Peter Brown and Janet McKinnon spend much of their free time on the water, and have cruised together as far north as Glacier Bay, and as far south as Manzanillo Mexico. Before coming to the Pacific Northwest, Peter completed a circumnavigation that took him one and a half times around under sail. Both are retired lawyers.

They enjoy the regional food dining opportunities along the way. Each year on their return they stop at the Genoa Bay Café, as well as Auntie Pesto’s at Ganges on Salt Spring Island, both often serve fine locally grown lamb. To enjoy this on your boat, they recommend their Spicy Mint Lamb Balls. Start with a visit to the Farmer’s Market Saturday morning in Ganges, for vegetables and herbs, then cross the street to the Natural Food Grocery to buy the ground lamb and seasonings.   



Spicy Mint Lamb Balls with Tomato Sauce
from Emerald City

Spicy Mint Lamb Balls 

1 medium Onion, diced
¼ cup Cream
1 Egg Yolk
1 tsp. Ground Cumin
½ tsp. Ground Cinnamon
½ tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
½ Cup Panko Crumbs
½ Cup each of Chopped Mint and Basil, with additional for sauce and garnish
Salt and Pepper
1 Lb. Ground Lamb

Mix all ingredients except the lamb. Gently combine in the lamb with your hands. Form into 12 golf ball sized meatballs. Refrigerate while preparing the tomato sauce.

Tomato Sauce

1 medium Onion, diced
4 Tbsp. Olive Oil, divided
1 tsp. Ground Cumin
½ tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
2 cloves Garlic, chopped
1 28 oz. can of Crushed Tomatoes
½ Cup Red Wine
Salt and Pepper

Sauté onion in 2 Tbsp. of olive oil over medium heat until translucent, then add the spices and cook until fragrant.  Add the garlic and cook for about one minute.  Add the diced tomatoes and red wine, turn heat to low and let sauce simmer for 10 minutes or so while cooking the meatballs.


Heat remaining 2 Tbsp. of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  When the oil starts to shimmer place the meatballs in the pan so that they are not touching.  Cook without stirring for approximately five minutes until browned then flip and cook for another five minutes on the second side. 

Add a handful of the reserved chopped mint and basil into the tomato sauce, stir and pour over the meatballs in the skillet.  Simmer over low heat for approximately 10 minutes.  Spoon over your favorite pasta or rice and garnish with remaining chopped mint and basil.

Bon appétit!

For cruising the Northwest waters, Peter and Janet chose Emerald City, a Northwest 45 built in Anacortes,  Washington. She is a semi-displacement trawler type single screw hull equipped and with hydraulic stabilizers and a get home system. The boat has been well suited to their trips up the Inside Passage to Alaska and Haida Gwaii.