About Me

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Back in the 80s, I wrote a book called "Voyaging on a Small Income", which was published and sold astonishingly well. It’s become almost a “classic” and is probably why you’ve found this site! I’ve been living aboard and sailing since the 70s. Nine different boats have been home, sometimes for several months, sometimes for many years. I love the way of life, the small footprint and being close to Nature. I’m a great fan of junk rig and having extensive experience with both gaff and bermudian rig, I wouldn’t have any other sail on my boat. It’s ideal as a voyaging rig, but also perfect for the coastal sailing that I now do. I’d rather stay in New Zealand, not having to keep saying goodbye to friends, than go voyaging, these days. Between 2015 and 2021, I built the 26ft "FanShi", the boat I now call home. For the last 45 years or so, my diet of choice has been vegetarian and is now almost vegan. I love cooking and particularly enjoy having only myself to please. I am combining all these interests (apart, perhaps, from junk rig!) in this blog. I hope you enjoy it. I also have other blogs: www.anniehill.blogspot.com and http://fanshiwanderingandwondering.wordpress.com

20 May 2024

Carrot Pulao

A lot of dals and curries are made without any additional vegetables apart from garlic, onions and chilli.    While the myriad vegetable side dishes that exist in Indian cooking, are both delicious and fun to make, if I want to have rice, I often don’t want to have another pan to wash up, or have to make smaller portions of each dish, so that I don’t end up with too much food.    I usually make enough for two meals, and eat the leftovers for breakfast (don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!), but I don’t like having the same dinner two nights on the run.    The solution to this issue is to make a pulao that also contains vegetables.

Carrots are an epic voyaging vegetable, particularly if you can buy them from a market or greengrocer, unscrubbed and unrefrigerated.    While no doubt many voyagers would make a carrot and cabbage salad to go with curry, I confess to preferring both carrots and cabbage cooked rather than raw.    Grated carrots and shredded carrots do, however, use less of your precious provisions if you are trying to eke them out over a long passage.

Serves 2


1/2 cup brown basmati rice
1 large or 2 small carrots, grated or diced
4 tsp ghee, coconut or vegetable oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
Indian bay leaf (or some diced, salted lime)
20 cashew nuts (or equivalent if yours are broken)
1 small onion, finely chopped/
4 green chillis, slit lengthwise or diced*
1/2 tsp turmeric
salt to taste

  • Cook the basmati rice in a cup of salted water. If you are dicing the carrots, add these after about ten minutes.
  • Add a tsp of ghee or oil to a frying pan and heat it over a high flame.
  • Add the mustard seeds, cumin, bay leaf (or lime) and heat until they sizzle and pop.
  • Now, add the cashews and fry them for a few minutes.
  • Once the cashews turn golden brown, add the chopped onion and green chillis. Reduce the heat and fry until the onion turns translucent.
  • If you are using grated carrot, add this and fry for a minute until it shrinks and changes in colour.
  • When the carrot is cooked, add turmeric and salt to taste. Mix thoroughly.
  • Now add the cooked rice (and cooked, diced carrot).
  • Mix again gently, and cook for another minute.
Serve this carrot pilau with dal or curry. You can also serve it for a light meal with raita, if you like. 

  • * use fewer chillies if you think four seems a bit excessive.

