Cardamom Scented Applesauce and the Good Life

We had a heck of a sail back to Noumea the other day, stronger than expected winds, low cloud, and constant rain cut visibility down to half a mile and made for a pretty bumpy ride. When we hit the grocery store late that afternoon there was a cart full of must-go’s in the produce section. I found a bag of apples on super sale, about $1.50, which is a forth of their regular price. They were a little dinged up but not full of bruises, it was too good to pass up.

Apples are fruit I grew up with. A 50lb clear plastic bag, bought right from the grower on a crisp fall weekend, would stand in the corner of the cool pantry for months. During the first weeks of winter we’d still get crunchy apples in our lunch bags. As the season wore on, and the fruit started to perish, my Mother would turn them into apple pies for Sunday dinners.

But there aren’t that many apple trees in the tropics, and usually what I find at the market is either expensive and small, or expensive and old, or just plain ridiculously expensive. And with all the cool weather and pines trees in New Caledonia I was craving a good apple. It was obvious that these apples were not in good enough shape to just eat but a kilo of apples would make a nice batch of apple sauce. Continue reading

Breadfruit Gnocchi

Equipment fails and things break but life doesn’t stop. There are still dental appointments and piles of stinky laundry and a sink full of dirty dishes. Amidst the chaos and frustration we still have to eat.

The easy way out in times like these would be to have a hot shower and treat ourselves to a meal ashore. But, like everywhere else in the world, eating out every night becomes an expensive way to swallow your troubles.

Last week, while Steve was covered in diesel reinstalling the lift pump on the engine, back from the repair shop for the third time I might add, I waded though the disarray and cleared a little counter space in the galley. There was no way I could help with the engine, and according to the events of the previous day chances are if I tried I would only make things worse. So I figured that getting a jump on dinner, making sure that at the end of the day, when we are both hot and sweaty and too exhausted to think that a healthy, substantial meal would be quick and easy. You might call me crazy but I whipped up a batch of gnocchi. Continue reading