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Cappy’s Crabs & the Chesapeake Feast

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Nautical-Inspired Cocktails for Fall
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As the leaves fall and turn to brown, our palette changes from strawberry and watermelon summer flavors to more autumnal pumpkin and apple-flavored treats. Spiced rum is a perfect spirit to enjoy this season, so we chose Captain Morgan as the main ingredient for two cocktail variations. Whether you wrap up in a cozy blanket or entertain friends on your boat, you can drink like a ship captain with the following fall recipes.

A red cocktail with seasonal fruit
Fall Cocktail | Source Veselova Elena from Getty Images

The Captain Cider

Ingredients:

1.5 oz Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum
1.5 oz Cranberry juice
1.5 oz Hard apple cider

Instructions:

Fill a rocks glass with ice and combine all ingredients. Gently stir and garnish with a cranberry and apple slice.

Hot apple cider in a glass cup on a tree stump
Hot Apple Cider | Source Wendy Melgar from Getty Images

Hot Captain Cider

Ingredients:

2 oz Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum
6 oz Fresh apple cider

Instructions:

Combine the rum and apple cider in a small pot and microwave or heat over a stove. Carefully pour drink into a mug and garnish with a cinnamon stick and apple slice.

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Chesapeake Seafood Houses
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Meet newcomers to the Bay’s waterfront dock-and-dine scene

If the pandemic hampered your travels and you haven’t cruised into the Chesapeake Bay for a while, then welcome back to its sunny shores. While you were away, the oyster and striped bass populations blossomed, and blue crabs grew plump in the shallow marshlands. 

During the past few years, quite a few new restaurants have opened and tapped into the cornucopia of fine local seafood.  Some innovative chefs grace plates with creative flavors and ingredients, while others take a traditional path with family recipes handed down for generations by watermen’s wives. Many concoct ways to consume invasive species, such as the blue catfish and northern snakehead, but eateries that nail up a sign declaring “Steamed Maryland Crabs!” attract the most attention.

To help you rediscover the bounty of the Bay, Marinalife has handpicked 10 terrific crab shacks and seafood houses for you to explore.

Maryland

Bowleys on the Bay Bar & Restaurant
Middle River, MD

For a tropical getaway without long-distance travel, Bowleys on the Bay has created a resort destination groove on Frog Mortar Creek in Baltimore County. Push your toes into the sand on 300 feet of beach surrounded by palm trees while sipping a rummy cocktail and listening to a steel drum band. You can watch boats glide into Long Beach Marina or see planes take flight at Martin State Airport as you nibble on fresh local seafood, hearty sandwiches, and meat dishes.

Where to Dock:  Long Beach Marina

The Choptank
Baltimore, MD

In the heart of the historic Fells Point district, The Choptank has risen from the foundation of the 200-year-old Broadway Market. Its menu reads like a culinary voyage around the Chesapeake Bay with steamed crabs, just-shucked oysters, steamed mussels, crab soup and fried chicken. On the spacious outdoor deck, sample 20 draft beers while live bands play tunes, and the stars twinkle above the urban skyline.

Where to Dock:  The Sagamore Pendry Hotel & Dock

Watershed

Baltimore, MD

It’s hard to say what Baltimore loves more — seafood or sports. But if you’d like to indulge in both, head over to Watershed in the Federal Hill neighborhood, which is in easy walking distance from Orioles Park and the Ravens’ M&T Bank Stadium. A menu laced with classic dishes harvested from the Chesapeake waters entices you to pick a dozen steamed crabs or slurp fresh local oysters while watching games on big-screen TVs. Located in the newly remodeled Cross Street Market, you can belly up to the long wooden bar on the main floor and wash down a platter of Old Bay wings with a cold Natty Boh. Or step up to the roof deck to watch the bustle below on South Charles Street with an orange crush in hand. A casual vibe and live music create an upbeat place to hang out with friends.

Where to Dock: Inner Harbor Marina

Latitude 38 Waterfront Dining
Annapolis, MD

Where the Severn River flows into the Chesapeake Bay, you can order local seafood with a view of boats cruising into Ego Alley, the showplace for vessels visiting Maryland’s state capital. With the new Upper Deck Bar and plenty of event space, this waterfront eatery accommodates groups of all sizes. Take your pick of regional favorites from crab cakes and peel-and-eat shrimp to herb-crusted rockfish and oysters Rockefeller. Chicken, beef and bourbon meat loaf ensure carnivores won’t go hungry.

Where to Dock:  Annapolis Town Dock

Marker Five
Tilghman, MD

Every visit to the Bay’s Eastern Shore holds the promise of exceptional seafood along unforgettable waterfronts. From Marker Five’s outdoor patio, you can watch watermen chug along Knapp’s Narrows and marvel as the Tilghman Island Drawbridge rises to let boats pass through. Eagles soar overhead while you peruse the menu of classic Chesapeake fare.  It’s almost impossible to resist starters such as Maryland crab soup or smoked corn and crab fritters, and your first bite of pulled pork, buttermilk fried chicken biscuit or pan-fried monkfish will delight your tastebuds.

Where to Dock:  Knapp’s Narrows Marina & Inn

Virginia

Portside Grill on Urbanna Creek
Urbanna, VA

Located in the heart of Virginia’s oyster-growing region, this family-owned and pet-friendly restaurant specializes in taking local seafood from the water to the table. At Urbanna’s only waterfront eatery, you can tie up along the bulkhead and kick back on the patio for casual dining with a spectacular view.  Crab tots and fresh oysters will whet your appetite for a Southern style meal of crab cakes, shrimp and grits, and chicken stuffed with Smithfield ham and goat cheese.

