Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Jami, Doug and Darby

We spend an afternoon with our friends from Sitka who were on their way over to Haines and the Yukon Territory. A walk at Mendenhall Glacier seemed like a good place to have a nice walk and a good visit.

At one point, Darby decided that walking wasn't fast enough and decided to slide down this big piece of granite.

I think maybe it might have been easier (and less of a burn) if there had been snow covering the rock facing! Those are some hot pants!

Darby had fun finding pieces of white quartz amongst darker rocks. We didn't see any gold seams in the quartz though. darn

Nugget Falls was really running after the rain we had earlier in the week.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Low bush Cranberries

I was in Fairbanks a couple weeks ago. I like Fairbanks in the fall, especially when I get a chance to be out in the woods. The smells are so alive when the temperature starts to drop and the added moisture of the cool temps which means dew (or frost) at night and the beginning decay of the plants. There aren't any low bush cranberries down here, or at least that I have been able to find. Someone told me that you could find that in the alpine meadows and I often see greenery that seems like it should be low bush but I never see any berries.

I found some along the ski trails at the university and I think I picked enough for cranberry sauce for 1 turkey!

When my sister came from Anchorage she brough a pint jar filled with lowbush cranberries so I think I'm now set for the winter!

Spicy Thai Sauce

Here is a great recipe for a spicy sauce to go with just about any combination of meat, fish, and veggies:

1 T fish sauce
1 t sugar
1 t soy
1 t chili sauce
2 T chicken broth
1 t minced garlic

This makes sauce for about 1 serving.

We have had it with halibut, chicken, pork, green beans, broccoli, bok choy, mushrooms, or whatever is left over in the frig. We usually serve with rice but it would be good with soba or rice noodles too.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Weekend with my Sister

My sister came this weekend and it sure what great to have her here! It was nice to show her more about what our surroundings are like and to experience some of things that we like to do.

And of course, a picture with Cappy was required!

There was a New York Times article printed recently that talked about what do to in Juneau if you only had 36 hours.

Here is a short list:
  1. buy xtra tuffs - She already has nice hiking boots
  2. switzer creek trail - We didn't do the switzer creek trail but we did go to Outer Point Trail in North Douglas. This trail goes through the rain forest and winds through a couple different ecosystems from the forest to the beach.
  3. have fish at hangar on the wharf - we had a nice lunch at the hangar with Terry. We didn't haven't salmon though - Roxi had blackened chicken, I had Jambalaya and Terry had the seafood chowder!
  4. perseverance theater - We went to "Skin of our Teeth" It was really long and a bit confusing but the acting was very good. We also went to the pipe organ concert that is offered at the state office building on Friday afternoon.
  5. see sea life - We drove out to 32 mile and saw humpback whales and harbor seals from the house.
  6. downtown bar hopping and mexican food - didn't go out drinking this time (have to save something for next time) but we had some delicious roasted anaheim peppers stuffed with blackbeans/corn/cheese in corn tortillas at the house
  7. history: state museum/evergreen cemetery - we chose to learn our history with a tour of the UAS campus where we saw a totem pole that is in progress. We also walked back to Ernest Gruening's cabin at Amagla harbor.
  8. downtown shopping while cruise ship in town - spend time (and money) at Changing Tides and a few other gift stores and watched all the people
  9. bookstore
  10. Mediterranean dining - is pastrami stromboli bread mediterranean?
  11. Drink Coffee - We don't drink coffee - we drink tea and had some at the house
  12. Mendenhall Glacier - we didn't hike back to the falls but we got a good look of the glacier, waterfall and ice bergs in the lake all from the pavillion.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Trail Mix Volunteer Opportunity

Tracy got us going and several of us went out to the Jensen-Olson Arboretum out the road, right past the Shrine, to help Trail Mix put in a trail through the woods from the highway to a nice look-out over the Breadline. I volunteered to wield a pulaski and attack roots and stumps that might trip someone up. It was great work for me to wack away with as much force as I could muster.

