My roommate left for Selawik Friday to visit some friends so I had the house to myself until Monday afternoon. Needless to say I made good use of that time to process animals and do science in the comfort of my living room that would not otherwise have been tolerated… but thats getting ahead of myself.
Thanksgiving day, as is the tradition up here, there was a feast at the church. But it is a little different than in other places. Some of the new teachers came up under the impression that everyone was going to sit and eat at this feast as they did at the school feast. Last year I don’t remember many people bringing plates but this year several had. Still the majority of the food gets passed out into the containers that each person brings.
It is also the tradition that the men are the servers. One of the other teachers who had not been to this was very surprised that I brought containers until I explained that by the time I am done serving (all the food) there is none left so I have to leave containers with someone in order to have any at all.
So this year the men dished it out to the 60-70 people who were there. I think many were absent because of the football game. Many snacked while it was being served and then when it was divvied out everyone went home. Presumably to feast on the container food separately in smaller groups. I have to say it does make some sense for everyone to make one dish and trade rather than everyone making 100.
After I got back I went up and got the moose antlers which have been sitting outside and brought them in to work on. I am quite sure my roommate will have a heart attack on reading this let alone my mother, but I had a moose rack, skull attached in my living room. I also tried to clean by boiling, a fox skull I have been saving. I over did the fox skull and it fell apart as I was scraping the meat off. Oh well now I know for next time. It smelled pretty bad and I was again glad that there were a couple days for the house to air out.
Friday we the teachers had our own little get together. I had been saving a large piece of moose for Thanksgiving and was excited to bake it. It was too big for the crock pot but I didn’t want to boil it anyways because then it would just pull apart and somehow it seems like Thanksgiving meat should be carved.
I started cooking it about noon which would have been fine if the dinner was at 5 like I thought it was. Unfortunately it was at 3 so the moose was a little rare. I moved it to the school oven and it was ready about the time we were done eating. It was still good and gave something for people to try and to take some home for later.
Saturday I spent some time setting some snares and on Monday there was some fur in one. No rabbits yet but we have been going to check them as a class now and then and over the next couple weeks will be working to have the kids set some of their own!
Just before Monday I moved the Moose antlers into the mud room. I hung my coats on it and it made a surprisingly effective coat rack. I had hoped that my roommate might not notice for a day or two but within minutes my plot was discovered.
Someone asked if it was cold enough to freeze Wild Turkey yet. Of course booze is illegal here so we cant test it but here are the theoretical freezing points of ethanol solutions. For reference beer is usually 4-8%, wine 10-15%, hard liquor 40% (80 proof=40%), wild turkey is 50.1%, and Bacardi is 151 proof= 75.5%. Right now it is about 0F but it has already gotten to -30F which would freeze Wild Turkey. Last year there was a few days skirting -50F which would have come close to freezing Bacardi 151.
Also it turns out that while ice freezes flat on top underneath are fractals like snow flakes. I have never seen that before.