Sherbert cookies cooling on the gimbaling cooker whilst we sail !

I cannot believe so much time has passed me by with nothing written down but a few lines in my notepads of recipes I have tried, and measured out or changed slightly as I am not satisfied with the end result but as for the blog… it has not had a chance to be looked at as life became rather hectic and even now as I sit amongst dry stores it remains hectic and chaotic !

We went off cruising again with the owner and his friends around the bottom end of Sardegna which was great as it is so quiet down there of superyachts, and there are so many places to anchor off the most amazing beaches, that stretch for miles and only have scattering of umbrellas on them. It was great to see after seeing so many beaches up in the North covered in umbrellas you can hardly see the actual beach anymore. It is more remote but with stunning scenery in the south and has a completely different feel to it a more friendly local feel and I would certainly go back down there and hang out learn more Italian, eat great food and spend time with my cousin !… and finally buy my Fiat 500 as there are so many down there and it will be the place I buy one I am sure…

We cruising up the East coast as there was no possibility with the way the weather was going to go up the West coast, which is open to the prevailing wind and boy does it become prevailing !! The East coast has some spectacular scenery with these wonderful beaches and high mountains as a back drop, then other areas of the mountains plunging into the sea leaving behind small stoney beaches, caves and the most amazing coloured water… it just never comes out on a camera and if you painted it people would not believe you could get so many blues, aqua marines, or turquoise in one area… just stunning.

Our last day of sailing was fantastic, 7 hrs up wind to Portisco. A place we call home from home as we spend so much time here anchored off the marina, just south of Cala di Volpe and Porto Cervo where we will be moored next week for the regatta. We are back in the Superyacht scene here, with the most enormous motor yachts, some private some charter which lie out on anchor around us swing in the breeze. It is a real spectacle seeing all these yachts in such a small area of the world for a few weeks of each year… the wealth is unbelievable not only on the water but also ashore with huge villas dotted along the shoreline and slightly behind… it really is a special place the Costa Smeralda

Plum tart with roasted plum and plum star anise jelly

But what of food you ask… well I made cookies with sherbert thanks to a friend in Australia who kindly send me a package of sherbert… I had been so enamoured with Heston Blumenthal’s dinners a wonderful show on TV in which he chooses a period and then researches beyond belief into what they would eat in that time and then re-create a feast, and invite some people to enjoy his feast. I so rarely get to see these being that I only get ashore for holidays once a year… maybe twice and can only be even luckier to find that his show is on during that time..! In one of these programs he had made a base for a dessert using sherbert which I decided would be wonderful on cookies as I bake so many and serve so many it is always nice to try something new !

Then there were lots of fun other things I cook this last cruise… plum and star anise jelly to serve with plum-cake, roasted plum and vanilla ice cream, peach and white chocolate panna cotta, chocolate blackout cake which was so big but enjoyed for days…. ! then there are of course plenty of savoury dishes like a red Thai prawn curry, salmon and smoked salmon fish cakes, lemoncello chicken, sea bass baked in salt, gurnard with cherry tomatoes, capers, parsley, garlic and prawns, steamed clams, melon soup and prosciutto, stuffed courgette flowers, stuffed courgettes… etc the list goes on and the ideas continue to flow ! They have to as the moment the regatta finishes we go cruising again with guests onboard so I have to prepare myself and will today prep up some things not only for the regatta but also for the next cruise as I will be shattered by the time this comes around !!

Stuffed courgette with ricotta and basil