06 May 2024

Sun-dried tomato pesto

Blender alert
I love sun-dried tomato pesto: it has a rich and intense flavour, softened by the nuts. It makes an excellent spread, is a superb grown-up substitute for tomato ketchup and I like to use it as a base for frying pan pizza. As long as you have a blender, it’s also easy to make, but I'm afraid that in this case, the blender is a necessity.
Most pesto recipes, including those based on tomatoes, call for fresh basil, but all too often, this is inappropriate for a voyaging boat. It’s usually relatively expensive, it doesn’t keep well, even if you have a fridge and a ‘bunch’ of basil is not very quantifiable. Moreover, this is only something that is available when you have frequent access to shops. I add a teaspoon of dried basil to this pesto, but if you feel it tastes wrong, you can leave it out altogether! Or add more if you wish. Or even add fresh basil should you be lucky enough to have some. But this is intended as a voyaging recipe that you can make from ingredients that you have in your lockers.  
Makes about 1 cup
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
3/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil, including oil
1 clove garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp vinegar or lemon juice*
salt and pepper
  • I suggest whizzing up the sunflower seeds first. This way you can chop them to the extent that you want. They are unlikely to get pulverised, once you’ve added the tomatoes.
  • Once the sunflower seeds are chopped up, add the tomatoes, garlic, nutritional yeast, basil and vinegar. Blend to a chunky consistency. 
  • Now carefully separate the blender and taste. Add more vinegar if you think it’s required.  
  • Check the saltiness - some sun-dried tomatoes are much saltier than others - and adjust, then add a good grinding of pepper. If the pesto seems too thick - and it probably will - add some water. Blend and check the consistency again (you might be able to do this simply by shaking the goblet), leaving it chunky or making it smooth, as you wish. You may need to add water several times some tomatoes seem denser than others.
Decant it into a glass jar, for preference. Use it more as a condiment than a dip - it’s quite strongly flavoured. However, it would make a brilliant pâté, mashed with some white beans.
  • Theoretically, this should be kept in the fridge, but I’ve found that as all the ingredients keep without refrigeration, so they do when they are combined! However, don’t keep it too long in a warm climate, because the oil may turn rancid.
  • Add more garlic if you like it to be more emphatic
  • With the sundried tomatoes I normally buy, I need at least 1/4 tsp salt.
  • Be aware that some sun-dried tomatoes in oil have vinegar already added, so taste them first to make sure you don't overpower your pesto with the taste.
  • Try adding a few chilli flakes if you’re fond of them
  • Capers would also go well in this pesto
  • If you’re feeling wealthy, use pinenuts instead of the sunflower seeds. Or any other nut or seed that takes your fancy.

21 April 2024

Broccoli sauce with walnuts and lemon

Blender alert (see Note)

This creamy broccoli sauce is perfect for pasta, and so easy to make. Whizzed together with walnuts and seasonings, it is both surprisingly satisfying and creamy. The first time I cooked it, my reaction was that it was hard to believe that it was dairy free.  Broccoli is by no means a voyaging vegetable, because it keeps so poorly, but it is readily available in many places. This recipe is a particularly good way of using up broccoli, when has started to turn yellow and it's great if you haven't been able to use up the stalk.

I like to serve it with spaghetti, but I think it would go well with most varieties of pasta.
Serves 2 
1/2 broccoli
1/3 cup walnuts
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp onion powder
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tbsp nutritionalyeast
1/4 tsp chilli flakes
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
  • Add about half a cup of water to a saucepan and bring it to the boil.
  • Cut the broccoli into florets, and cut off the woody end. Peel the thick skin from the stalk and slice the stalk. (You can use a peeler, if you wish, but I find that you can loosen the skin from the base of the stalk and simply tear it off with your knife blade.) Boil the broccoli and stalk for 4-5 minutes until just soft.
  • Remove from the pan, reserving the cooking water, and tip it into a blender or food processor.
  • Add the walnuts, garlic, onion powder, lemon and olive oil to the blender with the broccoli and whizz them together until they form a smooth paste.
  • Season generously with salt and pepper, then add a little of the cooking water, whizz again, and continue adding more water until it reaches a sauce-like consistency.  Check the seasoning, once the sauce is the thickness you want..
  • In the meantime, cook your pasta of choice according to the instructions on the package. You can use some of the pasta water in the sauce to thin it to the correct consistency, if necessary.
Serve the sauce piping hot with the pasta, with more black pepper ground over it.
  • If you don’t have a blender, you can still make this into a delicious sauce, but of course it won’t be as creamy.
  • Leave out the salt and/or lemon juice and add some salted lemon at the blender stage.
  • Add freshly-grated nutmeg just before serving.
  • instead of blending in the walnuts, chop them, to add additional texture to the sauce.
  • Instead of using onion powder, chop a small onion and cook it with the broccoli.
  • Rather than using this as a pasta sauce, pour it over vegetables or any main course dish.

14 April 2024

Tomato chutney

While this is a traditional Indian chutney, it is very adaptable to western ideas and you can use it as a base for a sauce, a dip for for stuffing vegetables. Or even as an extremely inauthentic pizza base! I think it goes very well with Lentil flatbreads for a light lunch or with sundowners. Unlike ‘chutney’ as most British people would think of it, this is not a preserve, although it will keep quite well for several days.


