Edible Maine – Three Squares at Sea

Fantastic articles about the J. & E. Riggin just keep coming. I don’t know what else to say about this write-up in Edible Maine, except I love the story, I love the photos, I love everything about this article. You can read “Three Squares at Sea”  out online or order a copy from the Edible Maine website.

Recipes included in the article are Garden Carrots and Leeks Au Gratin, Clementine Walnut Bread, and Peach Ginger Jam.  You can find some of these recipes in At Home. At Sea – The Red Book, 2nd Edition.

Thank you Claire Jeffers, Douglas Merriam, and Edible Maine!

Boat Magic with Yankee Magazine

For those of you who don’t live in Maine or New England, this month’s issue of Yankee Magazine might be a harder to come by, but if you can get your hands on a copy, do it!  Amy Traverso, accomplished writer, has given the Riggin wonderful kudos and Mark Flemming, photographer extraordinaire, adds a lovely balance to her words.

Recipes included in the article are Pecan Sticky Buns, Cornish Game Hens with Smoked Shrimp and Brandy Stuffing, Zucchini Gratin, and Lime Pie Jars.  You can also find these recipes in At Home. At Sea – The Red Book, 2nd Edition.

This is one of the best articles we’ve seen on our sweet girl and you should check it out.  #boatmagic!

Photo by Mark Flemming


Cook the Book – Mushroom Barley Soup

Mushroom Barley Soup

3 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, chopped
1 pound sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 cup pearled barley
6 cups chicken stock, vegetable stock, or water
1/3 cup tamari
1/3 cup dry sherry

Melt the butter in a medium sized stockpot over medium heat; add the onions and garlic and cook until the onions are translucent. Add the mushrooms and cook until tender. Add the remaining ingredients.  Bring the soup to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 20 minutes, until the barley is completely cooked. Serve.

Serves 6-8

Cook the Book – Riggin Rib Roast with Horseradish Cream

Riggin Rib Roast with Horseradish Cream

No rib roast would be complete without Yorkshire pudding.

Rib Roast (bone-in), about 4 1/2 to 6 pounds
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Three cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

Preheat oven to 425°. Place roast in a roasting pan, fat side up; rub the roast with salt, pepper and paprika. Place the roast into the oven, reduce heat to 325° and cook for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Rub the roast with the remaining ingredients; return it to the oven and continue to roast to the desired temperature until the internal temperature of the meat reads 120° for rare, 125° for medium-rare, 130° for medium, and 135° for well done. Remove the roast from the oven and let it rest 10 minutes before slicing.  The internal heat of the beef will cause it to continue to cook another 10 degrees.

While the roast is resting, make the Horseradish Cream, below.

Horseradish Cream

The amount of salt you use will vary depending on whether you use bottled or fresh horseradish.

3 tablespoons bottled horseradish or 1 tablespoon grated fresh
Salt as needed
Freshly ground black pepper as needed
Juice of half a lemon
1 cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks

Mix all the ingredients except the whipped cream together. Gently fold in the whipped cream and serve.

Makes 1 cup

Serves 6-8

Cook the Book – Warm Cheddar and Horseradish Dip

I love this dip.  Mostly because I’m a sucker for most anything with cheese that ends up bubbly and gooey with a edge that’s darkened to brown and a little crispy.  It’s one I use all the time on the Riggin.  Sometimes I serve it with crackers so that folks can scoop.  A more festive way to serve the dip is to dig out the center of a round loaf of bread and cut the center into 1-inch cubes.  Warm the dip in a double boiler and pour it into the center of the bread and serve with the bread cubes.  Usually I make my own bread, but if it’s the first night of a trip, I do myself a favor and buy a few good loaves at Atlantic Bakery in Rockland.

Warm Cheddar and Horseradish Dip

4 ounces softened cream cheese
1 tablespoon grated onion
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons horseradish
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 375°.  Combine all the ingredients by hand or in a food processor.  Spoon the mixture onto an ovenproof platter.  Bake for 20 minutes until the dip is bubbling around the edges.

Ooey, gooey and cheesy, hmmm.

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Cook the Book – Apple Crisp

Some of my favorite shipboard memories are of times when we are at anchor, the awning is up, the decks are cleared and dinner is over. Jon and I are able to sit and look out over the harbor and watch the sunset with our passengers as we enjoy our after dinner coffee and dessert.

