An unassuming narrowboat perusing the
"Longest Friendliest Village in England".

PENTARGON COCOA. (and what is demerara sugar)

You need a bottle of dark demerara rum under the scuppers.

a kettle to boil water in and a stove to put it on.

A tin of proper cocoa powder in the bilge stores.

A jar with Demerara sugar in it.

A bone china mug from the dresser.

Ground cinnamon. kept dry by the fire.

Full cream milk kept cool by the back door.

 or for ultra de-luxe replace the milk by

Polish Smietamka 30% UHT cream?...

Put the kettle on to be boiling.

Into the mug, shovel a spoon or three of real demerara sugar

followed by a spoon of cocoa powder and a sprinkle of ground cinnamon.

Mix the dry ingredients together and slowly add 50mls of dark rum,

stirring all the time until you got a smooth paste.

When smooth, stir in 100 ml. of creamy milk or smietanka

stirring as you go.

Fill the mug with off the boil water ... s l o w l y ...  stirring as you go.

Allow to rest, savouring the aroma.

Drink with reverence in yer own time but before it goes cold.

And before going to bed.



Solid Stove tops can be used on board narrow boats for a fine array of dishes, but are esp. useful for slow cooking. Tomorrow's dinner can be slow-cooked over-night at zero cost on the stove once you've bedded the fire down to last all night and keep the boat warm while you sleep. Trivets lift pots off a hot plate.

Hawkins make a 2-litre pressure cooker which is only 160mm wide and Pentargon has TWO on board. Pressure cookers can be used either as very slow cookers or as very fast cookers. Either way minimises steam aka condensation and frees up crew for actual sailing. 


Whole fish cook nicely in a cleaned out ashtray of a conventional canal-boat solid fire, depending on size [of fish and/or pan]. Thick al. foil is the biz. with t'ashtray methodology. (Rib-eye steak done this way and parcelled with finely chopped onions'n'garlic maybe some chopped chillis and/or peppers is to die for.) 

I hope to expand on solid-stove techniques later.,

At the time of writing I'm experimenting with a Hampshire charcoal stove

 Pentargon's cooker.



Top-class beef-burgers ideally 'homemade' one per person

half a packet of stir-fry veg per person

large onion finely or roughly chopped

large clove of garlic if it takes your fancy.

Some olive oil to gently fry or sear the burgers, tomato puree, 


Prepare the garlic and onion.  Sear or gently fry the burgers til 'brown' in the olive oil in a suitable fry-pan which has a fitting lid, adding the onion-garlic mix as you go. When the alliums are softened dump the veg on top turn theheat right down and cover. Allow to simmer for about 10 minutes until the heat has softened the veg and cooked the burgers through. The pan may be left on a very low heat if necessary for a considerable time which is useful on a boat.



Where and when I grew up, a Stanley Range was the standard just above an open fire. We used to make drop scones directly on cast-iron tops in past times. Nowadays, I use an Icelandic griddle pan to achieve similar results.

Drop Scones Recipe

This was learned from Mama Murray (1876-1962) who used a 'bastible' on an open fire of red cinders hyped up by a 'fire machine' which would nowadays be termed a muscle-powered air-turbine. Her measuring was as traditional as found in the boatman's galley on the old working canal boats. Mama's 'measure' might be a cup or a mug or a jug or a bowl, depending on the required size of the batch.

Drop scone Method:

Mix a 'measure' of lightly beaten farmyard eggs with the same 'measure' of full-cream milk (goat's milk is perfect if you can get it) using a a  silver dinner fork. Gradually fold in a 'measure' of flour, stir and stir and stir to a consistency that pours but only just. Spices, seasonings, sweetenings, flavourings and colourings may be added  as desired.

Use a cast-iron griddlepan which has never ever been washed in detergent and preferably never washed at all. Pour the mix in dollops from a jug onto the hot surface. Turn when the shine has gone dull. Lift when you see a wisp of steam coming from the scone and store in a warm pan. Serve with honey, marmite, jam, cheese, salsa (but not all together). Bon appetit. Or. Go dtéi tú slán.