Although I made light, in my last post, of our lack of campfires up here, we do have them. Yesterday after we finished picnicking at Uluksan we took a drive over to Victor Bay to enjoy the sun, and watch the comings and goings.
Fragrant smoke coming from the neighbourhood of a friend's tent , alerted us to some country food being cooked up. Up here, with no wood to burn, people learned a long time ago that Arctic Heather, full of volatile fragrant oils, burned hot and fast. And for a brief period in the summer people would use Heather to cook with.
When we got to the tent, Niore was tending a heather fire, boiling up seal in a large pot (seasoned with onions and soup mix). Because the heather burns so quickly it takes a lot of it to keep a fire going, and constantly needs to be fed.
I'm not a big fan of boiled seal, but my all time favourite country food (by far) is seal cooked on a flat rock over a heather fire. Seasoned with a lot of salt, and nothing else, it is ambrosia. One of Hilary's namesakes, Kautaq, was a master of this method of preparing seal, and the matriarch of this band of campers.
After a sufficient amount of whining and not so subtle hints on my part, a small hearth was built, a second fire was started, and the appropriate flat rock was found. Soon, there were seal ribs sizzling away on the Inuit BBQ. Not as good as Kautaq's but darn fine none-the-less.
More pictures from the evening below the fold.