Saturday, June 30, 2007

Marylin's Fireweed Jelly

I'm going to give this a try this year. Fireweed even grows out of the cracks around here.

Marylin's Fireweed Jelly Recipe

When the fireweed is in full bloom its time to begin the process of putting away all the jams, jellies, and preserves for the long winter ahead. This jelly recipe imparts a nice distinctive flavor for those peanut butter sandwiches or steaming stack of hot cakes.

Pick,wash, and measure 8 cups of fireweed blossoms (flower part only!!)

Add 1/4 cup lemon juice and 4-1/2 cups water.

Boil 10 minutes and strain.

Take the strained juice and heat to lukewarm. Add 2 pkgs Sure Jell (or other powdered pectin) and bring to boil.

Add 5 cups sugar and bring to full boil.

Boil hard for 1 minute. Pour into hot clean jars and seal.

Process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

Good Cookin',

Lots of interesting recipes at the Alaska Outdoor Journal site above.

Friday, June 29, 2007

The Pinks are coming

2007 Prince William Sound Salmon Fishery News Release #20 June 28. 2007

Seine Fisheries Announcement

EASTERN DISTRICT: Yesterday’s common property harvest was approximately 860,000 pink salmon with a female proportion of 10-12% in the Valdez Arm. VFDA harvested 205,000 fish on Tuesday and expects to harvest more than 200,000 fish today and more than that tomorrow. Today’s cost recovery harvest is averaging 10,000 to 15,000 lbs per set, with reports of peak catch-per-set of 30,000 lbs. The cumulative cost recovery harvest, as of Tuesday, was 800,000 fish or 19.7 % of the cost recovery goal; VFDA expects to reach 30% of their cost recovery goal on Friday. The next possible fishing period will be Saturday based on cost recovery progress today and tomorrow.

According to the above press release the pink salmon are in Valdez Arm.

On the dock today anglers were casting pixies for pinks with no luck. When I asked if they were catching anything one guy answered "Nothing. But you don't have to clean nothing."

The Pink Salmon usually arrive in Port Valdez around the 4th of July. The infamous Silver Salmon show up in August.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Agua Toy

Another ho-hum day on the lake.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Hot Fun in the Summertime

Today was a bluebird day. Too nice to be anywhere but on the water. It must have hit 70°! Thats hot for us.

Fishing News: This is from todays Anchorage Daily News ~ First came news of David Hicks of Anchorage hauling up a halibut the size of an NFL linebacker on Saturday to grab the lead in the Seward Halibut Derby. Word of that 251.2-pound catch was just beginning to spread by Monday when Bonnie Woods of Valdez topped it to grab the lead in that community's halibut derby.
Woods caught a 274.5-pounder in Prince William Sound. While big, it was not unusual for her. Valdez Fish Derbies reported the halibut was the "sixth fish weighing in at over 200 pounds" caught by the 18-year Valdez resident.
"I knew it was a big one when I was reeling it in,'' Woods was quoted as saying in a news release. "I was guessing under 250 pounds."
She guessed a little low. The fish put her in contention for the Valdez derby's top prize of $15,000, but she certainly doesn't have a lock on that competition. The winner of Valdez's summer-long derby has in recent years usually topped 300 pounds.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

the Hankster

This is my friend Hank and his restored station wagon. I'm not sure of the make and year. I'm guessing a 1955 Chevrolet?

Notice the snowpile still hanging around and I took this pic today.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Whale Watching in Port Valdez

Photos taken by Sandra Bittner.

A friend emailed me these pictures of Humpback Whales making an appearance in Port Valdez recently. Thanks John!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Feedem Fish

We had a surprise visit today from the homesteader we bought our land from. He now lives in Panama. It was good to see Wayne and Ginger. Its fun to hash over old times. They usually show up every summer around Solstice so I really wasn't too surprized.
The main topic was gold and what has washed out from last years flood. Some Valdez Flood Pictures here. Big boulders that man made equipment couldn't budge have moved.
I made "peel your own shrimp salad", snapper and bakers.