Where to Dock:  Regatta Point Yachting Center

Deltaville Tap & Raw Bar
Deltaville, VA

In a charming cove along Jackson Creek where the Piankatank River flows into the Bay, you’ll find a seafood eatery with an energetic vibe, live music and a nice sampling of craft brews and cocktails. The expansive view from the back deck matches the extensive list of dishes on the menu.  Highlights include hush puppies packed with crab and corn, Jonah crab claws, shucked oysters, and Lowcountry boils with crawfish, shrimp and other local catch. Try to leave room for dessert favorites: deluxe peanut butter pie or raspberry cheesecake.

Where to Dock:  Deltaville Yachting Center

The Surry Seafood Company
Surry, VA

A leisurely cruise up the James River to Gray’s Creek will deliver you to a seafood-centric destination where you can dock, dine and decompress.  Surry’s chefs present delicacies from the local waters such as golden fried oysters, bacon-wrapped salmon and flounder stuffed with crab imperial. If the serene view of the grassy marshlands makes you want to linger longer, spacious hotel suites are available above the restaurant. Boater bonuses: 45 new floating docks, fuel, ship store and bathhouse.

Where to Dock:  The Marina at Smithfield Station

Longboards at East Beach

Norfolk, VA

The green bamboo shoots on the menu’s border give a clue that this restaurant is blessed with a touch of tiki.  While seafood standards remain popular — she-crab soup, cod fish and chips, and Old Bay wings — Longboards also takes you on a culinary journey to Polynesia to taste Hawaiian-inspired dishes such as Singapore shrimp with veggies and Waikiki wings. Enjoy the restaurant’s upbeat atmosphere and stellar sunsets at the marina.

Where to Dock:  Morningstar Marinas at Little Creek

Stripers Waterside
Norfolk, VA

The bustle of Norfolk’s recently renovated Waterside District is attracting newcomers from along the Atlantic seaboard. Among the new eateries is Stripers, a seafood haven from the Outer Banks that features 30 beers on tap and a panoramic view of the Elizabeth River. Take a seat on the patio and savor dishes made from scratch, from clams and cod to mussels and shrimp.  After a hearty meal, explore the area’s attractions and nightlife.

Where to Dock: Ocean Yacht Marina or Tidewater Yacht Marina

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What's Brewing in Baltimore?
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Remnants of a “Vote Against Prohibition” sign still linger in faded letters on a brick wall in Baltimore — a true representation of the city’s historical love for a brew. 

From the clipper ships that brought beer from Germany during the Revolutionary War to the birthplace of the beloved Natty Boh, Baltimore is not only rich in maritime and war traditions — it’s also known as a beer city. 

Baltimore boasts a nice selection of well-known bars and swanky restaurants, but you may not realize how many experimental breweries and eclectic taprooms are located just down the street. 

From serving ice-cold pints on a hot summer day to offering taproom tastings and outdoor events, these local breweries present unique, homemade craft beers in an entertaining atmosphere. The following locations explore antique structures, historic warehouses and a barn-turned-brewhouse in Baltimore City and County.

BALTIMORE CITY

Diamondback Brewing Company

1215 E. Fort Avenue
Locust Point

A garage-style window opens above high-top seating in this south Baltimore brewery — a perfect summertime hangout.  The experimental production brewery serves unfiltered lagers, hop forward ales and pizza in a lively urban atmosphere. Try the Maple Thief oatmeal stout, the Green Machine IPA or the American Locust Point Lager alongside a signature seasonal scratch-made house pizza such as the Howard, made with pulled duck confit, smoked provolone, onion, parsley and “Pee-Paw’s Secret BBQ Sauce.”

Ministry of Brewing

1900 E. Lombard Street
Upper Fells Point/Highlandtown

The stunning structure of the former St. Michaels Church in East Baltimore has high ceilings lined by archways with golden trim, colorful murals and a gorgeous organ on the second floor balcony overlooking an open space where pews used to sit. Originally opened in 1857, this church that once provided refuge to German Catholics was abandoned in 2011 and is now one of the city’s hottest brewery hangouts. Long beer hall-style tables and high-tops now fill the spacious renovated church. Biblical scriptures are written above where the taproom’s bar serves a selection of rotating beers such as the Old Maude brown ale, The Point pilsner and 9.9 Problems imperial stout.

The Brewer’s Art

1106 N. Charles Street
Mount Vernon

This hip and artsy brewery matches the vibe of the quirky neighborhood and local community. Built as a private residence in the early 1900s, the vintage townhouse remains in the same classical style as it looked centuries ago with a slight transformation into a cozy taproom. Each room provides a different feel from the upscale dining room to the gritty Downbar and the cozy upstairs lounge. While most breweries only offer beer, this location pours everything from house brews to red, white, rosé and sparkling wines, and craft cocktails.

Full Tilt Brewing

5604 York Road
Govans

This neighborhood brewery is all about live music, tasty drinks and providing a fun social atmosphere. Hosting everything from yoga classes to live acts and comedy shows, the brewery offers a full event calendar throughout the year. They often cater parties and sponsor fundraisers such as partnerships with Baltimore Animal Rescue & Care Shelter (BARCS) and Art with a Heart. The taproom is known for two famous brews: Hops the Cat American IPA and Dan’s Jams, a Swedish Fish sour ale. Complement your brew with spicy wings, honey sriracha-glazed Brussels sprouts or a juicy Full Tilt burger.

