Monday, August 16, 2010

Cooking on Kamaya

by Oma

Latkes, for the uninitiated, are grated potato pancakes usually eaten with applesauce in December for Chanuka with the lighting of Menorah candles to celebrate freedom - and with the freedom of being on Kamaya, one can cook anything at any time - so this Oma (Ruth's mother) will explain - cooking Kamaya-style.

Kamaya has a four burner stove, a little oven, a big frig with an opening on the top and a door opening (gently, please) on the bottom. Pans are stored in a bin, together with everything else that can fit, and all around are cupboards well stocked with all the necessities of a proper kitchen. Ruth knows where everything is - and Tim, Maya and Kai are also well informed - especially the location of the peanut butter, jam (bottom frig), cream cheese (top frig) and chocolate (bottom shelf of small cupboard). Cooking is a lengthy pleasure.

Breakfast is often crepes (2 cups milk,(bottom frig) 2 cups flour,(in bin behind on top of pots and pans) bit of water (faucet), butter (top frig) 2 eggs (on top of frig - fresh eggs do not need refrigeration) and a pinch of Tahitian vanilla (port pantry, second shelf). Whip this all together the night before and put it in bottom frig - next morning find frying pan, light the stove (turn on gas with red switch above pots and pans and light gas with gas lighter holding down turn-on knob for 3 seconds). Adjust burner carefully. Kai's crepes are eaten with peanut butter and jam; Maya's crepes need cream cheese and jam; Tim's crepes are eaten with everything except peanut butter and Ruth eats whatever is left.

This detail is for anyone who may think that cooking on a boat is simple.

When there is left-over baguette, we make French toast also called eggy bread for those of you from England. Slice the old bread and dip it in beaten eggs combined with milk and cinnamon. Fry the bread in butter - and serve with peanut butter and jam for Kai, cream cheese and jam for Maya.

English Muffins are a special treat - and Tim's specialty. Kamaya has a special sourdough starter which gets replenished (fed with half water, half flour) when it is used. Mix flour, milk, water and sourdough starter and let it stand overnight to rise. Knead well - add more flour, sugar and baking soda in the morning - put in warm place to rise. (This is easy in the tropics) Divine aroma permeates Kamaya. Breakfast is delayed while anticipation grows. Knead again and make into patties. Light the stove (see above) and bake on the cast iron frying pan. Remember to take out the butter, peanut butter and cream cheese and jam - turn the muffins which have now risen nicely and enjoy.

There is always the packaged granola with milk or yogurt and fruit for the super-hungry who cannot wait, but Kai has a slight disagreement with the granola as it has coconut mixed in.

But---when the pantry is almost empty and only a few potatoes are left - make latkes. "No problem," says Ruth, "it's very quick." Out come the potato peeler and the tiny square grater- so we peel and we grate and we peel and we grate and, of course, we chat and sing. About half an hour later, with a pile of grated potatoes, now turning slightly pink, we put them in a bowl, add an egg, flour and some liquid and beat and beat until the potatoes are sort of solid and fry them. Delicious with, of course, peanut butter or cream cheese and jam. Latkes in Tahiti in July for breakfast.

Breakfast is only one of the wonderful meals that come out of the Kamaya Kitchen - and eating is only one of the grand times this Oma had in July with the Kamaya kids. Life aboard Kamaya is total, full and delicious.

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