I want to share with you a book that I have had for a few years now and every time I pull it out from the shelf under the coffee table, it never fails to deliver a serving of pure escapism (dished up with equal portions of lifestyle envy).
Beyond the Shore encapsulates two of my greatest loves, and if you’re reading this blog, probably yours too; seafood and sailing. Until I came to Australia I had never really seen the point of cruising. But a sailing trip up the East coast of Tasmania, armed with a box of scallop pies and a case of Cascade, stopping at numerous small coastal towns all the way back to Sydney, soon changed my view on this topic.
Anyway, back to the book. If you’re not yet a convert to cruising, or indeed sailing in any shape or form, but like your seafood and wine then you might just find enlightenment in the pages of this book. Rosemary and Rob Peterswald pay homage to the beautiful east coast of Australia by sailing their yacht Oceania from Hobart to Cape York over a period of two years. In this time they share with us their sailing experiences and the food they (sometimes catch) and prepare on board as well as the culinary highlights of visits to great restaurants along the way. Recipes vary from the simple galley cooked Spicy Seafood Stew prepared at Ulladulla, to the Rosti Fillet of Beef with Moreton Bay Bugs served up by “Micheles” at Townsville Marina. All the food is matched with wines and the authors bring a touch of the sommelier in their tasting notes that accompany each recipe and meal.
What really makes this book endearing to me is the beautiful photography and presentation, and the combination of cookbook, travelogue and family journal. The back pages include a collage of black and white photos of all the friends, family and people met along the way. My favourite of course is the photo of the author’s family Labrador sporting sailing cap and looking very distinguished and “salty seadog” sitting beside the cockpit. That was the clincher.
Here’s Rob and Rosemary’s recipe for Spicy Seafood Stew:
Heat 3/4 of a cup of olive oil, 4 finely chopped cloves of garlic, 2 chopped onions, 2 chopped chillies, 4 peeled tomatoes, diced octopus pieces, available fish heads. Simmer for 15 minutes, remove fish heads and discard. Add 1-2 cups of white wine, 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar, sufficient small potatoes in their jackets, and simmer for a further 10 minutes, add fish chunks, peas or beans and simmer for a further 6-7 minutes. Add cooked mussels, crayfish chunks, salt and pepper to taste and simmer for a minute or so until they are reheated. Serve in deep bowls with crusty bread and full bodied wine.
I found the book available for sale at Dymocks online for $59.95 and via a number of online bookshops when I googled the title. The publisher is not quoted in the book.