BALTIMORE COUNTY 

RavenBeer

8901 Yellow Brick Road, Suite B
Rosedale

As Baltimore icon Edgar Allan Poe was known for frequenting local city bars, this brewery pays homage to the writer with its own spin on classic American and German-style beer. Founder Stephen Demczuk began brewing when he was in Europe. Inspired by Poe’s writings, Demczuk named his concoctions after the famous literature. Variations include Annabel Lee White, a Belgian-style white beer with citrus, The Raven Special Lager, The Tell Tale Heart IPA and The Cask, a Bavarian double style IPA.

Heavy Seas Brewery

4615 Hollins Ferry Road
Halethorpe

Maryland breweries wouldn’t exist today if it weren’t for Heavy Seas founder Hugh Sisson. He pioneered the state’s first brewpub and helped pass laws allowing them to operate. This southwest Baltimore County location began as Clipper City Brewing in 1995, then later rebranded as Heavy Seas. Hang out at the bar, grab a burger from Koopers food truck or play cornhole in the game room. On Saturdays, listen for the bell ringing in the taproom for free tours. They also hold charity fundraisers and work with local artists who design the unique beer can graphics. The brewery has big plans this season to redesign the outdoor space with new landscaping and a patio area.

Guinness Open Gate Brewery | Photo by Alexa Zizzi

Guinness Open Gate Brewery

5101 Washington Boulevard
Halethorpe

As the first-ever Guinness brewery in the United States, this historic site was home to a distillery before the Dublin-based brewer arrived in 2017. Experience traditional and seasonal flavors made with hops from all over the world, as well as locally sourced ingredients. Most brews are made with Legacy Ale Yeast, used by Guinness for 100 years. Be sure to try the signature Baltimore Blonde, brewed here exclusively. Enjoy the three-acre outdoor beer garden, outdoor kitchen, taproom, restaurant, events such as summer movie nights, 30-minute tastings of four different beers, and free tours.

Farmacy Brewing

3100 Black Rock Road
Reisterstown

Deep within Baltimore County’s horse country, this working farm raises horses and cattle, and grows hay, fruits, vegetables and row crops. This family-run brewery resides at the gorgeous Willowdale Farm, where a 3.5-barrel brewhouse is open for tours. Surrounded by horse pastures, barns and acres of farmland, a nine-stall horse stable was converted into a tasting room. Guests can picnic and enjoy the day strolling through a beautiful orchard.

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Cappy’s Crabs & the Chesapeake Feast
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My grandfather Cappy’s love of the water started with visits to his cousins’ house on the Potomac River. He was 14 when he built his first boat from a mail-order kit. Some of his fondest early memories on the water were the fishing charters his uncle would take him on and the bucket of fried chicken he’d bring along. Later in life, this motivated him to buy property on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay where I spent my summers as a child.  

Life on the Bay with a gaggle of cousins (18 of us) was a highlight of my childhood. We had free reign over the cul-de-sac populated by beach houses owned by my grandparents and their six adult children. When I was young, I would wake up with the sun and race to the window to assess the water conditions. The soft waves of early morning and glass surface made the best conditions for crabbing. 

All the cousins would meet at our grandparent’s house to grab chicken necks from the freezer and nets from the closet before rushing down to the dock. There weren’t enough nets to go around, but that hardly stopped us from crowding the dock in the cool dawn air in various states of dress, between pajamas and bathing suits. Each crab we caught was celebrated, sexed, sized and placed in our crab pot in the shallows under the dock until lunch. 

When my grandma Molly got out the crab pot and tongs, it was show time. My grandmother with a pair of tongs and feisty crustaceans are more evenly matched than you might expect. A few crabs near the top of the big pot always manage to hurl themselves over the edge, only to land in the boiling mac ‘n cheese water pot nearby. 

We would dress the picnic table in the front yard with newspaper, mallets and dishes of vinegar and Old Bay. Seated at an exclusive table away from the adults, we smashed, picked and dipped to our heart’s content.

“Pass the vinegar!” “Is there a mallet I can use?” “Can you help me get the meat out?” “May I have another crab, please?” 

This relaxed and fun-loving atmosphere inspired my grandparents to start their own crab shack in nearby Deale, MD. Eponymously named for my grandfather, Cappy’s Crabs sits over Rockhold Creek near Harbour Cove Marina. Every weekend in the summer, you can find Grandma in the kitchen and Poppy behind the bar, with kids and grandkids helping in the kitchen or waiting tables. The restaurant has an expansive deck with five slips, some large enough for a 40-foot vessel. 

Like most of Cappy’s float-up guests, the seafood on the menu comes from the Chesapeake. The menu changes according to the seafood seasons and pricing, but also to the whim of my grandmother and each diner. Catering to generations of dietary restrictions and picky eaters has made her a versatile and creative chef. Guests can always expect seafood and fried chicken in an array of forms from cakes and sandwiches to the star ingredient in one of the multiple salads available. 

Side dishes feature macaroni and cheese and an array of veggies such as beet salad or broccoli salad. More traditional summer treats such as corn and coleslaw make a heralded appearance on the menu. Family favorites such as French fries and cornbread round out any meal. 

