It is incredible how beautiful the growing light of our sky is. Four o'clock and while the twilight is deepening, it still lights the southern sky. Hanging in that wonderous sky of light blue gradually darkening to indigo the growing crescent of the moon seems to be reaching out to Venus. Go outside, and turn your head to the heavens, you just don't know what wonders might be waiting for you there.
It was my girl's birthday a little more than a week ago. Ever since she first arrived in our life I've marked this milestone on the blog, so I see no reason to stop yet. Her birthday seemed to sneak up on us this year, not that we weren't aware of it looming on the horizon, just we seemed so unprepared for it.
Because we had clients, and didn't want to disturb them with the games in the evening, the festivities were held down at Leah's mom's place. As I still hadn't finished the cake, I was late. I arrived with a princess cake (My daughter is such a girly girl now, everything is pink and princesses and dolls. How does this happen? Thankfully she still watches football with me), and the place was packed.
The adults swarmed around a set of dice and the current game, the kids swarmed around me (I was after all carrying a cake). The hour was getting late, as we had waited until after the evening church service to accommodate everyone, and Hilary was getting quite tired. So tired that as soon as the chorus of "Happy Birthday" started she burst into tears. There is something especially poignant about a three year old with tears streaming down her face as she sits in front of a cake with a freaky eyed Cinderella (I can't do eyes) as dozens of people sing "Happy Birthday".
Fortunately the sugar soon kicked in and she was once again her happy, boyant self. I was soon banished home to await the arrival of the participants of a scavanger hunt, but soon she was back home with me, playing with one of the countless princess toys she received.
I want to resist my usual bemoaning of the quick passage of time, but really how can three years pass so quickly? As she sits on my knee, patting my shoulder and watching me type, I can't help but fear how fast these days will be gone. How quickly she'll move away from Cinderella cakes, and tears on her birthday.
The Raven, Edgar Allen Poe's incredible poem was first published on today's date, one hundred and sixty-four years ago. Poe still rocks. Really. Take some time today and read some of his works. Might I recommend The Tell-Tale Heart, or A Cask of Amontillado.
Just in case it isn't obvious, I wanted to point out a slight retooling of my sidebar. Gone is the long list of Northern Blogs. It has been replaced with five feeds showing the latests posts from Nunavut; NWT; Yukon; Alaska and North related blogs. The complete list of Nunavut Blogs can be found on... Nunavut Blogs!
There are about three active blogs missing, they seem to be feedaphobic, and unfortunately one of my new favourite Nunavut Blogs is now by invite only. I also got rid of the Nunie posts on Nunavut Blogs! and replaced them with links to the winners on the sidebar. If you notice a northern blog that I should include, leave me a note.
Okay, the vegans amongst you should probably head over here, instead of reading on. For this is a tale of meat, and almost nothing but.
I spent part of last night, and part of today making jerky. Its been awhile but now I'll finally be able to pay off a bet I made with my brother. The jerky I make is quite good so I thought I'd share the recipe with you.
I'm making caribou jerky. Caribou is probably the ideal meat to make jerky with, as it is so lean. Fat, is the enemy of jerky. If you're going to use beef, flank is a good cut, but what ever cut you use trim the fat from it, a really nice marbled steak wouldn't be a good choice.
Nikku is actually dried caribou without any seasoning, although I believe the word is also used for the flavoured jerky also. Traditionally nikku was made but cutting caribou meat into strips and hanging it in the sun until dry. I enjoy it, and like a lot of people here like to eat it spread with butter, but what I'm making right now is jerky, complete with seasoning.
Start by cutting your meat into thin strips, if you have trouble doing this partially freeze the meat, it will go easier. The caribou I had to work with was sent up from Cape Dorset by Leah's sister, and last night I sliced up two incredibly tender tenderloins. I know, I know. I wanted nothing more than to lightly season them with roast red pepper and garlic and broil them instead, but I had my orders. After slicing it up I had to pause as I was missing a key ingredient, so everything went into a large non-reactive bowl and into the fridge until today.
The marinade is pretty simple. The amount I'm giving you below will do about two to three pounds of meat. I had about twice that so I doubled it. Mix together:
2/3 cup worcestershire sauce 2/3 cup soy sauce 1 tbsp honey a healthy dollop of fresh ground pepper. I guesstimate but probably at least a teaspoon 1 tsp liquid smoke 1 crushed dried chile (more to taste - personally I'd like more but this amount seems to work for everyone else.)
mix the marinade in with the sliced caribou and let sit in the fridge for at least eight hours. Toss it every once in a while.
I use an American Harvest dehydrator, set at 145 F. Lay down the strips on trays in a single layer.
It will probably take about eight hours in the dehydrator, you have to judge it for yourself depending on the thickness of the strips. When they are done they can be stored in an airtight container for about 3 months.
Back, over 40 years ago, my grandfather brought me a souvenir from Rome. It was simple, non-descript, and how I wish I still had it. Its funny what we take as touchstones in our lives. My grandfather brought me a stone. I didn't appreciate then, it was cool, very cool, but I was nine or ten, and didn't realize how special it was.
It is long gone, I probably didn't have it that long. I have vague memories of it kicking around a drawer down stairs in Roblin. Then it just disappeared. Not suddenly, it passed from thought. When I was older, away from home I looked for it from time to time. But by that time it was some sort of chimera, although I knew it existed, I had no idea when it passed from my possession.
Now I long for it. When it appears in my memory, as it has a lot lately, I regret, deeply regret, not treasuring it as the incredible gift it was. Most of that regret comes from the idea that it was grandpa's gift to me, something that in all of Europe, he most thought was special. But part of the regret was for what it was.
My grandfather brought me a stone... it was a piece of the Colosseum.
So, a while back, Teepe's Weblog and Way Way Up tagged me with a meme. I don't know why but memes have lost their lustre to me. Way back, I was frustrated at not being tagged and practically begged someone to tag me. In fact I may have just tagged myself, this is so sad. But I digress. Here then are the rules that govern this 6th photo meme.
1) Open your Pictures folder (or documents) 2) Open the sixth folder there 3) Post the sixth photo in that folder 4) Blog about it 5) Tag six friends.
The original rules said open your Documents folder, but that's not where my photos are held, and my sixth folder contains other people's photos, so I decided to skip that and go to the seventh folder in Pictures. I should have picked the fifth.
This folder contains the photo records of some damaged doors. Back when we were building the House everything, of course, arrived in crates. Despite our tarping most of the crates that had to sit for any length of time, the crate containing our interior doors and bi-fold doors for closets leaked. Causing water damage to every door. Several of the bi-folds were beyond saving, while most of the interior ones suffered some sort of water staining at the minimum. The amount of damage is difficult to quantify. Its not so much the physical damage as the cost in time and delays because all of the doors had to be cleaned, sealed and painted. The time spent doing that added to the time it takes to complete construction. Partially as the result of this only four closets have any doors on them, the one at the client entrance, both doors on the laundry chute, and the laundry space under the stairs. In the case of the space under the stairs those doors were ordered later and came on our second sealift.
I won't tag anyone. If you feel like playing along and haven't yet been tagged have at her. Saves begging someone.