1 tsp coconut oil, mustard oil or other oil of choice
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp fennel seeds
a generous pinch of asafoetida)
2 tsp finely chopped ginger or ginger paste
3 or 4 cloves finely chopped garlic or 2 tsp garlic paste
1 green chilli chopped
1 small onion, chopped (optional)
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground coriander
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
1/4 tsp salt or to taste
1/4 tsp black salt (kala namak)
1/2 tsp Kasmiri chilli powder, to taste
  • In a medium pan, add the oil and heat on a medium flame.
  • Once hot, add mustard and cumin seeds and let them crackle.
  • Add asafoetida and fennel seeds, and mix for a few seconds.
  • Add ginger, garlic, green chilli and optional onion and cook on medium, stirring occasionally, until the onion is golden and/or the mixture smells fragrant.
  • Add turmeric and ground coriander and mix well.
  • Add tomatoes and salt and cook on low-medium heat, covered, until tomatoes are completely softened.
  • Adjust salt and spice. Add black salt and chilli powder to taste. Mix well.
You can continue to cook this chutney down to a thicker consistency or add a little water to make it thinner, depending on what you are serving the chutney with. I like to cook it over a low heat, covered, to make a very thick sauce.


  • For those who don’t have some of the more unusual curry spices on board, you can leave out the mustard seeds and asafoetida. Use ordinary salt in place of the kala namak and 1/4 tsp chilli flakes as a substitute for the Kashmiri chilli (a mild and very red, Indian chilli powder). You could use 1/2 tsp paprika to enhance the colour of the chutney.
  • If the pieces of onion or tomato skins seem too intrusive, you could try mashing the chutney, or give it a few seconds in a blender.  Be careful, however: you don't want it to end up as a purée!

23 March 2024

Seitan 'English' sausages














I have been working on this recipe for a while, now, determined to get it right.   I think most people enjoy sausages, with mash, or chips or as part of a huge fried breakfast.  What I love about this recipe is that is definitely a voyaging one, which means that you can have sausages half way across the ocean, should you so choose.  Not something many people can boast of, unless they have a freezer. In true voyaging style, the ones in the photo above are served with 'Surprise' peas.  Judging by the rest of the stuff on the table, the sea is pretty smooth!  These sausages are also quite fast to make, especially if you already have some sausage seasoning mixed: once you've cooked the sausages in the pressure cooker, they only need a few minutes in the frying pan to brown them to your taste.  Apart from my recipe for chorizo, this will be my first post about seitan, and I think it's a particularly good one to start with.
I am besotted with seitan recipes: the texture is so different from most other vegetarian and vegan foods, it’s cheap and making ‛meat’ with it is so quick.  These ‛English’ sausages are great on their own, in a bun/sandwich or as part of an ‛English’ breakfast.  The seasoning is based on that used in Cumberland sausage and the couscous is to replace the rusk that is always used in British bangers, to keep the juices in the sausage so that they don’t dry out.  In this way they're quite different from Bratwurst or other 100% meat sausages. In the days when I occasionally ate meat, I always found these tricky to cook because of the tendency of the ‛100% meat’ sausage to dry out, especially if they were also low fat.  Of course, the result isn’t as juicy as a good quality meat banger, but I do feel that the addition of couscous keeps it a little more moist.  If you don’t want to use couscous, go for the chorizo sausage recipe instead (link above) instead, and substitute the sausage seasoning for that included in the chorizo recipe.

Instead of the herbs, spices and salt in the recipe, shown in italics, I recommend using 3 tsp Annie's English sausage seasoning, for a more complex flavour (see recipe at the bottom of the page.) There's a generous amount of seasoning, because the seitan otherwise has no flavour. It does in fact, have a slight, indescribable taste, which can be a bit intrusive, and this is why the ingredients include vinegar. Most of the recipes that I’ve seen always insist on ‘apple cider’ vinegar (what other sort of cider is there? Surely the definition of cider is fermented apple juice?), but any vinegar, apart from Balsamic, would work just fine. So no doubt would lemon juice, but vinegar is cheaper.