Some say it’s best to have wings with your crabs, picnic style at one of the outdoor tables covered in paper. Watching marina traffic and listening to the waves underneath you is the perfect way to break up a day on the water. Order an orange crush from the bar, and your Maryland summer crab feast is complete!  

Cappy’s Coleslaw

A fresh, lighter take on the traditional creamy coleslaw recipe.

Ingredients

½ medium cabbage

3 scallions

2 carrots 

¾ cup of peanuts

Juice of 1 lime

1 Tbsp rice vinegar 

1 Tbsp fish sauce

1 Tbsp canola oil

Salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Grate carrots
  • Chop cabbage and scallions into thin slices
  • Add ingredients to a large bowl; dress and toss well

Makes about 6 servings.

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Dock & Dine on Long Island Sound - PART 1
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Lobster pot restaurant - dock and dine - marinalife
Lobster Pot Restaurant | Needpix

WHERE TO EAT WHEN YOU'RE CRUISING into unfamiliar harbors often feels like an insurmountable problem, especially along the Northeastern Seaboard. While looking around Long Island Sound to create a guide to its gastronomic offerings, we realized that this region hosted so many great dining options that it merited a two-part series.

In this issue of Marinalife, we present a delicious sampling of the Connecticut Shore's waterfront establishments that feature fresh seafood and local cuisine. Stay tuned for Part II when we tour the culinary treasures along the Long Island New York Shore.

West to East on the Connecticut Shore

MAMARONECK, NY

La Piccola Casa Ristorante
Dock at Nichols Yacht Yard and treat your crew to great Northern Italian cuisine in an historic house on the waterfront with terrific harbor views.

STAMFORD, CT

The Crab Shell
For waterfront dining at Harbor Landing Marina, savor excellent seafood and local favorites. Also check out the outdoor bar with a crab shack and live music.

NORWALK

Sunset Grille
On the dock and right near the fuel dock at Norwalk Cove Marina, guests can enjoy gourmet seafood offered at a lively seasonal, outdoor venue. (Note: Dozens of restaurants are accessible from Norwalk Cove Marina or Rex Marine Center (via the Cove/Rex shuttle) or from the Norwalk Town Dock.)

BRIDGEPORT

Dolphin's Cove
Located at Dolphin's Cove Restaurant & Marina and an easy spot to meet crew coming by Rt. 95 or the Port Jefferson Ferry, this family-oriented eatery offers a wide array of dishes from the sea and land and a kids' menu.

Captain's Cove Seaport Restaurant, Bar & Marina
Nested in the waterfront on Black Rock Harbor, it serves battered and fried seafood and shellfish, and has a decent kids' menu. Check out lots of attractions in the area.

STRATFORD

Outriggers
Located at Brewer's Stratford Marina, this restaurant presents fine dining in a casual atmosphere. Sample fresh fish and other seafood delights prepared to order.

The Chowder Spot
This food truck at the boat launch ramp in Stratford Harbor dishes up the ultimate in casual grub with a fantastic waterfront view.

HOUSATONIC RIVER

(between Stratford and Milford on the Connecticut coast)

clam chowder - new england dock and dine - marinalife
Clam Chowder | Wikimedia Commons

Joey C's Boathouse Cantina & Grill
Raise a fork to an all-around good menu with Mexican specialties, as well as local seafood, vegan and gluten-free options, and a large outdoor deck.

Riverview Bistro
Enjoy excellent seafood and classic dishes in a graceful venue overlooking the Housatonic River. Find a nice, secluded bar and lovely banquet room.

Knapp's Landing
Located right on the water with a wonderful menu to match the view. Choose from a variety of seafood dishes ranging from clam chowder to lobster ravioli accompanied by a good raw bar.

MILFOD

After docking at Milford Landing Marina, a one-block walk takes you to lots of great dining choices including:

Archie Moore's
Serving craft beer in a rustic atmosphere since 1898, the pub's regular patrons come for the casual vibe and nibble on the famous buffalo wings.

7 Seas
Open for lunch and dinner and specializes in New England-style lobster rolls and fried seafood in a casual setting.

Stonebridge Restaurant
American fare, fresh seafood and great appetizers. Take your pick of seating in a formal dining room, lively pub or outside on the deck.

SBC Restaurant & Beer Hall
Enjoy the neighborhood bar groove with handmade cocktails, local craft beer and farm-fresh American dishes at the end of the Wepawaug River.

BRANFORD

Dockside Seafood & Grill
Located at Safe Harbor Marina at Bruce & Johnson's. Casual nautical atmosphere with extensive menu of seafood, pasta, and lots more.

Stony Creek Brewery
Head all the way up river and dock at the brewery for craft brews with a view, cocktails and hot pizza.

Nellie's
Experience casual waterfront dining on a large patio on the Branford River with a good grilled seafood menu mixed with SoCal and classic New England cuisine, topped off with craft cocktails.

CLINTON

Lobster Landing
Located right on the water in Clinton Harbor, it's rumored by Yankee Magazine to have the best lobster roll in New England.

Rocky's Aqua
Known for its classic New England seafood and steak dishes, plus a nice waterfront view.

WESTBROOK

Liv's Shack
Located at the site of the former BOOM restaurant at Pilot's Point Marina and specializes in hot buttered lobster rolls, fish tacos, hamburgers and more.

