Sunday, June 27, 2010


The morning has been filled with cleaning, wrestling with Stout/getting my ears and hair bitten, and a delicious breakfast.  The salmon berries are not the most superior of the local berries, but if you get them right before they are ready to fall off the bush the red ones have a good amount of flavor and are not too tart.  The blueberries are starting to get a little bit of sweetness to them already.  They are everywhere in the woods right next to the apartment.
One thing I would like to pass on about pancake making after my dad was out here complaining that he loves pancakes but gets frustrated making them because they are never really good.  I've done a little reading online and what I've found is there are two tricks to making really, really fluffy pancakes.  It doesn't seem like the actual recipe matters too much, but if you do these two things I guarantee better pancakes (here you go dad!).

1.  Mix dry ingredients first, then mix in the milk and egg yolk only.  In a separate bowl add just the egg whites.  Mix/stir/whip the egg whites vigorously for a minute or so until you get almost a foam forming.  Now add half of the whites to the batter and gently fold in/stir.  After it is mostly combined add the other half and again mix it in with as few strokes as possible.  The idea here is to keep the bubbles you've generated in the egg white mixture.  Start cooking immediately.  (You can also store batter in the fridge overnight to give the baking soda time to 'mature the batter and give it the bounce, but who plans pancakes the night before)

2.  Temp is important and if you don't have a temp controlled griddle (should be 375F) it takes some tinkering.  It should take about 3-4 mins on the first side.  Large bubbles form in the cake and the edges start to dry out just a little bit, but it shouldn't be too dark.  Flip gently and cook for about a minute more. 

Some other tips: 
-Save money and make better cakes by making your own large container of dry mix from flour rather than buying Bisquick and storing it in the pantry.  There are lots of recipes but basically it is a combination of flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and sugar.
1 egg
1 cup of (butter)milk
1 cup of flour
 2 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
-Some recipes have oil added to the batter.  I've made with and without oil and haven't noticed much of a difference, so I make them without oil added and increase the health factor.
-Buttermilk does make better pancakes, but it isn't always on hand, and also decreases the health factor.  I will add a little less using milk compared to buttermilk.  The batter should be a little bit thick to get some fluff.
-Shortening is better than butter for pan lubrication to get consistent color.

Pancakes are simple to make.  Great pancakes at home are rare ...

Saturday, June 26, 2010


After work yesterday Stout and myself went fishing/camping with Sam (We met him during the heli ski day).  We fished for Kings for a couple hours around low tide before heading out to shelter Island to set up camp. It was a bit rainy and cool, but we eventually got a fire going to cook some pasta and king salmon.  Just after 1am we decided to get some sleep even though we were still in the midst of twilight.
This morning we headed out for some halibut not far from camp after an egg sandwich breakfast and coffee.  In three hours we landed 8 halibut, 2 cod, and a rockfish.  We kept our limit of 2 halibut each with the largest one weighing 20 pounds.  The house is full of seafood now!  After fillet and packaging Stout and I went outside and gathered a bunch of salmon berries and even a few early blueberries.  Tonight will be a fully subsistence meal of halibut for the main course and berries for dessert!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Meet Stout

Andy finally showed me (Hillary) how to do this, so here it goes...

After many, many weeks of anticipation, we finally picked up our new puppy on Tuesday evening. When we got there all but three males were left to choose from. Those three pups had a big few days, so by the time it came for us to choose they were all asleep and it was all we could do to dig them out of their hiding spots to look them over. We decided on one of the smaller of the three remaining and just had our fingers crossed that he wouldn't be TOO crazy once he actually woke up. After many weeks of throwing around many names, we finally settled on Stout, and so far he's a great little pup. He is very playful and loves to chase us all around. So far puppy owner ship is going well (minus the not sleeping much).

