Pirates’ Cove Marin County California
If you want to find Pirates’ Cove, you have to hike up along the Miwok Trail through the flowering manzanita bushes. You may have to duck the darting hummingbirds as they try to protect their territory from you—wear a hat! That trail eventually connects to Coyote Ridge, and as you pass under the eucalyptus groves you will smell the low bushes of “cowboy cologne;” eventually you will reach the coastal trail. This time of year there is fog on the coast. Sometimes it blows all day—wear layers! The cove hides between Tennessee Valley and Muir Beach, and if you blink, you will miss it. Even if you notice the sign, you might hesitate. From what you can see (which isn’t much), the trail runs steeply down the bluff —not very inviting. You can’t see the coastline below—is there a beach? Depending on the season, you might have to slide down the last ten feet or so on your butt. The beach is tiny, so if you decide to go, check the tide charts.
We packed a picnic and headed out late morning on Father’s Day. Since pirates are part of the Alexander heritage (yo-ho-ho)—not really, we just like to pretend—it was a natural choice. As we got closer to our destination, we asked (well, to be honest, Chris asked) everyone we passed, “Have you seen any pirates?” Some people passed by as quickly as they could without saying a word. Not easy on that steep trail. Others smiled blankly and seemed to be thinking, oh dear, another crazy Californian. By the time we got to the beach, the sky was blue and the fog was on the horizon. We played sink the driftwood—pitching stones until we toppled the mainmast. (I couldn’t resist the pirate cliché). Now time for the picnic: marinated chicken tucked into pita bread with sliced cucumbers, topped with homemade mango chutney. The textures of soft pita filled with roasted chicken, sliced crunchy cucumber and sweet/tart mango chutney made this combination a totally satisfying picnic dish. Not only that, everyone assembled their own, which meant one less step for the cook and no soggy sandwiches. Dessert was chocolate nut and fruit brownies and a thermos of tea laced with rum by special request from guess who.
It is almost picnic season, so get out there and enjoy, ya scurvy swabs!!!
Yogurt Marinated Chicken Kebabs
1lb. boneless skinless chicken breast
1T minced garlic
1/4 c finely chopped scallions
1 1/4 t. salt
1/2 t ground pepper
2T vegetable oil
1/2 c nonfat plain yogurt
Cut chicken into 1 inch chances place in bowl set aside
Mix yogurt, garlic, scallions, salt, pepper and oil in a small bowl. Pour over the chicken and stir to coat. Cover and place in fridge to marinate 1 to 2 hours.
If you are planning on using bamboo skewers soak them in a cookie sheet covered with water for 30 minutes while the chicken is marinating.
To prepare the chicken for the grill or broiler. Using 5-6 chicken pieces slide on to skewers-(don't crowd them or they will not cook properly they will just steam). Set remaining marinade aside. Place them on a lightly oiled broiling pan, or grill and cook turning once and brush with reserved marinade 12-15 minutes.
These are delicious served in warmed pita bread with some mango chutney.