Bill's Seafood
A short walk or dinghy ride brings you to Bill's at the Singing Bridge. The seafood shack serves fried fish, lobster rolls and chowder on an outdoor deck. Kids love to throw French fries to the gulls and ducks.

OLD SAYBROOK

Fresh Salt
Enjoy fine dining of locally sourced produce, seafood and meats at the Saybrook Point Resort & Marina for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Note: Head up the Connecticut River to discover other interesting restaurants such as The Griswold Inn in Essex and The Blue Oar in Haddam where you can BYOB, tablecloth and candles.

NEW LONDON

Fred's Shanty
Locals love this classic destination for seafood take out with picnic tables on the water.

Fisherman and lobsters - ne dock and dine - marinlaife
Fisherman and lobsters | Osvaldo Escobar on Unsplash

On the Waterfront Restaurant & Bar
Relax in casual elegance while dining on Italian-influenced seafood and steaks with stellar views of the Thames River.

Muddy Waters Cafe
Come here for coffees, baked goods, and breakfast or lunch options. It's home of the famous Love Salad, a generous Italian antipasto-type salad with garlic bread. Closest access by water is at the dinghy dock by the town moorings.

Note: Visit the eastern end where Long Island Sound meets Fisher's Island Sound. In Fisher's Island Sound, head up the Mystic River to find Abbott's Lobster in the Rough, Red 36 and lots of restaurants in downtown Mystic by the Bascule Bridge. Also explore Stonington's many culinary offerings including Breakwater and Dog Watch Café.

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Cruising the Great Loop Taught Us How to Cook
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nyc skyline - food - marinalife
Kate and her husband Tim

Before embarking on the Great Loop, my husband Tim and I lived in New York City, which helped prepare us somewhat for life on the water. We took our clothes to a laundromat, hand washed our dishes, and understood the challenges of living in a small space. But given it's one of the culinary capitals of the world, living in Manhattan didn't teach us how to cook. Since living on our boat, a 31-foot 1996 Camano Troll named Sweet Day, we had to change our relationship with the kitchen, which means we actually had to use it. Here's what we learned.

Be Creative with What We Have

While cruising the Great Loop, we imagined tiki bars and restaurants dotting the shorelines everywhere we stopped. This is definitely true in some parts. But more times than expected, we found ourselves nowhere near a place to grab a meal, much less a grocery store.This means we've learned how to build meals with what we have onboard. We also realized that as long as we have flour and a little butter, homemade tortillas can easily transform a couple sides into tasty tacos and easily impress neighbors at the next docktail party.

Rarely Waste Food

In the daily hustle of our lives in the city, we ended up wasting a lot more food than we'd like to admit. The opposite has been true while cruising. We typically buy enough fresh food for three to four meals, because that's all we can fit in our fridge. A home-cooked dinner is easily stretched to lunch the next day. And since we travel with our fridge, leftovers never get left behind.

No Need for Fancy Kitchen Gadgets

We have a small propane oven and a three-burner stove. We can use these with barely any electricity, making cooking underway and at anchor seamless. When we're plugged into a marina or if we run our generator, we can also use our microwave (when it's not being used as a food pantry).Some cruisers have Instapots and other gadgets, but our boat isn't set up to handle that amount of electricity. Plus, we don't have the space. So, we've had to learn (with a lot of practice) how to cook juicy chicken or tender salmon without the benefits of modern cooking technology.

Access Our Kitchen 24/7

One of the biggest (and underrated) benefits of cruising is that your stuff travels with you, including your kitchen. This means we can make a marinade while cruising and cook the chicken at anchor that night. Or knead a loaf of bread underway to make sure it's ready to bake the next day. Plus, you never have to worry about forgetting olive oil or spices when on a trip. Spending time and experimenting in the kitchen helps break up those long cruising days too, all while rewarding us with a tasty meal once we reach our destination.

Know the Steps Ahead of Time to Plan a Meal

One quirk of our galley is we can only run the oven or the stove, as our propane system can't support running both at the same time. As a result, it requires knowing the recipe and its steps in advance to ensure we have the right equipment and ability to cook the meal. If the meal is good enough to be part of the rotation, the steps become easier to remember the next time we cook it.

Learn What Meals We Can Make Quickly

Just like land life, there are days when we may feel excited about prepping and cooking a more time-intensive meal, and others when we're hungry, it's 7:00 p.m. and we just need to get something in our stomach. In New York, that meant heading downstairs for a slice of pizza.

lunch aboard - food - marinalife
Courtesy of Kate Raulin Carney

That doesn't work while cruising. Learning what meals take time (especially in Sweet Day's kitchen) and what meals can be thrown together quickly (hello mac and cheese and tuna fish) is extremely helpful. When we're stocking up on food, we make sure we have enough of those go-to meal items for those inevitable times when we just need something fast.To help you stock your galley, here are some of our favorite items:

  • High-quality all-purpose knife: Our Zwilling Santoku knife cuts pretty much everything we've cooked in the last year.
  • Dutch oven: This is perfect for baking fresh bread, making soups, rice and other meals. We store it in the oven while not in use.
  • Stainless steel French press: We didn't want to have to rely on electricity to make coffee, so our go-to is a sturdy French press. Plus, it's fun to get beans from local coffee shops.
  • New York Times cooking subscription: This app allows us to easily search tons of recipes and discover new dishes with ingredients we have on board.
  • Pre-cut parchment paper: I learned this from my dad. It keeps food from sticking to the pan and makes cleaning easy a big plus on a tiny boat, where you may need to clean the pan quickly to put another item in the oven.

