A hearty meal for mariners
It’s time for a complete clean-up and a mouse round-up before our cruising fun kicks off
One of the first jobs in preparation for our major cruise of the new season is to clean the boat from bow to stern, inside and out and then give some attention to any little bits and pieces that might be looking careworn after the boat has been shivering through the worst that winter can throw at it.
It’s always a good plan to touch up those little rust spots and polish the dull metalwork: a stitch in time saves nine as the old wives’ saying goes and it’s amazing how a bit of polish and elbow grease brings the paintwork back to an as new look.
Inside I usually start with a tidy out of the pantry and a careful check that we haven’t collected any mice along the way. They are little devils for getting on board – any gap that you can fit a pen through then that too is a potential entry point for Mr Mouse. And talking of Mr Mouse, one season he was joined on board our boat by Mrs Mouse and the rest is left with your imagination. We knew we had company as we could hear their nocturnal fun and games and then when I discovered the various nibbled packets our suspicions were confirmed. Time to get the humane trap from stowage.
I’m always on the look out for intruders, especially as the last lot were difficult to get rid of and tidying the pantry and checking my storage containers is part of the regular routine. Yet, despite my tidy-ups, I’m frequently amazed at the number of ‘almost used’ packets clipped shut with one of those plastic kitchen clips (I wondered where they’d all gone!)
Most seem to contain scraps of pasta in various guises, from spaghetti to sheets of lasagne to fusilli. Being a ‘make do and mend’ sort of a person I just can’t bring myself to throw away food and this month’s Minestrone Meal recipe for a hearty lunch or a light supper demonstrates very succinctly that there really is no need to throw away pasta scraps.
‘I’m always on the look out for intruders as the last lot were difficult to get rid of’