25 February 2011

Who needs David Attenborough? (answer below) Also Caribbean Sugar Cakes.

~  Menu  ~

Penne Pasta with Grape Tomatoes and Boursin
Glass of Red Wine
Coffee and a Sugar Cake


Exciting time in the cockpit this morning!



Firstly near the shore we saw a leaping of tiny silver fish. This always looks so lovely but it isn’t!  Soon whatever was chasing them (death in the shape of a larger fish) starting jumping from the sea, landing in the midst of the sparkling little fish and trying to eating them. 

A group of pelicans had assembled on the beach and they suddenly all flew up at once and dived (dove?) into the affray grabbing whatever breakfast they could.  Boobies, attracted by the fracas, joined in and then a frigate bird swept down from the heights to try his luck. He was chased off by the boobies, one of whom made a surprisingly un-booby like noise; a menacing growl.

All of this right by our boat as we were drinking our honey and lemon. (Aside – many years ago whilst sharing a cold we had a honey and lemon drink for breakfast and it was so delicious we have never looked back, this is now our morning drink of choice. Just half a lemon and 2 heaped teaspoons of honey per cup, topped up with boiling water, it is even better than coffee!  Although I do then follow it up with a coffee, just to be on the safe side!)

We have been buying some tiny sweet grape tomatoes but they don’t last long in our less than perfect refrigeration. Today it was a case of use ‘em or lose ‘em so I used them.  I cooked them in some olive oil together with a little finely chopped red onion and then tossed the resulting rustically textured sauce into some penne pasta and Fanny’s my aunt, so to speak.  I could have done with a parmesan sprinkle but c’est la vie.



I displayed the dish on the cabin sole which, for you land lubbers, means floor to us sailing type chaps. The floor looks, and is, great but the picture doesn’t do the meal credit.


For dessert I had a sugar cake, something I have become quite partial to out here which is a shame as they are seriously unhealthy.  Basically sugar cakes are made by melting brown sugar and stirring in coconut and/or nuts (often large pieces of almond) and they are usually flavoured with ginger.

Caribbean Sugar Cake

225 ml water
900g light brown sugar
900g freshly grated coconut (but if fresh not available use my recipe here)
1 tsp ground ginger,
½ tsp of cream of tartar
coarsely chopped almonds (or other nuts of choice)

~   Bring the sugar and water to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar, and then simmer to a light syrup.

~   Add the coconut, the ginger and the cream of tarter cook till the mixture easily leaves the side of the pan.

~   Remove from the heat and beat with a spoon for 5 minutes!
~   Add chopped nuts and mix in thoroughly.
~   Drop tablespoonfully onto a greased baking sheet and leave to harden.
~   Have a lie down till your arm stops hurting.
~   When the cakes are dried out store in an airtight container.



I think we all need Sir David Attenborough who, for anyone who hasn’t heard of him, is a hugely respected naturalist (I think that’s the right word, I don’t mean he spends a lot of time in the nude) and broadcaster who has, for over fifty years been showing us the wonders of the natural world, for which I thank him.






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1 comment:

Charlotte Oates said...

These Caribbean sugar cakes sound just lovely? I bought a fresh coconut this morning and I'm now feeling very tempted to grate it up and give these a try!