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Thursday 22 June 2023

Anchored in Musket Cove

Our first three days in Fiji consisted of provisioning (mostly me) and fixing things (totally Tim).

First, I baked/cooked all the necessities we’d run out of in the last day of the passage.

Cooling in the cockpit we have granola, cooked white beans for chilli, roasted Red Skinned Peanuts and not a Baker’s Dozen, which is 13, but maybe a Captain’s Dozen(?) of banana, raisin and walnut muffins. They were not yet fully cooled at time of photo.

Then shopped together. The next day I shopped alone and the last day I shopped with Zoe from Into the Blue.

As I was taking the photo of bananas, fresh plump huge juicy ginger and lumpy local lemons, I noticed a hole in one of the bananas.

How in the world could I choose a bunch of bananas with bloody great hole in it?

I hadn’t.

This is an example of the culprit, a Red-Vented Bulbul. 

I had a flashback to our first visit to Fiji of calling over to a family a few boats down, ‘There’s a bird eating your mangos!’ It was tthis type of bird. You can’t mistake the handsome crest, the flash of red or the holes in your fruit. :/  There was also one watching from the rigging of the boat next to us.

Day 4 was the day we left Vuda Marina for Musket Cove and I woke up with a scratchy throat.

Two negative Covid tests later, I appeared to have a nasty cold. I felt bad enough not to leave Larus and my coughing and sneezing was sufficient to repel boarders.

A week later I’m mostly better, but Tim woke up this morning with a scratchy throat.  Zoe says Bill, on Into the Blue, has also woke up with a scratchy throat.  I will claim responsibility for Tim’s scratchy throat, but the only people who actually came onboard were Philip and Claudia on Bruno’s Girl who we lured over with falafel last night. 

Too soon to tell if that was a mistake. Fingers crossed they are both fine.

It is the pits to not feel like doing much of anything and running out of ready to eat food. We were up to our eyes with ingredients, had just finished our last frozen passage meal and our loaf of bought bread had gone mouldy so something had to be done.

Luckily I really like cooking and had some tried and true, new and interesting things I wanted to have a go at and that perked me up.

I have a great wholewheat bread recipe that has worked 3 times on the trot with excellent results. The flour is 2 1/2 cups wholewheat and 1 1/2 white flour. The new tricks I’ve learned is to add the yeast to the water first so it softens and mix that with all the other ingredients and them let the dough hydrate for 30 mins before kneading.

My other problem is that the oven heats from the back so the loaf must be turned several times to cook evenly. The loaf also rises so well that I can barely get it into the oven. There is maybe a finger’s width of space between the top of the loaf and the top of the oven, and I need to put a tin hat on top to stop it from burning for the third and fourth turn.

Still once you know all that, it’s a breeze.

I found the most beautiful chillies at the market - Habaneros, some sort of hopefully milder green chillis and Bird’s Eye Chillies. 

 I read up on how to best keep them and you wash them, dry them, trim the stems and then store them in the fridge for up to a week.

I soon had some out to make some Sweet Chilli Jam from my Caribbean cookbook. It’s is delicious with cheese.

This is the local ‘spinach’, which isn’t spinach at all but does the job. 

The bunch was too big to get into the fridge and I could see it needed using sooner than later. Having asked a lady how to prepare it, I picked the leaves off the tough stems and roots and then steamed and froze them for later. The bunch made about a cup of very nice looking greens.  Half went into day 2 of the pasta sauce we had for dinner that night.

I have all sorts of fresh things stashed about the boat and will have a good look tomorrow. I lost most of one of my three pineapples as I let it get over ripe. Too tired to care. All the bananas are now in the freezer, but in the aft cabin there are 4 coconuts, a bunch of limes and a large watermelon that I need to focus on.

For the watermelon: I need to make ice in the freezer to chill it and then get a bunch of people together when we’re no longer infectious to enjoy it as none of it will ever fit in the fridge.

For the limes: I also have a tin of condensed milk and bought cookies for the crust to make a Key Lime Pie. This is one of Tim’s favourite desserts, but we need a flat fridge space so it can set. Hard to imagine when that might be.

For the coconuts: I’d quite like to make some toasted coconut chips, and some fresh grated coconut. The latter will freeze if one has space in the freezer. Happily coconuts last a long time.

PS - I have added the missing photos to the previous 2 posts.
PPS - It is the shortest day of the year down here.
PPPS - Tim has now started sneezing and is planning when to take his LemSip. :(  More about him in the next blog.

1 comment:

  1. Great blog, really enjoyed all your news, Love Elaine