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Cruising Notes

Well, we just recently finished up a cruise through the BVI for my father’s 80th birthday.

Anyone who’s ever chartered a boat down there knows that provisioning has always been somewhat hit and miss.  Provision through the charter company and you may end up with 14 packages of bacon.  Risk the ship’s chandlery, and you might end up with hot dogs and hamburgers (along with over-priced beer).

This time, we did a fair amount of provisioning through Good Moon Farm.


I wish I would have had my camera when they showed up: baskets full of fresh fruits and vegetables, tropical flowers…

Even better, most of the greens were picked that day: anyone who’s ever bought lettuce in the caribbean knows that you’d better eat your salad in the first two or three days. We didn’t have any spoilage at all!  They also gave us bananas in three stages of ripeness, so we had good ones all week.

And…specialty items!  Maubi! Breadfruit! Sour sops! Wax apples!

Give me a moment in private, please.

Perhaps the best part was the fresh meat.  8 pounds of mahi mahi, caught the day before, 4 pounds of goat (yep: very fresh, and I’ll leave it at that), and 4 pounds of conch.  I tell you, if you want to get your inner island on, mon, this is how to do it.

Because I share a few recipes from time to time (as in just about every post), here’s what I did with the conch:

Conch CevicheDSC_7468

What You Need

  • 2 lbs. conch
  • 5-8 lemons (depending on size)
  • 1 mango
  • 2 tomatoes (or three, or four…dealer’s choice)
  •  2 cloves garlic
  • 1 jalapeno
  •  pinch or two of salt

What To Do with It

There are two basic halves to a conch: one is surrounded by a greyish skin, the other is white to orange. The grey end is, shall we say, crunchy.  If you were putting it in a fritter, you’d beat the bejeezus out of it with a mallet first.

Cut off the very end of the greyish part (and the little three-pronged bit along the edge–those are a little too crunchy).  Slice the conch very thin on the grey end: about 1/16″ thick.  Once you get to the other end, you can go a little thicker…and you’ll need to cut each slice in half.

Devein and chop the jalapeno. Mince the garlic. Dice the tomato and mango.  Juice the lemons and add the salt: you want enough lemon juice to cover all the conch. Then mix it all together and put in the refrigerator. The longer it stays, the more tender the conch will be, so plan on 6-24 hours, depending on your tolerance for crunchy conch.

Enjoy with a Carib Beer!


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