Showing posts with label Clayton Lake. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Clayton Lake. Show all posts

Saturday, May 24, 2014

The littlest fisherman in the North Woods

A couple of days ago, Jackson and his Dad packed up the canoe for his first fishing outing at Clayton Lake. He was pretty successful in catching 4 brook trout all cast and reeled by himself!


He doesn't only love to catch the fish, he and his little brother love to eat them. There are probably only a handful of three year olds in this world who can say they've caught their own dinner.

Fishing is the topic of the month and probably will be for years to come. His favorite show right now is Animal Planet's River Monsters, and it has only accentuated typical fisherman story telling.

When outside, he can be found in the same spot turning over mounds of grass that the plow ripped up this winter, searching for worms. I never know what is going to be brought to me when he comes to the door. A handful of worms, a slug, a big chicken, a baby chicken, a dead woodcock, or small carcasses that he's found left over from winter. Those are a few of the pleasant surprises I've had this month. :)

I'm so thankful that he is content to be here. We are learning new things together. The names of different flowers, birds, fish, plants, and how to recognize the sound of a woodcock, grackle, gorby, bittern, and woodpecker.
10403097_789655857714251_1028108936272053242_n "....A northern Maine summer is really something to look forward to. We had in our front dooryard what thousands of city people would give a great deal to enjoy--a spot of woods that only a few sportsmen could have access to."
Helen Hamlin said it perfectly in Nine Mile Bridge. We are excited and thankful to be able to experience our first summer at Clayton Lake.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Essence of SKUNK

It is so ridiculous but I might be more excited about this post than any I've ever done. I like really gross weird things like those CRAZY cyst popping videos on YouTube. I LOVE those!

This was a first for both Evan and myself. Taking the smelly stuff out of a skunk. Skunk essence is used for lure while trapping. It's something that will get most animals' attention and they like to come investigate when they catch a whiff.

You can find skunk lure pretty much anywhere online. Although, since it's trapping season, the pure essence("pure quill") is hard to find this time of year because of the high demand. So on to plan B, just squeeze it out all by yourself!! :)) There are easier, less messy ways to do this. Evan's Lieutenant got his out with a needle. We didn't have a needle and we don't live near stores so......medical gloves and some good strong squeezes will do the trick! 

One of the cutest pictures I've ever seen!!! Annoyed that he takes the best pictures when he's holding a dead animal.
plain Vaseline

Taking the creature to the other side of the yard....

I was SOOOO terrified that it was going to squirt on me. But we soon found out that this was just poop. LOL

Oh and there it is!!! Squirting right out just like a bottle of French's mustard after it's been sitting in the cupboard for a couple of months!! Yummy!!!!

Those two little ninnies are the glands.

And there's some more!!!

It was a small skunk so we didn't get a lot.

We put boiling hot water in a bowl and put the Vaseline in so it would melt. Every time we went back to work with the Vaseline all I could think of were lip gloss recipes. The only other thing I've ever heard of making something from Vaseline...was fruity flavor lip glosses!!!

Then we dumped the essence into the melted Vaseline and gave it a good stir. Voila! Fisher and Marten Call Lure!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

From Forest to Table

There were so many things that fell into place when we were getting ready to move to Clayton Lake. When Evan's name was drawn for the 2013 Maine Moose Lottery, we were ecstatic. When we checked the zone and saw that he would be hunting out of Clayton Lake, it was almost laughable. Call it luck? He has ridiculous luck. A little story about his luck....our first week here in Clayton Lake we went fishing at Bissonnette bridge. His line ended up breaking and he lost his good lure. A week later we went back...and he CAUGHT the line he had lost and saved the lure. Only Evan. 
Exciting moment for our little family! He was 712 lb 42 1/4 inch spread

I hope both of my boys will  get lucky enough to have the opportunity to shoot their own someday!

Evan and his brother Michael. He came in to help call in the moose.
 Now is the part where I come in. I have been cooking Evan's wild game for years. He is a natural born killer. Seriously, through and through. Before he became a game warden...his fall seasons were spent AWAY. So it was a pretty easy transition into warden life, he is still going to be gone all fall seasons. He'll just be getting paid now!
That basically says it all. I grew up in a hunting friendly family. But nothing could prepare me for this man's obsession. I always had a major crush on Davy Crockett so really, it all worked out perfectly!!!
This might sound so so silly...but there is nothing I love more than seeing the look on my husband's face when I have taken an animal that he has killed and turned it into an awesome meal. There's something so awesome about knowing that the meat you're about to eat came from a gorgeous animal who lived just down the road. The animal lived a natural life, living off the land with no human intervention. When it was killed, it was in it's own habitat. It felt no fear or panic while walking up a ramp at a slaughterhouse awaiting the stun gun. Evan met the butcher face to face. The meat was put in one freezer before it was put in ours. It wasn't transported to a store and put on a shelf. It is the purest way to consume an animal. The only thing shameful about the situation was how the bull looked on the back of the truck riding out to meet the butchers. He should've had a glorious ride fit for a king on his drive out the Reality road. But instead.....he got this.