Makes 6 sausages, 2 servings


1/3 cup couscous
1/2 tsp yeast extract or miso
2/3 cup boiling water
3/4 tsp crushed black pepper
1/2 tsp thyme
3/4 tsp sage
1/8 - 1/4 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp salt
OR 3 tsp Annie's English sausage seasoning 
1/4 cup (60 ml) water
1 tbsp soya sauce
1 tsp vinegar
1 heaped tsp tahini
1 tbsp olive oil or deodorised coconut oil, melted
2 tbsp chickpea flour
1/3 cup vital wheat gluten
  • Cut baking parchment into 6 sheets, approximately 200/8" x 150/6".
  • Put the couscous in a large bowl.
  • Mix the yeast extract/miso in 2/3 cup boiling water and then pour it over the couscous. Cover the bowl and leave it for about ten minutes until the water has been absorbed.   
  • Now mix the seasoning into the couscous.
  • Add the 1/4 cup of water and mix well.
  • Then add the soya sauce, followed by the vinegar, tahini and oil. Mix this all very thoroughly, because once you have added the vital wheat gluten it will be difficult to incorporate the other ingredients evenly.
  • Now add the chickpea flour and the vital wheat gluten and quickly mix it in to the rest of the ingredients.  Again do this very thoroughly.   I find a butter knife the best tool.
  • Mix as well as you can with your knife and then use your hand, incorporating all the flour that will be trying to stick to the edge of the bowl.  Keep mixing until everything until you have a smooth dough and it stops sticking to your hands. You should end up with a fairly soft mix.
  • Place the dough on a board.  (Make sure you clean the bowl really thoroughly, because the gluten sticks as soon as it dries out, making it quite difficult to clean.  Soak it for a while if you've left much behind, before cleaniing.)  Roughly shape it into a rectangle about as long as you want your sausages to be.  (The dough is nowhere near as accommodating as bread dough when it comes to shaping).   
  • Cut the dough in half and then thirds so that you have six equal lumps of dough. I usually have to pinch a bit of dough from one or two to get them all more or less the same size.
  • Shape the sausages to be best of your ability – the wrapping finishes the job.  Don’t worry about gaps and creases.  The cooking sorts out most of that.  It would be fun to try to make one long sausage, wrap it up in baking paper and then form it into a coil to put onto the trivet.  This would produce and authentic Cumberland sausage shape, which would be fun and impressive, but I’m not sure how well it would work.
  • Now put each sausage, centred at the edge of a piece of baking paper and roll it up tightly. This helps make it round.  Twist the paper at either end, until it is squashed against the end of the sausage.  Do this with all six sausages.

  • Put the trivet into your pressure cooker.  Add about half a cup of water – don’t let it cover the trivet.  Place the sausages onto the trivet – it doesn’t matter if they are stacked – and bring up to pressure; cook for 5 minutes.
  • Let the pressure come down naturally.
When they’re cooked, take the sausages out of the pressure cooker and unwrap them.    Put them somewhere where they can cool and dry out a little before storing them.  I find they keep best in my wooden bread bin!  Fry them before using them – the added olive oil gives additional flavour and I enjoy cooking them until they are slightly crisp.
Serve with mashed or smashed potatoes and vegetables, or any way that you enjoy your sausages.  They will stand up happily to barbecuing or cooking on the beach.

Annie’s English Sausage seasoning:

Makes enough for about 60 sausages, or 20 servings


1 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground mace
2 1/2 tbsp salt
2 tbsp black pepper
2 tbsp rubbed sage
2 tsp onion powder
1 1/4 tsp ground ginger
2 1/4 tsp thyme
3/4 tsp cayenne
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander

  • If you don’t have ground nutmeg or mace (which don’t keep well ready-ground) grind up about 1/2 a nutmeg in a mortar or blender. Remove 1 1/2 tsp and add to a bowl.
  • Take several blades of mace, grind to a powder, remove 1 tsp and add to the nutmeg.
  • Now add all the rest of the ingredients and mix thoroughly. Put into a glass jar and keep as cool and dark as feasible.
Add 3 tsp of sausage seasoning to 1/3 cup vital wheat gluten, ie, per 6 sausages.

Annie's English sausage seasoning


This is a very well-flavoured, spicy blend to add to sausages, using whatever recipe you like.  It is based on several recipes for Cumberland sauasage, a popular English variety and native to the next county I grew up in.  It makes for an astonishingly authentic taste in sausages that are entirely innocent of meat. 

Makes enough for about 60 sausages, or 20 servings


1 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground mace
2 1/2 tbsp salt
2 tbsp black pepper
2 tbsp rubbed sage 
2 tsp onion powder
 1/4 tsp ground ginger
2 1/4 tsp thyme
3/4 tsp cayenne
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander

  • If you don’t have ground nutmeg or mace (which don’t keep well ready-ground) grind up about 1/2 a nutmeg in a mortar or blender. Remove 1 1/2 tsp and add to a bowl.
  • Take several blades of mace, grind to a powder, remove 1 tsp and add to the nutmeg.
  • Now add all the rest of the ingredients and mix thoroughly. Put into a glass jar and keep as cool and dark as feasible.

Add 1/2 tsp of seasoning per 6“ sausage