Sunday, May 17, 2009

Galley Cooking on the Boat with Julia

Chef Julia in her sailboat galley kitchen

Julia Gabriele has been at the school for 18 years. She has lived through times of abundance and scarcity, and she has held almost every position at the school, including English teacher, Admissions Director, Marketing Director, Assistant Head of School, Upper School Division Head, and now Assistant Head of School for Finance & Operations.

She is also a great cook, organic vegetable gardener, and mother to two talented SLS students. She also knows how to cook in small spaces, since she lives on a sailboat during the summer.

Julia's sailboat galley kitchen equipped with a petite stove, oven, microwave, sink and countertop. You don't need a big kitchen and the fanciest equipment to turn out great food, as you'll see here.
Without further ado, here is guest blogger, Julia ...

I wasn’t sure if it was the waves gently tossed off the early fishing boats that woke me or the cries of the gulls signaling a new day. No matter, I thought as I curled deeper under my blankets in our boat’s v-berth. I began to think about the day that lay ahead.

Glancing out toward the departing fishing boats, I realized that not even the strong coffee I had just brewed would cut the fog that settled over the harbor. Resigned that this may be a day at the marina rather than at sea, I realized it might be the perfect opportunity for an adventure in the galley.

What to make? The damp chill coming off the fog seemed to whisper a warm and hearty stew. And given the setting, it seemed an accompanying seafood dish was a given.

Slowly the image emerged: a steaming bowl of Santa Fe Chowder chock full of vegetables in a spiced broth laced with lime juice, along with honey corn bread for dipping.

Santa Fe Chowder (vegan)

Joining the chowder would be Fiesta Shrimp marinated in garlic, fresh ground pepper, tequila and cilantro picked from my planter on the dock.

Tequila and Lime Marinated Fiesta Shrimp (sauted on the stovetop)

And for the non fish eaters, chicken skewers marinated in salsa and lime juice.

Salsa Chicken (Baked)

And for the kids, baked taquitos filled with Monterey Jack Cheese.

Chicken Taquitos (baked)

Who to share in this adventure but my good friend, Ninette, who loves food as much as I do. I made the call and left the message; bring the kids, wine, and your camera.

As the afternoon slipped into evening, the aroma of the baking corn bread brought the dock kids around begging for a taste. The allure of the corn bread mingled with the chowder attracted more wandering friends.

Jumbo Honey Corn Muffins

Ninette arrived with the perfect opportunity to celebrate - her mother-in-law Joyce's birthday. Laughter, stories, and dear friends proceeded to fill the boat.

Happy Birthday, Joyce!

The flavors blended as one taste led to another. And whether it was the gentle rain on the hatches or the lingering flavors that kept people mingling, it seemed like we couldn’t end the evening more perfectly.

Ninette did, however with a finale that outdid it all. A gorgeous galette with a perfect flaky crust and filled with blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries.

Rustic Berry Tart

Later that evening as I settled back into the v-berth drowsy and full, I found myself grateful for good food, great friends, and even occasionally, the fog that keeps us dock bound.

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