SIMPLE FLOUR TORTILLAS

Here's our go-to recipe for an easy batch of tortillas. Some of our favorite ingredients for stuffing inside are pantry staples black beans and rice or roasted sweet potatoes with a charred scallion crema (Greek yogurt, mayo and scallions charred on a hot skillet).

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 cup room temperature butter (Can also replace with shortening, lard or vegetable oil)
  • 7/8 to 1 cup of hot water

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  2. Add the butter (if you're using vegetable oil, add it in step 3). Use your fingers to work the fat into the flour until it disappears.
  3. Pour in the lesser amount of hot water (plus the oil, if you're using it), and stir briskly with a fork or whisk to bring the dough together into a shaggy mass. Stir in additional water as needed to bring the dough together.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and knead briefly, just until the dough forms a ball. If the dough is very sticky, gradually add abit more flour.
  5. Divide the dough into 8 pieces. Round the pieces into balls, flatten slightly and allow them to rest, covered, for about 30 minutes.If you wish, coat each ball lightly in oil before covering to ensure the dough doesn't dry out.
  6. While the dough rests, preheat an ungreased cast iron griddle or skillet over medium high heat, about 400°F.
  7. Working with one piece of dough at a time, roll into a round about 8 inches in diameter. Keep the remaining dough covered while you work. Fry the tortilla in the ungreased pan for about 30 seconds on each side. Wrap the tortilla in a clean cloth when it comes off the griddle to keep it pliable. Repeat with the remaining dough balls.
  8. If you have leftovers, allow them to cool completely, then wrap tightly in plastic and store in the refrigerator. Reheat in an ungreased skillet or for a few seconds in the microwave.

Recipe is from King Arthur Baking Company, kingarthurbaking.com/recipes/simple-tortillas-recipe. To follow Kate and Tim Carney's cruising adventures aboard Sweet Day, go to lifeonsweetday.com or @lifeonsweetday on Instagram.

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Battle of the Crustaceans: Lobsters vs. Crabs
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Best Region for the Season

lobster - this or that - marinalife
Courtesy of Justine G

Lobster

New England and Canada are known as major lobster hubs along the Atlantic, and Maine is one of the most famous regions in the world for these mouth-watering delicacies. For the freshest catch, Maine's top lobster-loving towns include Rockland, Bar Harbor, Belfast, Georgetown, Harpswell, Kennebunk and Ogunquit.

Crab

More than 6,000 species of crabs across the world vary in everything from appearance to taste. For example, Maryland crab fans meticulously pick the meat from under the crab's shell, while in Florida, they split open the legs and claws for a tasty treat. To experience the best Maryland blue crabs, visit cities such as Baltimore and Annapolis, as well as Kent Island on the Chesapeake Bay's Eastern Shore and Solomons Island in southern Maryland.

Habitat

crab - this or that - marinalife
Blue Crab | Courtesy of Pakhnyushchy

Lobster

Although they are mostly ocean creatures, lobsters do frequently appear on land and sea. They are omnivores and sometimes eat their own when confined or stressed. You can find them throughout the world's oceans in freshwater and brackish environments. Some of the most delicious species are caught in the Gulf of Maine and along coastal Nova Scotia.

Crab

Typically found in saltwater or brackish water, thousands of different crab species live in all of the world's oceans. Like lobsters, some are land-crawlers. Many solely live in the water and others inhabit the edges along rocks and sandy shores. The best crustacean havens for crabbing include Maryland, Virginia and Delaware. Florida stone crabs are found in southern waters in shallow, rocky locations including knee-deep seagrass beds and reefs.

Traditional Recipes

Lobster

The sweet taste of lobster pairs well with your taste buds in any variation. Cook it in a gamut of dishes from steaming, grilling or boiling, to chopped-up in a warm soup or cold salad. Some of the most famous classics include a New England lobster boil, baked lobster tail, lobster mac and cheese, creamy bisque and much more.

Crab

Pick-and-eat crab feasts are a beloved pastime across the mid-Atlantic region. Catch, steam, season, crack open and scarf down! Use a mallet to break the claws open and get the good thick meat. Two varieties of crab soup creamy or tomato-based are popular along the East Coast, as well as dishes such as crab dip, crab Rangoon, crab pretzels and best of all the world-famous Maryland crab cakes.

Fun Facts

lobster - this or that - marinalife
Lobster Dish | Courtesy of BDMcIntosh

Lobster

Lobsters actually have two stomachs and can detach a limb and grow it back during their molting cycle. Today, lobsters are among the pricier seafood selections and are considered a delicacy, but that wasn't always the case. In early 19th century New England, lobsters were so abundant that their shells were used as fertilizer and their meat was fed to pigs as scraps.

Crab

Crabs are typically an aggressive crustacean and often fight with other crabs and aquatic creatures. They can walk in any direction and mostly scurry sideways. Unlike lobsters that can live to age 100, Atlantic crabs only survive for three to four years. Dungeness Crabs from Alaska can live up to 13 years, and the Japanese spider crab has the longest lifespan of all its fellow crustaceans, often reaching 80 to 100 years old.

