Saturday, August 22, 2009

Egg Foo Yung

I've had this recipe for many years and have always found it to be delicious!

Egg Fog Young
4 eggs
1/2 c meat (we have never made it with any meat)
1 c bean sprouts (if using canned, drain and put in ice water to crisp. Drain well and pat dry)
1 T minced green onion
2 T soy sauce

In mixing bowl, beat eggs until frothy. Add meat, sprouts, onions and soy. Add oil to wok and heat to mideum. At 1/4 of mixture to pan and fry until golden on bottom. Turn over and brown. I usually add all the mixture to a large pan and then divide it into four sections before turning over.

*I 've tried making this with egg beaters and it didn't come out very well so since then I have only used real eggs.

This is probably the best part:

Brown Sauce
mix and heat over medium heat until thick
2 T soy
2 t sugar
2 T green onion, chopped
2 T oyster sauce
1 T sherry (or leave out)
1 c chicken broth
1 1/2 to 2 T corn starch

* this actually makes more sauce then you would probably need for the egg foo mixture. We always have a lot left over.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Blueberry Cream Cheese Dessert

Ah - I know that Kim has given me her recipe for this delicious blueberry dessert that she is always asked to bring to gatherings but I somehow lost the recipe and had to look online to find one. I found a substitute on Recipezaar and it is so yummy. If you have fresh or frozen berries that you want to use instead of the pie filling try: 3 c blueberries, 3T flour or tapioca 1 3/4 c sugar and 1/8 t salt. Might need to add a bit more thickening if the berries are frozen and retained water.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Perserverance Trail 2009

Information about the Perseverance trail.

We had a great hike last weekend along the popular Perseverance Trail. The trailhead is very close to the downtown area and if you can make it passed the first uphill section the trail follows the Gold Creek up the valley at a moderate incline.

Ebner Falls - probably the second most popular falls photographed in Juneau, falling second to Nugget falls at the Mendenhall Glacier.

Here's a look at the pool at the base of Ebner Falls. If the cliff hadn't been so steep (may 100 feet down?) a quick dip in the cool water might have been inviting.

This is a view from the upper trail looking down the Gold Creek valley.

Gold Creek - one of Juneau's water supplies and an important asset to mining operations in this basin.

This is the falls from Icy Gulch

Towards the end of the trail a spring flood must have taken out the boardwalk/bridge over the stream that comes from icy gulch. But the water wasn't so high that we couldn't make it across. Luckily I relied on my skills honed as a balance beam gymnast in 7th grade. I guess Tim has had practice from always walking a thin line...jk

Here is more evidence of flood damage - we had a lot of warm weather early on in the summer so I'm sure that the accumulated snow had a fast melt.

Unbeknownst to my hiking partner, the real goal for this hike was to find and pick salmonberries. One of his co-workers had mentioned seeing a bunch of berries along the trail earlier in the week. I had our trusty berry-picking bags in my backpack and quickly whipped them out. We taste tested on the way up and as we progressed up the trail they got better and better and then as we climbed higher we noticed that they weren't quite ripe yet.

We hit the mother load and came out with more than 3 gallons of berries. And if we had had the proper gear and had felt like crashing around in the bushes with the bears we could have picked more.

Salmonberry Jam! YUM

Can you drive and text at the same time?

I saw this Distraction Game on a blog that I follow, taken from the New York Times. Its an interactive game that combines driving with phone texting.

Car and Texting Game

What it tells me is that its all I can do to pay attention to changing lanes. I will say that my experience with 6 lanes of traffic is pretty low and who would really change lanes that quickly but I do see the idea behind paying attention to what the wheels on the road are doing.

They really need to add a couple of more elements to the game, picking music and drinking coffee. The other day while driving I saw someone brushing their teeth while they were making a turn!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Rhubarb Ginger Jam

Chris T gave me some delicious Rhubarb Ginger Marmalade and when I got a huge crop of nice red rhubarb from Kristi I knew just what I would do with it! I found this recipe for Rhubarb Ginger Jam and it is quite tasty. This was so easy and smelled delicious while it was cooking. I ran out of crystallized ginger and had to add in some of my Penzey's cracked ginger so every once in awhile you get a little burst of ginger to chew on.

Its good on toast but I'm thinking it might be really good on a pork roast or pork chop.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Lemon Creek Valley and Trail

We went on a new trail this weekend. Its one in the 99 Short Trail of Juneau book that we've been working on and its one that we haven't been on before. It was windy and rainy at the house on the channel so we thought it might be a little better in the valley. We also needed some light bulbs so thought we could hit the Home Depot before a little walk in the woods.

I understand that when they built several of the new box stores in Lemon Creek the trailhead was disturbed and it was very hard to get to. They have since contoured the hillside, put in a parking space and made a grand entrance to the trailhead.

First you go up over the first little hill and then the trail drops way down into the valley and you you begin to wonder what the return trip is going to do to your lungs!

I just love this florescent fungus. I figure if I every get lost in the woods I just need to find some of this and surround myself with it. It evens seems to glow in the semi-dark.

