Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Moose, Mooses, Meeses, Mices?

Alrighty all you liberal artsie degree type folk: what's the plural of Moose? I didn't do too well in liberal arts type classes (obviously), my forte (that's the *stiff* part of the blade) was much more the "hard sciences" type stuff. Not to say I'm not liberal or that I gots gunky grammar... Oh shit, this post is really starting to go NO WHERE.

Back to the drawing board --chalkboard in my day, we didn't have them thar fancy-dancy dry-erase doo-hickey thing-a-ma-bobies.

I have a shitload of stories to tell you from my university years (ahhhhh, 12 wonderful as an undergrad...D-Day would be proud) but I'll save them for later. Well, except for a quickie (wink) right now: I had four years of Petroleum Engineering... The more I learnt of "The Oil Patch" the more disgusted I became. The following statement should (hopefully) be the last political/opinion/worldview comment to appear here: All the bad crap you've heard about oil companies is all true, and the really bad stuff doesn't even make it out (I picture atv and snow-cat chases and machine guns on the tundra...). So I could not work in that industry despite the fact that I'd've been one of the best damned engineers around (provided I could get a cute secretary to write reports for me) and quite possibly the best damned whistle-blower around.

Enough of that CRAP! You didn't come here to read that shit, you came here to peer into the deep, dark, dank, disgusting recesses of dave's mind. Well hell, who am I to disappoint the huddled masses? Heeeeeerrrrrrreeeeeee we go!

I'm working on a fairly large post, it might span several entries and I won't bore you to death with the details. Suffice to say (if Harper Collins is reading this) it would make for a very entertaining read for the untold bored masses. Until then, you'll have to put up with my daily (not really) bullshit (yes really).

Remember how I told all you city folk that growing up in Alaska was "different"? Of course you do, after all it was just the last post. This is a Moose Story, and has nothing to do with bikes.

Story time with Unkie dave:

The first (of many) moose encounters with dave! --or at least the first one dave can remember.

Doug (my older brother) and I were on our way to school one fall day. I was 5 or 6 years old and he was 6 or 7 (I leave it to you to work out the math) and we were running late. We were running so late we were really RUNNING! Now, to get to the school the quick way required a run through the woods. These were not just any woods, mind you. These woods stretched hundreds of miles through the little ole Chugach Mountain Range (yes, I grew up in Anchorage, but at least then it was still Alaska!!!!!!). Doug and I normally didn't venture too far into the mountains though, and today was no exception as we were running late (did I mention that yet?).

The wild critters, however, had no qualms about venturing anywhere the woods were... (foreshadowing moment)

I was running like crazy to catch up with Doug (my older brother, in case you'd forgot) and as I rounded a bend in the path I ran smack into him. Fortunately, he didn't flinch when I ran into him (he's tough), cus if he had we'd've both been DEAD, KILLED, TRAMPLED into little, tiny, squishy, kid-sized splats on the trail.

There was a Mama Moose standing perpendicular (I learnt the word later on) on the trail and she was standing there right after a blind corner. Her calf (I learnt that word later too) was (thank every god, spirit, goddess, fairy, angel, you can think of) on the other side of her, so that Doug (my older brother) and I were not betwixt them.

So how close were we????? Keep in mind that mooses (see??? that's why I asked earlier!!!) weigh a LOT and are pretty fucking tall to little blokes... Put the palm of your hand on your nose, and focus on your fingers. THAT'S HOW CLOSE WE WERE TO HER BELLY!!!!! I kid you not. Picture two little (doug was taller than I --but not anymore) 5 and 6 year olds with their faces glued to the belly hair of a 1000+ pound mama moose with a calf.

The only thing that saved us from being turned into ground kid burger was the fact that we weren't between (betwixt) her and her calf.

Do I remember anything of that day at school? Not a chance in HELL! Suffice to say, I made it to school with clean skivvies --too scared to poop. Actually, I really don't remember anything at all school-teaching-type-wise for many years afterwards. I guess I could say it scarred me, eh? Either that or I just didn't give a rats ass about school at that point in my life... you decide!

Now on to the important things in life: Food!

I'm going to give you a biscuit recipe from an actual recipe book... No, wait. It's not *really* a recipe book. I'm assuming y'all are familiar with the works of Patrick McManus. Oh good, you are. Funny bloke, ain't he? Anywho, I have a very well worn copy of Whatchagot Stew that I peruse (read) every now and then --side note: my old fart has his McManus books autographed by McManus, and yes, his sister really is a Troll.

There is one thing I always change --I don't use shortening. Very very very very bad stuff for you (more about that later). I substitute butter in this recipe. Oh, I also use half milk and half sourdough starter sometimes.

Baking Powder Biscuits:

What you knead (need):

2 cups (473 mls) flour
1 tbsp (15 mls) sugar --I use raw sugar
4 tspn (20 mls) baking POWDER
1 teaspoon salt --use sea salt, 'k
1/2 cup (125 mls) slightly softened butter --this was shortening in the original
1 beaten egg --remember, a chook egg, not an emu egg
2/3 cup (150 mls) milk --you can use skim if you'd like... Heathen scum

What you do:

In a bowl (duh) combine and mix the dry stuff. Then cut in the slightly softened butter with the tines of a fork until the mixture appears granulated (cool word, eh?). Remember dave's easy way to soften butter? Just leave it out of the fridge! Mix the egg and the milk (and beat the egg some more just cus it's fun), then add to the bowl and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon*.

Knead the very soft dough on a floured surface (add more flour if kneaded (needed)) and then roll out to around 3/4 inch (1.905 cm) thick. Cut out rounds with whatever circular cookie cutter is handy --I just use an upturned glass, very easy.

Put 'em on a baking tray close together and bake for 12-15 mins at 210 C (410 F) or until they are done.

These biscuits are PERFECT for "Biscuits and Gravy". If I have to tell you how to make gravy then I knead to do a "remedial" cooking post.

*Poll: how many wooden spoons do you have in your kitchen, and do you use them all routinely? See, now that I've got some readers I can start asking questions** of y'all!

**dave's poll answer: I have 12 wooden spoons of various shapes and sizes in MY kitchen, and they are all used regularly --none of 'em for spanking kids.

And now back to our normally scheduled program... No, not really as I don't watch much telly. But I can tell you kiddies to hang tight and stay tuned as the first of many wasp stings will happen to dave --or at least a young dave.


Karen said...

So...do moose smell? LOL

Alaskan Dave Down Under said...

Karen, I honestly (yeah, right) can't tell you the answer to that... Do you even think we were breathing??? It's hard to breath when every muscle in your body is paralyzed.

Now, I can tell you lots about the smell and consistency of moose nuggets...