Happy New Year!

The deep freeze has frozen us in. We have, however, intermittent water, which is good news because it means we have intermittent washing, which is better than NO washing. As I’ve often said, “We smell funny, but our hearts are light.”
It’s flippin’ cold in the mornings, but I stagger out of bed, turn off the electric heat so I don’t blow the breakers when I plug in the coffee pot, fire up the kerosene heater checking for yellow flame and death by carbon monoxide poisoning, and look on the computer to see who else is up at 5:30 AM. So far I’ve been disappointed. My friends are so much more sensible than I am. As a matter of fact, so is John Darling, who doesn’t get out of his warm berth until the temperature in the main saloon has risen to a bearable level.
Our Christmas was quiet. We ate dinner with a dear friend who is also a wonderful baker of pumpkin pies. So we enjoyed a turkey dinner, really good company, and pumpkin pie, which was a win for sure.
I didn’t go wild with boat interior decorations this year. Usually I erect a small but crowded plastic tree with tiny-perfect ornaments that fly in all directions whenever the boat rocks, but this year I left the plastic tree in storage and set up a tree-shaped tea light. John Darling was delighted because he hates Christmas in general and my tree in particular, which he calls ‘Catherine’s Christmas Mess’. It’s true that I don’t have much of an eye for design. None, in fact. The tea-light did fine.
Just before Christmas some mean person stole about four months’ worth of knitting from our storage area – 20 Cowichan hats, about 7 pairs of men’s socks and the pink mohair mittens I’d knit for my Mom. I was a bit upset at first, until I realized I had such a stash of back knitting that I could give a hand-knit gift to every person on my list anyway, so with Christmas cheer in my heart I wrapped everything up and mailed it off. The Christmas cheer flagged a bit once I found out how much the postage was going to cost. Good Heavens!
Book #6 is doing surprisingly well, considering everyone ELSE found out how much postage cost this Christmas, but I have the Boat Show to look forward to. I think the title is fairly good – “Darling, Don’t Try This at Home! Recipes from Mottle Cove.” Also, the initial feedback has been enthusiastic, at least among my non-cooking friends. They use the word ‘hilarious’. My cooking friends have maintained a horrified silence. My Uncle Don read the book, decided I needed help and sent me a fish recipe. He was right, of course. I am a terrible cook, so the recipe was greatly appreciated.
Here it is: Cod Dijon (or haddock, sole or salmon)
SAUCE: 3 tbl melted butter 1tsp lemon juice 1 tsp Worcester sauce 1 tsp Dijon mustard METHOD: Rinse fillet in cold water and pat dry Place on a lightly greased baking pan Cover with sauce and sprinkle with bread crumbs.(We use Panko) Bake @ 420 F for 10 minutes

The book in all its glory can be ordered from my website, or by sending $22.00 CAD or $23.00 AMD to me. Interested parties can e-mail me at catherinedook@hotmail.com
Someone decided the Vancouver International Boat Show should be held in January this year. The dates are Jan 18 – 22. John Darling and I look forward to the boat show every year, not least because we get to stay in the Ivanhoe Hotel, which is a two-star hostel nestled in the heart of downtown Vancouver. Now, a two-star hotel in London, England, is usually quite respectable, but a two-star hotel in Vancouver is usually less appealing. I’ve already offered to have some friends move into the ‘ho’ with us for the six days of the boat show, but they have declined. Can’t imagine why. We didn’t tell anybody about the mouse we saw except the desk clerk, and he assured me it was my imagination. And the scrabbling I heard behind the wall of the women’s washroom down the disinfectant-smelling hall wasn’t rats. He assured me of that. And he was quite right, because apparently rats and mice never coexist.
We can’t wait.
I’ll make speeches again this year. The organizer wanted to know if I wanted the use of a demonstration kitchen for my presentation on ‘The use of galley appliances when your stove is no good.’, but the dear child had obviously never read my books. Also, I will be talking about anchoring in the Gulf Islands. Now I’m more of a humourist than I am a sailor, but we have had surprising luck anchoring, considering our lack of wisdom, knowledge and common sense, because our equipment is heavy. This is the secret.
May God bless you all in the new year. May His love keep you, and may His light shine upon you.
Blessings,
Catherine

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