a solitaire diamond or the bank called about the overdraft, do it over dessert."
The downside of this is that since I know about the mother-daughter advice,
if I walk in to a beautifully laid table, Veuve Cliquot on ice and my favourite
honey basted baby chicken roasted on rock salt, there's an immediate clenching
of buttocks as I prepare to receive some dreadful news. In practice there is
very rarely anything that bad.
I mention this in order to paint a picture of a home centered around the
kitchen. When our children spread their wings they told us there were two things
that couldn't be replicated anywhere else on the planet, their Mom's cooking and
the smell and feel of fresh laundry at home.
Nirit and I have sailed on many different yachts with mixed culinary
experiences. Crossing the north Atlantic on Chay Blyth's 'Challenge' the chow
was okay but we all ate from dog bowls, the theory being that they were less
likely to spill. Like in the gulag, utensils were limited to spoons. On another
voyage the main meal of the day was always pot noodles, causing me to remark,
"This isn't sailing for Jewish people."
Many sailing crews on a long passage assume that meals have to be either from
dried or canned food. Some even opt for military-style MRE's or packs prepared
for expeditions. With us it's different. I don't know how Nirit and Gabriella
planned and managed it but seventeen days after hitting the supermarket and
produce stalls in Las Palmas, we are still eating a lot of fresh food. (There
was a limited replenishment of fresh food in the Cape Verdes) I do know some
items were cooked and frozen and that research was done into how best to store
fruit and veg for maximum shelf life.
Shmulik is an enthusiastic amateur chef and spends hours in the galley over
each concoction. Gabriella has served us a breakfast of 'Arepas' - a traditional
South American cornbread pancake filled with either scrambled egg, cheese or ham
and served warm with butter.
So here's a look at what we ate - (no dog bowls, always a proper service on a
tablecloth) - yesterday
Menu del dia.
Fresh fruit salad / Granola
Yoghurt / Milk
Filter coffee / Tea
Tomato salad with olive oil dressing
Shmulik's Green Tehina with freshly chopped coriander
Cheese and cold cut platter
Selection of crackers and bread
Fruit juice from concentrate
Shmulik's special chicken casserole in a carrot, onion and parsley broth
World class mashed potatoes from Gabriella
Cabbage stir fried with coarsely ground black pepper and bacon bits
'Butter-Mandel-Stollen' German Christmas cake
Portuguese Vinho Verde