Saturday, August 1, 2015

More Views From the Galley

August 2015
Welcome to my galley as we cruise in SE Alaska, most recently between Sitka and Petersburg. The views from the galley reflect change. Most noticeable is the change in weather, moving from unusually warm and sunny days to those more typical in SE Alaska - cool, gray and damp. There are some positive sides to this cooling trend. Many people and some small settlements rely on catchment for their water supply, and the recent dry stretch has been a challenging problem for them. Returning salmon require a substantial stream or river outflow before they will run upstream to spawn, so fish and fishermen alike welcome the rain. Myself, I don’t mind viewing the world through a misty filter, bathed in an amazing assortment of soft gray tones… for a week or two anyway. My camera isn’t quite so fond of the moisture.

Berry production certainly benefitted from Alaska’s long hours of summer daylight and several months of sunny weather. We ate berries by the handful, by the bowlful, by the bucketful; blackberries, multicolored salmon berries, huckleberries and blueberries. Here’s a caution to share before someone is tempted to nibble while berrypicking: huckleberries and blueberries may contain protein! I’ve learned to toss my harvested berries into a sink full of water after picking. Tiny green worms will wiggle and wriggle their way out of many of the ripe berries, making it easy to separate fruit from critters once they’re all submerged.

Our July onboard boat guest has flown home, but this photo of her scrumptious hostess gift remains. We ate all of the other chocolates before I remembered to grab a photo! Sinfully rich dark chocolate… toasted almonds… buttery caramel… oh my! Need I say more, other than “Thanks, Laci.”?!

Two other food gifts paired perfectly this month. This freshly-baked round of Adele’s Norwegian Rye Bread, flavored with orange zest and fennel, is our newest favorite loaf, scrumptious plain or toasted. Add a dollop of tangy, citrusy sweetness from Tanya’s homemade Yuma Orange Marmalade and it’s a heavenly slice. Alaskan Bread and Arizona Marmalade didn’t last long in this galley – I need these recipes, girlfriends. Thank you, Adele and Tanya, we loved every single bite!

Two people need all of those mugs? Well, yes we do. When friends visit the galley it helps to have different designs available to keep straight which mug belongs to which person… just don’t touch that blue salmon mug! It’s always mine -- I set the galley rules and some days I just don’t need one more challenge.  

A recent addition to boat cookware has performed admirably on the new cooktop. This heavy aluminum griddle heats more evenly than expected, nearly eliminating the hot spots and cold corners of previous skillets and electric fry pans. Fluffy sourdough pancakes and thin Swedish pancakes never looked or tasted better. An unexpected bonus has been the thawing feature; solidly frozen steaks, chops and fillets defrost in much less time when set atop the griddle instead of on the counter. Something about heat transfer, or rate of transfer, or temperature equalization… or maybe it’s just magic. Whatever the scientific explanation, I like it.

The herb garden fights for survival against heavy odds. Whiteflies took an early toll, wiping out indoor basil and mint and outdoor oregano and chives. Birds pecked away at something and uprooted the Italian parsley. Now the rains threaten to wash out sage, savory and replanted oregano. Rosemary continues to sulk, and remains the same size it was months ago. Only the heliotrope thrives in any weather, somehow repelling insects and destructive birds. Too bad the hummingbirds seem to have disappeared now that the rains have returned.    

Early in the morning, when I’m not cooking or baking or gazing out the galley windows, you might find me sipping a cup of Jasmine green tea and knitting away on the latest project. This month it has been colorful wool socks. With the current 50ish degree days, I won’t have to wait for winter to wear this latest pair!

I ‘m still working on new ways to cook our salmon catch. There’s always a batch of lox underway in the galley, but dinners invite more creativity. The latest new preparation was a savory Salmon roasted with Puttanesca Sauce and served on pasta. link It may be  is a weird-sounding combination but was actually quite delicious. The sauce and seafood pairing was tasty enough to try it again, with salmon and with halibut. Leftover salmon, sauce and pasta make a scrumptious frittata as well. Definition of scrumptious: the Capt. requested I make it again.

And… one last photo from this month that I couldn’t resist sharing… just because. Don’t you love the expression on this youngster, perhaps last year’s grizzly cub? Do you suppose he ever tires of salmon? He doesn’t look too eager to share his just-caught salmon, or to pose for the camera. (Safety note: I was safely distant, well up the bank on the opposite side of the stream, and used a long camera lens to get this shot and many others. link I don’t get too close to any bear, ever!)

Thanks for joining me for a peek In My Galley this month, and a big thank you to Celia at FigJamandLimeCordial who organizes this monthly roundup of visits to kitchens all over the globe. Drop by for a visit. You meet such interesting people in busy kitchens, and every month the cast of characters changes a bit.


  1. Awwwwww, love the bear with the salmon shot.

  2. What a lovely post. So interesting. What a wonderful experience. I would love to visit Alaska in the summer months. I have never heard of salmon berries and I've never tried a huckleberry. How lovely to have such abundance of berries but I do like mine without the protein. That's a fantastic photo of the bear! xx

  3. i adore those mugs! so gorgeous. and what about those multi-coloured berries? so scrumptious. and i love the bear shot! your pancakes look rather delicious too. i love this post!

  4. Those mugs are beautiful, my parents brought back some from Alaska last time they were there. Love the berries, and a little extra protein never hurt anyone haha! I usually soak my berries in a 1% vinegar-water solution(10 minutes then rinse) and it gets all the bugs out but it also stops mold from growing so I can store them for a few days. I do love your views! :)


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