Summer provisioning is underway in earnest. Partially filled crates clutter the dining room, and list items are being added and checked off pretty much daily.
We went up to Airship for a few days last week/weekend and managed to take up a good size load of stuff (nice not to leave it all for the final trip to the boat!). Last Friday night I gave a photography presentation at the Anacortes Yacht Club…showing some of my work, giving some tips for getting better photos from a boat, photographing wildlife, a little about camera gear, and some about drone photography. It was a great time and a fun group of people, and I very much appreciate that they invited me!
We’ll be giving a two-hour seminar on photography (from land, boats, and drones) at Trawlerfest in Bremerton on May 2 (plus two other seminars on May 1) so look us up if you’re interested! After that, we’ll be on our way to Alaska!
A few the things on our “Take” list this year (that I might not easily find along the route): masa flour for making tortillas, Italian pearled farro (great as a one-bowl meal topped with veggies and grilled protein), and two bags of morita chiles for making this salsa. (We can’t get enough of this delicious, smoky/earthy condiment after trying it in Mexico last month, so I’ve been making my own.) I made a big batch of it at home and brought it up to Airship in this half-liter jar. This oughta last us a while, but I’ve got the supplies to make more!
Morita salsa is made with chipotle morita chiles — a variety of smoked dried jalapeños. You throw a handful into a pan with some hot oil, wait a few minutes until they start to puff up. (If you leave them too long they’ll get bitter and the first batch of salsa you make will be a bust…don’t ask me how I know that.) Remove the puffed peppers (plus the rest that might not have “puffed” from the oil and soak them in hot water for 10 minutes or so. Remove them from the water, cut them open and remove most of the seeds, and then I like to hand chop the peppers. I tried them in my mini Cuisinart and they just gummed up and didn’t chop well at all. My friend Julie tried it in her Vitamix which worked great, but the intense chopping made the salsa much smoother and alas, much hotter. So far, hand chopping is my recommendation. Add oil (the stuff you used to fry them in) plus more in the jar to cover the mixture. I like to use extra virgin olive oil. The grassy flavor is a nice complement to the smoky chilies. Add salt to taste. This salsa will last quite a while and is great in tacos, on eggs, fish…well, so far it’s good on just about everything we’ve tried it on! (I get my moritas online here.)
Why is it that I can’t ever take a level photo of the inside of a cupboard??
A few weeks ago we tried a bottle of some smoked tequila that was on sale at our local liquor store, and it was surprisingly good! We’ve been on a “tequila martini” kick since we were in Yelapa last month, which means we’re gonna have to keep stocked with fresh limes…how hard is THAT going to be??
Update: I just read on the internet that you can easily freeze fresh squeezed lime juice and it lasts for months! Life-changing!
Tequila Martini (makes 2 cocktails)
4.5 oz tequila blanco
3 oz of fresh squeezed juice (half lime juice, half orange juice)
2.25 oz (or so) of Cointreau
Splash of simple syrup (we used Traeger smoked simple syrup, but plain would be fine)
Tajín for the glass rim (or a combo of salt and your favorite chili/chipotle powder if you like it a little spicy)
Note: Tajín is a seasoning mix made from ground chili peppers, salt, and dehydrated lime juice, and it’s great on the rim of a tequila cocktail. You can get it here.
Add all ingredients to cocktail shaker with crushed ice (and a chopped serrano pepper if you want a little spice). Shake well and strain into rimmed cocktail glass.
Another note: We also put some tequila in a bottle with a chopped fresh serrano for 30 minutes or so to infuse the tequila with pepper, which worked a little too well and we ended up only using 1/3 infused tequila to 2/3 regular tequila for the cocktails.
As far as other pre-made things we plan to have on Airship for the summer, here’s what’s going into the freezer so far:
- Homemade bolognese sauce (maybe 10 or so meals worth, vacuum sealed into bags and frozen flat to save space)
- Several packages of cauliflower pizza crusts from Cali’flour Foods. These are very thin crusts, kept frozen, and the ingredients are cauliflower, mozzarella cheese, eggs, basil, and garlic. We tested them out last night with friends and they were good!! They are a little finicky to pre-bake because they’re so thin, so I picked up a couple of these baking screens to try out next time.
- Chimichurri sauce I made at home and froze…great as a condiment on grilled meats.
- Several 1lb vacuum-sealed bags of chicken chorizo (good in breakfast tacos with eggs, slightly healthier than pork chorizo)
- Light Flour Tortillas from La Tortilla Factory (for breakfast tacos, and taco nights with the flotilla). These are great, freeze well, and are 1/3 the calories of regular tortillas. Are you starting to sense a theme with some of the carbohydrates yet?
- Several 1lb packages of grass-fed ground beef (for tacos, soups, burgers, etc.)
- A few pounds of fish and some steaks
Notes about things still to do/make/bring:
- A couple weeks ago we smoked some Cotija cheese at home on the Traeger and it turned out great. Cotija is good crumbled on salads or tacos, and we plan to smoke more and then freeze it to bring along.
- Grated parmesan also freezes well. I use it to make my own caesar salad dressing, so I freeze it in small batches to grab when I need to make dressing or to use on pizzas or pastas.
- I’ve been trying to come up with some healthy/creative alternatives to the “crackers, cheese, salami” happy hour appetizers to throw into the mix for happy hours. I picked up a couple of those round packages of polenta and I’m going to see about cooking some slices of that and topping them with a spoonful of sautéed wild mushrooms and garlic. I think they’d also be good topped with some bright fresh bruschetta.
- It seems like this year I’ve focused more on sauces and condiments than in previous years (bolognese, chimichurri, morita salsa…) which is kinda fun since you can use condiments and sauces in such a variety of ways. Pesto is another sauce that freezes well, so I may make some of that before we leave (though it’s not hard to find in most supermarkets).
- Last year I tried blanching different vegetables and then vacuum sealing them to freeze for later use. The asparagus was terrible (super watery) and the green beans were just okay. I think I won’t do this again, and I’ll just pick up a few bags of frozen organic green beans and maybe some cauliflower rice at Trader Joe’s, as well as some frozen spinach. Frozen spinach isn’t my favorite on its own, but it’s great to add to soups, an egg scramble, or on top of pizzas for a dose of leafy greens in the boonies.
We’ll let you know if we come up with any other cool ideas, and please feel free to share any of your ideas in the comments!