My talented blog friend, Donna at Retirement Reflections, has teamed up with Deb at Widow Badass to invite all of us to a monthly virtual dinner party. The goal is to spread meal inspirations and share dishes that we have recently enjoyed. Breakfast, lunch, appetizers, dinner, dining in, dining out… all ideas are welcome.
One of my self-imposed assignments to an upcoming British Virgin Islands bareboat charter trip is to cook, freeze, and bring Traveling Flatbread Pizza. I am experimenting with two versions; Italian and Greek. Saute diced peppers, fennel, and onions in a splash of olive oil and roasted garlic. I added dried tomatoes and fresh basil to the Italian and lemon zest and mint for the Greek. Toss diced cubes of mozzarella for Italian and feta for the Greek. Spread a layer of pesto on the flatbread (I may whip up a lemony mint pesto for the Greek). Place the saute on top, cover with parchment paper, wrap in foil, and seal in a freezer zip bag.
Once defrosted, grill or bake the Traveling Flatbread Pizza. It makes a great appetizer or quick lunch.
What is the BVI Bareboat Charter all about? Read on.
The trip had been on our calendar for two years. At first, we arranged for three boats—42 foot 4 cabin motor-cats to bareboat charter in the British Virgin Islands, April 2020. My sisters and I figured out logistics to get my parents on board and enjoy the week with us. But COVID happened and then Dad died in October 2020.
This was not our first BVI trip. Since 1977 or 78, my parents and several of their cousins and siblings invested in chartered sailboats. For almost 40 years, my folks spent weeks in the winter on board, hosting my sisters, brother and my families for a glorious Caribbean vacation. Traveling everywhere by boat made an amazing trip.The sea was always clear blue and the underwater scenery always breathtaking. We captained the vessels and discovered our favorite coves and snorkeling spots. Being a friendly and generous soul, my dad was recognized at many ports. Mom, the master planner and delegator, had her mental list of assignments and packing requirements.
Every five to seven years, my family filled our backpacks and soft duffle bags with masks, snorkels, bathing suits, T-shirts, and food, flew to St. Thomas, and loaded a boat with a week to ten days of provisions. In 1979, my husband and I had a week alone on the 42 foot sailboat for our honeymoon. One year, we made hats and baked box cakes for my eldest’s three-year-old birthday. Two boats of relations rafted next to each other. We passed my 3-month-old from lap to lap so she could join the party. My kids never made it to Disney. When given the choice of the mouse or swimming with turtles and Papa, the turtles and Papa won without a debate.
It had always been a working vacation—kind of DIY glamping escapade. The boats came with a full galley and enough bunks and floor space for sleeping and playing cards. Many times, someone had to bring an alternator or a boat toilet part so Dad could fix an annoying problem. We brought an abundance of sunscreen, extra T-shirts, and fussed over the fit of our snorkels and masks. The biggest chore was planning, cooking, and freezing meals before the trip. Our frugal sensibilities did not consider dinner out each night. Over the years, Mom, my sisters, and I developed a routine and menu to satisfy all crews. We once-upon-a-time checked coolers packed with food and dry ice, but that is no longer allowed. Instead, we pack our bags with frozen flat meals in plastic bags (we reuse) between towels and T-shirts. If there were no delays or luggage lost, the food remained frozen and transferred to the boat freezer.
The trip has evolved over the years. The islands have grocers that outfit the boats, so we don’t pack taking EVERYTHING (although favorite snacks, cheeses, and meals frozen in plastic zip bags make it into the luggage). My parents and uncles are no longer owners, so we charter like regular people.
It took some time to juggle schedules and adjust to Dad not being part of the party. If all lines up and goes well, Matt and I will be on a boat next week in the BVI. We are traveling with 35 of my favorite cousins, sisters, nieces and nephews in five boats. We call ourselves Family BVI Floatilla. There are T-shirts. I am packing bathing suits, T-shirts, a few personal necessities, but the food will take up most of the luggage space and weight limits. My assignment is to bring pulled pork, tuna steaks I can sear on the grill, and Traveling Flatbread Pizzas.
Mom cannot go with us, but she had plenty of advice and lists. We each bring Dad in our hearts. He would have loved this party.
COVID cast a shadow on traveling to and from the BVI. Everyone is being extra vigilant in masking while going about their everyday. We all packed a stash of approved home tests. I am also channeling my dad’s optimistic spirit and believe we will all travel safely and have a blast.