Meraviglia moored in Caneel Bay

Current Location: St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands. We’re slowly circumnavigating this small island, moving from one beautiful beach to the next. Almost all of the island is part of the U.S. National Park System, so it’s great for hiking and natural beauty.

Breakfast skillet

One of the questions we got recently, and answered in a post, was about what we eat on Meraviglia. I thought I would follow that up because yesterday I did the cooking and, well, it was pretty good! Yesterday being Mother’s Day, I wanted to do something special for Kim. Her idea of a perfect day is pretty much sitting on the beach all day, so that’s what we did. My “love language” is food, so I wanted to make her something special. When we lived on land, Kim generally did the day-to-day meal preparation: weeknight dinners. I then cooked on the weekends. I really enjoy stretching myself and trying new things, so my meals tended to be pretty elaborate or involved attempting things we had never done before. On the boat, that tended to go away. First, we are obviously more limited in our kitchen tools. Second, we can’t just run to the store for special ingredients. And third, I have usually been beat after fixing the boat all day. As a result, I have not done much cooking. Breakfasts sometimes and anything that involved the grill have been the limit of my cooking contributions on board Meraviglia. With Mother’s Day, I wanted to start to change that.

For breakfast, I made a “skillet”. It’s not something I have a recipe for-it just depends on what I have available. I usually make a “crust” of shredded potatoes in a cast iron skillet, then pile in sauteed onions, peppers, and bacon (because, while we don’t eat much meat, Kim LOVES bacon). Over that, I pour beaten eggs and top it with cheese. I broil it until browned and serve. Voila! This time, I added some baking powder tot he eggs to get some rise/fluffiness and it turned out pretty well!

At the end of the day, I moved on to dinner. Italian is may go-to, so that’s what I did. Finally, after 10 months living aboard, I brought out the pasta maker! Making fresh pasta always sounds super fancy, but it’s really pretty easy: mix together flour and egg into a dough, knead, roll out, and cut. Deceptively simple. And the difference between fresh and dried pasta is HUGE! On land, I used a combination of different flours to adjust texture, etc., but on board, AP flour works just fine. Fortunately, the pasta machine is hand-crank, so no power needed! I also made a marinara from scratch-also super simple. We like Marcella Hazan’s recipe for marinara. There are only four ingredients: onion, canned San Marzano tomatoes, butter, and salt. Throw it all in a saucepan for 45 minutes and you have a great marinara. It also gave me a chance to use our immersion blender! After that it was just a matter of grating some parmesan cheese, warming some bread, and we had a great Italian dinner on board. Pretty darn fun, too! Hopefully now as we settle in to this life, I’ll have the motivation to do more cooking. I hope so anyway! So does Kim.