Thursday, March 23, 2017

Alaskan Salmon...Patties...Grilled and Seasoned and a Dill Sauce Recipe




Alaska is known for its Salmon.

Both by humans and bears alike, who wait for the Spring Spawning much like hungry Hoosiers belly-up to the buffet.


Some of the fish in these waters.
 
The name salmon may have came from the Latin Salmos (to leap). A few species spend their entire lives in freshwater. Others spawned in freshwater but return to the ocean. When spawning season comes again they fight their way back to the freshwater they were born in. Much to fishermen and the bears delight. 

In Indiana you would be hard pressed during the 1960's to find a household that did not fix these as almost a weekly item. 


Salmon Patties

Directions
  1. Drain and reserve liquid from salmon. Mix egg, onion, bread crumbs (we used Ritz crackers) and drained canned salmon together. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Make into patties. If mixture is too dry to form into patties, add reserved liquid from salmon.
  3. In a frying pan, heat oil. Place patties in pan. Brown on each side, turning gently. Drain on paper towels and serve.
It was cheap, easy, and after a childhood of eating them maybe once a week...considered by a lot of us as...well..."almost food". 

Your mileage many vary. 

Since we are on this Virtual Alaskan Adventure...and because I have NEVER tried wild-caught Grilled salmon before in my life. I went out and researched my options...bringing home this


Mine have been marinaded and seasoned.

A good friend, who has tried Grilled Salmon before, also said that Dill Sauce is an excellent idea.


DILL SAUCE:
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
  • 3/4 teaspoon dill weed
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt         

So Grilled Sockeye Salmon with Dill Sauce, Buttered Baby Carrots and Steamed New Potatoes.


It's WHAT'S for DINNER!



A sprig of fresh dillweed would have elevated the presentation...but dill seed works in a pinch.


Okay...where has THIS dish been all my life!  

Wow!

Definitely adding it to my cuisine...and will be growing fresh dill in the herb basket this summer!  So good!

More anon...


And some more progress on the Alaskan painting. Will turn those brown sticks in the foreground into snow covered firs tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Novel- The Plan: The General (cont.)



The dumb bastard really did it.
 
I will have to deal with the fall-out from Mark and the kids, but there is
nothing like killing two birds with one stone.

It will be a while before Mark finds out. I can control the inflow of
information until he needs to know. 
 
Now all that is left to be done is to make the call.


The detective took an excruciatingly long time to pick up and sounded
half asleep. 

I'm sorry to bother you but I am very worried about my daughter.”

After detailing his concerns and the failure to pick up her children at his
house for the past two days and assuring the detective that this
“wasn't at all like Tray” he dropped the germ of the idea he
wanted to sow in the detective's mind.



I shouldn't even be telling you this. It's probably nothing, but Tracy
complained a few months back that Mark's doctor she had been involved
with for his rehabilitative psychotherapy seemed to be
getting...ummm...a little too familiar with her. Buying her little
gifts. Asking her to see him outside the office. She seemed spooked.
When she and Mark began to discuss getting back together she said he
was angry with her.”
 
"No, she abruptly ended her sessions with Dr. Troy and the situation seemed
to have resolved itself. No. She never met him outside of therapy that I
am aware."
 

No. He never mentioned it to me.”
 

He spent Thanksgiving with Mark, and the kids and I. I do remember him
being very abrupt when Mark mentioned Tracy and asking me if they
were going to reconcile. It seemed an odd question at the time
because Mark has repeatedly said he would like to rekindle his
marriage. It is part of the reason I invited him to move into my
house. I just assumed he was aware of that.”
 
"No. Tracy wasn't there."
 

Yes, I will be here tomorrow if you think filing a missing person report
is what we need to do. Mark is pretty upset by all of this,already.
Maybe we should wait to talk to him and the kids about it just yet. I
don't want to cause a setback in his condition.”

 
No,Thank YOU. I will see you in the morning.”




And then with a click I hung up the phone and poured a 
tumbler of Glen Livet.

The wheels set into motion.




Monday, March 20, 2017

Alaska's Capital: (Virtual) Juneau

Juneau is an oddity among capital cities nationwide as there are no roads connecting the city to the rest of Alaska (or North America, for that matter). Everyone must access this State Capital (including all goods) by plane or boat. A ferry (Alaskan Marine Highway System) will transport cars to the city.

Built in 1931 it was later named after a gold prospector from Quebec (Joe Juneau) while Alaska was still a territory. In 1959 Alaska achieved statehood.

The Alaskan State Flag consists of The Big Dipper and the North Star on a field a deep blue.




The waterway pictured here is known as The Marine Highway.

