Posted in Nunavut

The Sinking of the Greenhouse…

January Storm 1

It was a dark and very stormy night… Yesterday, in the teeth of a horrendous gale, our celebrated Greenhouse broke free of her moorings went down with all hands. The few survivors could only watch in horrified silence from a distance and were only able to find solace by ‘splicing the main-brace’ with copious tots of rum… said medicinal comforts being repeated at regular intervals until the horrible tragedy became laughable…  Continue reading “The Sinking of the Greenhouse…”

Posted in Nunavut, Restaurants, Travel

Thai Food Comes to Iqaluit!

Thai Food Iqaluit 1

There is a tiny little establishment here in Iqaluit known as the Grind & Brew which, besides serving coffee, also has a small menu and a few tables for dining. Thus far, however, I have only eaten their pizza as a delivery order but, not long ago, we received a flyer, in the form of a new, improved menu, indicating that Thai, and a few Chinese dishes, are now available. It took a while, but last night, feeling a bit too lazy to cook, my wife and I finally got around to trying a couple of their Thai selections…

We ordered 2 main dishes: The Shrimp in Red Curry sauce (on the left) and the Beef with Pepper Paste and Ginger. The selections both came with a single portion of steamed white rice and were supposed to be accompanied by vegetable spring rolls but these were forgotten. Having missing items on delivery orders is a recurrent and very annoying reality here in Iqaluit but, in this case, I was a little taken aback at how such a small and simple order could get messed up. The restaurant definitely loses points for this omission, in my books.

As to the quality of the food, I can fairly state that it was very tasty. The ‘chili’ heat was what I would describe as mild to moderate and the vegetables, chiefly peppers and onions, were nicely crisp-tender  as they should be. On the whole, though, there really wasn’t any of the complex flavor of a high-end Thai restaurant, (no hint of lemongrass, or Galingale, for example), but for all that it wasn’t bad at all. The food is, I should say, is Thai ‘fast-food’ rather than traditional but, given the Arctic location, it is very welcome.

My only real quibble, other than the sloppy delivery, is the portion size. The meal was about $53 with delivery charges, which is not out of line with other northern restaurant meal costs, but there really wasn’t a lot. For the same amount of money, the Navigator, our only other local source of Chinese cuisine, would provide enough for my wife and I to have leftovers for a second meal…. here, it was just one plate each.

Anyway, I am glad to see a little bit more variety coming to the local food scene and, sometime soon, I will investigate the menu, and the premises, a little more fully and do a more thorough review…

Posted in Nunavut, Travel

Waiting on the weather…

Weather Waiting 01

Well, this was pretty much the view I had from my accommodations in Hall Beach for 6 days of this past week… last year’s pack ice and lots of fog. The only change, from day to day, was the amount of ice (which varied with the wind and tide), and how much of it could be seen through the ever present ground-mist.

My colleague and I arrived in Hall Beach on the Friday and interviewed court-bound clients over the weekend. The plan was for the rest of the court party to arrive on the Monday, conduct court for two days, and then de-camp for Igloolik to repeat the process for the rest of the week. The Court party managed to land, during a brief respite in the cloud cover, but then, after we finished court, as scheduled, we waited (and waited… and waited) for the fog to clear enough to complete the rest of our circuit. It never happened…  Continue reading “Waiting on the weather…”

Posted in Nunavut, Recipes

A Greenhouse Bok Choy Stir-Fry

Greenhouse Bok Choy Stir-fry 01

Today I will be showing a little stir-fry dish I threw together using some of our homegrown Bok Choy but this post is really more of a Greenhouse Project update. The produce we have is mostly doing pretty well, and you can see our Bok Choy pictured above, but I think the season is going to be over soon as, three days ago (August 27th!!), we had snow …  Continue reading “A Greenhouse Bok Choy Stir-Fry”

Posted in Foodstuffs, Nunavut

Clams from Qikiqtarjuaq

Qik Clams 01

A couple of days ago, I mentioned that my wife had purchased some clams that were harvested offshore from the tiny community of Qikiqtarjuaq. She bought two bags, totaling about 50 clams or so, and you can see one bag, and a few of the clams, in the above picture.

