13 August 2011

The Woman's Guide to Boating and Cooking

So you are thinking to yourself, "I really need a good book on sailing and cooking." Well look no farther than The Woman's Guide to Boating and Cooking by Lael Morgan. Not one to spend a great deal of time on the lesson taking approach to sailing, Morgan married a man who liked to sail and travel so they bought a boat and with no experience, Morgan became the first mate, quite literally. And also the cook.

The first half of the book is about sailing. Written in the late 1960's, it might just seem that Mrs. Morgan was at sea during the Women's Movement judging from this observation:

"Women who love to sail are as rare as cats who swim for pleasure. My husband can sail for hours and enjoy playing with the wind and current. I have to be going somewhere. I can't get ecstatic over the set of the jib without ulterior motives, and I have found few women who can."

It is the very "datedness" of this little book that is so charming. Take for example the straight forward approach to buying your boat:

"At the last national boat show the typical answer to "how much?" was $548 for the boat and $501 to move it."

Well, today, given our inflammatory stock market, you couldn't buy groceries for the boat for $548. And speaking of groceries, the recipes in this book are quite consistent with the prevailing food trends of the time -- there is an abundance of canned soups and canned meats, even canned seafood, which, given the fact that one is supposed to be on a boat, seems a little silly. Just catch some fish. Seriously.

Here is a recipe that is the "boating" equivalent to welsh rabbit. It seems to me the kind of dish that just might have the cook walk the plank.

Blushing Bunny

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 cup hot water
1/2 pound grated cheese
1 can tomato soup, undiluted

Melt butter, Add flour and mustard. Add water, blend, and let thicken. Add cheese and let melt, stir in soup. When hot and well mixed, serve on crackers.

How about this recipe to get you in the pink...

Pink Stew

1 cup lobster meat (cooked or canned)
3 tablespoons butter
4 cups milk, scalded
1 teaspoon salt
onion slice

Saute lobster in butter 4 minutes. Add milk. Season. Serve hot, but do not boil. Float onion ring in each serving and sprinkle with paprika. (Crabmeat may be substituted for lobster.)

You will forgive me if I don't try these two winners on or off dry land. We seem to be in a "yachting" mood these days. Check out our favorite, Ethelind Fearon's travelogue, Without My Yacht, at Lucindaville.

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