Galley Fare

"You can't judge a galley by it's charm."
Joy Smith, Kitchen Afloat
As cruisers we are all happy to share our recipes because we know that cooking aboard presents a unique set of challenges and adjustments from our land based kitchens. Sometimes preparing and cooking something you always made at home transfers quite readily to your floating kitchen, other times not. Going out to eat is a rare treat often saved for when the cook is sick and tired of cooking and washing dishes (at least on Troubadour). It's fun and sometimes challenging to come up with new meal ideas, and try new recipes. I cook more, now, on my boat than I ever did in my land based life, and I find that I really enjoy it. So, like my galley mates on other floating homes, I will share the recipes of the foods I create often on Troubadour.
Linda's Fanny Banana Bread
and Other Favorites
Straight from the pages of my  Fanny Farmer Cookbook here are some favorite recipes aboard Troubadour. The banana bread requires only bananas and eggs for moistness; the rice dishes are perfect for when you have left over rice to dress up (!); and the coffee cake makes a nice treat fro breakfast especially if  you drizzle some of the frosting over it!  
This is easy to make when you have some soft bananas and a couple of eggs, no oil or butter is used.

Tortillas de Harina de Castilla
Mexican Flour Tortillas

3 c all purpose flour
1/2 c canola or corn oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder, do not use more than this. it will make your tortillas hard
3/4 c hot water, not real hot

1. Sift 3 cups flour into a large bowl, add salt and baking powder. Mix well with your hand. Next add the oil and with your hands mix in the oil with the flour really good.
2. Now take the hot water and pour in a little. Then mix, then pour a little more and mix again do this until you have made a soft elastic and pliable dough. The dough should come together and the bowl should be clean of all the flour. If the dough is too sticky add a little more flour. If it is too dry add a little more hot water but always in small increments. The dough should be soft and not sticking to your hands. Add more flour if it does this. Take dough and knead with the back of your hand for about two minutes. Now put dough back into bowl cover with a clean cloth and let the dough rest for about 15 minutes. While the dough is resting; preheat your cast iron griddle or cast iron fry pan. Do not put a oil or grease on the griddle or pan. Tortillas bake on a dry griddle.
3. After 15 minutes have passed take dough out knead again for one minute and take pieces or dough and make little balls the size of a little larger than ping pong balls. Sprinkle a little flour on a flat surface and with a palote, "rolling pin" roll the dough ball, roll once and pick up and turn a quarter turn roll again and do another quarter turn;  continue the same until you have rolled out your tortilla about 8 inches across if you like a large tortilla or 6 inches across if you like them smaller. I prefer the 8 inch across. Once you have rolled out the tortilla place on the hot griddle lower the heat to medium. You do not want to scorch your tortillas. As soon as you see a few bubbles on the tortilla flip it over to the other side; cook the tortilla for about 2 minutes on each side. Watch them closely you can tell when one side is cooked. Have the butter ready and the salt. Yum. As you are making them put them into a large bowl that has a nice clean dish towel underneath. Cover each time you place a nicely baked tortilla in your pile. I like to place in the microwave or the oven until we are ready to eat to keep them warm. Do not turn the microwave on. If you keeping in the oven you can turn oven onto the lowest setting to just keep them warm until dinner. Enjoy
Recipe by Juliann Esquivel from "Just a Pinch"
Bon Appétit!

The Pita Bread Trifecta
You can enjoy a sandwich, pizzas and snack chips with this recipe from the Fresh Loaf: Pita Bread Recipe. The only modification I made, was to make a dozen pita's out of the dough, rather than just eight. To make the pita chips, cut the individual pitas into six or eight pieces, toss them in two to three tablespoons of olive oil, with a few cloves of minced garlic until lightly coated, sprinkle with salt and bake them until crispy. Have fun!


Bon Appétit!

