Sunday, February 21, 2016

French Bread

   During the last few days that Bill was working in Oregon, I met up with a couple here in the marina.   After exchanging stories of how we came to live on our boats, Pierre (Did mention that they are French?)  and Ann Marie offered for Bill and I to have a drink with them after he had returned . . . I thanked them for their offer and decided that I would mention it to Bill once he was settled back in on the boat . . .

Lost in Translation?
   Fast forward to a few days later . . . Bill was beginning to recover from his red eye flight, I had finished the last of Bill's massive load of dirty laundry (I do a lot of laundry . . . at least it feels like it), and Bill and I had decided that a walk around the marina would be nice.  We had just made it to the other side of the marina when we we heard an "Ellooo!  'Ow are you?".  Pierre was standing at the back of their 65" trawler waving to us.  He invited us in for that drink . . .

   That simple invitation turned into a tour of their beautiful, spacious boat.  The tour turned into appetizers (with Champagne . . . from their built-in wine cellar), which turned in to a lot of conversation.  The conversation turned to food and cooking on the boat.  When Bill mentioned baking, Ann Marie's eyes lit up. Apparently, she had been trying for weeks to find a recipe for a bread starter. When Bill told her that we had a sourdough starter in the fridge, she asked if he would show her how to make her own.  Of course, he agreed and even came back to the boat to grab a spare glass jar for her when she couldn't find one of her own.

Stirring the Starter
The Finished Starter

   It took the four of us to actually make the starter because, Ann Marie's English isn't as good as Pierre's.  So, Bill demonstrated, I explained the steps, and, when Ann Marie didn't understand, Pierre translated.  We soon had a starter bubbling away on their kitchen counter.

   After out little cooking class, we were asked to stay for dinner.  Since they hadn't really planned on us coming, you would think that dinner might feel a little off-the-cuff.  It was exactly the opposite.

   Ann Marie served us (over several courses, in true French fashion) shrimp and rice, bread and cheese, peaches with mint, and little dark chocolate cookies; simple but, delicious and filling fare. . . The wine and conversation continued to flow.  By the time we returned home from our "walk" we had spent roughly 5 hours with our new found friends . . . time flies among friends . . . especially cruisers.

    In case your were going to call my bluff on my resolution from my last post (because you thought I forgot), sorry, you can't.  I thought this story was a very fitting introduction to my next recipe addition.  I have added Bill's sourdough starter  and bread recipe along with some tips to our galley page.  If you've never tried baking at home, try it.  You just might find that it's easier than you thought and it's certainly tastier than buying something out of a bag at the supermarket. . . Ann Marie thought so . . . she liked the end result so much that she offered to bake us a "thank you" loaf.

   Please let us know what you think. Feel free to ask questions and leave nice comments. (If no one has commented yet, there will be a "No Comments" link near the bottom of the post. If someone has already commented, there will be a number and the word "comments" beside it. Just click whichever of these is there, click, "add comment" when the window opens, and type away.)

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Please let us know what you think. Feel free to ask questions and leave nice comments.