Apple Crisp from At Home At Sea

Apple Crisp

12 tart apples
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon lemon juice

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (2 1/4 sticks) butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 400°. Peel, core, and slice the apples into 1/4-inch wedges; toss them with the rest of the filling ingredients and spread them evenly in an ungreased 9 x 13-inch pan. In a separate bowl, cut the butter into the flour until the mixture is coarsely blended.  Mix the sugar and salt into the topping; mixture should be crumbly. Place the topping on top of the apple mixture and bake for 45 minutes or until the top is browned and the liquid in the apples is dark.

Makes 15 servings

(c) Annie Mahle
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Alabama Chanin: Authentic, intentional, FUN!

The original impetus for traveling to Portland a couple of weeks ago was to attend an Alabama Chanin workshop.  I’ve saved the best for last.  Before I met her I admired the intentionality she brought to her clothing and her business, now I’m a fan.

I say often about sustainability, becoming an environmental leader and social responsibility – all catch phrases that are over- and mis-used now –  it’s not about the end result, it’s about the process, about the becoming, the mindfulness that you bring to the subject.  Every business is smarter about how to effect these changes within than any government entity could be and while I’m thankful that more companies have come into awareness about it’s waste streams and it’s procurement practices, there is still an authenticity that is, shall I say, lacking.

The Alabama Chanin company is true to it’s commitment to local, regional and authentic foodways, sourcing and production (if 25 women sewing by hand can be called ‘production’).  All of the fabric is locally sourced and sewn.  The garments are sewn by hand, keeping the traditions and the stories of that craft alive and vibrant.

During the workshop, Natalie said something that has stuck with me, as it should anyone who values authentic, original, unique experiences.  Someone commented on how much work the sewing was and said, “Now I know why your garments are so expensive!”  Natalie said gently in response, “No, now you know why they are worth so much.”

That was an ‘aha moment’ for me.  Our trips on the Riggin are the same:  how much is clean air worth?  How about a week’s worth of locally-sourced, hand made food?  What about wide open spaces, pristine scenery or the feel of the boat as she sails from one island to the next?

This is my project.  It’s one of four panels which will eventually become a skirt.  Two layers, one of gray and the other a patterned black, are sandwiched together and then hand stiched.  Eventually, I’ll cut the centers of the leaves out and the second layer of gray fabric will be visible.

We’d love to have you join us on the Riggin this summer for the real deal.

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Asparagus – Its In the Bag

I have yet to see one stalk of asparagus come up in my garden, but I’m waiting, albeit impatiently, and it’s warm enough for me to have a serious craving.  At our recent Easter dinner, India, a friend and chef, brought asparagus cooked in a new way.  And it was du-lish-ous, as Chloe says.

While I don’t have a specific recipe, this is the sort which doesn’t require exact measurements.  It’s more the technique which is effective.

Asparagus In a Bag

Break or cut the ends off the asparagus and toss with extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, freshly ground pepper and freshly squeezed lemon juice.  Toss until all of the asparagus is fully coated.  Transfer to a paper bag and add sprigs of thyme and slices of lemon.  Close the bag by rolling the ends and bake… roast… not sure even whether I should be saying ‘steam’ here.  Anyway, the bag should be placed on a baking sheet, the oven temperature should be 400 degrees and the timing is around 20 minutes.

The asparagus emerges redolent with the flavors of both thyme and lemon.  The first whiff is enough to have you salivating.

The Portland Press ran my column on asparagus today too, should you be wanting to indulge your asparagus craving even more.

Roasted Pesto Asparagus
Creamy Lemon Asparagus over Whole Wheat Penne
Chicken, Asparagus and Basil Soup with Parmesan

As always, the link expires in seven days so be sure to click over soon.

Okay, now I have to check to see if I can see any tiny buds of asparagus in the garden this morning.

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Cook the Book – Tomato Soup with Herbed Yogurt

This soup is not your average Campbell’s with a side of cheese sandwich, although I wouldn’t  pass on the grilled cheese.  It’s bright, tangy, zesty and imminently satisfying to the body for it’s flavor and to the mind for the childhood memories it brings to the fore.

This time of year, canned tomatoes are perfectly acceptable and actually preferred to the pink, mealy, tomato-ish things sold in the grocery store this time of year.  If you canned your own this year, lucky you for have escaping the blight that hit many of us.  Treat yourself and use up the last of them in this soup.

Tomato Soup with Herbed Yogurt

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
Juice and zest of half an orange
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 tablespoon dried marjoram
1 tablespoon dried cumin
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 29-ounce cans crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 square (1 ounce) bittersweet chocolate
Herbed Yogurt:
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 green onion, diced
1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
1 small clove garlic, minced

Heat a stockpot over medium-high heat and add the olive oil, onion, garlic, orange zest, orange juice and spices.
Cook until the onions are translucent.  Add the rest of ingredients and simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour.  Meanwhile whisk the yogurt ingredients together.  Serve with a dollop of herbed yogurt.

