November 22, 2011

Meat and Other Food-Type Things

Winter is officially here in Scammon Bay, and while we haven't had any major weather here (other than the coastal storm I posted about at the beginning of this month) the days have gotten much shorter. I watch the sun rise at about 10am during my first hour class and I watch it set as I walk home from the school day. The view is still breath taking, but I am getting more and more thankful for my vitamin D supplements that my Dad sent me.

You all may remember that at the beginning of this move to Alaska I wrote a post freaking out about how we were going to get food up here. I did do a very large shopping trip in Anchorage with my roommate before we headed out, but I have quickly learned that all of the dry pasta and snacks we bought get old (as in boring) very quickly and you can only do so many variations on spaghetti before you throw up your arms and proclaim that enough is enough.

My first saving grace has been the produce boxes from full circle. Fresh veggies delivered to my door every-other week. Yummm!!!! I have never loved salad more than I do now that I live in an environment where growing lettuce is not an option.

The other interesting thing is that  meat is not always easy/ convenient to come by out here. If the weather is nice enough for an afternoon walk (in the dark), we can head down to the store and get a bag of chicken or maybe some ham. It's usually pricey and not exactly the most appetizing looking stuff you've ever purchased. We've supplemented our meat intake with moose and fish that we've acquired from neighbors, but sometimes all you want is a chicken breast.

Enter my other saving grace for food: Mr. Prime Beef, a butcher shop in Anchorage that accommodates bush orders (if you haven't looked into it there are a lot of stipulations about mailing meat). We teachers pooled our orders and, between eight households, ordered over 1,000lbs of meat.

The counselor and I split an order and got about 150lbs of ground beef, stew meat, roast cuts, steak cuts (round, flank, etc), reindeer sausage, regular sausage, ground pork, ham, chicken breasts, whole fryers, and a turkey. When we stocked the freezer it looked something like this:

There is also moose steak and ground moose in there as well as four loafs of bread. This picture does not include the other turkey, which is currently defrosting for Thanksgiving.

My other saving grace has been this handy-dandy little tool called an ulu. It's a traditional eskimo knife that is used for everything from chopping vegetables to gutting fish and skinning animals. The blade is curved which makes for a very fast, fluid motion when cutting. The cutting board is a specially designed bowl that fits the curve of the knife and makes butchering so much easier than any knife ever could!

So please everyone, don't worry. I am not going to starve any time soon.


No comments:

Post a Comment