Sunday, July 14, 2013

Weekend in Taku Harbor

We went for our first overnight voyage on the Lucky Me Too. It was a fantastic shake-down cruise with perfect weather!

Leaving Juneau on Saturday it was a little overcast and cloudy, but as we went south towards Taku Harbor, the skies cleared up.

Leaving Juneau

Maddy wasn't too thrilled about being on the boat....but she got better after she figured out what was going on.

Looking into the cove towards the public dock

On the Lucky Me Too

A trail towards the old cannery site

Some old pilings for the old cannery dock - lots of old machinery left behind

This is some old cannery housing or building of some sort. It looks like someone has been making some repairs as there was a new propane tank and new decking -- nice spot!

A cool, clear, creek

A panoramic of the cove with the dock

At sunset

Maddy was more comfortable hanging out on the dock than in the boat.

Lucky Me Too,after most of the other boats had left for the day

Looking back towards Stephens Passage

Tim at the helm, with Terry watching by

Heading back into Gastineau Channel (taken from the flybridge)

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Spring Weekend

A sure sign of spring in Southeast Alaska  is SKUNKCABBAGE!

We found some young tender shoots emerging from the cool waters by the Mendenhall River. We walk on the horse trail along the river as we found it mostly free from ice and slush. The paved trail was still pretty slick.

This is looking back from the mouth Montana Creek where it flows into the Mendenhall river. The water was really low!

And the remains from a winter of pine cone eating! The squirrel (or squirrels) were well fed!

And looking at the Mendenhall Glacier from Fish Creek on Douglas Island. Along the inlet of Fish creek we saw a bunch of mallard and some widgeons. Also saw a few sparrow lurking in the grasses. The migration is well on its way!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

March recipe of the month

Tim's culinary Christmas present continued for March with a multiple part recipe. Here are the ingredients that he received in the mail -- that is rye flour in the bag...any guesses?

By the way....we haven't heard from Melody and Jason although we managed to survive to report on the recipe.

Meatballs (Frikadeller) Smørrebrød and Danish Red Cabbage (Rødkål) for Smørrebrød. So we made the Frikendeller and Roadkill cabbage for dinner one night and then had leftovers in sandwiches for lunch. YUM!

The Cabbage dish was supposed to simmer for 1.5 hours and then refrigerate overnight so we made that the might before we made the meatballs. The red cabbage was sauteed in butter with some red wine vinegar, orange juice, and current jelly added after it was slightly softened. The recipe called for apples but we decided to leave them out. After simmering and sitting over night, the dish smelled wonderful. It was like a sweet sauerkraut except you didn't have to wait for 3 months for the fermenting to take place.

This recipe for meatballs called for ground turkey and pork, onions, rye flour, eggs, parsley, salt & pepper. It also called for 2 cups of soda water which we thought was maybe a translation error and we used 1/4 cup. It also called for some nutmeg which we left out. We should has substituted some garlic for the nutmeg. We were also supposed to fry the meatballs in butter, but opted for baking the meatballs on a pan in the oven. We make a dozen meatballs the size of an apricot and had enough left over to put in a breadpan and bake like a meatloaf.

And the final product served with a baked potato.

We forgot to have the crispy fried onions! For lunch we sliced up the meatballs, reheated the cabbage, added the fried onions on a whole wheat hoagie roll. Equally delicious!

So after eating all those meatballs, we're off for a walk as it is a really nice spring day in Juneau!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Auk Rec Area - One of my favorites

The Auk Recreation area has always been one of my favorite places to visit for taking a walk or just being out in the elements. There is always something interesting to see there and you usually don't need special equipment (snowshoes or microcleats) to get to the beach. This was this taken this past weekend.

On one of our first walks here after moving to Juneau, there were people with scuba gear entering the water. Apparently there are a couple of submerged vessels that you can explore and is considered a great place for beginner divers.

having some fun with panorama's

The beach is rocky. It isn't very easy to walk on. But if you don't want to walk on the beach then there is a pathway through the forest which is well packed.

Last summer the forest service chopped down some very big trees and left the rounds.

I like to go here for salmon berries in late July-August, although I think a lot of other people also like to pick here so you have to have pretty good timing.

Also last fall you can see interesting lifeforms taking nourishment from the surroundings.

Squirrel Stash


You can walk out to Point Louisa and look out over the beginnings of Lynn Canal. On a really clear day you can see over to Admiralty Island. This weekend we had some cloud cover.
Thanks for bearing with my obsession with panoramas!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

new iphone5 panorama pictures

I just got a new iPhone5 and found a new feature on to use the the camera. I can now take panorama's!

