Saturday, November 21, 2015

Cooking Class with Chef Joy

A few weeks ago, Alina and I took a cooking class with Chef Joy, who is part of a business development group I attend. Joy described her idea for cooking classes. While Joy was describing this idea, I suggested a "date night" for couples, which she offered, and then Alina and I were her first customers! She has access to the beautiful Ferguson Showroom, which has about 8 super high end demo kitchens setup.

We cooked a mushroom soup, a thai chicken curry, and bourbon pecan cupcake. Everything was ridiculously good tasting, and extremely efficient to prepare.

There was wine and beer.

I am happy we took a cooking class as a date. It was a fun change, and we learned how to (efficiently) prepare tasty, healthy dishes.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Salmon Snagging with Russians

Over Halloween, I went salmon snagging with Russians at Navajo Lake - east of Farmington, New Mexico. This is somewhat different than fishing. In all kinds of fishing I've ever done, the fish bite your hook, and then you catch them on the hook that they just bit. In salmon snagging, so many salmon are swimming by at all times you jerk the hook up quickly (then relax, and jerk it again) that you catch a salmon on the side of it's body. The hook is a mean looking trifecta of heavy weight, and three barbed hooks.

Halloween is my absolute favorite holiday. However, my friend that always throws a project-x style Halloween party basically moved to south east Asia, and didn't throw one this year in Albuquerque. Alina (a beautiful Russian woman I've been dating) invited me to go with her family salmon snagging. I like Russian family things. Russian families invite me to eat at their house, and feed me tons of good food. Then, the dad gets mad if I don't drink at least one beer/alcoholic beverage with him (3-5 is better.) Then, they have tea and something sweet. This happens at basically every single meal when I've been a guest, with basically four Russian families. Everyone sits around, talks in Russian and English (depending on your proficiency - I understand a ton of Russian but I still kind of suck at speaking) and everyone is really nice. I grew up eating every single dinner with my family at the table, and I like that part of Russian hospitality.

Alina caught one fish on Saturday, and four on Sunday. 

Somehow Russian women always maintain their makeup, and hair, even while fishing...? 

You can see the blood dripping. This type of fishing is the most brutal I've experienced.

Valeriy in the foreground - salmon snagging was crowded!

The salmon are spawning, and the New Mexicans are crowding.


In total, we caught thirty three fish. Alina caught five, her brother Andrew caught one, and her stepdad Valeriy and I caught twenty eight between the two of us - over two days of fishing.

I really liked building a fire with Alina's brother. By that time on Saturday night, Valeriy had already convinced me that drinking four beers was a good idea. I'm happy the fire did not burn anything down. 

This is Alina's mom, Lada, during the bloodbath of cleaning.

Catching the fish was way more fun than processing them. However, with four people hacking them up as quickly as possible, it didn't take that long. 

Lada cooked an amazing salmon dinner for us on Sunday when we returned....

... and it was delicious.

Salmon snagging at Navajo Lake with Russians was a very fun way to spend Halloween. The lake salmon tasted like a cross between Atlantic / ocean / regular salmon and trout, which I thought was really good. I'm happy that's how I spent my Halloween.