Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Pancakes, Mudbanks and Florida Sun

I announced a few posts ago that I had run out of pancake mix, and had searched the net for a recipe to make my own batter mix, and would report on how that all turned out. Well I can now say that it didn't turn out too badly for a food experiment, those can go so awfully wrong at times, and I will share that recipe at the end of the post for all of those that might be interested. I have been pretty lazy about breakfast the past few days, mainly coffee and toast since changing anchorages in St Augustine, so this morning I decided that it was time to fix another batch of pancakes. I got everything together, it was really fairly simple, and I made up a batch. I can be a harsh judge of pancakes, and for me saying it wasn't bad goes a long way. The only other food critic on board is no real judge of good pancakes, I don't think Spook even tastes them as she gulps them down, but I suppose a wagging tail can be taken as a good solid thumbs up.

Today Spook and I set out exploring after a very, very cool night aboard the boat, I told you I am getting quite spoiled by the temperatures here, I think it hit a frigid 40 degrees last night, so we were moving slow this morning. After a nice pancake breakfast for both of us, we headed off to the beach again. I think old Spook may just be getting used to the water now, she actually had all 4 paws in the water, and considering she just is not a fan of swimming, that says quite a bit. We must have walked 3 miles round trip, and then rowed back over to the boat. When we got home I was in full photographic mode, so we headed into the inlet I am anchored in front of. We got some good photos of Ibises, a type of bird I know of, but have never really seen until this morning. There was also an exposed oyster bed, with quite a few small conch or whelk type shells mixed in, all empty. They were small, and I may have the species completely wrong, but they were cool none the less.

When we got back to the boat, I realized that this mornings north east wind had pushed Arden into the shallower side of where we were anchored, up onto a mudbank, and had I had the zincs that I need to replace on hand, it would have been the perfect time to replace them, as we were basically careened - the boat was sitting flat on the bottom, the tide had fallen away, and Arden was 2 feet shy of floating. I did find that in this attitude she is still very stable, unlike my old Cape Dory, and I spent the remainder of the morning on deck doing dishes, some wiring, and basic clean up. Had I thought of it soon enough, I would have gone ahead and repainted the waterline and boot stripe, as it was completely exposed and is definitely in need of a touch up, but that didn't come to mind until the tide had started to come back in. Maybe next time, as I have plans to careen her again when I get to West marine and get new zincs.

So today was totally an outdoors day, well with the exception of running a virus program on this computer that ended up totally crashing the machine. Luckily with what little computer knowledge that I do have I was able to get it back up and running, but I was really sweating it there for a bit, not sure what I would have done if the computer had not come back online and got going again.

Just a quick word on statistics - readership is growing, yesterday we had an all time high number of visitors, and we have had folks view from 19 states, coming from 67 different cities over the past 30 days. Not to mention the visitors from overseas - 10 different foreign countries and counting so far.

So here is the pancake mix recipe, not quite Bisquick, but a good, reliable recipe that turns out a decent pancake.

6 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 tablespoon salt
1 cup dry milk powder
1 cup shortening

In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, salt and dry milk. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.

I omitted the shortening, as I will be storing this dry, and when I mixed it into batter, I used water and an egg. I made 6 really good sized pancakes out of 1 1/4 cups of this batter mix.

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