My photo
, Wyoming
Thanks for visiting Sauce du Jour. Feel free to share a great recipe, leave a comment, or make me dinner. I'll bring hors d' oeuvres and the wine! To visit my website go to Thanks for visiting the Sauce ~Tammi

Jan 28, 2011

A Lesson In Limin'

The dogs have it figured out. The Big Guy has it figured out. I'm working on it.  "IT" my friends, is limin'.
Elvis limin'
      As you know for the past thirty days or so I have been living on Island time. I know, I know, it sounds so appealing…so relaxing…and it is so hard to do when you are a type A-multi-tasker-bring-home-the-bacon-and-fry-it-up-in-a-pan-kinda gal, such as myself.
     Big relaxes, chills and moves at a pace usually only reserved by someone who is unearthing dinosaur bones. Meanwhile, four weeks have passed and I’m still like a fart in a skillet.
     Most days I find myself chomping at the bit. I’ll tell Big it’s time to take the dogs to shore, and yes, I am thinking T-T-TODAY BUDDY!  By the time he actually gets up after having said, “I’ll get the dinghy ready,” I already have the leashes slapped on the dogs and am standing on the back of the boat ready to unsnap the dinghy line. By this time Gracie has her legs crossed and Elvis is holding his junk, while Big takes his own sweet time putting his wallet, cell phone and whatever else into Ziploc baggies, double checking lines, switches, lights, and anything else that can be double checked.
     In the meantime I’ve counted to a hundred, forwards and backwards while he fishes the dinghy key out of the pocket he just put it into. “Chill honey, we’re on Island time,” he’ll say in response to my stink eye.
     But I am working on it. A week ago I sat still and worked on my tan for a good 15 minutes or so.
     The Big Guy takes this limin' business serious. When I hear that word I think, yes, I’ll take a limin' my vodka, make it a double and step on it, I have a fire to get to.Yes, T-T-TODAY BUDDY WOULD BE NICE!
     Believe me when I tell you that I have come a long way. A few days ago I sat still and read a book for a good solid 30 minutes or so.
     If I’m being honest here, I’ll admit that I still have a long way to go in learning to slow down, take a chill pill, relax and all that crap. (Remember, this is coming from someone who thinks “relaxing” means balancing your checkbook while you get a pedicure.)
Big, getting ready to do some serious limin'
with a Cohiba & Pisces Punch.
Anybody want to join him?
     I do try to take my time while preparing dinner allthough I can still knock out four courses in just over an hour and that includes making my own salad dressing and croutons. And speaking of dinner, the little BBQ grill on this boat can cook a piece of fish faster than Big can open up a bottle of wine, which just irritates the hell out of me and slows down my cooking. Then I hear that voice in the back of my head that says “whoa sister, where’s the fire? Relax, you’re on Island time.”
     Today I am happy to announce that I have been making progress. Last night I sat on the back of the boat with a glass of wine and watched the sunset, for about an hour or so. Big said as soon as I quit squirming he would untie me so I could start dinner. Ahh, I think I’m starting to finally understand how this limin' works…
A lesson in limin'

This is a super fast, super easy dessert that I have been making since Sierra was just a baby. Although the name "'Blender Chocolate Mouse" sounds a bit gauche, this is a rich, decadent dessert. (Just use the best quality chocolate chips you can find.) Best of all, it requires only some chillin' and won't cut into your limin' time! Since you will already have the rum out, go ahead and make yourself a rum punch! I spunked up the whipped cream with some Cruzan Banana Rum. Go to the "Desserts" tab at the top of this page to view it. 
Mousse au chocolat in coffee cups Photo (986074)
(Photo jacked from the internet because I couldn't get mine to upload. I served mine in cappiccino cups, so it looked EXACTLY like this, only I topped it with a dollop of whipped cream.)

Jan 23, 2011

Full Moon Party

The other night we went to our first ever Full Moon Party at Trellis Bay, which is in a quiet little cove on the east end of Tortola.
     On shore is a sandy beach where a couple of little bars and restaurants sit, Aragorn's Studio, which also happens to sell some organic produce, a cyber-cafe, a grocery store, a wind surfing place and a cute little shop called "Many Splendid Tings". 

       Each month when the full moon comes out, it gets jam packed with boats, all jockeying for a mooring ball. Yachtees and locals come out of the woodwork to listen to local musicians, eat the Caribbean buffet, watch the fireballs and dance around the Jumbie Walkers.
     Well, you know how The Big Guy always detests being late, so we got to Trellis Bay the day before the party so we would be guaranteed to score us a mooring ball.
    We also got to the party early, about 6:00 PM and staked our place in the sand. Big insisted we partake in the buffet so we could, you know…experience the whole phenomena of this lunar event.
     Well, you also know that I hate buffets, but I let him win this one because I couldn’t snag us a reservation at Dick’s Last Resort (a good restaurant within dinghy distance).
After seeing the menu with the curried, stewed and jerked meats, I decided to stick with the sides dishes. I noticed that the goat, chicken and pork all looked the exact same and being the food snob that I am, I really didn’t want to take a chance of eating goat and barfing before the party even got started. Being a vegetarian for the night looked to me, like a wise choice.   