Troubadour’s “Epic” English Muffins

Adapted from Fanny Farmer Cookbook

 I have been making this recipe since 2010 onboard Troubadour and feel I have developed the “formula” for a chewy and course muffin. The muffins are baked in a very hot oven. They can also be cooked in a skillet on the stove top. Don’t be intimated by the length of this recipe – I have included my hints and tips. Do plan to bake these on a day when you will be on the boat for 3-4 hours in the morning or afternoon.
I hope you like the muffins.

A fellow cruiser once described my English Muffins as "epic".
Some of you have been lucky enough to get one or two of them fresh from the oven!
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What you need to make 12 Troubadour English Muffins:

½ cup boiling water
1 cup milk  (I use ½ cup whole + ½ cup skim)
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon shortening   (I use Crisco Shortening; you can use any liquid shortening – such as vegetable or canola oil)
1 tablespoon yeast  (A packet of yeast is 2 ¼ teaspoons, you can try using a packet, but I have better luck with measuring 1 tablespoon)
3 cups flour  (I use 2 cups white + 1 cup wheat or whole grain)

Nutty Goodness & Fiber - Optional Ingredients:
1 – 2 tablespoons each:  sunflower kernels, sesame seeds, flax seeds, wheat germ, dry oats

Additional items that worked for me:
Towels                                                  (For covering rising dough)
Spray oil                                               (For oiling baking sheets)
Plastic Cutting Mat                            (For working with muffin dough)  
Baking Sheets                                     (To make 12 muffins in my boat oven, I need to use 2 baking sheets) 

Preparing the Dough

First Rising

Bring ½ cup water to a boil; mix it well with the shortening, milk, salt, sugar in a large bowl and let it cool to lukewarm. Stir the yeast into ¼ cup warm (to the touch, not hot) water and let it stand for 5 minutes. Add the dissolved yeast and 2 cups of the flour to the first mixture and beat vigorously. Cover and let rise in a warm place (75-84 degrees) until double in bulk. It will appear bubbly and gooey.
If using Optional Ingredients (seeds & nuts) mix with the remaining 1 cup of flour and set aside.

Second Rising

When the flour has doubled, stir and add the remaining flour, and mix well. Cover, and let dough double in bulk once again; (check in ½ hour and in 1 hour).

To save time, transfer the dough to a covered bowl and put in the fridge overnight. In the morning, make your dough for cooking the muffins fresh on the griddle. No need to worry about a "third rising" because the dough spent time rising slowly overnight. 
Third Rising

Gently push down the dough from sides of bowl with (pastry) spatula, then pour it onto the lightly floured work area. To avoid flour sticking to your hands, add a light dusting of flour to the dough. Create 10 -12 equal sized dough balls.

Gently press to about ½ inch thickness with the bottom of a coffee mug, ramekin or your hand, to form a 3 inch “pattie”. Don’t dwell on perfection.

When all muffins are formed in “patties”, cover and let rise until double (check at 30 minutes, then at 45 minutes.) They will appear to poof up a bit in the middle.

Let’s Cook!

Cook on preheated griddles on the stove top. You will see them poof up, then flip and cook on the other side - about 5 minutes per side.


When the muffins look to be about double in bulk, heat your oven to 425°.

Place the muffins in the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes, allowing the bottoms get medium browned. The top will be firm and when tapped they should sound hollow. Turn the muffins and allow to brown lightly on the other side.

Remove from pan and allow to cool; or you may toast them and eat them right away!

Hints and Experiments:

Milk: The milk gives the muffins their fluffy texture. Using all whole milk will produce a softer, fluffier muffin, in my experience.  Vanilla Soy or Soy Milk will also work and make for a nice fluffy muffin. Try Vanilla Soy in Cinnamon and Raisin English Muffins, too.

Cinnamon and Raisin English Muffins: Add 2 tsp cinnamon and ½ cup raisins to the final 1 cup of flour.

Honey: I have tried an equal amount of honey instead of sugar, but it didn’t really change the flavor much.

