Friday, November 27, 2009

Giving Thanks

Isla San Francisco, BCS, Mexico
November 26, 2009

Isla San Francisco Anchorage

Eastern Baja California coastline from Isla San Francisco

I could get all philosophical here and wax nostalgic for the true meaning of Thanksgiving, but suffice to say that sitting on our aft deck with our old friends the Giffords and a new friend, singlehander Jesse watching the sun go down after a fabulous turkey dinner, my crew and I have quite a lot for which we are thankful. I must say we miss our family and the traditions that we hold dear this time of year, but this really wasn't a bad substitute. I am guess that the weather on the beach here on Isla San Francisco was just a touch warmer than the Thanksgiving weather that we usually have at Long Beach, at least requiring quite a few less layers of clothing.
We were going to try to have an all solar cooked feast, but a thin cloud cover for a good part of the morning foiled those plans. We did cook the turkey breasts part way in the solar oven and just finished them off in the oven on the boat. We cheated with powdered garlic mashed potatoes, gravy from a packet and stove top stuffing, but the waldorf salad, the pumpkin pie and the candied yams (which I believe involved rum) were fit for any land lubber's holiday table.
The turkey breasts were an adventure in themselves. Last week, I went looking at the Gringo style supermarket for the ultimate Thanksgiving cheater, Butterball turkey breasts. After years of never having enough white meat, my mom decided to try one of these prepared turkey products. We aren't sure what chemicals the good folks at Butterball inject into these chunks of meat, nor do we necessarily WANT to know - but they are really GOOD! The "Fiesta de Pavo" as the meat department senora called it in La Paz is not a huge deal here in Mexico, though someone seems to have realized that a significant number of Gringos will be asking for turkeys in mid to late November. Anyway, no Butterball frozen turkey breast were not available, however I spotted turkey drumsticks and chicken breasts. So without having to point to my own breast (I used the word on the chicken breast package: "pechuga"), I was able to procure 4 nice frozen pechugas de pavos!!! Only having ever cooked a turkey once in my life (for my preschool class about 10 years ago and it involved a brown paper bag), I winged it today with pretty darn good results. The men (my father and brother) in my family cook the turkeys.
We had quite a spread of food in the cockpit where everyone loaded up their plates. The adults retired to the aft deck where Brad had our camp chairs set up and had rigged a nice table using a milk crate, the storm covers for our windows, the cooler, and a couple old cushions. The kids ate down at the salon table. As we finished our feast the sun set on the mountains of the southern Baja to our west. We enjoyed coffee and dessert by candlelight in the cockpit. Then evening was capped off with cards for the adults and a movie for the kids. All in all, a great Thanksgiving!

I am thankful for my boys!

PJ and Behan atop a ridge on Isla San Francisco

Kids climbing up a ridge

Monopoly in the forepeak while dinner was being finished

Brad carves the pechugas de pavos

The "kid table"

Thanksgiving Dinner on the aft deck of Capaz

radio email processed by SailMail
for information see:

1 comment:

Barbara and Harry said...

Your Thanksgiving sounds perfect! I especially love hearing what the boys are learning about places other than the Northwest and about the marine environment. Small world. I learned from your mom at the SYC sailboat awards dinner that my dad, Fr Vruwink, married you! Are you going up to Loreto?