5/31/2012 Oh… if it was only that easy…

When we visited the Omura Castle near Nagaski, Japan we saw lots of unusual buildings and gorgeous gardens.  We were told that the papers tied to the wire are request or wishes for things that you want to happen.  Many of them were faded and washed out, some were newly written. Oh… if it was that easy.  Christians call this request “prayer”.

5/29/2012 Kenai River Salmon Chowder

 Salmon Chowder

2 lbs wild caught Kenai River Sockeye Salmon

1 tsp of Old Bay seasoning  salt to taste

1 sweet onion diced small    2 stalks of celery chopped    2 carrots scraped and diced

1 stick of  “real” butter   (if your watching the calories us 1/2 stick)

4 cans evaporated milk       1/3 can of Campbell’s Tomato soup (do not dilute)

Poach salmon in water just to cover  for 10-15 minutes,  season with Old Bay seasoning and salt to taste.   (you can add more if you want to)  Cool, pick salmon meat, discard bones and skin and save broth.

Sautee onions, celery, carrots in butter.  Do not brown… after vegetables are soft add 1 to 1 1/2 cups of saved broth from salmon poaching.

Cook for 5 minutes or so…. add 4 cans of evaporated canned milk and 1/3 can tomato soup. (Evaporated milk does not break as much as regular milk or heavy cream)

Place mixture in crock pot on high for about an hour.  Check and taste… add more Old Bay seasoning, salt  ( hot sauce to taste).

Add picked and flaked salmon meat to soup mixture. Be careful to remove bones.

Chowder keeps very well in crock pot on very low for a couple of hours.

NEVER make this from canned salmon… It is not the same!  You can add diced and pre-boiled potatoes if you like.  Broth is not thick.  Yummy!

Calorie count unknown   …. Cost per serving about $1000.00  (airfare to Alaska, lodging, rental car and fishing license and guide)


5/27/2012 A day at the park

Japan is filled with parks, playgrounds, picnic spaces, slides and trails.  It took me a little while to figure out that the reason is that typically they do not have yards.  We have gotten so use to our lawns with grass, flowers and shrubs even with the most modest of  homes.  One country’s expected is the other’s abundance.

5/26/2012 Create a memory today!

It was only 2 short years ago that Emily & Logan and family were at the farm on a Gator football Saturday.  We had a blast, learned cheers and practiced football moves and took lots of photos.  I look at this picture and I remember the fun and the love… I don’t remember the Gator score or even who they played.  I think that they lost… doesn’t matter… We were the winners!

5/25/2012 This moment… this day…

The Kenai River in Soldotna, Alaska in mid-August is amazing.  Most of the fishermen have gone, there are still fish in the river and the  weather is perfect.  This was our last day in 2011 and I don’t know why we were still fishing, we had our freezer full, already packaged and frozen for the plane ride home.  We just wanted  to stand in that beautiful river one more time and look up at the blue sky and know that in this moment… this day… life was good!

5/22/2012 By the way…

This is a billboard on I-75 just north of Gainesville, FL that the log home business used with my picture of our log home.  I was thrilled but very curious. Why use a picture of one of the smallest homes they sell?  Never got an answer but maybe to show that “bigger” is not the only  choice. By the way, I never got paid for this picture.