It’s Almost Sailing Time!

The sun is out, the wind is up, the days are long, and it’s time to go sailing.  With less than a week before we board, our army of workers is steadily and happily working towards getting out there on the bay.  Orders of food are arriving daily and the garden is nearly completely planted for the season with protective hoops and plastic for the basil, tomatoes and peppers.  This can be a very hectic time of year.  I am trying to write all of my columns and blog posts for the summer before we leave the dock in addition to organizing the end of the girls’ school year.  With all of this going on, we have to remind ourselves to take deep breaths of warm air, to lift our un-scarved faces to the sun, and to take our lunch in the grass or on the deck.

Soon the view out of my “office” will be granite-studded islands and wide expanses of water.  We are all so looking forward to being out there…. You should come too!

June – long, gorgeous days of summer










Drunken Pepper Pie – It’s a Beautiful Thing

This recipe is a riff on an old classic in the Maine Windjammer fleet – Congo Bars.  Usually made for lunch and scarfed up by mid-afternoon, this recipe is amped up for a dinner dessert with the addition of both Ancho chili powder and Kentucky Bourbon.  Both give a punch and a depth that makes the perfect cross between comfort dessert and swanky dessert.  As with the bar recipe, the pie recipe is much better slightly underdone than even the smallest bit overdone.  Of course, this recipe is for one pie, whereas on the Riggin, I’m making 3 or 4 pies at at time, hence the several pies in the photos below.

Drunken Pepper Pie
Pie Crust
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons unflavored vodka
2 tablespoons ice cold water (or more)

Combine the flour, salt, and butter into a medium bowl; cut in well with a pastry knife.
Add vodka and water and mix until dough pulls away from the bowl and forms a ball.  Cover and let rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Remove and roll onto a floured board to at least 12 inches in diameter.  Transfer to a 9-inch pie pan and pinch the edges.  Let rest in the refrigerator again until the pie batter is done.

Makes 1 crust

Pie Batter
1 1/2 cups lightly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 tablespoon Kentucky Bourbon
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon Ancho chili powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Melt the brown sugar and butter over low heat.  Cool slightly so that the pan is comfortable to touch and then add the bourbon and vanilla extract.  Mix in the eggs one at a time.

Sift the flour, baking powder, ancho chili powder, and salt into the sugar and butter mixture and stir.  When the dry ingredients are completely incorporated, add the chocolate chips.

Spatula the pie batter into the prepared pie shell and bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until the pie crust is golden brown.  If a fork poked into the center comes out slightly gooey this is okay.

Cool slightly and serve while still warm with Brown Sugar Whipped Cream.

Serves 8 to 12

Brown Sugar Whipped Cream
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and beat with a whisk until soft peaks form.




Getting excited to go sailing!  You should come with us this summer!

Carmelized Carrots and Parsnips, Mashed Potatoes

These carrots, parsnips and potatoes go great with the Yankee Pot Roast recipe I posted earlier.  Much earlier actually, even though I intended for them to go together.

Here are some helpful hints about timing in the kitchen.

• Preheat the oven and begin the pot roast.  If you would like to have this meal waiting for you when you arrive home from work, brown the pot roast on all sides and then transfer to a slow-cooker with the rest of the ingredients from the recipe.  Cook all day on the slowest, longest setting.
• Once the pot roast is in the oven, prep the rest of the vegetables and potatoes.  Leave the potatoes covered in water until you are ready to cook them.
• You can make the potatoes ahead and reheat them in a double boiler or wait until the pot roast is close to done and begin to boil the water.
• Make the gravy, finish the potatoes, make the gravy and slice the meat.

ded for them to go together.

Caramelized Carrots and Parsnips

1 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon butter
4 carrots
4 parsnips
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Peel and cut the parsnips and cut into sticks like you would for crudite, 2 inches long and 1/4 to 1/2 inch wide.  Heat a large sauté or saucepan with a cover over medium-high heat.  Sprinkle the sugar in the bottom of the pan and when it is an amber color, add the butter.  When the butter is melted, add the carrots and parsnips, sprinkle with salt and pepper and mix.  Add the water and cover for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.  Add the lemon juice and serve.

Serves 6-8

Mashed Potatoes

This is such a basic recipe, but a great favorite at my house.  You’ll use more or less milk depending on the moisture content of the potatoes.

8 medium red potatoes, peeled and whole
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for the water

Place the potatoes in a medium stockpot and cover with salted water.  Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.  Simmer for 30-40 minutes or until the potatoes are tender when poked with a fork.  Drain the water; add the butter, milk and salt and whip with a hand mixer.

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