December 2008January 2009 February 2009

01/28 - Marymere Falls On Ice

We were at Marymere Falls for the first time in a while. The day was cold and there was snow on the ground. The waterfall was framed with ice as droplets of water splashed and froze as they hit the cold. Now and then a chunk of ice would break free, but otherwise all we could hear was the roar of the falls.

Keywords: lake crescent, winter, barnes creek, marymere falls, waterfall

01/23 - Haiga Rice, Uni and Monkfish Liver

It started with a sale on sea urchin roe at Catalina Offshore Products, and in the typical Kaleberg fashion it went on from there. To start with, we bought four trays of the sea urchin roe and an order of frozen steamed monkfish liver which is also known as ankimo, but this is getting ahead of things. It all really started with some haiga rice we had bought some time ago. That's the haiga rice being soaked in the picture to the right.

Haiga rice is a partially milled short grain rice, so it still has some of its husk or bran. This supposedly makes it a better rice for diabetics, and it also gives it a richer flavor and hearty texture. We followed the recipe from the Seattle Times which involved washing the rice, and then letting the wet rice sit for a half an hour before cooking it. It wasn't at all like brown rice. In fact, it was the best sushi rice we have tasted.

We'll get back to the haiga rice in a minute, but first a word about the ankimo. The monkfish liver we bought was steamed and frozen, but supposedly the product contained nothing besides the liver itself and some salt. It looked like a salami wrapped in plastic. We decided to serve it simply on home cooked potato chips which we had fried in goose fat. We tried a purple potato for a real starchy flavor and a sweet potato for a bit of sweetness.

Ankimo has a subtle flavor. There is a mild livery note, but it is a lot like foie gras and unctuous. We served thin slices of it on our potato chips, which were a perfect complement. The sweet potato chips were best, but the combination was rich and delicious, sort of a foie gras Napoleon. Maybe that is reaching a bit, it was a great combination and we ate most of the ankimo in one sitting.

We decided to eat the sea urchin roe raw, as sushi, rather than cooking it with butter, coriander, scallions, cayenne pepper and lemon. There are sea urchins right here off the coast of Port Angeles, and they are harvested commercially, but you'd be hard pressed to find them on sale locally.

They are sold packed in little wooden boxes like the one shown on the right. Each box has its own little lid so that the boxes can be stacked without the delicate eggs getting crushed.

We spread the haiga rice on sheets of nori, dried seaweed. We cut the big sheet into rectangles, perhaps two inches by four inches and put a few pieces of uni on each. Then, we poured on tad of soy sauce and that was it. Most of the goodness of sushi is in the good ingredients. That's some pickled ginger on the plate with one of our unrolled uni rolls.

Our experiment was successful, and we actually got to use that bag of haiga rice. We'll be watching the member specials at Catalina Offshore Products to see if we can come up with any new ideas. If you are interested at all, you can sign up as a member pretty easily. You don't have to be running a restaurant. Hmm, the mackerel filets look kind of interesting, and we've never tasted geoduck clams. There's still plenty of room at the Kaleberg frontier.

Keywords: fish, recipe, kale

01/20 - Spruce Railroad Trail Update

We should mention that the Spruce Railroad Trail along the north side of Lake Crescent is in great shape. Aside from a downed tree here and there, the trail was easily passable, and the scenery was as wonderful as ever.

Keywords: lake crescent, spruce railroad

01/18 - Second Beach

There are not a lot of great tides at Second Beach this time of year, but there was a two foot low tide a bit after noon so we hit the road. Second Beach was busy. We've seen it quieter on summer weekends. The beach was warm and sunny, a pleasant change. There were even people out in their bathing suits splashing in the shallows. Second Beach is otherworldly with the sun, the mists, the seastacks, the low flat beach and the massive trunks of driftwood tossed with abandon along the beach.

Amazing mist at the south end of the beach

Amazing light as well


The cave was barely visible until we were nearly upon it.

