Monday, June 29, 2009

Artichokes Anyone?

Who doesn't love artichokes? I mean really! Such a weird veg, but so deliciously decadent! It's like your own personal prize on a plate! And who cares if they are Two-fifty each, we spend more than that on a six-pack of beer! Everyone has their favorite way of-cooking and eating them. Personally, I like to steam mine for about 45 minutes. I love to eat the leaves and heart dipped in melted butter with a little Worcestershire sauce. Others prefer mayonnaise, some like butter with lemon juice, some swear by soy sauce and's a matter of preference. Artichokes evoke special memories of my childhood. My mom used to buy one for each of us was special--Kind of like the pomegranates and sugar cane she would sometimes get. We each knew that we had our own little veg and could converse and look forward to that "Golden Moment" when we cleaned out the heart and savored the fruit of the Gods!

Tonight we are having artichokes and moose stuffed cabbage leaves sauteed in a tomato and garlic sauce topped off with my own moose summer sausage.

P.S. I am sad. We sold our trailer. We have had it for over 6 years and it feels like I have sold a part of us. We derived so much pleasure from that little 21' thing. I hope to replace it soon. It is going to a good home so I guess I should be happy and we let it go at a STEAL!

Thursday, June 25, 2009


I love all things halibut! Halibut pizza, halibut tacos, smoked halibut, halibut chowder, but my favorite thing of all is beer battered deep fried halibut served with a malt vinegar. I love halibut cooked this way more than the traditional cod. I usually have to make 2-3 dinners of this as we all love it -- even cold! Someone told me recently that salmon was equally as good cooked like this and so I tried it. I recommend cooking only bite sized, bones removed pieces this way if using salmon.

Our ship goes out at 3:30 this afternoon and will return tomorrow around 11:00ish. I am sure to be tired as we will not be sleeping in the berths below. I am taking along my sleeping bag to cover and doze with on the couch in the salon. In preparation for this trip I have taken all the precautions to assure I don't get seasick. One: I have a patch behind my ear that I got from the doctor, Two: I am wearing magnetic wristbands, Three: I took one Bonine and will take another 30 minutes before I board the ship, Four: I have my Ginger Ale and chicken noodle soup and, last but not least: I've been tanking up on water all yesterday and today.

Jim is sick with a sore throat and chest congestion. Not good to have go out fishing, but who knew this would happen and the cost with taxes came out to be $240 per person. I've been up since 5:15...too excited to sleep.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Day 3 Combat Clamming

Mutiny! Jim woke up this morning threatening to mutiny. He say's, "I'll help you get the clams but you have take over after that." In other words, he is tired of cleaning them. However, he took 2 naps yesterday while I continued to clean. We acquired a whopping 75 clams yesterday. Significantly less than what we were allowed, yet more than we need. Still, I would like to get one more days stash in the freezer.

Last night I made a wonderful clam chowder and put the moose kebabs back in the fridge. So tonight we will have moose kebabs, fried clam strips and some collard greens from last year's garden. ALL subsistence food.

We bagged the 3rd day clamming trip and it is probably a good thing. By the time we got to Homer (only an hour away from Ninilchik) and settled into the RV park and bought supplies, it was 1:30 p.m. Low tide today began at 11:00 which means that I would have been clamming until 2 or 3 p.m., driving to Homer and cleaning clams until midnight tonight. Jim really wanted to fish and I really wanted some peace and quiet time to myself. He is fishing--I am doing laundry. Tomorrow is the BIG day for halibut fishing.

OMG the smell of the Kale on the stove causes me to salivate!!! I will eat the rice and the moose kebabs....but the kale really sinks my ship! So sad that I have to eat the protein (not that I don't love moose meat!) due to my surgery! I so love my veggies! As a matter of fact, I could really be a vegan if I could have my lovely vegs all year-round. Where is my pretty cousin? She is supposed to pop in tonight.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

8:30 pm....I'm tired

75 clams later....Jim had a nice long nap after our clamming trip.....that means I got to do the work. I'm tired and will enjoy these clams even more. He is now walking the dog on the beach while I am making clam there something wrong with this picture? I think so!

Day 2 Combat Clamming

It's a little after 6:00 a.m. and I'm almost ready for another day of combat clamming. Although my hands hurt terribly, I am happy as a CLAM. After mutilating a dozen clams yesterday we finally learned how to get those suckers! After Jim announced, "This isn't fun! I'm going back to the truck and will wait for you there!" I decided to ask someone who looked like they knew what they were doing. I found an Alaskan Native lady digging away and asked her if she would teach me how to do it. She flashed me this lovely smile and said, "Sure!" Within 5 minutes I had my first clam! Man, if you could have just seen me dancing a jig and whooping on the beach in the rain!

I tell you, it's not as easy as it looks and I have a new appreciation for those little cans I buy in the store and those people who catch and clean them. We were allowed 60 clams each and, after 3 hours of back-breaking work, we walked away with 26 clams (remember we each killed about a dozen). Jim learned how to clean them with precision too.

To make matters worse, we clammed in the rain and came back to camp looking like mud monsters. After doing a few loads of laundry in the laundromat, we shut ourselves up CLAM tight in the camper and I fried up two of them on the spot---to go with the grilled blue marlin and garlic rice I made for dinner. Oh boy were they yummy. 26 clams worked out to be 4 pint-sized packages...or enough for 4 clam chowder pots.

The plan is to get to the beach earlier than everyone else, say 7:30ish--the low tide will be at its lowest at 10:30 a.m. so we will work our way out gradually. I'm to meet cousin Sandy at 9:00 at the outhouse and will give her clam shovel back. I rented a clam gun (a tube like thing that digs a big hole and lifts up the sand). People swear by them, so we'll see...hopefully it will save wear and tear on my hands that are aching now due to so much digging yesterday.

Tonight we are having grilled moose kebabs, some of my homemade beets with butter and my canned green beans...maybe I'll make some clam chowder with potatoes and onions and bacon too!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Homer, Clamming and Halibut

Today is the summer solice day--the longest day of the year. Optimists are celebrating and Pessimists are mourning the coming loss of daylight. I fit into the optimist category and enjoy the long winter nights almost as much as the long summer days.

It's been a long time since I minded the blog so I'll try to be short but concise. Our plots at the Community Garden are not in such great shape. Yes, I say "plots" (plural). We acquired the plot next to us. The garden is overrun with voles this year and they have managed to completely devour all our broccoli, cauliflower and have now started in on the brussel sprouts and cabbage. It's probably one of the best and warmest summers we have had in years and optimum gardening conditions if not for the pesky critters who enjoyed a long and protected winter under last year's deep snows.

I met my cousin Sandy and her husband Gary from Arkansas last night at The Howling Dog. He is a very good blues musician and Sandy is a joy. We are all heading down to Homer to go halibut fishing with the Alaska Coastal Marine. This year we will be sailing on the Spirit. On the 23rd we will meet Sandy, Sara and Kristie (I hope) in Ninilchik to go clamming. I've not experience that before and am quite excited to bring back a stash of clams to add to my pantry. As usual, we will be staying at the Driftwood RV Park in Homer and going out on the overnighter for our halibut. I feel a little bad because we still have a lot of halibut in the freezer.