The Cast of Characters & Quick Guide to the Story

Monday, March 14, 2011

There's room for Jean-Georges in my boat

Muffin tins half-filled with batter, waiting for the ganache filling.

High drama on a flat river
Last night in the middle of the night I heard whispers at the hatch that leads down into the main salon, where I currently sleep. I jumped up and threw open the doors, upon which a teenage girl, standing less than a foot away, let out a high-pitched scream that surely woke everyone along the waterfront. “there are people sleeping on this boat,” I said. “I didn’t know she replied. “It’s not a toy I said, “We’re getting off!” And get off they did.

This was not the first time I’d heard footsteps above me in the night (and surely it won’t be the last). Because of Saint Patrick’s Day (though still several days off) the revelry is constant, day and night. The waterfront is lined with ruffians and families, spring-breakers, bands of drag queens, retirees and lovers – all dressed in green and slung with beads, their cameras all a’clicking.

This may be the most drama you get from my adventures on this new boat. It's so healthy! Everyone is kind to one another. Yesterday morning we cruised briefly down the river to test our engines, and when I asked the first mate if she could explain a few things to me, she took the time to do so.

The extended hand-off
The only other drama left to tell - and it's an episode that will soon be over - is the lingering of the Old Cook. Today he cooked breakfast. I’m not sure why he’s still here – or why he’s still working. If I had to be here, because, for instance, my plane ticket to Arizona wasn't until Wednesday, I would not be cooking anymore. I would have handed over my responsibilities and started painting the town. He spent most of yesterday – a glorious, 75-degree Sunday – in his bunk, curtains drawn.

For lunch I made linguine carbonara; ham on the side and broccoli for the vegetarian. Homemade bread. Carrot sticks and the remainder of the thai cucumber salad (which the first mate said she would not be opposed to my making gallons of).

For dinner I put out the leftover stew, made agradolce with butternut squash, yams from the Chinese Market, turnips, parsnips and potatoes. The sauce was balsamic, brown sugar and currents.

For dessert, I was inspired by the article in Saveur on Jean-Georges’ molten chocolate cake. I wondered: could I make these in muffin tins? Indeed I could. I loved the moment when the captain took his cake, put the fork in and watched the chocolate seep out. Perfect.
Completed Molten Chocolate cakes.

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