Saturday, August 15, 2015

Today in Port Mouton -- a thank you to volunteer firefighters everywhere

 Very early this morning (3 a.m.), I was awakened by the wailing of sirens.

 In the big city, I'm used to the sounds of sirens, but when a vehicle with a siren drives by my home here, it means that something bad has happened on my road. So, I did what most of my neighbours did, I padded to the window to see what was happening. It was a fire truck, and it was heading out on to the wharf. Then another came, and another and another. Lots of flashing lights, but I couldn't see a fire (it was quite foggy). Then, whoosh, fire shot 50 feet into the air and I could hear the crackling.Then lots of small explosions. And the fire kept on strong. Over the next hour more fire engines drove past (and also many fishermen -- worried about their boats). It wasn't boats on fire, but a seafood processing building (Mersey Point Fish Products).

When I walked out to the wharf this morning (because I walk out there every day), I saw many exhausted firefighters. Volunteers. Keeping us safe.
No one was hurt today, thank goodness, but I wanted to thank all of those firefighters for putting their lives on the line for us.  Thank you to all firefighters everywhere.
You can read more about the fire here.
and read and see photos here.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Today in Port Mouton - Rubber Boots

So, today I am going to rant about RUBBER BOOTS. Because rubber boots drive me crazy. And you need rubber boots here in rainy Port Mouton. (actually, in the summer it is not so rainy here, but the dew in the morning is very wet!)

Anyway, here are my boots. From left to right:
Canadian Tire
Liberty for Target

I have had many many many pair of rubber boots over the years. I LOVE rain boots.

The Liberty ones here are my very favourite boots. But I never wear them. Because they have a crack in them (see below). They've had a crack in them since the first summer that I bought them. I just keep them because they look so pretty lined up with the others. Don't judge. They seem to be of such great quality. They are lined. They have the cute calf buckles. They are Liberty. I cannot believe that Liberty put their name to such crap.

Here's my rant.
Why can't rubber boot manufacturers make rainboots that won't crack? My hardware store specials ($12) will last forever. I wear them almost every day all summer. Mucking around in the garden, the pond, walking the dog, whatever. They look the same as the day I bought them. The super cute Liberty ones, and every other fun pair I have ever purchased get cracks in them within the year. What's with that?

Last year I donated 3 pair of boots to a store in my neighbourhood (in Toronto) so they could plant flowers in them. At least they didn't go to landfill (right away).

The Kamik ones up there don't have cracks in them, but I hardly ever wear them because they are too small around my calf -- they are for bare legs or for skinny guests, lol. (but they look nice in the boot lineup, don't they?). But they are also some shiny plastic -- maybe not rubber? Anyway -- I've heard that Kamik boots are built to last - and are a viable alternative to Hunters, which I covet, but I just cannot spend $180 on rubber boots!

What kind of boots do you have? Do they stand the test of time, or crack within a season?

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Today in Port Mouton - Holy Mackerel!

Something that I look forward to every summer is the consuming of seafood. I've not been a big fan of seafood over the years, but living here has really helped it grow on me. Of course, I love fish and chips, but I have broadened my horizons to include fish cakes and halibut steaks (and cheeks :). I'll also eat fried shrimp and clams :) . I'm ambivalent towards lobster, however, so I don't usually order it because the joy is not worth the cost ( i.e. I'd rather have fish and chips). 

Last year I tried mackerel. It was okaaaaayyyyy, but I didn't think that I needed to try it again. But I did. Because I'm determined to eat healthier. AND because I got to go out on Captain Bob's boat again and go mackerel fishing!  

Captain Bob making sure that we don't hit the rocks :)

The mackerel weren't biting much, but we caught a few:

I had planned to filet the fish myself, but D did it for me :) Thanks D! He also caught most of the fish. He didn't take any home though, because they had eaten mackerel the day before and mackerel don't freeze well.

and the gulls said a little thank you too...

When I got home, I fried up the filets and put some dressing on them. These were the best fish I've ever had!

So I thought I'd share my recipe:

Fry the mackerel fillets in a non-stick frying pan (or in a bit of olive oil). Do not overcook them -- hard, dry mackerel is yucky.
- season the fillets with salt and pepper
- fry for 2-3 minutes, skin side down
- turn the fish over and cook for an additional 1 minute

Drizzle with dressing (spinach salad dressing, recipe below) and serve with salad.

Spinach salad dressing (spinach, walnuts, cranberries)
Whisk together:
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup cider vinegar (or red wine, or balsamic)
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp minced onion
1/8 tsp paprika