What to write about?! A couple things...First up Dutch!
In a few weeks, Sean will be heading back up to Dutch Harbor to begin fishing. So, I thought I would share a few pictures of Dutch, from when I was up there in October. I have been very fortunate the times I have flown into Dutch. The weather has been good and most days while there, it's been lovely! I have yet to experience the full force of weather that Dutch has to offer.
Sean and Kjell, our Jennifer A Captain, met me at the airport and took me to the Brenna A. The Brenna A boys were busy working, trying to wrap up final details before heading out to the fishing ground. Buoys needed to be painted, line needed to be spliced, bait needed to be loaded, there was engine room work, final groceries and produce needed to be bought, and pots needed to be stacked!
The work is non stop pretty much all day, and into the night. There is lots of moving around as the Brenna A. runs from the City Dock at the Spit, back to our slip in the Carl Moses Boat Harbor. With all the running around, you run into other Deadliest Catch boat friends. People always ask if all the Captains hang out in Dutch when everyone is up there and getting ready. The answer is sometimes yes, and sometimes no! Usually everyone is busy and on their own schedule so if it does happen, it's at random unplanned times. Below are a few pictures of the Brenna A crew, working away. ((The video below the pictures is the Walk through Crab tunnel!)
I just have to say we have a pretty great group of guys this year. They work hard, they have a great attitude and are hilarious! Thanks Zack, Kyle, Willi, Hank and Luke, and Kjell too, we really appreciate all your great work.
One afternoon, Sean and I had the chance to go up to the top Mt. Ballyhoo in Dutch Harbor. Seeing the remnants of the WW II US Army base Fort Schwatka was amazing. It's the highest coastal battery built, at 1,600 feet. The concrete lookouts were built to withstand 100mph winds! All I could think of was that it took some hardy souls to build the Fort, and be stationed there, because I was freezing cold after about 20 minutes. My stepdad Jake served in the Aleutians during WWII and I also kept wondering if he had been at this Fort. It was a pretty incredible afternoon walking around, through and in all that history.
There is something about being in Dutch Harbor that just pulls at my heart. It's crazy because up until two years ago, I'd never been there. I don't know if it's because when I'm walking around, I wonder if Pat had walked there too? I don't know if it's because Dutch really is the beating heart of the crab fishery? I don't know if it's because I'm able to put scenes and views to stories and tragedies lived through and remembered?
However, I think for me, much has to do with the fact that it's Alaska, and I just love Alaska. Probably the fact that too, that I was born and raised on an island in Alaska, and Dutch invokes those same "hometown" feelings that some days, I long for. There are some other reasons as well, but those are for another post! Here are some of my favorite views from Dutch in October.
Next up, Recipes!
One question people always ask us is, "Do you like crab?" and "What's your favorite way to eat it?"
Yes, we love crab. The boys don't eat it on board during crab season. Every crab is money in the tank! We usually eat it at home for special celebrations...Thanksgiving, Christmas, Birthdays and "Crab season is over" BBQ.
Since the holidays are upon us, I thought I'd share a couple family favorite crab recipes.
Hot Crab Dip!
One way we serve crab is in a hot dip. Below are Brenna and Bri's (Sean's girlfriend) recipes for Hot Crab dip. Brenna's is a dairy free version. Both are a hit with Sean, and the Brenna A/Jennifer A boat boys! FYI, if you don't have any crab, both of these recipes are delicious without crab.
Brenna's Dairy free Hot Crab Dip
1 brick Dairy Free Cream Cheese (Brenna uses WayFare brand)
1/2 cup Mayonaise or Greek yogurt (Brenna uses Best Foods "Vegan" brand for Mayo or Daiya brand for the yogurt)
1 cup Mozzarella cheese (Brenna uses Daiya brand)
1 can Artichokes, drained and chopped
1 cup Spinach, cooked and chopped
1 1/2 cups Crab meat, cooked and chopped, again any crab meat will do!