Our first family photo

We let Stout have a few days at home getting to know us before we took him on an epic (for a puppy) adventure. Friday night we figured we'd see what kind of hiker he is. We've been hearing that the hatchery king salmon are coming in, so we packed up the fishing poles, net, and Stout and his toys and headed out to the creek to try and end our king salmon drought. We didn't have any luck catching any kings, and we nearly were carried away by all the bugs, but we did have quite the photo shoot with Stout. Below is just one of the MANY photos taken.

Striking a pose.

Today, Saturday, we decided to take advantage of the sun and take Stout out on the boat and, again, try and end our king salmon drought. We had better luck today! We got out to the cove where all the hatchery kings pool up just before low tide today. We saw quite a few people dragging kings behind them, so we had our hopes up pretty high that today was going to be the day. After a few hours we finally, FINALLY had some excitement and Hillary got to reel in her first king. As she predicted would be the case, her first king was the BIG one (29 lbs to be exact). It gave quite the fight before Andy finally netted it. What a great way to end the drought! Stout didn't really seem to care about the commotion. He retreated to the back of his crate once the fish was actually in the boat and only later did he wander out to see what it was all about. With fish fever back, Andy's headed out again tomorrow with his new fishing buddy, Stout, while Hillary heads to work. Stay tuned for more pictures of our new little friend!

Stout drives the boat. Or he's thinking about it at least.

He decided this seemed like a good place to curl up and take a nap.

But really this is his favorite spot. He was soaking up the sun and warming his belly.

After reeling in this fish, Hillary decided she needs to work on her muscles a little.

Good thing Andy's a little stronger so we have a better picture to show.

Stout is not so sure about this thing that joined our boat.

A 29 lb king gives you a lot of salmon meat!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Been a long time ...

It has been pretty crazy around here lately with only a few free minutes to relax back at the house due to the stream of visitors and start of the field season for work.  Below are some pictures from the last four weeks.

Recent activities have included ...
Heli skiing on Sheep Mountain
Glossner and Mike visit
  Whales and sea lions
  More King Salmon
  Dungeness crabs
  Beach camping Couverdon, Outer Point (Bears and moose)
  Hiking, Beer, and the Tram
  Thane Ore House
Intense field work
Heli-hiking for work
Big puppies
The garden (Raging lettuce)
Epic spring weather
Nate and my dad visit
  Windfall Sockeye
  More crab
  Flounder, cod, dolly varden, short King

and now some pictures.

Heli pickup at Sheep Creek

Drop off at the Sheep Mountain Summit on a perfect day
Lunch break at the summit after a couple laps

Hillary not getting too much sun on the summit

Hiking out on the Perseverence Trail after a long 3000 ft drop from the top

Week 5 in puppyville

 Hillary trying to take one home early

Mike and Glossner getting in on some puppy play   
They don't even wait for you to take your shoes off to start eating them

Is he old enough to drive?

Sea lions hanging out during a troll

Mike and his 13 pound king
'Chillin' at the glacier

Dungee Crabs

Wading out to Shaman Island at low tide

Steaming crab on the beach at sunset

Sunset at Outer Point   

Humpback whale near Couverdon Point

Enormous sea lions near Couverdon Point 

Low tide miscalculation makes for a delicious breakfast thanks to Mike's banana chocolate pancakes

Glossner with a Copper Rockfish

Eagles hanging out on Portland Island

Glossner with an 18 pound King

Hillary showing her rock 'skipping' skills ...
Nate with a rockfish in Stephens Passage

Beach Campin'

Week 6 still eating shoes

Orcas in the channel
Sampling on the Mendenhall glacier

Crevasse on the Glacier

Blue stream on the glacier
Nate and my dad took advantage of a free helicopter ride and 1.5 hour drop on the glacier for 'work'

Glacier from the air
Taku Inlet with Taku Glacier and the icefield in the backdrop

Nate with some Dolly Varden 
It's a good day when you come home with more crab than beer remaining

 Herbert River with Herbert Glacier in the background

Thanks to Nate, Glossner, and Hillary for the great pictures above!  Hope you all had a great time even though we couldn't send Nate home with a King.  Great weather, good times, and even better memories.