New Food Forays and Staple Fish Stories

(Coral Hook, NW Makemo, Tuamotus, French Polynesia)

I’m going to take a quick moment to talk about my recent exploits in the kitchen then we’ll get right back to the fish stories. Okay? Okay.

First let me say I never thought I’d be carrying on about my culinary accomplishments, though I also never dreamed I’d be sailing in the Tuamotus living on the good graces of our canned food cupboard. Secondly, I used to owe all my cooking capital to me friend Jocelyn and now I’ve added another name to that list. Sally Fallon, the author of Nourishing Traditions. Since receiving a digital copy from Megan – who should also go on the everything-I-know-I learned-from list – I’ve been broadening my realm of galley possibilities.

Here’s a little thought of thought from me. Any prepared product you can buy in the store, must first have been made at home in someone’s kitchen. So with that always in mind I’ve dove head first into a slew of new recipes. It started one morning when our favourite denver sandwiches ran out of ketchup to dip into. In comes a can of tomato paste, a splash of vinegar, and some sweet Fatu Hivan honey, and voila, ketchup to rival the Heinz family tradition. From there, and with the help of Sally, it was a bit of a snowball effect. Currently my inaugural batch of ginger beer is in its brew stage, we’re enjoying our third batch of homemade yogurt, and just today I mixed up a jar of vitamin-charged, enzyme-laden kimchi.

It still kind of surprises me that I can be so stoked over my latest edible accomplishment, yet how can I not be? We’re eating whole, nutrient-rich food free of unnecessary processing and unpronounceable ingredients. It’s a win all across the board. And besides, what’s not to get jazzed up about a living sourdough starter sitting on my counter? Albeit I only have to feed it once a day, it’s like the pet I never had.

Alright, I’ll stop rambling on about food now and get back to the fish stories.

We moved up the atoll today, and like anytime Oceanna is in motion we had all the fishing lines out the back. Gregory was in the middle of one of his “Future Greg” video diaries – a growing compilation I wish I could share although the island paradise wifi connections aren’t really capable of uploading them – when the scream of a line cut through the air. He skipped frantically about, as he does in these situations, put the camera down still rolling, and pulled hard back to set the hook. After a brief, fiery battle the fish gave up and was easily reeled in. To our delight we had caught a jobfish! A cautious and alert fish the boys had been looking to spear as they are a prize to bag and five-star eating.

Once we set the anchor in a picturesque coral hook we threw healthy thoughts to the wind and celebrated our big catch and recently bought potatoes (near the only “fresh” vegetable to be had in the Tuamotus) with fish & chips and cold beer!

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Pressing the kimchi down to start the fermentation process.

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The tasty Jobfish!

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Racing to catch Tamata.

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Tamata looking fast with her massive genoa.

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Caught em!

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The all important, life extending wrapping of baguettes. Get them while you can, then attempt to make them last as long as possible. They have a varied life from fresh to French Toast.

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