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Learn to Cook Like a Caribbean Local
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Tucked away in the southernmost corner of the Caribbean Sea on the island of Trinidad, Lystra Seepersad, creator of the Caribbean Kitchen Pool & Lounge, teaches cooking to her fellow islanders and visitors. About 45 minutes from the twin island republic's capital city Port of Spain, her home is a food oasis fed by a small but mighty kitchen garden producing sweet corn, broccoli, peppers and myriad of other vegetables, as well as spices such as karapule, which is used in curry.

roti - food - marinalife
Courtesy of Lystra Seepersad

At the center of her pool resides a white and pink blow up unicorn, a testament to her unique style and a favorite when she holds birthday parties for local children.

Lystra has spent the past two decades teaching herself to cook the specialties and varied cuisine of the islands and now shares what she's learned through in-person and virtual classes. Mastering the diversity of Trinidadian and Tobagonian food can take years.

Like other Caribbean countries, recipes are rarely written down and instead are passed from generation to generation, much like family heirlooms. Lystra began experimenting with different spices at 19, and when she married, her husband Aftab was her guinea pig for taste testing. He was a gentle reminder that she could always improve. "Aftab might say that needs a little bit of this and that, but if he didn't like the food he wouldn't have said much, just not taken more," she explains.

The cuisine of Trinidad and Tobago is "a melting pot formed from an array of cultures including Chinese, Indian, African, Syrian, Lebanese, Guyanese, Italian and Creole. Slaves, indentured servants and colonizers from Spain, France and Great Britain have also influenced the course of its cuisine for centuries."

Lystra, who labels herself an exquisite entrepreneur, has done well helping others learn to cook the food of her homeland. Between her private group page and business pages on Facebook she has close to 100,000 followers who keep coming back in part because of the constant stories about food amidst photos of mouth-watering dishes and happy cooks in training.

One of her favorite ways of getting attention is to ask her followers what's for dinner? The question is followed by images of delectable dishes such as palau, a stew made with either beef or chicken. Its unique flavor comes from searing the meat in caramelized sugar then simmering with rice, coconut milk and pigeon peas accompanied by slices of tomato, avocadoes or cucumber. Other meals may include curried duck or curried goat so tantalizing you can almost smell them through the Internet.

Preparing Meals in Paradise

Trinidad and Tobago, and the 21 smaller islands spanning almost 2,000 square miles off the coast of Venezuela, are worth a trip simply for the views. Trinidad is the more developed of the two big islands, and its capital Port of Spain is home to a thriving oil industry and one of the busiest shipping hubs in the Caribbean. By contrast, Tobago is largely undeveloped with a coastline encircled by peacock blue water and white coral sand beaches. Its interior is rich with rainforests, waterfalls and wildlife.

Lystra's cooking class - food - marinalife
Lystra's cooking class | Lystra Seepersad

Lystra taught her first cooking class in 2017, a hands-on West Indian roti and curry workshop. Roti is a local wheat- based flatbread that can be compared to naan in India although the only version called sada roti has the similar buttery texture of the Indian version.A local favorite roti is called Buss Up Shut because the crust is flaky and easily shreds, which looks like a bussed up or torn shirt. Street food such as Doubles, a sandwich made from curried chickpeas tucked between two pieces of fried flat bread and dressed in tamarind, coriander sauces and mango chutney, is also on the menu.

A typical cooking class lasts five to six hours and walks students through the process of preparing, cooking and presenting the finished meal. Students assist her in cooking, and when all is done each goes home with a box of food and a gift for coming to class, such as a special bowl or kitchen tongs. Lystra also travels to the students' homes and prepares food with them in domiciles as varied as boats and corporate offices.

What's the best part about teaching others to love the food of her native land? I like it when my participants message me with their photos to show their progress in the kitchen, she said. Some have even opened catering businesses. I remember one participant who said his money for his wife's classes was well worth it. That was a great feeling knowing I had helped others regain their confidence in the kitchen. For more, go to caribbeankitchenbylystra.com

Whole Wheat Sada Roti

Ingredients

  • 4 CUPS FLOUR
  • 1/2 CUP WHEAT BRAN (OPTIONAL; COULD BE REPLACED WITH WHITE FLOUR)
  • 3 TEASPOONS BAKING POWDER
  • 3/4 TEASPOON SALT
  • 1/2 TEASPOON SUGAR
  • 1 TO 2 CUPS OF WATER FOR KNEADING

Method

  1. Place dry ingredients in a bowl, then knead flour with 1 1/2 cups of water, add a little more if necessary.
  2. Brush the top with oil, cover and leave to rest for 45 minutes.
  3. Make 3 to 4 small dough balls (loyas). Cover and leave to rest another 15 minutes.
  4. Heat the tawah or griddle.
  5. Open one of the dough balls and place on a floured surface. Roll out with a rolling pin about 8 inches wide and 1/2 inch thick.
  6. Place the rolled-out dough on the heated tawah. As soon as the bubbles start to form flip it over and cook the other side. Flip one more time.
  7. To sakay the roti (toast the edges so it inflates and you can put cooked vegetables inside), pull the tawah away from the flame, tilt the side you are holding downward so the side that is used is not touching your grill and use a clean dish cloth to push the roti towards the flame to cook the edges evenly.
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Maryland Crabs & Corn
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When you come ashore to provision on the Chesapeake Bay, a cornucopia of fresh produce and seafood awaits, just plucked from the land and sea. Vibrant vegetables might catch your eye -- ruby red tomatoes, golden squash and slim green cucumbers. But be sure to save room in your shopping basket for two elements that define summer on the Bay: corn and crabs.

