|Sunrise at sea.|
Every morning on that boat, I woke up happy. I can still hear the generator grunting to life from the engine room at the foot of my bunk. It may have been the first alarm clock that didn't annoy me. I loved dressing in the dark, trying to find my balance to put my underwear on as the boat rocked back and forth. I loved that moment, after making my way up the ladder, when I would open the doors and step onto the deck at sunrise, a sheen of dew underfoot. I loved climbing three steps down into the galley and entering its quiet sanctuary where perhaps I would find a watchperson nibbing on last night's brownies. But more often than not, it was just me, four burners, a fridge, a freezer, and a handful of pots and bowls.
During transit I started the day by making coffee. Then I took out my red notebook and reviewed my notes from the night before: make dough for pizza; put spare ribs in the crock pot; and always first on the agenda, the breakfast menu for the day. Then I sipped my coffee, which I started drinking black, and got to work. By the time I put the food on the table, an hour or maybe two had passed. I still had a half cup of coffee left because I had completely forgotten about it. Then I experienced that moment that all cooks must feel, whether they are working for Thomas Keller or feeding a family of five: a combination of pride at one's efforts immediately followed by pangs of insecurity... But did they like it?
I peeked down into the salon. They were all quiet. They were eating. All was well with the world.
|View from the galley onto the deck.|
Becoming a Poor Landlubber AgainWhen Allen said the restaurant in Manhattan would be opening soon and that Brian suggested I play hostess, my first thought was, "Brrrr!" But the timing is, as Allen says, perfect. When I said I would continue to look for boat work and Allen said I should come and stay as long as I could... And when he implied that I was pretty and smart, well, how could I say no? So for a little while anyway, I'm bringing the Sea Cookery ship to shore.