A sim­ple as it is clas­sic, chef Karen Even­den di­vulges the goods on how to per­fect the cros­tini.

Passage Maker - - @Rest - By Karen Even­den

Af­ter our epic, ex­pe­ri­ence-packed cruise to Alaska in 2015, we de­cided to re­duce the miles we would travel in 2016 and fo­cus on the al­lur­ing coastal water­ways of Wash­ing­ton and south­ern Bri­tish Columbia.

We had spent many sum­mers in our past sail­ing these is­land-stud­ded wa­ters, al­ways cher­ish­ing our sur­round­ings, but of­ten curs­ing the per­sis­tently wind­less con­di­tions and whin­ing about the per­va­sive chilly and damp air. So it was a wel­come plea­sure to re­dis­cover this cruis­ing par­adise in the warmth and com­fort of Ko­hea, our Kadey-Kro­gen 48.

Through­out the sum­mer we re­vis­ited our fa­vorite an­chor­ages. We hiked trails through silent ever­green forests. We trea­sured our many wildlife sight­ings of seals, ot­ters, ea­gles, and whales. We were awed by color­ful and serene sun­sets. And we rel­ished in pro­vi­sion­ing in lo­cal gro­cery stores and at farm­ers mar­kets on both sides of the Cana­dian and Amer­i­can bor­der.

Most nights found us at an­chor, but when we were dock­side we fre­quently joined im­promptu cock­tail gath­er­ings. I loved the chance to graze the var­i­ous of­fer­ings; to taste a seem­ingly end­less vari­a­tion of ar­ti­choke dips, munch on cheese and crack­ers, spear tasty meat­balls, dip piles of corn chips into salsa and gua­camole, and con­sume count­less hand­fuls of nuts and pop­corn. The list of nib­blers we sam­pled could go on, but through­out it all I made one very en­light­en­ing ob­ser­va­tion: No mat­ter how tasty or at­trac­tive a dish might be, the most pop­u­lar ap­pe­tiz­ers were al­ways the fin­ger foods—those small, hand-held pieces that were easy to pick up and con­sume in just a bite or two.

That dis­cov­ery got me think­ing about our sail­ing days in the Mediter­ranean. Crack­ers are not com­mon in Europe, but a good baguette was al­most al­ways avail­able. If it was cock­tail time and the bread was fresh, we would just slice it thinly and pass it around with a plat­ter of cheese, a rus­tic pâté, or a fla­vor-filled

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