The Taste of Freedom

The Taste of Freedom

Crowds beside the lighthouse to welcome us.

There’s something magical about waking up on the hook, the waters around you like glass. The sun coming up over the dunes back on land. More than anything, I wanted to jump off the boat for a morning swim. But that would’ve caused a man overboard call, Harrison informed me the other day. Oh! How I long for my freedom! To jump off an anchored boat whenever I want to!

What was it Captain Dashing said about incarceration?
I’ll be free soon enough.

It was another day spent focusing on making photo-worthy dishes for the audition. It’s a good thing that I have this new reason to cook well, to keep me from getting lazy in my final weeks and making soft tacos and marinara all the time.

I wasn’t able to get a lot of the ingredients I’d hoped for at the market in Frankfort – it was the most overpriced and poorly stocked butcher counter I’ve seen in our travels. The fruit and vegetable selection was equally bad: all of their cherries came from Washington State (!). So what do you do? I reused a lot of ingredients today. The leftover plum salsa went into the chutney at lunch, along with the watermelon pico. I used the steak again (expensive as it was, it fed us three meals!). I was also working under a few other constraints: it was Captain Flash’s last day. I didn’t want to make anything she couldn’t eat. Let me rephrase: I wanted to make sure there was stuff on the table that she would eat.

She likes chicken. She likes rice. She likes chorizo. And carrots.

So I chopped up some carrot sticks. Baked two chickens and made some rice. The rest I’m sure she would’t eat.

At some point after breakfast, J-bird and I discussed this lack of freedom. He had been living on his boat before coming to join us. He’s about ten years older than I am, and thinking about becoming a sea-captain. A bold move, some would say. So he’s trying to get more sea time. He agreed, it’s a strange thing to give up all your freedoms and come to this. “I’m still getting used to it,” he said.

He’s been lucky enough to sleep in the main salon until now, because the fo’c’s’le has been full, but with Butler’s departure, he’s been asked to move on in. I don’t know how I’d cope in a little space with a bunch of 21-year-olds. After dinner, when we were cleaning up, I played him this brilliant story by Boris Timanovsky called Pen Pal, which I heard on the Moth podcast. You’ll just have to listen to it to see how it ties in.

Gone
After dinner a bunch of us had a drink at the bar to toast Captain Flash on the eve of her departure. Then Buttons serenaded Cap on her ukulele with a song she wrote. It was a strangely low-key ending to her time with us. I feel like we should have been dancing and blowing horns. I feel like, most of all, we were missing a few key players: Bly and Rigby and Smith for starters. Missing elements aside, I hope she knows how much we enjoyed her leadership.

Butler also left today, to get to college orientation. Yep. Young thing. And we’re back down to ten again.

Navajo taco.

Thursday’s Menu
Breakfast
Wheat germ pancakes
Sausage links
Lunch
Chicken and rice with:
Plum and apricot chutney
Carrots pan-seared in rice wine vinegar, salt and pepper
Spinach sautéed with garlic, salt, pepper, sriracha and soy sauce
Reduction sauce made from reducing the liquid I cooked the brisket in on Wednesday night
Dinner
Navajo tacos:
Fly bread
Pineapple fried rice with carrots and onions for Eve, and another version with chorizo and no onions for Captain Flash
Pickled red onions
Pickled banana peppers
Chipotle mayonnaise
Watermelon pico de gayo (I still had watermelon I needed to use)
And leftover steak