Chef Tom Green - crabs & corn - marinalife
Chef Tom Green | Tilghman Island Inn

Despite the royal moniker of Silver Queen, Maryland corn is often unceremoniously piled high in old wooden crates at farmers' markets, and local crabs are found kicking about in watermen's bushel baskets. Don't let the modest packaging fool you. Peel back the husk and take a whiff to experience the corn's sweet aroma and creamy kernels. And hold a feisty blue crab while avoiding his snapping claws to appreciate the magic of the Bay's waters.

"Our crabs and corn might be grown locally, but they are world-class delicacies," says Tom Green, chef and owner of Tilghman Island Inn on Maryland's Eastern Shore. "The same crab species is harvested in North Carolina and Louisiana, but they're just not as sweet as Chesapeake crustaceans. Our crabs grow plump around the same time as the corn ripens late in the season, so they're naturally connected and follow the core culinary philosophy of finding ingredients that go together well."

Sitting on the patio of Green's beautifully restored boutique inn is an idyllic location to get schooled on local crabs and corn. The view presents working boats chugging along Knapps Narrows as they head out to the Chesapeake Bay to pull up crab pots. Blue herons and egrets snatch aquatic creatures from seagrass and deliver a seafood dinner to hungry chicks in their nests.

A pair of bald eagles swirls in circles above the tree line as Green shares his culinary tricks of the trade. "In season, Maryland crabs and corn are the best on the planet, and nothing beats steamed crabs and sweet corn with Old Bay, butter or vinegar on a summer day, says Green. The key is finding them fresh and local to get top-quality ingredients."

Whether you're buying crabs at the docks from a waterman or at a fish market, don't hesitate to ask the fishmonger about the crabs' origin and arrival date to make sure they've just come out of the Bay. When preparing crab meat and corn, keep it simple, don't over-cook and avoid adding a lot of nonsense. To enhance their flavors, you can add a pinch of other seasonal elements such as onions, poblano peppers or sweet basil.

When asked if he were a contestant on Chopped, and fresh Maryland crabs and corn appeared in his basket, what would Green make for the judges? With little hesitation, he replied "For the appetizer, I'd make crab and corn fritters on top of greens or heirloom tomatoes, and for the main course, I'd wow them with crab and corn succotash."

Fortunately for Marinalife readers, Chef Green has graciously agreed to share his recipes for these classic Chesapeake dishes and encourages us to give them a try this summer.

Editor's Note: Tom Green's 30 years of experience in the restaurant and hospitality business include chef positions at the Ronald Reagan Building, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and U.S. House of Representatives. After years of vacationing on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, Tom and his wife Marlise purchased the Tilghman Island Inn, which they have meticulously restored to create a graceful getaway on the Chesapeake waterfront. For more, go to tilghmanislandinn.com

Crab & Corn Fritters

crab corn fritter - crabs & corn - marinalife
Crab & Corn Fritter | Tilghman Island Inn

6 ounces fresh crabmeat

1 teaspoon baking powder

1¾ cup fresh corn

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

¼ cup white onion, finely chopped

½ teaspoon cracked black pepper

1 cup all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon Old Bay seasoning

2/3 cup whole milk

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

2 large eggs

2 tablespoons scallions, sliced

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1-2 heirloom tomatoes

Olive oil to taste

Chopped parsley to taste

In a medium 10-inch skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Cook until onion softens, 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the corn to the skillet and continue to cook for another 3-5 minutes. Remove skillet from heat.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, pepper and Old Bay. In a large bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, scallions and lemon juice. Gradually whisk flour mixture into milk mixture just until smooth. Stir in the corn and onion mixture and crabmeat. Cover and refrigerate 10 minutes.

Remove the corn crab batter from the refrigerator. Add enough oil to skillet so it reaches about 1/4 inch deep; heat over medium-high heat. Carefully drop 6-7 mounds of batter by tablespoon into hot oil. Cook until golden brown, about 1-2 minutes per side. Transfer fritters to paper towels and repeat with remaining batter. Serve over fresh sliced heirloom tomatoes dressed with olive oil and chopped parsley. Sprinkle with chopped scallions.

Crab & Corn Succotash

Succotash

2 cups fresh corn

2 tablespoons olive oil

¼ cup white onion, finely chopped

Kosher salt to taste

¼ cup Poblano pepper, finely chopped

Cracked black pepper to taste

Crab Corn Succotash - crabs & corn - marinalife
Crab & Corn Succotash | Tilghman Island Inn

Crab Salad

1 pound fresh lump crabmeat

2 tablespoons parsley, chopped

2 scallions, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons lemon vinaigrette

Kosher salt to taste

Cracked black pepper to taste

Old Bay seasoning to taste

Lemon Vinaigrette

1/3 cup olive oil

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon honey

1-2 small garlic cloves, minced

Kosher salt to taste

Cracked black pepper to taste

For lemon vinaigrette, add all ingredients into bowl and whisk together. Put aside for the crab salad.

Pick through crab meat to ensure that there is no shell. Place in a medium size bowl and add the parsley and scallions. Dress with lemon vinaigrette to lightly coat ingredients. Season with kosher salt, pepper and Old Bay to taste. Place in fridge until ready to plate.

In a medium 10-inch skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add onion and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Add poblano and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Add corn and saute for about 5 minutes. Season with kosher salt and pepper to taste.

Place succotash on the plate and top with the crab salad.

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