Saturday, June 23, 2007


Now that it is officially summer the streets of Valdez are hoppin' with fishing people. Caught these two fisherwomen on camera making tracks to their boat with brand new halibut poles.
The Valdez Fish Derbies are in full swing with a Slana woman in first place in the Halibut Derby with a 266# flat fish.

Friday, June 22, 2007

New Cafe in Town

On the corner of Harbor Drive and Chitina Ave in the old Valdez Chamber of Commerce (now out of business) building sits The Harbor Cafe. Perfect spot for grabbing a bite to eat on the deck, sit inside or get your order to go out fishing.

A friend and I stopped in today to check it out. She got the cheeseburger and I opted for the double cheeseburger. Big mistake on my part. A regular cheeseburger would have been more than enough. Each patty is weighed in by hand with real hamburger on site.
The bottom bun on my burger and my friends burger got too soggy to pick up. The owner knows this and is getting different buns. Other than that the frys were crispy and the tartar sauce tasty.
Overall the THC is a welcome addition to Valdez Harbor. We give it 3 stars.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Watching the fireweed grow

I should be on my way to Whole Wheat Radio where Wheatstalk 2007 Is In Full Swing. But no, I'm in Valdez listening while watching the fireweed grow. Along with the rest of the Wheatheads that can't be there I'm tuning in on internet radio. The next best thing to being there.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

This fire brought back memories

$19 million fire blamed on apprentice plumber
An unsupervised plumbing apprentice using a torch to solder pipe accidentally started the Park Place Condominium fire that caused $19 million in damage, according to an investigative report released Monday.

Back in 1980 when I first came to Alaska I worked as a waitress at the Anchorage Pioneer Home serving dinner. The Pioneer Home sits a couple of blocks away from where they were building the new Park Place Condos. All the seniors got a big kick out of the fire accidently started by an apprentice plumber during construction of the condos. We had a good view of the fire from the 5th floor dining room.

Fast forward a couple of years when I was an apprentice plumber out of Local 367 working for Central Plumbing & Heating. On an early winter Monday morning I was told to go down to an unoccupied cabin on 15th street we had been working on to thaw out the pipes. I thawed out the pipes alright. I accidently burnt the place down! And what the fire didn't burn the firemen axed to make sure the fire was out. From there I was sent downtown to the Catholic church to help replace an old boiler that was set in the basement then the church was built above it. My boss said since I liked to "burn" so much it was the perfect job for me. We had to cut the boiler out in pieces light enough to carry out of that basement. Took 2 weeks.

The owner of the cabin I burnt down wanted to shake my hand. Turned out the property was worth more without the cabin sitting on it. And insurance covered it. Which I'm sure it will in this case, too. But I'm sure that apprentice plumber feels bad.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Clouds moved in

last night. Overcast windy day with scattered sprinkles of raindrops. Went out to Gilpatricks Greenhouse for the last day in Valdez "going to Gilpatricks Hotel Chitina" sale. I picked up some pre-ordered perrennials for friends in my toy truck. Rose bushes and others I don't recall the name of. No pictures since my batteries ran out. I will fix that tomorrow.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Tools of the Trade

Took these pictures a couple days ago of my friends purple chive flowers and her cool green tool box. The weather continues to be fantastic. Stayed home today and cleaned house, transplanted Livingstone Daisies and soaked up the rays with Whole Wheat Radio
up full blast. We are all sore from paddleboating yesterday. Now we are talking about outfitting the paddleboat with a slick battery operated trolling motor. Next year.

Friday, June 15, 2007

A day at the lake

Got off work early today and spent this sunny Valdez afternoon at Robe Lake on the paddleboat.

Saw these guys on the lake with these motorized kayak looking things.
I am sunburnt and tired. What a great day!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Willow Project Revisited

Heres last years Willow Project to compare.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

New Signs

New signs are posted all over Valdez town directing citizens in case of a tsunami. This sign is on the way to my house.