A mysterious channel

Driftwood at the mouth of the trail from the parking lot

Keywords: second beach, summer, tides

01/17 - Kim Chi Pancakes and the Port Angeles Farmers Market

The winter isn't a great time for the Port Angeles Farmers' Market. It is still held every Saturday in the Clallam County Courthouse parking lot from 10AM to 2PM, but there are only a few farmers and venders there. The regulars include Westwind Farm, Dry Creek Farm, Tuna Dan and Nash Huber.

Harley at Dry Creek Farm says his hens are laying through the winter thanks to his new henhouse and the new breed of hens he has. He sold 100 dozen eggs in perhaps an hour this last Saturday, so come early. Also, in February, he will be selling stewing hens. He says the new lot is not quite as fatty, and the birds are a bit smaller, but we know that there is nothing quite like a good old stewing hen, braised for a winter dish.

A new regular at the market is the Korean kim chi and garlic lady. We haven't gotten her name yet, but she sells great big heads of garlic which seem to be much stronger than a lot of local garlic. She also sells jars of kim chi, Korean spicy pickled cabbage, and kim chi pancakes. We haven't tried the kim chi proper, but the pancakes are delicious. No, they aren't horribly spicy, but they have a nice light burn.

We don't expect a lot of action at the market this time of year. We've been enjoying the steelhead from Tuna Dan, and we've been rounding up the usual vegetables at Westwind and Nash Huber's. Things may be a bit slow, but the market is open, and it is still worth a trip.

Keywords: dry creek farm, farmers' market, nash huber, port angeles, winter, westwind farm, birds, garlic lady

01/17 - A Report on the Spruce Railroad Trail

The snows have melted at Lake Crescent, and the Spruce Railroad Trail is in pretty good shape. There are a few trees down and the usual seasonal mud, but even the bicyclists seemed to be getting through quite nicely. After the snows of December, we are ready to enjoy the January thaw.

The water was definitely a bit high. This is usually a little gravel beach west of the Devil's punchbowl.

You can see just a touch of snow on Storm King.

The trail is in good shape, but there are a few trees down.

Keywords: lake crescent, spruce railroad, storm king

01/10 - Tree Down Dungeness Dike

There was a tree down across the Dungeness Dike Trail. It is a bit of a mess, but you can scramble through. A couple we met claimed to have heard the tree crack during a wind storm a day or two ago. It was probably quite a noise given that a trunk two or three feet in diameter simply cracked through. It's easy to underestimate the power of a wind storm and overestimate the strength of an old tree.

Keywords: dungeness, dungeness dike trail, weather

01/08 - Great Weather For Ducks

With all the rain and melt lately we have to admit it has been great weather for ducks. Here is a photo of some ducks enjoying the weather.

Some happy ducks

Keywords: birds, lake crescent, weather

01/07 - Easier Internet Search

Do you tend to do a lot of internet searching, but not using Google? We do. We're always searching for things at Amazon, IMDB, Bookfinder, Wunderground, Ebay and so on. In the old days we had to go to the site, wait for it to load, and then we could enter our search. Nowadays we use Gimme! We hit F3, type in the search site, then our search and hit return. Up comes the search results in our browser. If this sounds useful, you can find out more and download the Macintosh version here.

Keywords: software

01/06 - Christmas in a Jar

This little lamp doesn't look like much. It fits inside a little jam jar which happens to have two flat faces. The works include a battery, six LEDs and two mercury switches. Upright the lights are off, but as you rotate the jar the red and green LEDs go on and off. Rest it on one face to see red. Rest it on the other to see green. If you turn it just right all of the LEDs glow red and green. What could be more Christmas-y than that?

It doesn't look like much in broad daylight.

One angle turns on the green LEDs.

Another angle turns on the red LEDs.

Keywords: lamps, science, christmas

01/01 - Remote Controlled LED Lamp

Our multi-color LED candle lost its green a while back, and they don't make multi-color LED candles anymore, but we recently got our hands on one of those remote controlled LED lightbulbs and built a lamp out of it. Now we have something even better, a multi-color remote controlled LED lamp, and all it took was the LED bulb itself, $10 worth of hardware, a glue gun, wire strippers and a screwdriver. The picture should give you an idea of the effect. To find out more, take a look at our multi-color remote control LED lamp build page.

Keywords: lamps, science, kale

December 2008January 2009 February 2009