Sunday, April 18, 2010

Cocktails At Sea

When a fellow cruiser calls on the VHF and asks  you over to their boat for drinks, it helps to know the unwritten rules of coctails at sea. 

  Always bring your own grog.
  Polite cruisers always bring their own snacks and are usually asked back again.
  Leave before supper hour unless things are otherwise indicated.

There are also a few idioms it is helpful to understand before you acquiesce to cocktail invitations.

  "Light hors d'heurves" means small snacks that won't spoil your dinner.
  "Heavy hors d'heurves" means lay it on--this is the meal, and you had better bring something good.
 "Do you Farkle?" means you will be asked to participate in games.
 "They've just come over" means that the people on said boat are straight from the mainland and have fresh provisions, like good cheese, fruits and veggies, and possibly cookies.  Don't miss this event.

Last summer on Long Island Sound, our friend on S/V Tosca (who has never cruised the Bahamas) invited us aboard his sailing vessel for cocktails.  We went with the usual bottle of wine for me, a container of rum and coke for Buz and a plate of nibblies to share.  On our arrival, our host was completely taken aback. 

-Why did you bring all that? 

-He's just being polite, we thought.

As he ushered us below, a sight like none I've ever seen on a cruising vessel met my eyes.  Soft jazz serenaded our ears.  Delicious aromas got our noses twitching and the spread laid out before us was spectacular.  It was supper.  Our Tosca host prides himself on his Italian cooking skills and his sommelier nose.  One of his hor d'heurves that night was

Beets With Spiced Cheese.

Here is a representation of my efforts to reproduce said beets for my dear husband last night.

The humble beets.  Choose ones small enough to be cut into bite-size slices.

Boil beets in water until soft, but not too soft.  The water turns deep red.
Of course, one could use canned beets, but celebrity chef Jamie Oliver would not approve.

Slice to no more than 1/4 inch thick and garnish with spiced cheese. 
Boursin would be perfect, but I used Philadelphia Cream and basil leafs here.

Where's my lemon juice?


The not so willing taster.  "You know beets are not my favorite!"

The reaction.  A picture is worth a thousand words.
Needless to say, I ate all the hors d'heurves for supper along with my meat kabobbs.
They were sweet and delicious and I heartily reccommend them to those who do not have prejudices against them.

Oh, and by the way, here is your standing invitation to cocktails aboard M/V Steadfast next winter.  Unwritten rules apply.  :)
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