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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Ain't no sunshine

The word of the day -Windy!  It is gusting between 39-45 mph according to our little weather station.  The lake is full of white caps.  Good thing I have a little meat on my bones otherwise I would have been blown over!  Those of you that read this know that I am at a remote lodge in Alaska.  

So as I was doing my breakfast dishes and musing, I realized how much I can do without.  For example, no tv. I have certain shows that I love to watch - Copper, Law and Order, Longmire, Grimm - you get the idea.  Out here, we don't have enough bandwidth to download movies, books, or tv shows.  So while I wonder what's new on the shows I like, the shows don't wonder what's new with me.  Electricity - we have a generator and there is only electric when its running.  The generator is turned on at 6am and usually off by 9am.  Turn it on again between 4-5pm and then off at 10pm.  I have a headlamp that I use when it gets dark so I can read or see where I'm going (I'm clumsy enough). Imagine what a normal day at home is like and then realize how much dependence there is on electricity or how irritating it is when the power goes out for a short time.   Without electricity there are no lights, no way to use appliances, no water (well pump).  Water - no flushing toilets, showers, washing clothes or dishes, getting a drink.  The phone is an old analog one. There is a battery inverter hooked up so that we can play the radio and a router.  The radio is sirius xm because there is a clear signal.  It's kinda like "Little House on the Prairie".  Luckily, the stove is gas (propane), so I can prepare food for supper and bake.  When I sometimes go to make something and realize I can't use the mixer, I either wait for the generator or revert back to a pre-appliance time - like in my grandma's day.  The refridgerators are turned up to their coldest so that when the electric is off, the food in them and the freezers stays cold and/or frozen.  Last but not least - heat.  There is no furnace.  The heat source for the main lodge is a stove that runs on oil and the oven when its being used.  The heat from the oven radiates through the kitchen and front room.  The cabins each have a Toyo stove (heater) which run when the generator is on.  

Tonight's supper is salmon patties, hushpuppies, oriental salad, german chocolate cake and potatoes.  Until next time - keep the light shining bright!


Saturday, September 7, 2013

Wow, It is already week 10!

It is hard to believe but tomorrow starts week 10 of the fishing season!  The Lodge has had interesting guests over the last weeks.  There have been guests that have been coming here for 20 years, newcomers, and couples.  Everyone has had some great fishing experiences.  

I've got to go out to three different fishing spot on three different saturdays.  Saturday is usually the "camp morale day".  I've been able to catch Dollie Varden, Silver Salmon (Coho - see profile pic), and even a King Salmon (let that one go in a hurry as was not in season and luckily didn't have it out of the water).   I've seen quite a few bears, but not too close! 

Cooking has definitely gotten easier as I have been able to get into a cooking routine.  I have "perfect" fish nights now, as well as "perfect" prime rib.  Fresh fruits and vegetables as is  dairy are more or less a luxury item out here.  Everything has to be flown in from Anchorage to  King Salmon and then flown to the lodge or picked up at the store in Naknek, and flown back to the lodge (sense a theme?).  Things that can spoil fast are tomatoes, lettuce, peppers, cauliflower and broccoli.  We have a root cellar that is about 15ft deep.  The temp is a constant and works like a refridgerator. 
See the wood boards on the sides? That's how you climb down and then to bring up stuff there is a tub that works like a well bucket.  Thank God, I am still nimble!

I'm going to share an appitizer that is a Lodge favorite.  It is the Blue Mountain Lodge Salmon Ball.

1 lg can salmon (pink) We use cooked salmon that is leftover from fish night.  At home I sometimes use smoked salmon.

8 oz of cream cheese
2 Tbsp chopped onion
1 Tbsp liquid smoke (unless you are using smoked salmon) We use Wright's Hickory Liquid Smoke
1 tsp horseradish
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
Dash of Tabasco

Beat all ingredients except the salmon until very smooth.  Add salmon.  Beat again until mixed very well.  Should be salmon (haha) in color and like a spread.  Put in bowl that has been lined with plastic wrap or cheese ball mold and chill. 

At home, I will sometimes add fresh hot peppers, chopped walnuts. 

Let me know how your's turns out!