Uses: In addition to breakfast English Muffins, we use these for our sandwiches and “hamburger buns”.

Calories: Based on my rudimentary calculations, each muffin is approximately 110 kcals, just like store bought.

(Oops!) Flat Muffins: Sometimes the muffins can turn out sort of flat. Note what you did in the preparation and baking process and change only one thing next time and see if this creates different result.  Baking is all about experimenting. Have fun!

Bon Appétit!

Easy Apple Slices

The flavors of home, and being with family, flood my senses during the holidays  

I recently bought two Granny Smith apples thinking that in the hot climate of the tropics they would taste refreshing. They didn't. They were sour and tart.  After we shared just half of one, I knew I had to do something to give these apples another chance at feeding us. Out came my cherished recipe for Mom's Apple Slices. A piece of heaven, easy to make and delectable to eat.

Memories of summers as a young girl growing up in a little bit of countryside in Lake Geneva, Wis.  flooded my mind as I made this traditional family desert. Our property came with a small Eden: an apple orchard, two cherry trees, a peach tree, a pear tree, and a plum tree; a grape vine and a gooseberry bush. Did I miss anything?  Oh yes, the rhubarb. Summers and falls were busy with us kids picking, pitting or slicing, and Mom in the kitchen cooking and canning. Good thing there were five kids to do all this work! We had home baked pies and jams every summer and fall for many years during my childhood. I can still taste the homemade rhubarb cherry pie and the freshly made cherry sauce over vanilla ice cream.

The fruits of our labor (no pun intended) were well worth the camaraderie of brothers and sisters giggling and climbing in trees and the memories of home and traditions that Mom's Apple Slices now stir up for me, especially as the holidays dawn near.

At Thanksgiving, the aroma of pumpkin and nutmeg will transport me home to memories of my family at the table in lively repartee.  I envision Mom and my sisters in the kitchen, Dad and my brothers watching football. There will be little children running underfoot and a newborn baby to cuddle as the family grows. There will be extended family there, too. Mom and Dad always open their hearts and home to others. I admit that I am nostalgic during the holidays. I miss my family most at this time, and I am thankful they are in good health.

Now that Chris and I are away from our families during the holiday season, we've reinvented our family traditions to fit our life afloat. Even though the days tend to blend together, we still recognize that Thanksgiving and Christmas are coming, and we are away from people we cherish.

But we do have a family in each other. I am thankful because I have a partner in Chris. We are building a life together and I believe in what we are building. It amazes me that we have undertaken this incredible journey in our lives. During the holidays this year, as we build our own traditions, the boat will be filled with the aroma of pumpkin pie and we'll toast to the good fortune and good health of both our families.

Here's a toast to family, holiday traditions and a taste of home!

Mom's Apple Slices, made with loads of love, taste like fresh apple pastry
Mom's Apple Slices

(Not all ovens are created equal! Mine sometimes seems like an Easy Bake Oven because normal oven-size bakeware usually does not fit. I cut this recipe in half and bake it on a 7 x 10 cookie sheet.)

Cut together in a bowl
2 cups flour, 3/4 cup butter/margarine (or oleo!), 1/2 teaspoon salt, add 2 egg yolks, 1/2 cup milk, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, mix all together, form 2 balls, roll 1 ball to fit a cookie sheet with sides

4 cups sliced and peeled apples (about 3-4 apples), 3/4 cup sugar, 1 1/2 tablespoon flour, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, mix together in bowl, put on top the crust in your cookie sheet, then roll out the other dough ball and put on top the apples, bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes

1 cup powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons hot water, mix together, frost while hot, drizzling on top crust

Bon Appétit

Tortillas and Eggs

Scrambled eggs mixed with tortilla pieces

An easy and tasty variation on scrambled eggs, Tortillas and Eggs, is a regular item on Troubadour's breakfast menu. In this recipe corn tortillas torn into bite size pieces are lightly crisped and mixed with onion and green pepper before adding beaten eggs. The result is a subtle Mexican flavor that grabs the taste buds.
This recipe is for two, modify as needed for the size of your pan, your crew and your hunger level!

