Ground Venison and ski team January 2021

Sam and Andrew left for Sierra Leone on Friday and Gloria back to college on Saturday.  Dad left me some money when he died and I sent it with Andrew for the widows of my friends in Sierra Leone.  Sam has been on the middle school cross country ski team with coaches who Sara grew up with. The start of the season they were having to do dryland training when there was no snow, and this was tough so Sam was trying to get out of practice but luckily Gloria is wise to his ways and asked me when he said there was no practice and we got him there. Once the snow came, he was good to go and is a natural at classic and skate skiing. No drive, but the skill is there. And anything to get him outside.

Today, I started grinding venison for burger and sausage.  I experimented using some rhubarb and sea asparagus a few weeks ago and really liked it. It fell apart because of too much rhubarb, I think, so will try again now with less rhubarb. I’ll use half the deer and organic pork fat for that, and with the other try using red huckleberry puree and maybe devils club buds.

I had enough pork fat for half the burger I ground.  The other half I froze just as burger, and so will give to the cross country ski coaches and my bear hunting partner.

I ended up using 85/15 venison/pork fat, and made sausage using rhubarb, devils club buds, sea asparagus, a hot African spice mix Andrew gave me, and some wild bull kelp fronds w/ herring (?) eggs sprinkled on them. I cut back on the rhubarb from the earlier try, and now it will stay together. For the others, I would measure out the weight of deer, and then mix in measured amounts of the plants and spices, then fry a small piece and taste, then add more ingredients as needed. They all came out okay and will encourage me to get some more devils club buds and sea asparagus next year as these are really great ingredients. The sea asparagus replaces salt altogether, and the devils club buds have a very distinctive flavor similar to carrots that adds a nice contribution to the sausage. The kelp was perhaps the most surprising, as it added both sort of taste of the sea and added nice texture.

I set the crab pots over a week ago and then took truck in for a problem with the transmission and other things- an electric issue I think. Buy my mechanic got backed up with a problem and now it’s going on two weeks so itching to get back to pull the pots and spend some time at the cabin.

My brother in law took the 135 Merc Optimax off his skiff and got a new 150 to replace it.  My wife’s sister obviously loves him more than she loves me, as I’ve not been able to get the same for our boat. However, my brother in law said he’d give me the 135 as it just needs a new alternator. I got quotes from air carriers and barge lines for shipping it here. Then I found out my friend Larry was going to start a freight operation and could get the outboard up here for me because the boat he was buying for his business was in – you guessed it – Craig!  Next thing I know I’ve offered to go down and bring the boat up with him and he wants me to be his relief captain. He then said he’d have to make a stop in Wrangell for some documentation measurements at my good friend’s shop where the boat was built. He thinks this is a deterrent to me, and I think the trip just keeps getting better and better as I’ll get to see Dave and Bob in Wrangell.

Paul in Petersburg then calls and said he needed to break the news to me that we should not have our annual superbowl get together. I had been thinking the same thing and he was relieved I agreed with him, but he had items he had wanted to get to me. Now that we have a plan in place to bring Larry’s boat back, we’ll be traveling right by Petersburg so I can pick them up from Paul on the way from Wrangell to Juneau.

Today, I made some jam with red huckleberries and rhubarb. Also got the bagel factory going again. This time, blueberry, fiddlehead and bull kelp stipe bagels are on the docket.

It took awhile, but Covid has finally touched our lives, as one good friend lost their aunt in Virginia, and another close friend lost their dad in California. President Trump’s second impeachment is now sharing alot more time in the news with Covid, but things with Covid, while seemingly okay here,  do not seem to be getting better elsewhere down south. Just two simple acts asked of our citizenry to protect their fellow citizens – distancing and wearing a mask – and yet many still think it’s all part of a conspiracy or it’s their right not to be bothered protecting each other or it’s some leftist propaganda. Juneauites seem to be doing it for each other, but elsewhere, it’s become a political thing now. You really can’t fix stuid, not even deadly stupid.