Sunday 16 September 2012

2nd Leg Day 30: Anticipation And Risotto

We sailed through the moonlit night continuing our Caribbean welcome. The wind was fair, light in the lee of the islands, fresh in the straits between. A large sailing catamaran passed us like a ghost in the night. Or perhaps like a large swan on the wind, under full sail. Quite romantic in the bright silvery moonlight.

It is almost light enough to read. Certainly to make coffee without having any lights on. Tonight we shall have almost no darkness, as the moon is almost full. You get the feeling that you have travelled through a dream into the pages of Lord of the Rings. The yacht passing us in the night certainly added to the atmosphere.

You can feel the anticipation on board. St Maarten is maddeningly close. Two hours by car on land. Cape Town to Langebaan. Pretoria to Dullstroom. Johannesburg to Kroonstad. Interesting how one's perspective of distance changes when travelling on the water. And it feels like time is standing still. And then we found the mast is loose in its fittings. Well, that is the best description that we can come up with. Hopefully the last of our woes, after the water in the diesel two days ago. The loose mast put and end to our sailing, let alone using the mainsail in these close to optimal sailing conditions.

Now is the time to dig into the inner self and find the now, the essence of life. Then live in it. This is widely described. Eckhard Tolle has written a whole book: The Power of Now. All about suppressing your ego and allowing your self to enjoy the now. Feel the glow. It hurts to suppress your ego. But the result is an experience of a peace beyond one's wildest expectations. Zen Buddhism also has it. Something to nurture.

And to carry one through these trying times.

 It's as if some force of darkness wants to keep us from completing our set task by casting obstacles in our way. Well, we have around forty miles left to go on this leg of the voyage. That will bring our distance logged on this voyage up to 5630 nautical miles. Just under a quarter of the way around the globe.

It was my last turn at the galley tonight. I made the last risotto for this leg.

Chicken Risotto Number 3


250 gram deboned chicken breasts, cubed into thumb size cubes

1 cup rice

1 onion, chopped

¼ teaspoon coriander seeds (dhania)

¼ teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera) I know this is not Italian, but what the heck, add some exotic flavour

½ hot chili, chopped

½ teaspoon chopped garlic

½ carrot, finely chopped

¼ cup fresh cream

½ cup white wine

½ cup vegetable or chicken stock. I used chicken stock.

3 dried mushrooms, rehydrated in hot water, thinly sliced. Use the hot water afterwards for the chicken stock.

Dollop of cooking oil

½ cup of frozen stir fry vegetables

1 teaspoon salt

freshly ground black pepper to taste

1-2 cups hot water, as required


Fry the coriander seeds in a dry pan until the flavour comes out, then add the cooking oil. Add the chicken and mushrooms as soon as the oil is hot enough. Fry these until the chicken is nice and brown and begins to stick to the frying pan. Remove the chicken and mushroom from the pan, add a little more oil, the onion, carrots and chili and fry until the onion goes brown. Add the uncooked rice. Keep on stirring and add the chicken stock. When the stock has been absorbed, add the wine. When the wine has been absorbed, add hot water a little at a time. When the rice is almost done, add the frozen peas and the rest of the stir fry vegetables, You will not be stir frying them this time around, the vegetables are there for some flavour and texture. Lastly, add the cream. Stir continuously to ensure that nothing sticks to the frying pan and burns.

Add salt and pepper to taste and dish up.

Bon appetit!

Authored by Johan Zietsman

Last updated on 2013-05-07

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