As children across the island pen “what I did this summer” at their newly acquired desks on this second day of school I work on our family journal. Here are some of the highlights:
Most recently there were whales…entering Victoria harbor we found ourselves on an intercept path with a pod of Orca whales. I called the kids on deck and we watched from the bow from what was a comfortable “look though the binoculars and see the whales kind of distance”. Within a minute I realized the whales were a lot bigger than they should be and we were a lot closer than we needed to be. At the same time I heard the engine grind into hard reverse and strain as Ross tried furiously to get out us of their path.
A whole pod of killer whales in motion is a lot faster than a twenty ton sailboat trying to fight momentum and turn on a dime. Rather than risk injury to the whales from our spinning prop, Ross killed the engine and we sat dead in the water as a family of the world’s most graceful creatures approached us, coming so close we could reach across the bow and touch them. They surrounded us, never varying from their path simply carrying on as if we didn’t exist.
They dove, glittering in the morning sun and my children looked over the bowlines to see them beneath us. Whale song as clear as the day filled the air and rainbows shimmered as they blew. Within a minute they’d passed and we sat, stunned by nature and luck and beauty.
I still can’t believe it.
After a summer of silence I feel I owe you all something pretty grand but sadly boat cuisine is more about speed and ease than anything else…On top of that our fridge gave up the ghost so we’ve been old school on this voyage relying on huge blocks of ice combined with big bags of ice cubes (a broken fridge will not interfere with cocktail hour) and this is our last night on board so we’re down to the bare bones; half a block of feta, some smoked salmon, corn tortillas, other stuff I can’t identify and some tomatoes.
You know where I’m going with this:
Did I mention I smoked the salmon myself? Our benevolent neighbor Matthew gifted us some fresh king salmon on the eve of a family bout with stomach flu. Yes, I know that’s too much information but the point is this…the fresh salmon sat in the fridge for three days before anyone in the family could look at food again and rather than let it sit longer, I brined it overnight and smoked it using my dad’s tried and true recipe.
Smoked Salmon and Feta Quesadillas
8 corn tortillas
1 cup smoked salmon, crumbled
1 cup feta, crumbled
Place an 8 inch sauté pan over medium heat and spray with non-stick. Lay one tortilla in the pan and sprinkle with 1/4 cup feta. When the 1/4 cup feta starts to melt sprinkle with 1/4 cup salmon and top with a second tortilla.
Press the tortillas together so they stick and then flip as you would a pancake. When the salmon is warm and the feta is melted removed from heat, and repeat for the remaining three quesadillas then cut them into quarters, garnish with chopped tomatoes and serve. Enjoy.