4 TBS Garlic, minced
1 TBS Onion powder
Combine the cream cheese, mayo and mozzarella in a saucepan and heat over Medium heat on the stovetop, until melted, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low and stir in cooked Artichokes, Spinach and crab. Heat until creamy. Stir in Garlic and Onion powder. Cook one more minute one low heat. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve with crackers or tortilla chips.
(On the boat, Brenna just serves from the pan! However, you can place the mixture in a nice serving dish and serve it that way too!)
Bri's Hot Crab Dip
1 pkg Knorr Dry Vegetable soup mix
1/2 cup Mayonaise
1 cup Sour Cream or plain Greek Yogurt
1 brick Cream Cheese
2 cups shredded Parmesan Cheese
1 1/2 cups Artichoke Hearts, drained and chopped
1 1/2 cups Crab meat, cooked and chopped, any crab meat will do!
Preheat oven to 425. Mix all ingredients, except half cup shredded Parmesan, together in large bowl until creamy. Transfer to oven safe 9x9 ceramic dish. Sprinkle the remainder of the Parmesan cheese on top and bake for 25 minutes or until top is golden brown and bubbly. Serve warm with crackers or tortilla chips
I like my crab cleaned and chilled, and served with cocktail sauce. I make my own cocktail sauce, which is the same way my dad made it, which is the same way my Grandma made it. You take Heinz Catsup (yes, I see you all cringing Catsup on King Crab?!) and mix it with hot Beaver Brand Horseradish sauce! It's truly a personal preference on how much horsradish sauce to add to the Catsup! But there is something about the sweet salty crab mixed with the hot horseradish, (and Catsup!) that I think truly enhances the flavor of the crab. I've tried getting fancy and adding other things to the cocktail sauce, like chopped caramelized onions, but it is really just best with Catsup and horseradish sauce!
Celebrating our 25th Wedding Anniversary! Pat's ALS was pretty advanced at this time. Going out to a restaurant was pretty exhausting and since his arms were so weak from his ALS, I had to feed him...eating out at a restaurant had pretty much lost it's appeal, So instead, I took out the King crab, a couple of steaks, and made a chocolate cake! We had a good evening at home. This was about 6 months before he got his feeding tube as his ALS caused him to lose his ability to swallow food. On our 26th Anniversary, Pat had feeding tube formula, and whiskey. I seriously thought about putting some King crab in our blender, blending it up with some liquid and and giving it to Pat through his feeding tube. We both agreed that would have been a huge mistake! We had another little sip of Irish Whiskey instead!
On November 1st, I discovered these amazing photos taken by the a family in Michigan. It was a family project as they made Brenna A and Saga boat costumes for their boys to wear trick or treating! They took several weeks to construct with Maria, the mom, leading the way. We all fell in love with these cute "Catch Captains!" We also decided they win "Best Costumes Ever" award and the "Cuteness Overload" award! Check out the video...priceless!
Time sure does fly by, especially when you are writing a blog post! I hope you have enjoyed the 9 million photos and get a chance to try out the recipes.
We are enjoying these last weeks of 2017. Sean and Bri have been busy working, BBQ'ing, duck hunting and dirt bike riding. Brenna is in Montana, working away, building up her massage clientele, and riding her horse as much as she can. Me, I'm just trying do a little bit of work trying to keep everything in sync, thinking about making Christmas cookies, and maybe decorating my Christmas tree!
Thanks for following along and sticking with me, even though I'm not the most consistent blogger. We are happy to be starting our third season with Deadliest Catch and appreciate the opportunity to continue to tell our story...thanks Original Productions and Discovery. To all you you reading this blog, the support from you, our family, our friends, our fans, continue to inspire us.
For all those missing a loved one over these holidays, I feel your pain, and know that you are not alone. I get that some days, it can just be about trying to get through that next minute. While there is no way, that I have found, to ease that deep, wistful heartache, I can try to minimize it at times, and look for one moment of joy. As for me and our family, we will continue to raise awareness and funds to #endals at ALS Therapy Development Institute.
Take care and happy Sunrise Sunset from Seattle.