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About My Pages

This blog is to track and share what I like to do. I live in Alaska, fish, eat and cook, garden, travel and wander about, enjoying nature or pondering the whys and wherefores of the planet and human race. I do much of this with my lifelong partner Suzanne Hayes.

I love food, I love making food, I love eating food, I love talking about food, I love learning about food, , and I love to fish.

These recipes and cooking approaches are from me and my family, and what I've latched on to and enjoyed from previously published sources, either from the Internet or books.

I've fancied food and cooking since childhood. I watched Julia Child and Galloping Gourmet along with I Love Lucy, Gilligan's Island and the WWWF back in the day. I have a bit of restaurant cooking experience, nothing fancy though. I am half Italian, and half hillbilly (and Mayflower descendant), grew up in a Hispanic community, and was adopted by a Filipino family. I focus on whole foods from local sources, including wild and our garden, as much as possible.

I have too many cookbooks. My mom, the hillbilly originally from West Virginia spending most of her life in California, collected cookbooks. When she left this world, I grabbed the ones I thought were worth keeping. My mom also had her own recipes, many handwritten in a box, with a bunch of other stuff. My dad, the ever quintessential Italian from Connecticut, doesn't use a cookbook. He is a jazz drummer. He cooks as if he's playing jazz, he improvises. He's been doing it all his life and he's quite good at it. Seemingly simple things, like his meat balls, I can not duplicate, no matter how many times he tells me how he did it that last time.

As a kid, my favorite thing to eat was tacos, and pizza. I still love tacos and pizza. My Mexican friends in California showed me how to make salsas, carnitas, moles, sopas, tamales and heat a tortilla on a comal. My Filipino family, who are also successful farmers that supply direct to the LA restaurant industry, have always set the bar beyond: abobo, lechon, sinigang, dinuguan, pinakbet, lumpia, etc.To this day, I still struggle with some success to duplicate their recipes. Like French country cooking in so many ways, it is an individual art difficult to duplicate exactly and the terroir propels the meal to a unique excellence.

I strive to eat healthy nutritious foods that are fairly simple to make and inexpensive. I've been overweight much of my life, particularly in the last 15 years. I have recently shed 30 pounds by following Weight Watchers and have about 12 more to my goal weight. My weight was not from eating junk, like soda, chips hot dogs, french fries, etc. I am not a huge desert eater, I don't "need" it after a meal, but I love cookies. My nemeses were pasta and cheese and alcohol. Since following Weight Watchers though I've had to switch gears on my cooking, not only cooking less (no more dumping the whole one-pound box of linguine into a pot of boiling water), but smarter. More veggies, less carbohydrates and much much less beer, wine, and high-impact snacking.

I've been fishing since about 4. Its my life and passion. I studied fish, became a fish biologist. I like to eat fish too. Need I say more?

I have traveled some, but not nearly enough. I don't like to sit on a plane for hours and hours, but I really enjoy different places, scenery, cultures and ways of life. Sometimes the key feature is the place. For some its the activity, the accomplishment (the mountain, the marathon, the swim, the contest). I am satisfied seeing. This my travel page. What I think, where we stayed, and Of course what we ate. So there's some overalp. But home recipes are mainly for the other page. You might like to go there too someday, and may benefit from my experience.

Bird Lists
I got into birding and listing birds right around the turn of the century. I worked with a guy in 99 who was a bird guide and was obsessed with birds, really really obsessed. He listed daily and used the band codes. He worked as a bird guide for one of the premiere birding companies in US. I was visiting my mom in Carpinteria California one winter and she had the local Audubon newsletter giving a run down on their recent Christmas bird count. I was astounded. Santa Barbara  County had the second highest # species in the nation, something like 225. Knowing now, what a birder does, sort of, and having nothing better to do, so I went out about seeing if I could find and identify any of those available species that I never even knew existed. That was the end of me. Although I have slowed quite a bit in the last few years, I chased birds for about 10 years. Here I will share my lists. I kept all my birds in a database, and when my computer crashed I lost the program that could use that database. I still have the database, but not the program, so it might be a while until I can get my lists on my blog. Oh well. 

Random BS
 I originally started this blog to more or less get it out, get stuff out of my mind. Not that anybody cares what is in my mind, but I do have some family that might be interested in what I'm doing (I do NOT call nearly enough, I know). And I sometimes I just need to rant  express. But I'm trying real to think more positively, what IS good about this and that.

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