Posted on: March 14, 2011 Posted by: Cole Ruth Comments: 0

High drama on the river
Last night in the middle of the night I heard whispers outside the hatch that opens into the main salon where I currently sleep. I jumped up and threw open the doors. A teenage girl, standing less than a foot away, let out a high-pitched scream that echoed across the river.

“There are people sleeping on this boat,” I said, “It’s not a toy.”

“I didn’t know,” she replied. “We’re getting off!”

This was not the first time I’d heard footsteps above me in the night (and it surely 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
Today the Old Cook made 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. 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 currants.

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.