All I could hear out in the middle of the Pacific, was the rhythmic sound of the water slapping the side of the boat. My surroundings seemed so muted. No cell phones ringing, no car horns honking, only the occasional squawking of a sea-gull looking for it’s next meal. The sky was pale, the sea appeared gray and the white sails of the others boats almost disappeared against the sky. We were just a mile off shore, but a world away from that whirling dervish they call Los Angeles. Rodolfo was the skipper of the boat, and my husband Neil and Rodolfo’s wife Sonia were in charge of operating the ropes that controlled the sails. My job, lunch of course.
I got up early in the morning because I wanted to bake fresh French bread for the sandwiches that I was making for our 4th of July sea adventure. For me, the bread is the key to a tasty sandwich. I thought back to the sandwiches we had had in tiny cafes in Europe and my favorite was always the Serrano ham. This is a dry-cured Spanish ham, and I love it’s salty, buttery flavor. I added to it Manchego cheese which is a firm, Spanish cheese made from sheep’s milk. I spread fig jam on the bread, and finished it off with arugula and thinly sliced red onion. The layering of these flavors set off fireworks in my mouth! It was a happy July 4th.
I usually have a baguette or two left over, so the next day we had Serrano ham crostini. I sliced the day-old bread about an inch thick, brushed it with olive oil and placed it on the grill for a few minutes. This makes a great appetizer.