Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Happy St. Andrews Day

And a merry ole St. Andrews Day to all! Ah, does anyone know what the Scots celebrate on St. Andrews Day? I sure don't! If any of my 5 regular readers would care to enlighten me, then that'd be cool. Yes, you read (red) it write (right): I have what appears to be 5 regulars! Wee-Hoo! Oh goody for me... and all that crap...

Maybe it's an ego thing... I'll have you know I thought for sure I'd get some comments two posts ago about me introducing myself to a strange guy as "the guy he slept with last night". Oh, well, guess I'll just have to try again. No, I'm not gonna link to it, you'll just have to scroll down a bit and read some.

It has come to my attention that I've been neglecting my childhood up in the frozen north. Actually, none of you mentioned it, but I have more comments when I relate an amusing anecdote from my youth as opposed to other stories --Translation: y'all think it's funny when little dave tried to kill himself!

So, in an effort to amuse you, I'll tell you a story about myself and my hatchet...

One year for my birthday (Yo! Dad! Send me something this time, I know you're reading!) I got a hatchet. Sooooo very cool... imagine little dave around 8 or 9 or 10 or 11 with a hatchet... ooooooooh, aaaaaaaaaah.

Now, I realise that some of you in a big city in the lower 48 might consider this an "inappropriate gift" for a kid, but if you were in Alaska during the gold rush then you'd understand that this was a big thing. Sorta like a kid in Montana getting his first hunting knife (I had one at 5). Anyways... On with the show.

I still have all my fingers and toes, both hands, all three feet, and my four eyes. Obviously, I didn't hack anything off... BUT I SURE DID TRY!

My brother, myself, and a few friends liked to build tree forts (I was a role model for calvin) in the back woods. They were pretty elaborate workings: multiple levels, special footholds for climbing up, railings, pine boughs for camouflage, lots of coiled rope, buckets of nails, hammers stolen from dads garage (oh shit, the old fart is reading this... BORROWED!) piles of waste boards for building other levels... Well, you get the idea: we had fun.

One piece of indispensible gear was good, solid hiking boots. The reason for this was that when you stepped into the inevitable ground wasp nest your foot wasn't totally covered with stings. We always dispensed with the indispensible hiking boots cus we figured you could run faster in sneakers after stepping in the wasp nest holes. Hmmmm, perhaps some bored PHD student could do a study about which method produces less wasp stings... I don't think I'll volunteer.

I digress (as per usual), so back to the story:

The other piece of 'must have' gear was my hatchet! Since it was my hatchet I got to wield it. It was mainly used for hacking through branches on big ole pine trees so we could build a cool fort. It was also used for hacking roots, dart boards, walls, toy cars, carpets, doors, and anything else a ten-year old could think of. But it's main purpose in life was to clear branches.

Foreshadowing: does a ten-year old boy ever think to sharpen his hatchet? Do I really have to answer that?

Spring comes around and on the very first day that the snow is off the ground little dave decides to go into the woods himself to start making a tree fort. Little dave finds a big ole climbing tree and proceeds to climb to a decent height (to a ten-year old). Little dave straddles a branch, surveys the "lie of the land" and decides where this summers' tree fort will be. He takes a BIG backswing with his hatchet and attempts to drive it with all his might into the branch just in front of him.

Before I tell you what happened, you'll need to know that the hatchet spent the winter buried in the snow in the yard and was rusted up and very very dull from a few years worth of use with no sharpening...

What happened was that the dull, rusted hatchet rebounded off the branch, right back onto the face of little dave, and hit his right eye socket (fortunately the hatchet was single bladed and only blunt, hard, cold, solid steel on the non-bladed side).

Little dave falls backwards, slides off his perch on a branch and proceeds to bounce off various branches on his way to landing flat on his back --somewhere along the way he dropped his hatchet. Side note: this would have made a great shot in a movie!!!

Little dave awakens on the ground and notices he's rather scraped, bloodied, and bruised. He quickly looks around for his hatchet (little kids HATE to lose cool things) and is relieved when he finds it laying right next to his head, blade side up. Wee-Hoo!

Whoopsie, little dave is all dirty and bloody so he goes over to the creek and quickly washes up before heading home.

Scene cut to when little dave gets home

"Oh My God! What Happened To Your Eye?!" shrieks mom.

"Huh? What?" Little dave finally looks in the mirror and sees the most tremendous black and blue bruise quickly swelling up all around his right eye. "Ummm, I don't know..." stammers little dave with the ripped jeans, bloodied shirt, other bruises everywhere else, and clutching his hatchet in the hand that's not swollen up.

Gosh, did I have a fun childhood or what?

On with the food, I have another recipe from my holiday menu for you:

Banana Jam

This is SOOOOO easy! Y'all are gonna wonder why you didn't think of it before the islanders. Yes, this recipe comes to you direct from Papua New Guinea.

We are just now recovering from last years typhoon that wiped out our entire banana (banana is so fun to type!) crop. Bananas used to be around $2 a kilo (a buck a pound) and you could sometimes find really ripe ones for 50 cents a kilo... After the typhoon, they shot up and peaked at $15 a kilo, and I've just seen $8 a kilo recently.

Anywho, if you are going to have a south pacific island holiday feast, you will need to make banana (fun to type) jam. So here you are:

Bananananana (oops) jam:

What you knead:

10 (ten) bananas
3 cups ( 711 mls) raw sugar
juice of two lemons (use your own lemon tree, not mine, thanks)

What you due:

Slice the bananas. Chuck them and the sugar and the lemon juice into a saucepan. Heat it up while stirring very frequently (owefen). When it's simmering nicely and becomes red-tinged, then it's done! Hey, presto whammy: banana jam. Jar it up or use it now. It makes a great ice cream topping and is also very good on toast. Many many uses for banana jam there is (I can sound like yogurt (yoda) too).

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