Most people are not aware of it, but the term clam is not a precise zoological name for a particular species but is rather a very broad general term for a whole range of similar, but not necessarily closely related, type of shellfish. I have no idea what particular species is harvested up in Qikiqtarjuaq. The variety has a very pronounced (and rather phallic looking) extension that is sometimes called the ‘neck’ but which is, in fact, a siphon by which the clam ingests seawater and extracts the plankton which makes up its diet. In this feature, it is very similar to the Geoduck (pronounced ‘gooey duck’) and the Horse Clam (or ‘Gaper’), but both these species are native to the Pacific Coast as far as I know and so that would seem to rule them out. I rather thought, after doing a little research, that these clams may be a northern variety of Quahog know as Arctica islandica, but they have the same sort of thin very fragile shell that is called a ‘soft-shell’ (in contrast to the hard shell quahogs), so I really am at a loss. In any event, these clams are sufficiently representative of the whole broad class that we can make some pretty good observations about clams in general… Continue reading “Clams from Qikiqtarjuaq”

Posted in General, Nunavut

The Wife Sprouts…

Sprouting Project 01

My wife has grown her own bean sprouts in the past; usually on paper-lined trays or else in old Mason jars. Just recently however, she came across these useful sprouting trays that are especially designed so that they maintain the right moisture level for keeping the seeds properly hydrated, but not waterlogged. On my recent trips to Ottawa and then Yellowknife, I was deputized to bring back a wide selection of grains and legumes so that she could test them out in her new acquisition. Thus far, she has tried alfalfa, mung beans, and daikon radish sprouts, and, in the above picture you can see the seeds just after they began to germinate… Continue reading “The Wife Sprouts…”

Posted in Nunavut

A Deck Greenhouse Project Update

Deck Greenhouse Project Update 01

Well, while I was away travelling, my wife’s greenhouse project out on our back deck (as posted about recently) has progressed very well. We aren’t going to be reaping any huge harvest by any means but we have some nice things coming up nicely and will be able to expand the operation next year.

At the right, in the three deep boxes, we have Daikon growing. The box in front (only partially visible in this picture) is a different variety than the other two. On the shelves at the left, beginning at the top, we have something called ‘Bush Beans’ (they are not quite as vigorous as everything else as yet) and, behind, there is a variety of Japanese Mustard. My wife tells me I need to start using this fairly soon so as to ‘prune’ the growth.

On the second shelf there is ‘Joi Choi’ at the front. I gather this is a variety of Bok Choy (白菜) and, I am not sure, but I think the name is Japanese. Behind it, we have ‘Komatsuna’ (definitely a Japanese name) and this is apparently also known as ‘Japanese Mustard Spinach). Finally, on the lower shelf, there is Swiss Chard in the foreground and Kale beside it. I am guessing that, eventually, they will have to go on the top shelf as they get quite tall.

Anyway, I will be looking at the various items in a bit more detail as I finally get to use them…

Posted in Nunavut

My Wife has Worms!!

Worm Ranch 1

Actually, things are not as alarming as the title of this post would suggest (although I may well get a thumping when said wife sees it). Rather, Darlene has imported an earthworm kit so she can make compost out of vegetable scraps from our kitchen and use it is as fertilizer for her greenhouse activities. It takes somewhere between 2 to 3 months to make a batch of compost, I gather, so there is no way we will be using any this year. Still, it is going to be an interesting project over the winter.

I am not sure, but I believe that my wife and I are now the first worm ranchers in the territory. When I was first told that we were going into the  worm-ranching business, I had visions of vast herds of worms sweeping majestically across the tundra as I drove them towards fresh pastures astride my trusty Arctic Ptarmigan. Naturally, as with all things, the reality is a little more prosaic… Continue reading “My Wife has Worms!!”