Kitchen

The Lékué Silicone Bread Maker

I am not a baker. At all. I very rarely make cookies, and I seldom even buy bread. But a friend of ours recently told us about this Lékué silicone bread maker (it's really just a floppy bowl with a slot and a tab) and I thought it might be cool for the boat and/or the Airstream when we did want some bread. 

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(I got mine here for $35)

I first tried the easiest recipe in the book that comes with the Lékué: Quick No-Knead Bread. It's basically flour, yeast, salt, water...mix together right in the bowl, let proof for an hour at room temperature (or 10 hours in the fridge overnight) and then microwave for 3 minutes (totally not baking). It was good, but definitely could have used some oven heat for making the crust nicer.

Last night I went for the second easiest recipe: Easy-to-Make No-Knead Bread. Flour, water, salt, yeast, olive oil. Mix all ingredients together in the bowl, cover the bowl with a towel and let proof overnight. I stuck it in the warming drawer (off) to rise overnight and it was nice and bubbly this morning. I sprinkled some chia seeds on top and then closed up the bowl around the dough.

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Into the oven it went! The instructions said to bake for 40 minutes at 392 degrees F then turn the dough over and put back in the oven for 10 more minutes. And then...we had bread! I'm a baker! (Not really.) But look!

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It turned out great...fluffy inside with a light and crunchy crust on the outside.

This Lékué silicone bread maker is going to be super handy. Mixing the dough right in the same vessel you cook the bread in saves a lot of work and cleanup. This no-knead recipe is easy, and can be modified for a whole wheat version as well. The Lékué is even dishwasher safe! 


Calamity Comes to Willow

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The dinnerware we have on Airship is the blue Willow pattern. There was something that really appealed to me about this traditional, blue and white pattern when we were outfitting the boat.

At some point a couple years ago, I became aware of artist Don Moyer. Don was just starting to design a series of plates based on the Willow design. He called his dinnerware Calamityware. It was dark and funny, and we loved it. He began with a Kickstarter project, plate by plate. His first four plates were 1/Flying Monkeys, 2/Giant Robot, 3/Voracious Sea Monster, and 4/UFO Invasion. Word spread and Don and his crazy plates gained popularity, and so another set of four was born. The next set was called 5/Pirates in the Neighborhood, 6/Rambunctious Volcano, 7/Tentacles! and 8/the Vortex of Doom.

So now, we have integrated Calmityware along with our Willow, and it's a fabulous union. Plate on the left: Vortex of Doom. Plate on the right: Willow:

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Pirates in the Neighborhood (with detail):

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Pirates

UFO invasion:

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Sea monster (detail):

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Recently, Don created some Calamity mugs called "Things Could Get Worse" and they've got it all...a giant frog, pterodactyls, robots, a zombie poodle, Bigfoot, UFOs, sea monsters, pirates, and more! We added a set of four of these to the collection:

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The Calamityware is a bit bluer and a bit lighter than the Willow, but it all goes quite nicely together.

(Additional images courtesy of the Calamityware website.)


A Few Things for Airship

I've been wanting a butter bell for the boat, and found this cool one made by Red Wing Stoneware in Minnesota:

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Red Wing Stoneware Co. butter bell ($35) from Duluth PackButter goes in the part on the right, water goes in the part on the left, and when put together the water creates an airtight seal on the butter so it stays fresh and soft (and I don't have to keep it in the fridge on the boat, which is nice, since the fridge is small).

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I picked up some of these cloth napkins for the boat (from Clear Sky Home on Etsy) ... planning to use less paper products while cruising (especially cruising in more remote areas, since it's tougher to get rid of trash as often).

They don't match our plates at all, but who cares? How cute are these? 

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(I got these yellow ones too, which really don't match our plates. I'm thinking they might clash enough to totally work together.)

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Kevin and I each got ourselves a pair of Xtratufs (also called Alaskan sneakers, Alaskan slippers, Sitka slippers, etc.). These will come in super handy in the wet Southeast AK weather and when getting in and out of the dinghy and exploring (also when fishing and oystering here at home in the Pacific Northwest). They're completely waterproof and highly recommended by Alaskans everywhere:

XtratufsAnd last but not least, we ordered a new tandem kayak for Airship. We looked at several, and our original plan after seeing them at the Seattle Boat show was to go with the Airis Tandem by Walker Bay, but after a bunch of research, we ended up going with the Sea Eagle 385 Fast Track. It packs down remarkably small for a tandem kayak (good for carrying on the boat), is very quick to set up (also important), and has great reviews. We'll let you know after we've used it a bit.

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Our "Get Ready/To Do List for Alaska" is pretty standard at this point (we've done a ton already, including boat maintenance and some extra safety provisioning). From now until when we leave in May, it's all about stuff like procuring a couple more spare parts we want to have with us, getting extra Nespresso pods and Sodastream fizzers, oil and filters for a couple oil changes, miscellaneous extra tools, a Costco run, updating the Garmin charts to the latest greatest, getting some fishing gear and maybe another crab trap, more Merino wool socks, etc.

It was exciting planning our Alaska meet up with Tiffani and Deke with them while we were visiting in North Carolina this past week. Their plan is to meet us in Juneau mid/late June and then travel with us down to Petersburg, with proposed stops at Taku Harbor, Tracy Arm and Sawyer Glacier, Petersburg, LeConte Glacier, Thomas Bay, Pybus Bay, several spots on Baranof Island (including the warm springs), and then heading around to Sitka where we plan to spend the 4th of July. They'll fly home from Sitka, and we'll continue on south.

We leave in just over a month--it's so close (and yet so far...650+ nautical miles from Anacortes to Ketchikan, and then most people do another 1000+ nm in SE Alaska. Sam and Mark said most people go at least 2300 nm on a trip like this, and that it’s easy to go 3500 nm). We're SO excited!