After a four-month break from blogging. I'm back. This place is too rich in stories and I can't pass up the urge to tell them.
Walrus for Dinner
Every year, the Curyung Tribal Council organizes a subsistence hunt for walrus. Crews from Dillingham and the nearby town of Manokotak cooperate on a hunt to cull walruses from a nearby sanctuary. Each town sends out a hunting team to get their allotted catch. Once they kill a walrus, they float it back to to the harbour and the whole town is invited down to share the catch. No surprise that it made front page news.
Last week, I was sitting at my computer messing around on Facebook when my friend, Michelle, called. She wanted to know if Hunter and I would come to dinner on Saturday and if I knew how to cook walrus. Dinner I could do but walrus posed a challenge. I was pretty sure that the cookbook I received from a friend would tell us how to concoct something resembling tasty out a dead Walrus.
Sure enough, I was right. Cooking Alaskan by Alaskans contained gems like Walrus Steaks with Gravy, Four-Day Spiced Walrus, Boiled Walrus Skin, Walrus Meat Loaf and Walrus Heart. We chose the spiced walrus.
To make four-day spiced walrus, you soak a "chunk" of meat in a gallon of water with 1/4C of vinegar added. After its soak, pat it dry and apply a spice rub (garlic salt, cinnamon, salt peter, salt, 5tbsp of Allspice and sugar) and let your walrus sit in cool place for 4 days. When the time's up, cook it in a slow oven for four hours.
The result was quite good. Walrus was a tiny bit chewy. Hunter said it was like eating venison. It didn't taste like chicken, or like fish for that matter. I think the allspice had something to do with that.
Apparently there's still walrus in the boat harbour that's free for the taking. It's hovering around freezing so it's keeping just fine so say the locals. I think I'll pass if only because I'm not together enough to start Friday's dinner on Tuesday.
Two weeks ago, Hunter and I moved from our duplex in Dillingham to a lake-front house in the "city" of Aleknagik. It's called a city but only 200 people live here.
I find it amusing that Aleknagik means "wrong way home" in Yup'ik. I'm sure our families see moving out here as the wrong way home for Hunter and I. We love it here. Our boats are in the water mere steps from the front door. The plane (once put on skis) will live in our front yard enabling us to come and go by plane at will.
We're living in a house built in the 50's. It's more fishing lodge than comfy abode. It's got some issues but we're slowly getting those resolved and making it home. The next challenge will be to go cut firewood for the winter. I've got a cutting permit in hand and the plan is to start using it this weekend.
Click here to check out my front yard.
We found him in a box marked "Free" at the grocery store. We couldn't resist. Meet Milton, the newest member of our little family.
Here is Milton on the banks of the Wood River after being kicked off the boat for peeing on Hunter's anchor line. He was trying to eat the ice that had formed along the banks .
Labels: Cooking Alaskan, Manokotak, Walrus