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Monday, October 31, 2011

Blueberries and bogberries!

I have discovered that the blueberries we have been picking are called Bog Blueberry which are found in bogs, woodlands and wet and dry tundra. We have been picking in wet tundra. It is such a lovely feeling out on the tundra. There is all this spongy moss underfoot and you kind of try to step from one mound to another, often sinking yet never hitting anything solid. There are gentle river lets of water in the low lying areas, so getting wet feet is just part of the experience. I love the feeling, almost like walking on a trampoline. When you look around, everything except the scattered spindly spruce trees is low lying. Then you spot these dark blue oval, juicy and tart fruit. If you are lucky the little bush will be loaded and you can just place your container under and run your fingers through the foliage to dislodge them. I like that feeling too. Otherwise it is individual picking, and then the fruit is larger. The fruit makes great jam and tasty pancakes, it's the blueberry bar that is truly delightful.
This recipe that I got off can be used for other fruit too;
  1. Mix ¾ cup cugar, 2 cups flour, tsp baking powder
  2. rub in ¾ cup butter to resemble crumbs
  3. Add 1 beaten egg and mix well (use 2 eggs if they're small)
  4. sprinkle have of the crumbed mixture in the bottom of a baking tin. Pack down solid.
  5. Spread with 2 cups cranberry sauce or blueberry (add sugar if tart) and crumble remaining mix over top.
  6. Bake 40 minutes at 350 F until top is golden. Cool then slice

Oh no!

The children and I will come up with a plan of action for the next couple of days. One of which will involve shooting down to our favourite fishing spot since we've had clear weather for the last couple of days it's given it a chance for the water to clear up a bit. I'll also go in and get a local newspaper today just in case something interesting is happening around here. Would like to head for Anchorage on an overnighter and Fairbanks at some stage. Fairbanks is quite a haul, so will plan that one, perhaps for when Brent is away again.

The weather is overcast, yet dry. River was clear, loads of fish, getting the right one to take our line was a little trickier. We returned home empty handed. However there was plenty of fun and games.

Today was Reagan's day for whoopsies. First of all she put the lucky Canadian quarter (which was a celebration of children quarter) that she had been given by a lady in the bank at Whistler, on the rail track, instead of a normal US quarter. That is now a flattened piece of metal which you can still slightly discern the pattern, if you squint your eyes and tilt your head just right. Of course she only realised once it was over and done with, declaring I should have known that the US coin doesn't have the Queen of England on it, OH NO! Then she hooked the rocks and we had to struggle to get our jig back. After which she was quite illegal, and despite both Bradley and I yelling “NO, Don't!” She did.

coin imprint - not the lucky one!

You see, the problem is, there are so many fish in the water, when you are very young you feel like you might just like to scoop one up with your net. For no particular reason other than to say yes, it is possible. Well she was on net duty, and went oooooooh, look, I could just scoop one up. This is the part where we yell. But it was too late, she did. Scooped up the biggest ugliest spawned out looking thing you might imagine, with a jaw on it, that, well Bradley described it as having teeth that resembled a starfish. Of course it opened its mouth and got entangled in the net when she was trying to release it. If you had sound you would hear a lot of squealing, fish flapping about and children yelling while this is happening. Bradley had to use the pliers to unhook the net from the poor thing. It took a moment before it was off again. We headed home after that.

Some of the treasures we found.

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