Travel Blogging

Looking over the Meander 2012 Summary, it’s been rather interesting to see it develop – and deteriorate.  I’m sure this has been said many, many times: writing is a lot of work.  I’m also well aware I’m not very good at it.  But I couldn’t see any better way of remember the trip.  What started as a way to reduce duplicate work turned out to be a good experience.

I started it as much to provide a method of communication so people back home would know I was okay and still alive.  How I wrote and what I wrote about wasn’t as important as some sort of update.  Being out west, data coverage was a little spotty and the key was just to get something out there.

But a road trip does not lend itself very well to writing regularly.  You really do have to make time.  I got pretty sick of setting up, tearing down and packing almost every single day and adding extra time at the end of the day to write wasn’t very high on the list of priorities in the beginning.  I just wanted to get something up and move on.

But the process of reviewing the day really did make the experience richer.  On a trip with as many stops as this one, days quickly blur together.  I recall a few times where I would need the photos and the GPS tracks just to be able to fill in the gaps.  Deciding what to include throughout the day gave a little extra hook to make things just a little more memorable.

Photos with GPS information and the GPS tracks were very valuable in piecing the days back together.

Parking Lot Salmon

Cleaning stuff out of my parent’s place took much longer than anticipated.  I was starving, so on my way back downtown I swung by Church’s Chicken.  Armed with a BOGO coupon, I was going to order 2 Guacamole Wraps wolf one down and head home to unload the car.

But since it was later in the afternoon, they had to make my wraps and I had to wait a few minutes.  I had seen the pickup truck when I pulled into the parking lot, but hadn’t paid it much mind.   Standing around, I noticed a steady stream of people going up to it and walking away.   The manager mentioned they were selling fish and I went out to check it out.

$15 for a large and $10 for a small – I got one of the larger ones and took it home.   Impulse purchase – I didn’t even ask what kind of fish!


Worst part of getting a freshly caught fish – scaling and cleaning.  Used the cleaver to scrape off the scales – they got everywhere!   Should really do this kind of thing outside.


Much to my surprise, the fish was full of roe.   Pulled that out and proceeded to fillet.   I love my chinese cleaver, but it really is not very good at filleting fish.  I suppose that’s why they sell fillet knives!   Pretty sure this is the second fish I’ve ever prepped, so I don’t think it’s a bad job:


Things for the future:  1)  Buy some needle-nose pliers.   Pin bones are enough of a bitch to pull out without tools that are coming apart on you.  2)  Buy/acquire a fillet knife

I was starving by the time I was done.  Fortunately, the rice I had put on was done.  I cut some roe out of the lump, put it on rice with wasabi and soy sauce:


To be honest, not all that good.  Very rich but kinda stringy.  Usually, when I make things at home, it’s at least as good as your average restaurant.  This was far from even an Ikura Don from a crummy japanese restaurant in Vancouver.  Since it wasn’t all that great and I had a lot of it, I went online to figure out how long it would keep and how to prep it.

So I learned that Ikura isn’t just roe – it’s prepared/brined.  That’s why you get the awesome salty flavour as they pop in your mouth.  The skein holds the eggs together and needs to be separated.

My method:

1)  Soak in hot salty water – hot to the touch.  For me, this was just hot tap water.  The eggs will change colour and go a little opaque.  The internet said not to worry, this just toughens up the eggs up since you’ll need to be a little rough with them to separate them from each other and the skein.

2)  Once separated, rinse gently to get rid of any stringy bits.   Add a teaspoon of non iodized salt(ideally sea salt) and mix.   Put in fridge for 30mins.

3)  Add another half teaspoon of salt, mix and then pour into a sieve and let stand in the  fridge for an hour.

Finished Product:


This really was good.  Very happy with it.   I froze one fillet and the other skein of eggs for another day.  This still left me with the head/spine.  Normal thing to do when you have a resource like this is to make stock.   Unfortunately, salmon is really too strong tasting to make into stock that’s much use for anything that doesn’t taste like salmon.

I threw everything in a pan, roasted it in the oven for 30 minutes before putting it in a pot with browned shallots, ginger, garlic and a carrot.  Adding a can of tomatoes made a very tasty soup.   But not entirely thinking clearly, I had included all the bones – including the tiny pin bones.  This ended up producing a very dangerous dish.  Lots of things to choke on.  Next time, I’ll still stick to the formula – make stock from the bones/scraps.  Strain/filter and then make soup with that.  But considering how much meat I have in the fridge/freezer, it’ll be a while before I do this again.

Learned a few things so not the disaster it could have been.   I’d say it was $15 well spent.

Meander 2012 – Summary

Mendy has made it back to Vancouver.  Not quite home, but at least back to her hometown.     Time to sum up the trip:

Leg 1:  The West

Leg 2:  The South-West

Leg 3:  The South
Leg 4:  The East

Leg 4:  Maritimes

Leg 5:  Heading Home