Downtown Juneau


Bus Tour from Juneau to Mendenhall Glacier

https://youtu.be/X0tPPQUxHwI

And a peek at the Mendenhall Glacier

https://youtu.be/AAC3myBqpck


and a nice tour of the ice caves beneath the glacier

https://youtu.be/94-7ZKoryeM


A drone's eye view of Nugget Falls in  Juneau, Alaska.

https://youtu.be/aSRHwK-KyYU

(If you only watch one video on this page...watch THIS one...simply magnificent)




Another must see at Juneau is The Shrine of St. Therese

https://youtu.be/Gi5nA4bYgS4


and the inside of the Shrine. They still hold mass here.






And inspired by the sand and falling water patterns at Nugget Falls...I think I'm going to pan a bit more paydirt this evening...and also add a little to my Alaskan Painting!

More anon...












Juneau at Night

Sunday, March 19, 2017

A Gardener's Cup



Although the Season officially starts tomorrow, the sunny mid-fifties weather whispered

"You must play in the dirt"

Making today the first "...soil beneath my fingernails and muddy knees..." day of Spring, with many many more to follow.

Turned over the borders, trimmed the leggy roses back to a well-leafed node. Brought the Boxwoods in line giving them all that first haircut and keeping them nicely globular. Pulled the few early weeds and loved the bright green patches of moss (already arrived). Stowed the winter decor and refilled the numerous clay pots with rich new soil from my compost box. Dug a straggling clump of what-will-be-yellow common field lilies and potted then for an early dot of green. Cleared some withered blades from my twin clumps of purple flag irises. Scraped and dug the winter leaves and debris to add to my compost box when it it emptied.

Spring Stuff.

Made a mental note to pick up another fingernail brush, clip them short, and to shelve my nail-polishes and such. I won't be needing them again until Winter.

Playing in the dirt makes painting and growing your nails an exercise in futility. 

And I DON'T garden in gloves.
Preferring to feel the cool, loamy soil in my hands.

The Compost Box worked its magic again and from vegetable peelings, apple cores,banana skins, coffee grounds, egg shells, shredded newspaper, cardboard and even cloth...I now have 30 gallons of rich, sweet smelling black top-soil.

"I make EARTH. What's YOUR Superpower? "

Tucker sat outside in the sunshine drawing on its healing powers while Shelby wandered onto the patio (not even the grass) and decided it was definitely

Too Much Like Nature

for her...lol!

Came inside to clean up...add a bit of "morning light" to my Alaskan Painting with touches here and there of lightly tinged pink snow before I go on with the waterfall and snowy firs this week.

Who doesn't love pink morning light on snow and ice?

May pan a bit more here in a few. And remove the copper nugget from my vial of gold. It is starting to bug me.  
OCD, anyone?

Have a chicken cut up and bubbling, boiling away to fix homemade egg noodles for dinner.

May even see the recently released Beauty and The Beast in a few hours.  Chris and Tina saw it last night at IMAX and gave it 4 thumbs way up!

So...riding that exhilarated high that always comes with the Season Change. 
See everyone tomorrow for Spring Proper.

Life is
Exceptional!

Carla, Tucker-Cat and The Lady- Miss Shelby


                                     "OMG...guys, wake up!!! It's SPRING!"






Saturday, March 18, 2017

Tucker...The DIVA Miss Shelby...Gold...Movies and More



Tucker, is still not quite ready for his close-up- Mr. DeMille. His face still looks pretty rough. The abscess in his upper sinus and over his left eye. It looks a lot worse than it is, at this point. The critical stage appears to have passed. The abscess now draining. The antibiotics that most likely saved his life have played hell with his GI tract and made spending a lot of time crated with frequent bathroom breaks a must. Yeah...it is a face only a mother could love, right now. But, most of all, I am just thankful he is healing, and I didn't lose him. By Summer this might all seem like a bad dream.

Shelby, I've come to realize is the cat equivalent of a DIVA. Were she a male...she would definitely be the kitty version of Freddie Mercury.







Her most annoying quality might also be her most endearing. If she is sitting next to you (or trying to wake you up in the morning) she pokes.  Reaches out with one paw just like a person would with a finger and poke...poke...poke.
Endearing if I am curled on the sofa reading, and she feels she is lacking in attention. Less so in the early morning when she becomes a live version of "Simon's Cat" 




And I half expect to see her with the baseball bat.

Panned a little more of the paydirt this week and found this!


Check out the size of the nugget in the bottom left corner. Needless to say it was one of those really really exciting moments!  I think I actually "gasped"! Still have about a half of a bag of dirt left and going to pan a little more today.

Also worked a bit more on my Alaskan Painting this week. It is coming together.

Still a long way to go.

When I use my seal on it to sign it (when finished) I am definitely going to embed a tiny gold nugget or two from my panning in the wax!

I did finally manage to get the water looking cold. 

Two weeks left in Virtual Alaska.

I did have to take a break from fixing Cruise Ship (off the menu)
Food. By the time one gets back state-side it is amazing they don't have a liposuctionist on board to undo the effects of all that amazing food.

I re-read a couple of my childhood favorites this week










And enjoyed them as much, maybe more, than when I first discovered them all those years back. The latter set in the Alaskan Wilderness.