At some point I was I clearing away the muck to make room for a chainsaw to make quick work of some limbs that were in the way.

I think I was hitching a ride in one of the wheelbarrows when I took this one! But here is the gravel pathway that was being laid down.

And part of the trailing building included stripping logs that were cut from on-premise to be used as stairs. After about 4 hours of wielding my wacker my hards were tired and I couldn't hold my camera steady...

There was another work party a couple of weeks ago, but we couldn't make it. Hope to get out in the near future to see if the work was completed.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

more on carrots - or their look alike

Tim and I had a nice walk up the road to the Salmon Creek Powerhouse. As we were walking up the very steep starting hill it reminded me a lot of the hill up to Ullerhaven, part of the equinox marathon trail. I know this picture doesn't give a good representation of the elevation but if you could have been walking beside me, you would have heard the elevation-exertion I felt by my hard breathing.

The leaves are being to change here and the fireweed has topped out. From very far away you could spot this fungus along the roadside.

I actually thought that someone had been making carrot flowers to decorate a fresh green salad!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Fun Carrots

We have been enjoying a variety of carrots lately, courtesy of our Full Circle Farm box: white, orange and purple. To me, they all have a similar taste but they sure add color when you mix them with other vegetables!

I've heard that if you over eat orange carrots and get too much beta carotene in your system your skin may turn orange so I wondered if the same thing would happen if you ate a bunch of purple carrots. I mean, that would be kind of cool if you were a Minnesota Vikings. Here is what I found out about purple carrots …

And of course you probably can't read this image (despite how good your eyes are from eating orange carrots ) so you'll have to go to this website were the image above is reprinted with permission: FirstJuice.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Wonder Chocolate Cake

Got the chocolate munchies late last night and wanted something quick so I pulled this recipe from my Mom's collection. She has Grandma written on the card. Also known and Wacky cake, the recipe became popular during war times as well as during the depression when it wasn't easy to get butter and eggs.

Preheat oven to 350°.

Put in shifter (ha!) below ingredient all together and sift in 8x8 cake pan (ungreased)
1 1/2 c flour
3 T cocoa
1/2 t salt
1 c sugar
1 t baking soda

If you don't use a sifter, then mix up dry ingredients with a fork until well blended.

Make 3 holes in the dry ingredients (1 large and 2 small). In large hole add 6 T vegetable oil, in 1 small hole pour 1 T vinegar and in the other small hole pour 1 t vanilla.

Pour 1 c cold water over mixture and stir with fork but do not beat. Stir quickly until just a few streaks of flour mixture remain. Since this recipe has no eggs in it, when the vinegar and baking soda meet their reaction causes the batter to rise.

Pop in a 350° oven for 35 minutes. Let cool and dust with powder sugar.

Tim is often suspicious when I bake something. I guess he expects baked goods to have flax seed or some kind of fruit replacement for shortening or extra fiber or some other hidden ingredient. Since he is also nut-sensitive maybe he is just making sure I'm not trying to poison him. When he accused me of doing something to the cake I realized that it is a special cake - its vegan!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

We found something!

Last weekend was our 12th COASST dead bird survey on Boy Scout Beach. We chose a great time of the day to go - we got there about 30 minutes before the high tide. The day was overcast but warm - we wore t-shirts and shorts but had our rain gear with us just in case.

And we found a bird wing! whoo hooo - yippee!

We can't write it down on our survey sheet because it has to have a foot attached but we got out the identification book, measuring tool, and other scientific tools (plastic glove, etc.) and went through the motions. We knew right off it was a Glaucous-Winged Gull but we went through the identification process anyway just to make sure we remembered how to do it.

We did look around for other body parts but I'm sure they were picked up by a scavenger before we arrived.

We also saw a bunch of live birds too - mostly shore birds on their way south: Semipalmated Plover and some Least Sandpiper in a mixed group and a lone Whimbrel.