Its been a while since I posted a picture of Roxy. I took this pic last night about 11pm on our walk. It was still daylight out. Next Tuesday she goes to the groomer to get all foofoo'd up for the summer. I would have taken her in earlier but the groomer has been on vacation and now she's all booked up until then. Lots of foofoo dogs in this town.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

10 Hut

This is a fake wooden carved replica of an old rifle. Across from the ferry dock in Valdez is the Old Town museum. Its really cool inside with a miniture exhibit of what Old Town looked like. Down to the color of roofs and dogs in the yard.

I asked this kid to point the gun at me for the pictures sake. All guns should be respected as the powerful tool they are. Never point a gun at anything unless you intend to shoot.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Lemon Tree in Alaska

I started this lemon tree from a seed from a lemon I got from the store in 2001. I remember the year because I had just returned from wintering in Hawaii. The lemon tree I had before Hawaii got so huge I had to give it to somebody with cathedral ceilings.
The leaves are edible. I use them in cooking like lime leaves. Its also fun to grab a leave, scrunch it up, and take in the aroma of lemon. I also do a Lemon Leaf Copper River Red freshpack that when you open the can you see the whole leaf.
This plant will never bear fruit but I will always have a lemon tree in Alaska.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

RIP Jeremy G

Friday, June 08, 2007

G-U-11 Down

This is tough to write. One of our recent graduates from Valdez High committed suicide. We are heartbroken. I am writing his obituary and paying the $75 to the Anchorage Daily News to publish. Its the least I can do.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

1978 Jokebooks

If pain and sorrow have a price tag these books are worth billions. They are the Oil Spill Contingency Plan for Prince William Sound published and copyrighted by the Alyeska Pipeline Company in August of 1978.

Incredible find at the Second Hand store. I bet this information isn't on a computer or micro fiche some where. If anything we can learn from the past.
What knot to do.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Duck Flats Bear

Photo by John & Valerie Fischer June 4, 2007 Valdez, Alaska

An adult black bear munching grass on the Duck Flats. A bonus raven close by.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Go Goshawk

A local falconer was down at Dock Point today with his pet goshawk. We saw him last year when he first got him as a chick. He looked similar to a baby goose then. What a magnificent creature he turned into. I was able to get really close and was told I could pick him up if I wanted to. I didn't.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Coming in to Valdez

Clouds to the left of me and jokers to the right.
On the sea we call those splotches of blue sky sucker holes.
Rainy days and mondays always make me sing.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Fishing in Idaho

I dehydrated chives all weekend and barely made a dent in my wild chive patch. So I will be continuing that project all week.
Instead of making Salmon Pie this weekend we opted for BBQ'd ribs, shrimp salad, baked potato with sour cream and chives.
Check out the Kokanee my brother caught in Idaho on his Fishing Again post Saturday. He's way ahead of me. I still need to get my 2007 fishing license!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Livingstone Daisies

I started hardening off my Livingstone Daisies today. These colorful annuals burst into flowers around the 4th of July. And only in full sun. If all goes right they last into fall and through the first couple snowfalls. I start them from seed a good couple of months indoors before transplanting outside in pots, rock gardens and old logs. They are hardy daisies that bloom in flourescent colors. On sunny days.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Chive Talk

My wild chives are ready to dehydrate. Once they go to seed they can be bitter. That pretty purple flower is the first sign.

I covered the trays with wax paper and poked holes with a fork.
It takes about an hour and the house smells wonderful. Dehydrating chives is the way to go. They retain their shape, aroma and color nicely. After dehydrating I put them in ziplock freezer bags in the pantry.
In the meantime its fresh chive city. Sourcream and chives on baked potaotes. Chives in scrambled eggs. Chives in the salmon pies I'm making tomorrow. All the while dehydrating chives all weekend.