Thursday, September 25, 2008

Puppy Love

Puppy love is not just for youngsters. Nope, even us older and sometimes wiser people fall head- over- heels when we least expect it. Steve is still numero uno but there is someone new....

The first time I saw him he was acting kind of coy. What a flirt.
He comes from a nice family. His mother is very friendly.
He has lots of sisters and brothers. Good gene pool.
He can be playful and also
He is being kind of cautious right now.
Wants to "think things over"....

He does seem to need alot of naps and he may be a bit young. Oh well, nothing wrong with a little fantasy now and then.

Mama dog (that's what we call her) had 9 puppies. Two did not survive. They are now 4 weeks old. If you want a very cute island dog, come to Grenada and I will show you where they hide out.


S/V Fine Line

Monday, September 22, 2008

Local Flavor

The national dish of Grenada is "Oil Down". Sounds like something that might be fried but there is no oil added to this very popular concoction. The term Oil Down comes from the coconut milk that is used in the preparation and when cooked long enough reduces to coconut oil, or so the story goes?

We had heard alot of this local favorite and when an invitation was issued to boaters to join a community "Oil Down" up in the mountains, who could resist. The local rum shop was the site of our gathering, how convenient!
Pam on Wildcat along with Ruth, the rum shop owner, and her grandson enjoy the cool overcast afternoon. The men do the cooking and all the work that it entails and the women get to sit and chat. Works for me (Anne).The cooking pot is called a "karhee" or simply a curry pot. I'm sure we will see these on Martha Stewart soon so remember, you saw it here first!

Grenada is a very lush island. Lots of things grow here. And everything that grows here goes into the pot. Almost everything. Green plantains and bluggoes are peeled and thrown in whole. They are not sweet. They are very starchy.

Papaya is added for flavor and it has an enzyme that tenderizes everything.Callaloo is a large, elephant ear shaped green plant that is used widely on the island. It cooks down and tastes alot like spinach. Callaloo soup is one of our favorite island dishes. Another main ingredient is breadfruit. Breadfruit was imported (many years ago) to the islands from Tahiti to feed the slaves. It is another mainstay of the islanders and tastes alot like potatoe. It must be peeled by a man!

Coconut and tumeric is grated in large amounts. The grater is not something you will find in your favorite cook shop. It is hand made from scrap metal, punched with a nail and fastened to some sturdy tree branches. Very rustic setup and can only be handled by a man.
Water is added to the coconut/tumeric mixture. Gotta use your hands for this.
And now the coconut milk can be strained into the pot.
Meanwhile, at the firepit, the rest of the cooks are lighting up the embers. Cocounut husks are great firestarters.
And there is no shortage of wood, chop chop, watch your fingers. Don't try this at homeThe ingredients are added to the pot with fine precision.
Can't leave the meat portion of this meal unmentioned. That's chicken wings, pig's tail and pig's snout. Yummmmy! Can't wait for a taste.

And then it was ready for the fire.While we waited for dinner to cook, our host took us for a hike. Hiking here always means walking uphill and downhill. There are very few level walks to be found.Small colorful homes are perched high in the hills.

This is a pod of brazil nuts. They ripen in December. The top pops off and brazil nuts fall to the ground.

We returned from our hike just in time to see the dumplings being added.And soon it was time to eat. It was a great meal we will not soon forget. Thanks to the many cooks and wonderful hosts we left with full bellys. Not a complaint from us do you get this yellow tumeric off Captain Clean's hands?

Be back soon,

Anne and Steve

S/V Fine Line

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Onboard In Grenada

It was a party day on Fine Line as Steve celebrated his 56th b'day.
Friends and neighbors came And soon the driveway was full of dinghys.

With the crowd cheering him on he blew out all the candles in one breath. Wow! Did you make a wish?Tessa helped Steve read his b'day cards. Help, where are my glasses?
The sun chased us from the cockpit to the bow. Staying cool was the number one priority.

Living onboard a boat in the tropics during the heat of summer can be a bit trying. To get a break we took a slip at Clarks Court Bay Marina. We have power, we have water and we can step off the boat whenever we want. The air conditioner is pumping out cool air, the DVD player is entertaining us and we have visited every imaginable web site on the Internet.

We are surrounded by lush hills. The marina has a great bar, pool table, big screen TV and

WEDNESDAY NIGHT HAMBURGER NIGHTLooks good, huh! It is. It is quite a social event. Boaters come from all around.

You meet the greatest people here. This is Anne and Pamela. Pamela is from Copenhagen Denmark. Her little girl is adorable.Young and old, we all line up in front of Chris and his BBQ to wait for our delicious "all meat" hamburger. Many restaurants here serve burger with filler. What do they fill it with???Along with the burger is entertainment. Sometimes it is a movie but our favorite is the steel drum player. He is very good.

See what you think.

We always look forward to touring the islands with a local tour guide. Kennedy from Kennedy Tours took a group of us all over Grenada. His mini-van/taxi had air conditioning. It stays on for the first 15 minutes and then the windows are opened, the air is off and nobody complains. Gas is very expensive here.

Grenada is very lush and green. The scenery is spectacular. We had lunch overlooking this beautiful bay.

The north end of the island offers spectacular views of neighboring islands.Since it is the rainy season, there is no shortage of waterfalls.

Grenada is known as the "Spice Island". The nutmeg in your spice cabinet most likely comes from Grenada.

We visited a nutmeg processing plant and learned all about nutmeg.

It must be dried properly. The racks are on wheels and can easily be pushed under the building if it begins to rain.

Quality control begins here with this group of women. Each nut is scrutinized.The final product has to pass inspection with this lady. Bad nutmeg does not stand a chance with her.It is hard work but should you need a break, the view is fantastic.The final product ready for shipping.Rum is very important on this island.....I mean on all islands. We went to a rum distillery and we were very surprised at how dirty it was. The rum here is not exported. It is 70%+ proof and is not allowed on airplanes. PHOOOOOF, up in flames. Would you drink it?? Steve wont eat Sushi but he will drink this stuff???? So did alot of other people, are they crazy?

Rum is made from sugar cane. It is a long process requiring boiling at various temperatures in these "not-so-clean" vats. See the scum on top? What is that? Good thing you can't see the flies or you might never drink rum again. Sure!The rum is ladled from vat to vat with this high tech ladle.

Soon we were returning to the southern end of the island.

from high in the hills we looked down on the harbor of St. George.

Our tour guide was a wonderful historian. His great grandparents were brought to Grenada from India as indentured servants when slavery was abolished. There are many Middle Eastern people here and they own many of the businesses. There is great Indian food here along with African, French, American (remember the hamburger)and Oriental.

In addition to the great food, the simple fact that most Grenadians like Americans makes this a great stop for us. Many of the locals have not forgotten the 12,000 marines that arrived in 1983 to help restore democracy to this small island nation.

You should definitely visit this island.

From Grenada,

Anne and Steve

S/V Fine Line