Kinda nifty!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Peanut Butter and Bacon...YUM

I decided to make some big peanut butter cookies as a gift. I found this recipe which seemed similar to what I've made in the past and I decided to try it out based on the word "giant" in the title.

Their suggested 1/4 cup dough made a really big cookie. It baked up very well but it was a little larger than I wanted. My regular cookie dough scooper was too small so I used my ice cream scoop to help shape the cookies. This made for the perfect size! Because I made them smaller I ended up with a lot more dough then the recipe estimate. I had baked up what I needed for the gift and still had enough left-over dough to add to some left-over bacon crumbles. The bacon and peanut butter and sweetness from the brown suger....yum, yum, yum!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Christmas Recipe - December

Tim was lucky enough to get a great Christmas present from Melody this year - a monthly recipe that contains an interesting ingredient or combination of ingredients.

For December he received a recipe for Spicy Beetroot and Coconut Soup with herby yoghurt from the BBC Food channel and some fresh lemon grass and kaffir lime leaves.

We just happened to be getting Full Circle Farm back last week and make sure to order some nice organic beets, shallots, and a cucumber. We had most of the other ingredients in the pantry.

For the spice paste
  • lemongrass stalks
  • garlic cloves
  • 3 red chillies, deseeded if you don't want too much heat
  • 5cm/2in fresh ginger, peeled
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves
  • lime, juice only

    So this paste was really super awesome smelling and made up into a thick paste that had a lot of flavor.
For the soup
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 banana shallots(or 4 round shallots), finely chopped
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 500g/1lb 2oz ready cooked beetroot (not the kind prepared with vinegar), chopped
  • 600ml/1 pint vegetable stock
  • 400ml/14fl oz can coconut milk
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

    So we used fresh beets - we weren't quite sure how many beets are in a can and I'm afraid we might have over estimated the amount.
For the herby yoghurt
As you can see our soup was not pink but bright red! It was earthy (as beets are) and the lemon grass-lime-chili paste flavors along with the coconut milk were muted. If we were to make this exact soup again we wouldn't use as many beets. After a few tastes of the thick redness we were struck that the same lemon-grass spice paste would taste really good with squash so if we make this again we would probably try that out instead of with beets.

The yogurt-cucumber mixture didn't do anything to enhance the taste – in fact it might have detracted from it. We didn't have any fresh mint so that might have made the difference. I think just the plain yogurt or maybe some sour cream would taste better.

So for January, Melody gave Tim some Heirloom Bhutan Red Rice and a recipe for stuffed we'll have to coordinate ingredients in the next food box!

Friday, January 4, 2013

New Year's Day Walk - Douglas Zipline

We often walk the treadwell trail back to where the has their zipline. At the end of the trail they have buit a road that looks like it goes straight up the mountain side - alot more steep then this picture shows! So on New Year's Day of this year we decided to brave the hike. It has been in the 40s with some rain on top of about 3 feet of snow. Most of the main road are clear but some of the trails and side streets are ice covered with rain water on top. 

So on New Year's Day of this year we decided to brave the hike. It has been in the 40s with some rain on top of about 3 feet of snow. Most of the main road are clear but some of the trails and side streets are ice covered with rain water on top. 

Boy am I glad for rubber boots and Microcleats!


After a short rise we came to the first of many old remnants from the Treadwell Mine area. According to their website this is the ruions of the original mine refinery, where millions of dollars of molten gold was poured into ingot molds. thus the bars of the windows!

…and now only the home to Sitka spruce and Hemlocks!

We traveled up higher on the trail and came across a couple of small bridges as well as the main area for the zipline platforms. It was pretty icy so were glad of the handrails on this elevated walkway.

You can see where the treadwell ditch comes in and flows into Bullion Creek.

One thing that we noticed immediately is that there aren't any railings on the zipping platforms! In this case, everyone is a tree hugger!

Interesting trail - we'll come back when the walking conditions are a little better and we can explore more!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

December in Anchorage

It has become an annual affair to get together with my two sisters and some of the nieces for a December weekend. It began as a cookie baking weekend until last year when it got a little out of hand and we ended up with about 20 varieties of cookies - some double batched. So this year we but an embargo on butter and sugar and turned from bakers to makers. We did make a few batches of cookies, what kind of Ohlsen-girls would we be without some goodies for the cookie jar, but the batches were limited to just a few varieties.

The Valentine girls have a lot of art supplies and a couple of trips to Joann's increased the inventory with specific items we lacked. 

