Monday, December 26, 2005

Only in Alaska..

On a recent Saturday trip to Safeway I experienced a PA announcement like none I had ever heard before. As I was looking for the best apples I heard over the loud speaker,

“Okay, kids Santa will be here in 10 minutes. Let’s go outside and line up to watch his
helicopter land!”

Wow, I thought! What happened to the reindeer? I finished my shopping and proceeded outside. Drawing near to the front door I hear native drums, a dinging bell and ladies singing ‘Santa Claus is coming to town’ somewhat flat, monotone and in a very slow cadence. A group of ladies dressed in native wear and large Santa hats were gathered around the Salvation Army bucket singing away and beating the drum. Now that is some local entertainment!

We also finished up the “Road Kill” processing. After hanging for two weeks in a cool “meat locker” aka Mark’s shop, the moose was ready. This last Saturday, we went to Don and Ann Bailey’s house for a full evening and night of moose butchering. Boy, was it work! Jeff and I kept looking at each other in disbelief. They said this was a SMALL cow moose… and we ended up with 250-300 pounds of packaged meat. Don and Jeff would take each quarter, clean off the dried outer layer and then carve off large muscle groups. Ann, Suzie (a friend of the families) and I would then further clean the meat and cut it into smaller pieces. Depending on the amount of the sinew and look of the meat we would decide if it was stew, steak, roast or hamburger worthy. Jeff and I were never more thankful for our Boker knives...thanks George. They cut like butter!

We then took the cut pieces into the house and double wrapped them in saran wrap and then gave them a final wrap of butcher paper. I was the butcher paper and label-er. Jeff and Don then ground all of the remaining meat into hamburger and cut up the ribs for the church New Year’s Eve BBQ. The meat was divided three ways and Jeff and I went home with what we normally would have from one white tail deer alone. We ended the evening with ice cream and raspberry topping at about 12:30 am. Amazing! It was so much fun.

The next day I fried some back strap…delicious!!! There is nothing like fried back strap, biscuits and gravy and mashed potatoes. Yummy. Wish you were all here to enjoy. Tonight, I am taking some of the moose hamburger and making stuffed pasta shells with a meat sauce.

I hope everyone had a great Christmas!

3 comments:

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Patrick said...

Dana,
I hope that you had a great holiday. It must be weird not being in Texas for the holidays; however, you guys are adventurers, so I bet it was great. I have had a great time with my family, and playing with my little nephews. Family is such a blessing.
I graduate in May. Do you know anyone in Alaska who is looking to hire someone with a BA in English, with tons of finance courses? I am looking for a few years of adventure before I head back to grad school.
Have a great beginning of the year, and hopefully your 1st tri-mester isn't bad. (also, if you turn on word-verification you won't have those inconvenient comments by random people.)
In Him
Patrick

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