We didn't have a trailer so things got a little crammed. Baha
We never ate a lot of wild game in my house growing up. I still have a lot of learning left to do, but I've been able to figure out what I can do with it to mask whatever game flavor is left. Some people may enjoy that wild flavor, but I do not. This is the first moose we have ever had and in my opinon, it certainly has the most mild game flavor when compared with bear and deer. Very exciting. :)
For our first meal with the moose meat, I decided to make a stir fry. I got the recipe for the marinade and the sauce here:
I asked Evan to take some meat out of the freezer for stir fry. He grabbed the tenderloin that the butcher cut off for him the day after he killed the moose....and he wrapped it up in saran wrap himself. Aaaaaand I came out to the kitchen to a bloody countertop. So lovely.

Snow peas, onions, peppers, carrots, broccoli, water chesnuts, fresno pepper, and grated ginger. Helpful tip that I learned last year....FREEZE YOUR GINGER!!! When you're ready to use it...you can just take it out, peel it, and grate it!!! It's SO much easier than having to deal with all the veiny stringy parts when it isn't frozen.

Finished product!!! It was delish.

Now, Evan is a complete and total leftover snob. He simply will not eat them. It's so annoying. I've had to learn how to be so careful here in the woods, to figure out how to not waste anything. We don't have the option to go to the store to buy an extra ingredient that has been forgotten...we really have to use everything. So the day after I made the stir fry...I made egg rolls out of the mixture.

I chopped everything up from the stir fry and added green cabbage, raw shredded carrot, rice noodles and a little extra ginger. Warmed it all up in a frying pan and filled the egg roll wrappers. Then it was on to the dutch oven to fry! They passed the Evan taste test, and I was able to freeze them so he can take them out and heat at 300 whenever he wants a snack. He might be spoiled rotten. 



Love this guy!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Canada Lynx

This post doesn't really need anything other than the pictures. They are enough. What an absolutely beautiful animal. I am insanely jealous that Evan was able to snap a couple of pictures of this mystical creature. He was able to get the lynx's attention by making squeaking sounds. He stopped, turned around, and sat. What I would give to be able to take some pictures with my camera. These pictures were taken with his work camera pressed up against his binoculars. They still came out gorgeous. For now I will cross my fingers and hope that I'll get my turn someday.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Winnah Winnah Partridge Dinnah

 Evan and I started out on this beautiful fall day to search for some birds. We left Meemaw and the boys at home snug in their beds. It's not often that we get a date nowadays and a good chunk of time riding down dirt roads is always nice! This country is so gorgeous. We ended up seeing two cow moose with one calf each trailing behind.
We tried some new roads we hadn't been down yet. Spotted a bird and I took a shot with the 20 gauge but I was too far away and it hopped up in the woods. I was so discouraged that I lowered the gun and started back to the blazer. Evan used a bit of profanity, disgusted with my attitude of defeatedness, and told me to walk toward the alders where the bird disappeared. I walked closer and I was able to see only his head peaking out the other side of a tree. I took the shot and feathers flew. It was a VERY exciting moment. I will admit there were a few tears....I was ecstatic.
 We came back to the house and Evan walked me through the process of skinning and cleaning the bird.
I grabbed onto the partridge feet and lined up my feet on either side of the breast and directly on top of the wings.  
And he told me to pull.
And so I did.....
And there you have it....good ole partridge breast!

So after this excitement had ended....Mom, the boys, and I went for a walk to the airline and back around to the house. We saw four partridge off to the side of the road, and it gave me an itch to go back out. Came home, packed the boys up in the blazer and off we went. Spotted the first one pretty quickly. Fired and feathers flew.

But.....he wouldn't die.

He kept flippin and floppin.

And I got the giggles.

And Evan wasn't around and I had no freaking clue what to do!

Thank goodness I didn't have to do anything. He stopped breathing and I threw him in the bag. I got one more and we headed home.

The view on the way home.

So after the fun, I had to get to work....but really...cooking doesn't usually seem like work to me! I read a little bit on what pairs well with partridge from the Joy of Cooking cookbook and a common theme seemed to be citrus. I immediately thought of an orange chicken recipe I'd found on foodgawker months ago. Evan and I were both nervous about how we'd feel about the flavor/texture of the partridge compared to chicken. We've both tried it before but it had been way overcooked with little to no flavor added. I knew the marinade would be pretty important.
A problem when you're shooting your dinner.....if you don't get a clean shot...the pellets end up buried in the meat. For the record...this wasn't one of my birds...it was Evan's!!! aahaha!
After I cleaned up the breasts, I cut them up into bite size pieces. I had to use 5 partridge breasts. I get easily distracted and I didn't bother to read the recipe for the orange chicken after I got done reading about the citrus marinade in the Joy of Cooking....SO I ended up doubling up on a marinade. You will see that the marinade in the Orange Chicken recipe is heated first and then dumped on the chicken. This one is not....so yours won't look like this but I just liked the picture. :D

I love onions and red peppers paired with this recipe. You could do whatever vegetable you wanted. I think broccoli would be great or even green beans. I just sautéed them lightly and threw them into the sauce at the end.

Bringing the sauce to a boil right before adding the partridge.


It seems like every time I make this for dinner...I regret putting the chicken in the sauce. When the chicken gets deep fried it's nice and crispy on the outside...and when the sauce is added, it takes away some of that crispiness. It's not too bad if you don't let it sit for long.  


AND the finished product. From dirt road to dinner table. Delish.
Find the recipe here: http://www.homeindisarray.com/2012/01/happy-new-year-orange-chicken.html

He is excited about the day he will be able to join us! :)