Big's dinner: Stewed goat,
jerk pork & curried chicken
Not sure which is which...

 While most people chowed down on the buffet, a one man band kicked off the party, playing some Island funk and then some local musicians really got the party going. People were dancing in the sand and surf to a some calypso and rock and roll, all island style. The fire balls glowed red against the moon filled sky as they heated up the night even more. 
The Jumbie Walkers finally came out about 11:00, which was the real reason for us still being out at that late hour. Watching them dance around on those stilts was worth the price of the buffet. 
A Jumbie Walker & some guy
who thinks he's 10' tall
& bulletproof
We had a great time! When you come to visit us you may want to plan your trip during a full moon...just sayin'.  

Jan 18, 2011

USCG Boards Pisces

We were just about to pick up a mooring ball at Caneel Bay, on St. John when this snazzy little boat came roaring up beside us. Five young, nice looking guys all wearing matching uniforms and packing heat were my first clue that they weren’t surfers. The words U.S. Coast Guard, painted on their boat and imprinted on their uniforms, was my second. Rut-roh! 
     “We’d like permission to board your boat, Captain,” one of them said. (I was assuming it wasn’t for cocktails, as it was still before noon.) What do think we were going to say? Do we look dumb? Duh—you don’t say “no” to someone with a gun and an assortment of other arsenal hanging from his belt.
     I quickly showed off my mooring talent, while The Big Guy steered the boat. Once moored, they came on board and trampled all over our boat with their big, black, dirty boots and did what they called an “inspection”. No biggie, we were missing a couple of placards, (NO DUMPING OIL & NO DUMPING PLASTIC; a real no brainer…I’ll ask again, do we look dumb?), some safety stuff that you really don’t need on a boat anyway, like life jackets, flairs, floaty ring thing—stuff that just takes up a lot of room. I hung out in the cockpit and had a pleasant conversation with one of them, while the other four snooped around.
     Getting boarded by the USCG isn’t the point of this story, although everybody we’ve told this to seems to think it’s a big deal. No, the big deal was the fact that I have had this not so teeny-tiny zit on the bridge of my nose for a couple of weeks now. Whenever I wash my face or barely touch it for that matter, the little sucker wants to spew blood. Somewhere over the course of the day I must have rubbed it, so I had this approximate one inch streak of dried blood on my nose. Which of course I didn’t know at the time I was chatting up Cute Coast Guard Guy.
     The USCG finished up their inspection and left, so we got ready to head into Cruz Bay. I went into the bathroom to freshen up and that’s when I saw the bloody trail running the length of my nose. The ensuing conversation went like this.

Why the hell didn’t you tell me I had this streak of blood on my nose?
I thought you knew.
Well if I had known don’t you think I would have washed it off?
I don’t know.
Was it on my nose when I went in the Marina office this morning to pay for water?
I don’t know.
You don’t know? You can’t miss it! You mean you let me just sit there and talk to those guys with dried blood running down my nose?
I thought you knew.
Well Captain Obvious, if I knew, I would have washed it off. The only way I could have looked any more dumb was if I would have been standing there with my fly open! Jeez thanks a lot! You know I’d tell you if you looked dumb!

So we took the dinghy to Cruz Bay to clear customs and because we were going fast and because the wind was blowing hard, Big turned his cap around backwards. As we were walking into the US Customs office, I said, honey, turn your hat around, you look dumb. I immediately regretted giving him a heads up, but I had forgotten that I owed him one in the looking dumb department. I made a mental note to get even later.
     We then went to this little beach bar and restaurant where we shared some nachos and fish tacos and then walked around and browsed through the little shops. I spent some time talking with a guy who works in this hoity-toity pet store (there was a $500 doggie jacket!), then finally we went back to the boat. As we were getting ready to call it a night, I went to brush my teeth, and guess what? Yep, there was a big chunk of cilantro in my teeth! The ensuing conversation went like this:

Why didn’t you tell me I had a piece of cilantro in my teeth?
I thought you knew.
Well, if I had known don’t you think I would have picked it out?
I don’t know.
Am I correct to assume it's been there since lunch?
Your fly is open.

I am so going to get him! If you see The Big Guy walking around with some toilet paper stuck to his shoe or in the crack of his shorts, you’ll know what I've been up to!
I'm posting a recipe for an hors d' oeuvre that I whipped up last night. Chilled Shrimp with a Mango-Curry Dip. I forgot to take a picture, I was busy stalking The Big Guy with a roll of TP.  Go to the "Appetizers" tab at the top of this page to view it.

