Negative Tide=Lunch Time

In Alaska, I learned a Tlingit saying: “When the tide is out, the table is set.” And now I understand. We’re experiencing very low tides right now, which means it’s a good time to harvest food from the intertidal zone! Yesterday, Mindy (event coordinator at the Sitka Center) offered to show us how to harvest mussels. So, Mindy, Carrie, Taylor, Katie and I all packed into the station wagon and went to the beach.

A beautiful, clear day on the coast

I love exploring the tide pools:

Orange and purple ochre stars and green sea anemones (turned into themselves)
Soft Coral
Mindy (center) and Carrie (left) scoping out the mussel prospects.
Ochre stars and anemones.
Beautiful seaweed.
Lone star.

There are thousands of mussels on the rocks. We harvested the ones that were thumb-sized.

Once we’d harvested enough for lunch, we piled back into the car and made a quick stop at McMenamin’s (a chain restaurant/brewery/etc. of the Pacific Northwest) for beer and Cajun ‘tots (tater tots with Cajun spice). THEN we went into the woods at Cascade Head Ranch to quickly harvest some oyster mushrooms. THEN we went back to Mindy and Taylor’s house to cook and eat!(This was a progressive lunch experience.)

Fried Oyster Mushrooms

Recipe: Cut ‘shrooms into bite size pieces. Dip them in egg. Dip them in flour mixed with Cajun spices. Fry ’em.

Steamed Mussels with White Wine Reduction

Recipe: Wash sand and grit off mussels. Sauté onions and garlic in butter. Add white wine, lemon slices, bay leaves, and parsley. Bring to a boil and add the mussels. Cover. The mussel shells will pop open. Keep steaming them for a few minutes. They’re ready.

Along with the mussels and mushrooms, we made a salad (spinach, fennel, and pear with vinaigrette. And hunks of sourdough bread.

Look at that spread!

My, O my!

Happy Friday, everyone!

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