At the base of the hillside we came across a nice flat area with a little creek going through it. I'm guessing that this area is usually really wet but because of the dry summer we are having the creek has kept to his intended pathway. Whenever we come across large water area filled with Skunk cabbage it really does remind you of Land from the Lost or some other prehistoric setting. These particular cabbage must have come from really perfect growing conditions because they were all so huge. Most of them were as tall as me and had huge leaves. (Click on the image below to get a closer look)

Unexpected were the bike jumps that were carefully placed on what seemed the muddiest parts of the trail. I don't think this trail is hiked very often so I could see why the adventurous mountain bikers might like it. A little to steep and narrow for me though.

Holmberg visit

Friends Cyndi and Steve left Juneau after a short 1-day visit in town. I'm not sure but I think this is them on the deck!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Cropley Lake

We got invited for a hike to Cropley Lake which is up by Eagle Crest. It was also going to be a berry picking hike if we found any. You have already seen the bags of berries we found and brought back with us.

To get to the lake we headed up Log Jam Run just a short way up the trail. Although the day was a little moist, the ground was really dry and we had hardly any mud or soggy ground to slog though.

Since my camera battery died on my last trip up Eagle Crest and I didn't get any pictures, this time I made sure I had some juice left. Here we are up the run and looking back down

We stopped several times on the way to refresh ourselves with berries and to get a better idea of where we wanted to stop on the way back from the lake to pick.

Once we got to the upper elevations we came across a beautiful alpine meadow - makes you want to lay down and take a nap, doesn't it? But really the ground up here in these meadows is really water saturated so you'd have to have an air mattress to keep you dry. hmmm....maybe something for the christmas list!

At one point while trying to get around the lake to another meadow spot we had determined would be our lunch stop we had to crash through the alder trees. Luckily we didn't run into any bear or porcupine who we might have disturbed during an afternoon nap. We all had rain gear on which was a good thing because although it wasn't raining that hard all the trees had collected rain from the previous night. on their leaves.

We had had a downpour of rain the night before our hike so all the cotton plants were pretty soggy looking. But they were still pretty and we found plenty of other fresh wildflowers to brighten up the green carpet.

I almost forgot to take a picture of the lake itself. One of our friends told us that this is really called "Naked Man Lake" but we did not see any evidence of that. It was a nice spot and if the weather had been like it was the day Tim and I climbed up the road to the top of the crest we might have been able to call this spot "Naked Man and Lady Lake." Note the lake is in the back of the picture - that little alpine puddle in the front of the image was only a couple of inches deep.

We found a nice large boulder which was semi-flat so we could spread out our lunch on it. And then we headed back down the hillside so we could pick berries.

I'm not exactly sure what kind of flower this is. It was on a bush that looked like a draft willow. I'm thinking it might be Lapland Rosebay but I'm not sure.

Friday, August 14, 2009

On the Edge of Nowhere

I just finished reading a book about James Huntington as told through Lawrence Elliott, called On the Edge of Nowhere. Huntington grew up along the Koyukuk River and eventually settled in Huslia. One of the original "Huslia Hustlers" he ran dogs in a number for sprint sled dog races in Fairbanks and Anchorage during the early 50s. Before that he lived off the land hunting and trapping as a very young child with his father and brother and then as a young adult by himself.

Very interesting to read his point of view of growing up in such a rural setting, surviving off the land, traveling long distances in the winter, surviving in a larger community without many resources. What really struck me was what a hardship it was for this young man to come into fairbanks from the rural area. Where it was second nature for him to stake out his dogs pretty much where ever he wanted to, make a shelter to sleep in, or build a fire to make tea water, when he arrived in Fairbanks choices were limited and he had to come up with cash in order to survive.

I know that Jimmy's brother, Syndey has also co-authored a book and I'm anxious to get to this one too, Shadow's of the Koyukuk.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Quite a conversation

We've really been enjoying the Herons this summer. We often see three or four Heron feeding in the tidepools along the front of the house. They are so big and skinny and it amazes me how they can scrunch down to the size of a raven or extent their bodies so far out. We recently have seen a couple of the Heron perched on the 3-story condo that is down the street.

This one decided to have a conversation with Cappy!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Southern Visitors

Had a nice, but short visit with friends Steve and Cyndi today. They are taking advantage of the inexpensive Seattle-Alaska cruise which stopped in Juneau today. Haven't seen these folks for a couple of years so it was nice to catch up on what has been going on with them. And Cappy does love posing for pictures!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

berries, berries, berries

Blueberries and Salmonberries make a very colorful assortment of great tasting fresh Alaskan fruit! I just love how the salmonberries can be ripe and be yellow, orange, red, and dark purple. You just never know!

The berries this year are incredible. We had so much sunshine and dry weather that the berries just soaked that all up and are nice and plump and abundant. It was easy to pick a spot, sit down and pick with both hands just reaching around you picking what was close. It was not uncommon for a single stem to have 30-40 berries.

It was very hard when we headed down the hillside not to stop at every patch and pick away. We had to pull ourselves away several times. And showing off the fruits of our labor: Tracey, Evolyn, Heidi and Terry and one begging dog: Keeta.

The bag with all the yellow that I'm holding - that was Tim's bag filled with the succulent salmonberries!

So what will we make with our berries? blueberry pie, blueberries muffins, blueberry flan, blueberry sauce, blueberry creamcheese dessert, blueberry jam? blueberry cookie bars (leave out the date mixure and use 1 cup of blueberry jame) or over ice cream or yogurt? Maybe we better go back for more!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

watch the led

Check out this phone of an LED that was attached to top of his Roobma (automatic vaccum) and took a long exposure picture. Good way to check its accuracy!