Jan 11, 2011

Close Encounters of the Trippletail Kind

While walking the dogs along the shore, I saw what I thought was a leaf floating in the water. I walked out to it, and upon closer examination discovered that it was a fish, floating on its side. I thought that it was dead and I reached out to touch it. It surprised me by flicking its tail and lazily drifting a few inches away. Obviously it was not dead, but by the sluggish way it moved and since it was only a few degrees from being completely belly up, I figured it was near death. I gave a short eulogy to the small crowd that had gathered, and Elvis and Gracie both seemed truly moved. I administered last rites and we left it to die in peace.
     Back on the dock, I described the fish to Captain Matt, who is on a first name basis with all fish, and he said that it sounded like I had seen a Trippletail, which if I had, it made me one of the lucky few because they were rarely seen.
     The next day when I took the dogs to shore, I’ll be danged if I didn’t find it for a second time! This time it was on the other side of the dock, but still close to shore, and again it was floating on its side. I touched it and it casually drifted away, with barely any noticeable movement.
     Onboard Pisces, we have a great “fish book,” so I looked up Trippletail (scientific name Lobotes surinamensis or technically Atlantic Tripletail) and sure enough, there was my little buddy. The book said that they are sluggish and often float on their sides near the surface. They are described as somewhat wary and will move away when approached. Yep, the description fit this little guy to a T.
      One day three, I looked for it and was disappointed when I didn’t find him. As the dogs and I wrapped up our walk and were heading back to the dinghy, a floating yellow leaf caught my eye so I went to investigate, and sure enough it was the same little dude!
     On day four I finally remembered to bring my camera and there he was, waiting for me by the dock. I barely even had to look for him and he willingly posed for these pictures! For me and El and Gracie to see a Trippletail four days in a row means we are lucky dogs! Someone buy us a lottery ticket!

In honor of the little Trippletail, I created a recipe for Seashell Mac & Triple Cheese, served in a Parmesan Tuile Cup. I topped it with toasted bread crumbs, but it didn't really need it, so feel free to eliminate that step. And because we are in the islands mon, and because I have a lot of Pusser's Rum on board, I spunked it up with some. You gotta try it! (FYI, you can flambe' on a boat without catching the whole thing on fire, but I would recommend having a fire extinguisher real handy. It was touch and go for a second!)  Go to the "Pastas" tab at the top of this page to view it.

Jan 7, 2011

Conch Tipping: It's A Dirty Job

 Conch tipping—have you ever done it? Well I hadn’t either until today. I would imagine it to be a lot like cow tipping, which I have also never done, but I suspect it's much easier to sneak up on a conch than a cow. 
    Today The Big Guy and I decided to step out our back door and do a little scuba diving. We have a bunch of new gear that needed tested, so someone had to do it. A dirty job, I know, but what are you gonna do? We are working here, remember?
The view out our back door
 “Here”, for the moment is at Little Harbor (on Peter Island), in a little cove known as Unemployment Alley. The water is calm, about 85 degrees and incredibly blue. I know what you're thinking; crappy work enviroment and hopefully we are getting paid overtime and have benefits. Hey, they don't call this "Unemployment Alley" for nothing, but back to the conch tipping.
Does this tank make my butt look big???

     It was a shallow dive, only about 20-30 feet and the bottom was pure sand and reminiscent of a desert landscape, only with a mother lode of conch spread all over it. It was as if they had been dropped from the sky ~ out of a C130. So as I was swimming along I would flip one over and then watch as it retreated into its shell. It was pretty cool! I picked one up thinking it was empty (or dead?) and then all of a sudden it poked its head (if that’s what you call it), out at me. 
    Big then found the Queen Mother of all Conch! It was about the size of a football and when we tipped her over, the inside was a shade of pink that is usually only seen in sunsets and on bridesmaid’s dresses. Truly amazing!
     Besides conch, we saw a beautiful spotted eagle ray, a frillfin goby, a needlefish and a sea cucumber, which I’m not so sure wasn’t just a big turd laying on the ocean floor. Big poked it with a stick and I'm pretty sure it let out a fart. Eeewww!    
     Yes, it's a dirty job and we have much more work to do. From what I can tell there are a lot more conchs to be tipped!
I know, I know...I should be posting a recipe with conch in it, but truthfully I don't really care for the stuff and would rather chew tinfoil. Therefore I'll post the recipe from dinner tonight; Pesto Crusted Salmon with Orange Sauce (from Bon Appetit, I think)  and I served it with coconut rice. At any rate, it was delish and no conchs were tipped or killed in its making. Go to the "Seafood" tab at the top of this page to view it.