Patience‘s galley is very small. 1.6m square to be precise. A micro kitchen if you like.

But well equipped with a gas hob, an oven, a grill, a fridge that works off gas or mains, enough but not too much space for crockery, cutlery, glasses, pots, pans, groceries and cleaning things. Hot and cold running water.

As with all good cooks’ kitchens it’s open plan. I, or Richard, can cook while the other one works, chats, reads or even sits out on the bow with a glass of wine watching the swans sail by.

The truth is there isn’t space for more than one in the galley at the same time. The flip side being everything is at hand. At the stretch of an arm you can open the fridge, fling a dish in the oven, survey your supplies, wash a couple of dishes and turn up the music on the radio. It’s pretty perfect. Nothing unnecessary. No wasted space.

The best thing about it is – a window with a view. A view that might change by the day or by the hour. Water, always water and reflections. Rural countryside, verdant and green.  Inner city grit with old industrial buildings and graffiti. The sun passes overhead, clouds appear and disappear.  The moon rises and sets. The water one minute muddy, the next golden, and then inky black.

It’s nice being back on board Patience in the galley having been away for too long. And it’s good to rediscover some of the ingredients we left languishing on board. It’s even better to discover that they can still be used, ‘best before’ dates notwithstanding.

We’ve only cooked a couple of meals so far. Last night we made a salad with a savoy cabbage and carrots we bought at the street market in Buckingham. I marinated some chicken in black bean sauce, stir fried it and added that to Richard’s finely shredded cabbage and match stick carrot. It was good.

Tonight I made roasted asparagus with chicken, tomato, clementine, feta and pine nuts while Richard sat a couple of feet away from me and finished writing a script.

asparagus horizantal

The asparagus also came from the market in Buckingham. I was very pleased to see that it was grown in the UK. I just couldn’t have brought myself to buy asparagus if it had come from the opposite end of the world.

I sprinkled the asparagus with togarashi seasoning and salt from Slovenia ( a gift from my sister Penny) all left on Patience from our previous trip.

According to Wikipedia tōgarashi (唐辛子) is Japanese for genus Capsicum and commonly translated as chili pepper. When the term is used in English, it refers to any number of chili peppers or chili pepper-related products from Japan, including Shichimi tōgarashi, a condiment that is a mixture of seven different ingredients that varies by maker.

The seven alchemical ingredients are: chili powder, orange peel, black sesame seeds, white sesame seeds, ginger powder, Szechuan pepper and seaweed. I’ll definitely be using this fragrant spicy powder in many different ways in the coming weeks, and then I might try to make a version of it myself too.

roasted asparagus

Here’s the recipe. I think you could easily substitute the chicken for aubergine and/or red peppers or perhaps butternut.

Roasted asparagus with togarashi, chicken, tomato, clementine, feta and pine nuts


  • 3 to 4 boneless chicken thighs marinated in black bean paste and stir fried
  • a bunch of asparagus
  • togarashi seasoning
  • two smallish tomatoes cut into eighths
  • one clementine halved
  • a handful of toasted pine nuts
  • a handful of crumbled feta
  • a handful of chopped parsley


Put the asparagus in a single layer in a roasting dish and toss with a little olive oil, sprinkle with togarashi seasoning and salt. Roast in a hot oven for five minutes. Add the tomato, juice and flesh of one half of the clementine and the other half of the clementine whole. Continue roasting for another five minutes. Add the cooked chicken, feta, pine nuts and parsley. Roast until nicely warmed through. Be sure not to overcook the asparagus.