Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Fish Story

Here to the right is the manmade pond known as Sawmill Pond, probably because it is on Sawmill Road, just at the intersection of Lake Tahoe Blvd, about 1 mile west of South Tahoe High, or 2 miles west of the intersection of Hwy 89 and Hwy 50 (called the Y) here in south lake tahoe, ca......and for those of you that have been to our house, this is within walking distance of our house, should you be willing to walk about 3 miles one way on paved streets with no sidewalks! This is a dedicated, stocked pond maintained by eldorado county fish and game, it was most recently stocked about 2 weeks before this photo was taken, mostly brook and rainbow farmed trout........this is not the prettiest of ponds but the biggest PLUS is there is a parking lot, paved with bathrooms, granted no running water, but thankfully there should you need them! The pond is adjacent to an off road route for vehicles, nice trails for horses and a plethoria of geocaching sites......but the real draw is that this pond is dedicated for young fisherpeople, you have to be under 14 to stick your line in the water, granted most have adults there to help string the bait, and touch the fish should one become attached to their hook.............it was a fairly busy sunday when we were there on the 17th of august, i counted at least 21 poles in use and with the added non-fishing kidlets and parents that meant there had to be upwards of 40 people there......some picnicked on the nice sturdy tables in the shade, some chased dragonflies in the grassy sunny area off the road, some like my friend, Burnie, who was up visiting us and her favorite Lake Tahoe, were using the abundant wilderness as photography objects, as evidenced by her over 100 shots fired that day in that location, many many are pure art, with her new 2 week old canon rebel xsi, she may have to switch careers and become a paid photographer, the shots on this blog are hers, except the bottom 3, jason with his fish, the fish on the paper towel and the bad shot of flaky fish are mine with my cameraphone...can you tell? OK.... so having set the stage for the story of the FISH....Jason, burnie's eldest child, was aided by his dad in the powerbaiting of his hook and the containment of his catch, and we were most grateful for steve's maintaining the fish on the stringer and gutting it in our kitchen, so we will know how to do it next time ourselves we hope!, Jason was weary from the heat and lack of action when his line got a tug, and he reeled in this gorgeous, 2 1/2 pound rainbow trout! I immediately said we want that one, ok to my husband's horror I screamed....and said it was an eater and in a lesson in eating local, decided this would become a blog right then, the progress from hook to plate chronicled in photos and thought about by me before I ate a bite, and savored the yummyness that is trout, my favorite fish, well i love all fish, but i do really like trout, and sea bass, and halibut and tuna...and all the others! So having continued fishing with sadly no more to add to the stringer, Jason's 1st catch was his only on this day! We returned home for the excellent gutting by Steve and this quick snap before it was into the fridge with mr. trout.......soon to be cooked by Scott on the BBQ after being filleted by Scott and having lime slices, garlic, onions and butter added to the inside before the foil packet was sealed......here is a bad pic of the moist, white meat of the trout on my plate before I devoured it.....very unfishy in taste and moist and flaky, just the way a cooked rainbow trout should be!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

memories steeped in food

How many afternoons I sat at my Grandmother's dining table doing homework after school? K-6, 5 days a week, about 1200....and not once did I get up to see how she cooked her dinner, or gathered the ingredients from her garden, I had no interest, I was that peanut butter and jelly only kid, I usually complained when she served fish my grandfather had caught or game he had shot, many times I lectured my grandfather on his barbarian practice of shooting animals, when they had perfectly plastic wrapped meat at the market. They were of the generation that grew up during the depression, grandma's family moved to northern Arizona when that area was a frontier, they lived in a small shack, and when my great grandfather was unable to work in the mines any longer, they opened their kitchen to offer meager meals to fellow miners in an attempt to keep the roof over them, they had family in the area that were ranchers and grew what they could in the arid soil, learned much from the native americans in crop production and cooking techniques. My grandfather was forever changed by the leaving of Oklahoma during the dust bowl era and depression survival meant entering the armed forces for him. These life changing experiences made them hoarders of food, they had more canned goods than most supermarkets, large bags of rice, beans, sugar, coffee were stashed in closets, I played market as a kid with an abundance of canned and shelf stable foods in the laundry room.....they grew anything they could in the garden, had a compost heap in 1972 in Southern California and fed a full table of 8 every night of the week........yet i never once watched or helped or was asked to help grandma prepare a meal, how did she make her cornbread? what was her secret ingredient in hominy? did she make her own tortillas for enchiladas? I have her recipes but not that visual memory of her frying potatoes or making tamales........yesterday was my first attempt to make a pot of beans, the simple staple of my youth was never a written recipe, so i relied on the pioneer woman, link at left and also made her recipe for cornbread, and my fried potatoes....all together they comprise what I call Oklahoma supper, my grandfather often told the story of growing up and being lucky to get a spoonful of beans, the next time I make them I will try to add more flavor, these were pretty tame, but a good starting point! The cornbread was divine, almost custardy in the middle cooked in cast iron of course! We enjoyed it too much, left no room for dessert! not always a bad thing!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

i just love these 3 pics i took today!

I really love the vibrancy of these peppers so happy! Then there is the stark contrast of the sand as seen through the water of Lake Tahoe, with the one lone dark orange rock... and of course my adorable son against the grandeur that is the vista of looking from south shore towards north shore

tuesday morning play

here he is playing in the water along regan beach of lake tahoe at 9am in the morning!!!!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Vibrant Blue Skies

And suddenly it seems the skies are that velvety blue that you never knew were possible, it was just a few days ago that the smoke from neighboring county fires was making us think we were about to be evacuated, the falling ash and scent of burning forests filled our sleep with nightmares.....and memories of the angora fire....... So we went to the library to pick up a book I requested from Placerville and it was just serene, the view from the grassy walkway to the library, overlooking the lake and there was a parasailer up with a rainbow chute in that glowing azure background of sky......the trees leave so much cooling shade around the library and there are dew covered flowers closeup with the far off vistas of the Sierra Nevada range nestled against that lake, that blue calm friday morning lake of Lake Tahoe.......pictures cannot do it justice....just seeing lake tahoe while driving makes you cool off from the sheer icy blueness of its vast volume of water. So massive in size I am always surprised when we go to north shore and cannot see our south shore from there!

of work and baths and hot summer days!

Here are some great shots of em at work with mom, he is such a helper! has to have a tool in his hand and on this particular day, I let him sit on the floor and stamp with some rubber stamps and he was in heaven, no nap on a long hot day at work=1st time bath in the shop sink, while not the cleanest of sinks, all that em needed was some water a few cars and he was in heaven.....he was soooo hot the water cooled him off and in the process we removed some of his grime acquired from the tools and shop floor. It had the added bonus of being the first time his gramma jeri got to bathe him, albeit not a hair washing kind of bath, but still she enjoyed it i think! Yes in one picture he is drinking on the job! that was when i thought i might get him to nap, no such luck, too warm and too much going on for him to close his eyes and dream......we came home very tired and he begged to go to bed at 7pm!