Button Stash Trees
Beginning with a large button gradually decrease the button size to create a tree complete with a little star at the top. We started out with green buttons and then quickly begin using other color pallets. We also thought these would make cute zipper pulls using small buttons.

Punched paper ornaments
We eventually got an assembly line going with a paper puncher, a awl hole maker, an assembler of bead on pin and pushed through the paper, one who actually planned and placed the pins on the styrofoam ball, and ending with the bow/hanger installer complete with glue gun. We experimented with different colored beads and with ribbon. 

Other paper activities included making gift tags and some other paper ornaments. Over the weekend some knitting and crocheting projects were accomplished. 

Great weekend hanging out together, limiting our dishwashing of cookie sheets to just a few times, and just being together!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Interactive Image

We saw snow on Mt Juneau so I did some weekend canning in preparation for the winter!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Birdie weekend

This was kind of a birdie weekend for us. The weather has been so mild and the forecast for Saturday looked like it was going to be pretty nice so we decided to head out to Boy Scout beach for a nice walk along the beach without the "science equipment" or looking specifically for dead birds. We were interested to see if the eagle carcass was still on the beach. There was talk on the local "eaglechat" about having a permit to collect the features for the National Repository so we really doubted we would see it again.

It did happen to be Backyard Bird Count weekend (Feb 17-20) and our walking friends decided to keep a list and submit it. We counted 1 Fox Sparrow, 3 Eagles, 7 Bufflehead, 4 Common merganser, 36 Canada goose, 2 Harlequin ducks, 7 Mallards, and 293 Gulls (probably Herring). There was some debate if there was 294 or 292 and a few kept flying from one sand dune to the other so we decided to go with 293. It ended up snowing on us which was a little unexpected so we didn't want to lounge around like we had entended.

On Sunday I put up a suet holder that I had gotten for Christmas. I waited until I thought the major wind storms passes as I didn't want it to get up going through a windows. With in about 3 minutes after putting it up and walking away the crows started arriving. Ended up with 60-75 crows poking at it or waiting turn underneath to get the seeds. Talk about an Alfred Hitchcock experience! Tim went out and took it down. We'll have to find a nicer neighborhood for the suet.

We had a lot of birds in the channel in front of the house. There were the usual Barrow's Goldeneyes, Bufflehead, Mallard, Common Mergansers, a Red-Necked Grebe and Glaucous-winged gulls along with Crows (still looking for suet), Ravens, and Eagles. Out in the middle of the channel Tim spotted a large gathering of birds that had the shape of a loon or a grebe. Upon further inspection with the spotting scope we determined that they were Pacific Loons - there were about 100 of them. We've never seen the solitary birds grouped up like that before. I haven't heard anything from the birdie people about the group but we ruled out what else they might have been. Too far to get a good picture - even in the scope it was shaky.

Then to round out the weekend we had chicken grilled on the bbq!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Wearable Arts Juneau 2012

Ever since we moved to Juneau I've been trying to arrange my schedule so that I could take in the Wearable Arts Show. Finally, this year I was successful...and so worth the wait! The production was incredible to watch and the concepts and artistry of the creators was very impressive. The theme this year was Fusion. More at JAHC.

Here is the winner–The Beast in the Beauty, a tribute to those who have overcome breast cancer. Padauk and bird eye maple

Second Place
Lady Blue made from blue mussels, seaweed, shells, mosquito screen, plastic ties.
She was probably one of the most striking of models of the night.

Before coming to this show I had thought about what kind of materials I would want to work with if I were to create an entry. Blue mussels was one of my thoughts but I could never have come up with something so elegant.

Amused by Fused Recyclables: this was truly made from all sorts of different materials from plastic straws to bottle caps, to folded paper. You really didn't see the detail until after the show when all the models came out and you could get up close.

Hot Shot: This was one of my favorites. It was simple, yet striking. The model was fantastic on the runway and really working it and making those shells explode!

Seraphina: dyed ace bandages and other materials from the operating room. This one was really cute!

Hair Flair: one advantage of owning your own hair salon...but kind of ewww.

Raise your Glass! Look at this 40 lb dress with accompanying 40 lb cape. No bottles of wine or bubbly were harmed in the making of this garment but a couple bottoms of aspirin were consumed to ease the hangover.

Juneau Tank Top:

Fit to be Tied: 1500 neckties...Dad you might want to check your closet.

If you are interested, I'm told by a reliable source that 360 North will be airing the show in Alaska (find out where) on the evening of March 17 and simultaneously web streamed at the same time (that would be simultaneous in a simultaneousness simultaneously) for those outside the state or without broadcast coverage.

**photos courtesy of the remarkable Claudia Clark