Recipe Column: My new ‘hole in the water’
They say a boat is a hole in the water you pour money into, and I was thinking that sentiment as I looked over a small vessel a couple of weeks ago at a garage sale. I had no intention of buying a boat. In fact, what I was really after were the oars in it, but the man selling this craft was as persistent as a beagle after a rabbit.
I have to admit that I missed having a boat. I sold mine last year, mainly because it was just too big for me to handle as far as getting it into, and out of, the water by myself. Besides that it was starting to have engine trouble, and I’m a lot of things, but I’m definitely no boat mechanic. So last year I put it up for sale and two guys showed up who were boat mechanics and purchased it.
Then a friend gave me a row boat (with no oars) so I have been diligently attending promising-looking garage sales in the hopes of purchasing a pair. And the oars laid across the beam of this boat were just what I was looking for.
As I eyed them over, the garage sale holder sauntered up and started professing the attributes of this tiny two-seater; the ease of getting in and out of water; the newness of the trailer; and all the extras that were included like life jackets, a cooler, an anchor, the gas can and of course the oars. The little four-horse motor was a big plus too and so eager was he to demonstrate its trustworthiness he fired it up. On the first pull it roared to life and I was impressed but, I was also broke and so all this show, as far as I was concerned, was pointless.
“Willing to take all offers,” he said with determination. “Just want to see it go.”
And so, just to make him realize how broke I really was, I shot him a low figure, and I mean really low. I was surprised to see him scratch his chin in consideration. And then when I started to walk away, he accepted this paltry price, much to my surprise.
Now I was in a jam because I had no way of getting it home, but my buddy, Kenny, who I had come with, did have the correct hitch, and promised to deliver my new purchase later in the day. When I got home, I realized that I probably wasn’t going to be able to afford eat for a month, but then I started thinking how much fun having a boat was going to be again, especially one I could manage. ‘Besides,’ I thought, ‘I’ll catch my food.’
When Kenny showed up later in the day with my new purchase, I was in for another surprise-it was filled with all sorts of “merchandise” that had gone unsold at the garage sale. I found out that if you go to garage sales at the end of the day, all kinds of deals transpire, and this man was really serious when he said “just need to see it go.”
My jaw dropped open when I went out to look it over. I had taken a giant step backwards in my quest to “simplify and downsize” my life. Curtain rods, air purifiers, dishes, rugs, winter boots, and assorted “goods” of every caliber were stuffed in this vessel.
But once again the divine provenance of some angel was looking down on me and Kenny, who is a garage sale aficionado, told me he would sell the goods at his own garage sale, so I was off the hook. Once we unloaded the stuff into his truck, I looked at my new purchase with a critical eye, and decided I had made a really good deal. The fact that my pantry was going to be a little meager for a few weeks was beside the point, and suddenly it felt good to be a boat owner again. All kinds of possibilities opened up in my mind, and I’m looking forward to some fine time on the water.
This week I’ve included a couple of favorite recipes I like to pack up in a cooler and take with me when I go boating. The Cowboy Lemonade serves two purposes; it keeps the other food cool as it thaws, and it is so refreshing as it melts.
There’s no doubt that a boat can be a hole in the water you pour money into, but my advice is buy one at the end of a garage sale, and it becomes a hole to dump stuff in. In fact, I’m thinking I might come out ahead yet.
Tiered Cheese Squares
1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 tsp. hot pepper sauce
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup dried cranberries
2 pkgs. (8 oz. each) deli-style cheddar cheese slices (about 3 inches square)
In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese, hot pepper sauce and salt. Stir in pecans and cranberries. On a 12-inch square of aluminum foil, place two slices of cheese side by side; spread with 2-3 tablespoons cream cheese mixture. Repeat layers six times. Top with two cheese slices. Fold foil around cheese and seal tightly. Refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight. Cut in half lengthwise and then widthwise into 1/4-in. slices. Serve with crackers. Yield: about 4 dozen.
1 can Lemonade concentrate
1 can Limeade concentrate
1/2 lemonade can water
2 cups 7-Up
Mix together in a blender then pour into rinsed and clean empty water bottles. (Leave about 2 inches at the top for expansion.) Freeze.