Here's what you need:

4 eggs beaten
Two corn tortillas torn into bite size pieces
Dash of cumin
Dash of salt
Dash of red pepper
Chopped onion
Chopped green pepper
Shredded cheese
Pam or Canola Oil

Turn your flame on medium high and put a small amount of oil/Pam in your sauté pan. Place the corn tortillas in the pan, sprinkle with the spices. Shake or stir the tortillas around in the pan while letting them get lightly browned and a little crispy. When the tortillas are crispy, add about a teaspoon of butter and your veggies to the pan. Sauté the tortillas and veggies together for a few seconds, then push to one side and add beaten eggs. Stir the eggs as they are cooking; gradually mixing in the tortillas and veggies. When the eggs are done to your satisfaction, remove from pan; sprinkle with cheese and a bit of your favorite salsa.

Bon Appétit

Whiskey Toast

Navajo Rug is a standard on Troubadour’s play list. I will sometimes request it when Chris brings out the guitar. I like to sing along at the chorus. But, lately that first line has really been bugging me.  I kept wondering, what is “Whiskey Toast”? (The lyrics, written by Ian Tyson, and the song, popularized by Jerry Jeff Walker, begin ..."Well it's two eggs up on whiskey toast, Home fries on the side, You wash her down with the roadhouse coffee that burns up your inside...") So, I did a little research. Not only did I find a definition of whiskey toast, but we also had a good laugh on few other tidbits, too.

In fact you might wonder what was going on if you heard this when you ordered breakfast at a diner, “I need a blonde with sand, a couple of life preservers, two eggs up on whiskey toast, and sea dust.” But if you worked in a diner this might be common slang for your order.  More on that order later.

Internet research cooked up this information: “In the golden age of diners, before computerized ordering systems, the waiter or waitress would call out orders to the cooks. And to stave off boredom and to make the orders memorable and easier to hear,
they came up with their own slang.
“Diner lingo is a kind of American verbal slang used by cooks and chefs in diners and diner-style restaurants, and by the waitresses to communicate their orders to the cooks. It is virtually unknown outside the US.

“The origin of the lingo is unknown, but there is evidence suggesting it may have been used by waiters as early as the 1870s and 1880s. Many of the terms used are lighthearted and tongue-in-cheek and some are a bit racy or ribald, but are helpful mnemonic devices for short-order cooks and staff.”

We learned that “Whiskey Toast” is rye bread – maybe because whiskey is made from rye or because of the dark brown color of rye breads.
Remember that order you placed a few paragraphs back? Your waitress will put this breakfast on your table: Coffee with cream and sugar (a blonde with sand), doughnuts (life preservers), two eggs up on rye toast (whiskey toast) and some salt (sea dust).
You may still hear this lingo in cowboy country diners. Next time you place an order, chew on these:

Adam & Eve on a raft & wreck 'em: two scrambled eggs on toast
Baled hay: shredded wheat

Bloodhounds in the hay: hot dogs and sauerkraut
Burn one, take it through the garden and pin a rose on it:
hamburger with lettuce, tomato and onion

Burn the British: toasted English muffin

Shit on a shingle/S.O.S.: minced dried beef with gravy on toast (it was a reviled and loved standard fare in army messes)
Shingle with a shimmy and a shake: buttered toast with jam or jelly
Keep off the grass: no lettuce

Foreign entanglements: plate of spaghetti
Mother and child reunion: chicken and egg sandwich

For more diner slang, click here Diner Lingo and remember to 
Check the ice: look at the pretty girl who just came in.
Bon Appétit


  1. Very enjoyable reading ....and recipes sound good too....what is your bread recipe for on board ?

  2. I just tried your Tortilla recipe this weekend, and I absolutely loved it! Thank you so much!!


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