Serves 4-6

Carrot Banana Cake Swanked Up

One of my favorite things in life is to turn something that was useful into something else and give it new life.  For example, I just adore those blankets made from felted wool sweaters.  Another one?  I’ve been saving some of my favorite clothes the girls outgrow to eventually make a quilt.  Or knitting fingerless mittens from a ball of leftover yarn, also top of the list.  Reaching into the refrigerator and pulling out bits of this and some of that and creating a soup, fritatta or pasta sauce.  Yup.

This recipe comes under the same heading.  I make it on the boat all the time.  It’s one of those dependable recipes.  But on the boat, I can only make it in a 18×26 roasting pan.  It’s pretty enough, but tastes better.  Here, I used the basic recipe, changed a few things and suddenly found a beautiful, rustic dessert with it’s party dress on.   

For starters, the recipe calls for crushed pineapple.  I had some leftover Black Pepper and Pinapple Relish from holiday appetitizers and used that instead of canned pinapple.  The addition of the sharp spice of the black pepper combined with the tangy, sweet taste of the fresh pinapple shifted the flavor of the cake considerably to the good.   In addition, the recipe calls for baking the cake in a 9×13 pan.  I have these small springform pans that I use to make small cakes and I poured the batter into four of them and reduced the baking time somewhat. Once the cakes were cooled, I made the frosting.  The confectioner’s sugar (and I have a case of it leftover from the summer) is so lumpy from it’s moist summer on a wooden schooner that I tried breaking it up by whizzing it in the food processor.  I’ve tried other, less extreme messures in the past like sifting, which just leaves smaller balls of sugar in the canister.  What does work, but takes time, is to stir up the frosting with the wet ingredients and allow the sugar to soften, stirring frequently until all of the lumps are gone.  However, this isn’t exactly fullproof, although it is the only method available when in my non-electric galley on the boat.Whizzing the sugar and then adding the cream cheese and the butter to the food processor worked wonderfully, however, it did make the frosting looser.  I was able to frost the middle just as you normally would for a layer cake, but instead of frosting the sides fully, I just let it dribble over the edge.  Lastly, I added toasted coconut, which I just placed in a pie pan and toasted in the oven while the cakes were baking.  These cakes serve 8 people if you cut the layer cakes into 4 pieces each.

Carrot-Banana Cake
This is the original recipe from At Home, At Sea:  Recipes from the Maine Windjammer J. & E. Riggin.  

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
4 large eggs
1½ cups finely grated carrots
1 cup drained crushed pineapple in juice
½ cup mashed ripe banana
¾ cup chopped pecans

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Additional ground cinnamon for garnish   

For the cake:   

Preheat oven to 350°.  Grease and flour a 9 x 13-inch pan.  Sift the first four ingredients into a medium bowl.  In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, then whisk in the oil, sugar, and brown sugar until well blended.  Stir in the flour mixture.  Add the carrots, pineapple, banana and pecans and blend well.  Transfer the batter to the prepared pan.  Bake until a tester inserted near the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour.  Leave the cake in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes, then remove it from the pan and cool completely.   

For the frosting:  Beat all ingredients in a medium bowl until smooth.  Frost and sprinkle with cinnamon when done.   

Makes 12 large or 16 smaller pieces

No I will NOT sneak a piece before I’ve eaten my dinner   

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Carrot-Banana Cake       



2 cups all-purpose flour       

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon       

2 teaspoons baking soda       

¼ teaspoon salt       

1 cup vegetable oil       

1 cup sugar       

1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar       

4 large eggs       

1½ cups finely grated carrots       

1 cup drained crushed pineapple in juice       

½ cup mashed ripe banana       

¾ cup chopped pecans       


1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature       

1 cup powdered sugar       

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature       

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon       

Additional ground cinnamon for garnish       


For the cake:        

Preheat oven to 350°.  Grease and flour a 9 x 13-inch pan.        

Sift the first four ingredients into a medium bowl.        

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, then whisk in the oil, sugar, and brown sugar until well blended.        

Stir in the flour mixture.       

Add the carrots, pineapple, banana and pecans and blend well.        

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan.  Bake until a tester inserted near the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour.       

Leave the cake in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes, then remove it from the pan and cool completely.       

For the frosting:        

Beat all ingredients in a medium bowl until smooth.  Frost and sprinkle with cinnamon when done.       


Makes 12 large or 16 smaller pieces