Typical warm front weather, with lots of drizzling rain. The visibility is not too bad, about two miles I would say. But the rain is enough to have the saloon door closed against the driven splatter, making the atmosphere inside quite stuffy.
It also makes for quite close personal spaces, as everybody now has to sit either in the saloon or in their cabins. Cabins get stuffy too, so the conversation is somewhat subdued as well. The conversation is halting, stuttering, stumbling along. It feels almost like the weather has cast a wet blanket on everything, including the intrepid crew aboard our little vessel in this huge ocean.
Not being able to see far also has a side effect of dampening the conversation.
Needless to say, there is no chance of a sun shot today, as the sun is hidden behind the clouds. This makes for some interesting navigation practice for me, as there are now several factors to keep track of. We have now turned away from the South American cast and are making way towards the famous island of Barbados. The wind is fickle and we are losing the current as well.
With no sun I am now facing the challenge of determining a position by dead reckoning over a 48 hour period, complete with a guesstimate (fancy word for wild arse guess) of the change in the current and our effective distance and course made good. Hopefully the weather will clear sufficiently by tomorrow to allow a sun sight.
Today is my turn at the galley again. Our provisions are running low and the fresh vegetables are beginning to go off, so my choice was in this direction. Boerewors, mash, gravy, gem squash with butter and some sweet corn. Traditional South African fare.
The boerewors is done with a bit of a twist. This traditional South African sausage is fried in light butter until almost done, then simmered for a minute or two in some soy sauce garnish. The soy sauce adds a little flavour to the wors.
The gravy is then made by frying chopped onions in the pan fats, adding some water and perhaps a little stock for a creaminess. The sauce can be further thickened by mixing in a spoonful of the mash.
The gem squash is steamed along with the potatoes as they boil. This saves on dirty pots and pans. When done, the pips are removed and the flesh scooped out straight on to the dinner plate. Our sugar is running low, so there is only butter in the squash, with the sweet corn accompaniment bringing sufficient sweetness to the dish.
Voila! A traditional dinner.
400 g boerewors
6 medium potatoes, peeled
4 gem squashes
2 onions chopped
1 can sweetcorn
dot butter for every gem squash
dollop butter for frying
Some milk for the mash
salt to taste for the mash
Vegetable stock to taste for the gravy
3-4 tablespoons soy sauce
Fry the boerewors in a little butter. When almost done, add the soy sauce and simmer for two to three minutes. Remove the wors from the pan and keep warm. Add the chopped onions to the fluids in the pan and fry until the onions are translucent. Add some water for more gravy. Add to this some vegetable stock for flavour, if you so wish. Simmer the gravy until it all has cooked through, then add some mashed potato to thicken the gravy. Add the boerewors back to repose in the gravy.
The potatoes are peeled, then sliced reasonably thin. Not cubed. The thickest dimension should be no more than 10mm/ just a tad under half an inch. Thin vegetables cook faster. Add the halved gem squashes to the potato pot to steam. They will cook faster than the potatoes anyway, since they are less dense than the potatoes.
When done, remove the squashes from the pot and scoop out the flesh from the skins. Add a dollop of butter for some creaminess.
When the potatoes are done, pour off the water, then mash them in the pot. Add some salt to taste and some milk for creaminess.
Then dish up. As simple as that.
Authored by Johan Zietsman
Last updated on 2013-10-30