Also picked up





from my local library...only for her story "Persuasion" which I had not read.

Long. Boring.Verbose.

Did I mention boring?

I have come to realize Ms. Austen is NOT my cup of tea.

I also managed to see




The John Wick role is an exciting and bad-assed role for Keanu Reeves. In this second film he has lost his wife and is trying to escape the assassin life...but gets dragged back in.

Entertaining and the ending promises that there MUST be a sequel. 
 
Well worth a viewing.

And


Another version of The Big Monkey Movie made even more interesting by actors John Goodman and Samuel Jackson.

Sam spends an inordinate amount of the film with a rather large gun giving our oversized ape friend the stink-eye.

Predictable, but entertaining.

Great CGI.

Several stories within the story. The best being a pilot from WWII who has been stranded on the island since 1945. When they tie all the loose ends of his story up at the very end...you'll cry.

Well worth the time!

And, last, and maybe least...time to peek in on what The Donald is up to now.

This week cutting funding that goes toward Meals on Wheels and Feeding low-income school children.

Just in case you didn't think the Administration could possibly sink any lower...that's right...now we've learned they have a basement.

Of course Spicer, the mouthpiece du jour...has tried to put a positive spin on all of this. Saving us tax dollars. It isn't actually The Government Cutting Meals on Wheels...the Cuts are to the State Block Grants. Those States...

"...they could be broasting chickens for all we know. "

Spicer, just another Good German.

And the Orange Emperor-in-his-own-mind has been struck down again trying to pass The Muslim Ban (...give it up Orange Dude...it still is, and will always be, unconstitutional ) and kudos for the ACLU, States, and Everyone else who is keeping this Tiny Handed Tyrant in check.




                       Donnie's, Terrible, Horrible, Very Bad, No Good Day

And my only comment on the Trump-Merkel débâcle


Later!



An example of today's panning






Quarter cup of mined paydirt.




Sluiced off larger gravel and debris.





Down to what is referred to as black sand.

Close up of black sand.

If you look closely you can see some small gold flakes a this point.

By the end of the panning...one large flake...four smaller nuggets and also two small copper nuggets. I ended up keeping the larger of the two.











Added to vial...note the copper nugget in the upper left corner of the back.

Pan time...about 1/2 hour.
















Friday, March 17, 2017

Huskies...Dogsleds and The Iditarod


The Iditarod is held in March...a race from Settler's Bay in Anchorage to Nome, Alaska ran by mushers and their dog sled teams. It takes between 8-15 days or more and is 975 miles long.

The yearly starting field is usually about 50 mushers and 1000 dogs.

The name Iditarod is derived from the Athabaskan word haiditarod meaning a far away or distant place...and is ran along the Trail of the same name.

There are 26 checkpoints during the race. These are used as drop points for additional supplies during the run.

Most of the dogs are Alaskan Malamutes and Siberian Huskies. Both bred for the grueling temperatures and terrain they endure during the sled race.

                                                           Malamute


                                                         Siberian Husky

and a first-person view so we can zoom along with one of the sleds.

https://youtu.be/dAHa-6VkUQY

Sled Dogs

https://youtu.be/6nVfFNbxX7s

The Beginning of the 2016 Race

https://youtu.be/jI3bliK7R94

and the Finish Line

https://youtu.be/BPsvNGSbU0Q

Denali National Park has Famous Sled Dog and Kennels...but perhaps the very best is in Summer when they have the Live Kennel Webcam:  Puppy Cam

http://www.nationalparkstraveler.com/2011/08/new-puppy-cam-features-sled-dog-pups-denali-national-park-and-preserve8616





 

This is the finish line at Nome. 
The lantern hanging on the right side is known as 
the "Widow's Lamp" 
and remains up and lit until all of the mushers are
back in off the trail and safe.



More anon...



Thursday, March 16, 2017

Denali (Virtually)


Not far from Anchorage- (250 miles)

Today we explore Denali. Perfect timing as this year (Feb) the park is celebrating 100 YEARS of being a National Park!

And although Jim (...my favorite Adventure Dude...) actually leads expeditions up its ice and snow covered sides,

through Virtual Travel I can check the park and mountain out from the comfort of a 72 degree home. Without frostbite, crevasses, overnights in base camps at -75 degrees, or falling thousands of feet to my demise. Maybe with a pepperoni pizza and an ice cold Coke. So there's that.

And so can you.

Tour of the National Park

https://youtu.be/Qyb0Tqpec7c

Live Webcams located throughout the park

https://www.nps.gov/dena/learn/photosmultimedia/webcams.htm

The Upper Western Rib Route

https://youtu.be/ScfQ5XzR6T4

And Summit

https://youtu.be/Mw_1Ikx3IYE

And another Climbing and Summit

https://youtu.be/BhNU6i34Vw4







The view from The Top of North America.


Absolutely Breathtaking.

More Anon...