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From the Galley: Moroccan Chicken, Pumkin and Lentil Soup

Posted in: Featured, From the Galley on Saturday, May 10th, 2014
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Winter is coming and apart from hordes of white walkers from the North it also means it’s soup weather. YAY!

I cooked my first soup of the season Monday night.  A Moroccan Chicken, Pumpkin and Lentil soup.  Not only was it the first soup of the season but it was also my first pumpkin soup and it was soup-er delicious.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 chicken thighs, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon Moroccan seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1kg pumpkin, diced
  • 1 cup dried red lentils
  • salt and pepper
  • fresh chives, chopped

Method

    1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Over medium heat add the onion and garlic and cook until soft, add the chicken thighs and cook for a further 10 minutes.
    2. Stir the Moroccan seasoning and ground cumin.
    3. Add the stock, pumpkin and lentils. Bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes or until pumpkin is soft.
    4. Puree the soup in a blender until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
    5. Spoon the soup into bowls and garnish with chives. Serve with crusty bread.

Notes

  • Butternut pumpkin is the best pumpkin to use for soups. It is easy to cut and remove the skin and it tastes real good.
  • We don’t have a blender on board. They are too big and power hungry not to mention we didn’t have one to bring with us. But we do have a Kambrook stick mixer on board that is finally earning it’s keep. It worked just as well.
  • Make sure you have a big container to store the left overs. Because there will be left overs. Ben and I got two meals out of it with a few lunches thrown in. A very economical meal.

 

Dice the onion fine and crush the garlic.

Dice the onion fine and crush the garlic.

Butternut Pumpkin is the best.

Butternut Pumpkin is the best.

Ain't nobody here but us chickens.

Ain’t nobody here but us chickens.

All together now, in the pot and cooking.

All together now, in the pot and cooking.

 

Mmmm pureed pumpkiny goodness!

Mmmm pureed pumpkiny goodness!

Served and ready to eat with crusty fresh bread.

Served and ready to eat with crusty fresh bread.

 

 

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A clean bottom

Posted in: Featured, Maintenance on Saturday, May 3rd, 2014
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Tygress has a clean bottom!

It’s been long overdue but we finally hauled Tygress out and had her anti-fouled.

For those who don’t know, anti-fouling is basically a special coat of paint applied to the hull of boats to prevent marine growth i.e. barnacles, algae etc. Once marine growth gets a hold on the hull it can be very hard to remove and not only that but fouling of the hull will affect the boats movement through the water.

 

Early morning in the channel.

Early morning in the channel.

Getting her from our marina berth to the travel lift was a short trip to the other side of the harbour but as with all trips made in such close confines it was a little stressful. For me anyway.  Ben, as usual, handled Tygress in his calm, competent ‘born-to-do-it’ manner.  We docked her without any major drama and before long she was being poled into the lift cradle.  This is the second time we’ve watched Tygress come out, the first time back in 2011 when she was undergoing her prepurchase survey. I was quite relaxed about it then, after all, she wasn’t yet our boat and if something went wrong we could just walk away. This time though we owned her, she was our boat and home of two years. So we watched like hawks, was she in the slings properly? I kept thinking please don’t drop her.

Being moved into the slings. You can see them hanging down into the water.

Being moved into the slings. You can see them hanging down into the water.

Before the lift reached full height they realised we hadn’t taken down our antennas which are quite high and were at risk of hitting the lift structure.  Ben crossed the large gap back onboard and working at a dizzying height from the water below slowly and surely removed all the bolts and brought the anttenas down. Then Ben jumped back off again and she was rolled over solid ground.

Up and out, Ben onboard taking down the antennas.

Up and out, Ben onboard taking down the antennas.

Watching Tygress slowly come out of the water we were surprised at the level of growth on her hull. It was bad, but we had expected much worse. Something along the lines of the hanging gardens of Babylon.

Pressure spraying the gunk away.

Pressure spraying the gunk away.

We were pleased to see that Tygress still had some her sacrificial anodes left. We had been worried that they’d been completely eaten away and that electrolysis was affecting the hull. Needless to say she now has three brand new ones.

Once out of the water, she had to be pressure sprayed clean. A process that revealed more than a few barnacles and blisters. But otherwise the hull was in good condition.   We were unable to stay onboard while she was on the hard so we stayed with my parents for the week and Fluffy had a holiday with the good people at Coltrandi Pet Specialists. There may have been a few tears when it came time to leave him and more than a few when it was time to bring him home.

Graeme and Karen from Bayside Boat Repairs handled the antifouling for us and did a wonderful job. Tygress is protected and ready for another year or two in the water.

Matt black and ready for another year or two in the water.

Matt black and ready for another year or two in the water.

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