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Saturday, January 07, 2012

A Local-Vore Meal (Octopus!!) with Local Friends

Last night we had some friends over for dinner for what ended up being a local-vore meal.

Our friend Nick, who is a paleotologist, was home visiting from the East Coast. He is from a local fishing family and fishes every summer so he always has some good seafood in his freezer. This time, he had some octopus in the freezer from last summer that he thawed out and prepared. He cut the large tentacles into small bite size pieces, breaded them in lightly spiced crumbs and fried them up in the deep cast iron skillet. The flavor was so good and they weren't all that tough! (for those of you who haven't ever eaten octopus, it has a reputation for being tough at times...) For those of you who like calamari, the flavor and texture is very similar to calamari.

Nick also prepared a large serving of Angel Wing mushrooms, which were picked last fall from the sides of fallen trees in the forest and they had been frozen as well. This was his first time experimenting with eating them after freezing. Sauteed with some butter and garlic, they were yummy! I think we were all amazed by how well they froze. Patrick and I decided we are going to do lots more Angel Wing-mushroom-hunting next fall and freeze them for winter.

Patrick prepared some roasted potatoes from his garden as well as his deer ceviche recipe with a deer shoulder roast. It was fun to look at the food and appreciate that it was all harvested from Kodiak! And we are enjoying it in January!

Our friends Sven and Balika came over as well. Nick, Balika and I were in the same high school class here in Kodiak. We don't tend to reminisce about high school days as much as one would think. Partly because we were all affiliated with different friend groups and hobbies in high school. But more because the conversation goes more interesting places; to local food, dinosaurs, travel, happiness, careers, etc.

The commonality of high school is one that definitely connects people, however. I feel fortunate to live in my home town for this reason. There is a longer history and understanding of people you went to high school with. Every once in a while I will cringe as someone will say, "Zoya, I remember when you....". Thats when I like to change the conversation....

I think the kids wondered what we were feeding them. They picked at their plates and I noticed Stuey asked for large portions of dried fruit before bedtime. I think he was hungry...


Group picture.
Nick preparing the mushrooms and octopus. Deer Ceviche on the counter. Roasted potatoes were still crisping in the oven.

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