Friday, August 26, 2011

Hook, Line, and Drowner.

Tezzeron. Just saying it puts hair on your chest. Or in our case, fish on our plates. It’s one of the spots where my Dad and I went fishing last week; he wanted to show me where he’s been going with his buddies each September for the last ten years. It’s a beast of a lake with only a few rough cabins on its shore, and that day we had the entire thing to ourselves.

We set out with visions of five-pound trout in our heads, though these were quickly hammered away by a hailstorm en route to our spin-casting spot. My aggressively-parted French-braided scalp took a beating, but we finally found sunshine and set about hooking the big one. Within minutes my Dad had a bottom-feeder, which he released, then I made my first catch of the day: a clam.

Call me ignorant, but until that moment I didn’t realize there were clams in lakes. Now that I know there are, I’d like to point out the considerable skill it requires to hook one. They’re tiny, have no mouths, and can't chase after shiny objects like fish do. So really, well done me.

I didn’t reel in much more, though I caught a few small Kokanee the next day. By caught I really mean drown. One was so small I didn’t know he was there, and after 45 minutes of being dragged on my line the poor guy didn’t need a bop on the head to finish him off. He was already very much done. Guess I’m not much of a fisherman. Fisherwoman? Fisherlady.

Fortunately my Dad had better luck, and between my few Kokanee and his good-sized trout, we had a proper feast. At least I’m good at eating.

(Lack of) skills aside, fishing is really about enjoying the water, each other’s company, and snacking endlessly on a 2kg bag of trail mix. And clams! I now know it can be about clams too.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Take Cookies, Take Ice Cream. Now Put them Together.

I arrived in Vancouver at the same time as summer, and the city is hiiiiigh on Vitamin D. I'd like to think the collective good mood is because of me, but I'll give credit where it's due. Sun, you are glorious.
My friend Linds and I have taken advantage of the weather by getting outside, enjoying the beach, and eating many delectable things. The other day we did the Grouse Grind, followed it up with a lunch of nachos and beer, and then made ice cream sandwiches.

I'm not going to talk about the nachos because even though they're great, I don’t want them right now. I want two more coconut-oatmeal-chocolate chunk cookies stuffed with toasted coconut ice cream. That is what I want. There’s half of one in the freezer but that’s Lindsay’s, and good friends don’t eat their bff’s ice cream sandwich halves while they're at work. At least that’s what I’m telling myself while that damn thing laughs at me from the kitchen.
I’ve posted the cookie recipe below so you can make them too. If you wish to fill them with ice cream (which I highly recommend you do), let it soften a bit in the fridge, make the sandwiches, and freeze them on cookie sheets for a few hours to let them set. Then grab a sandwich, your bff, and go find some sun.

Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Coconut Cookies Courtesy of Gourmet, via
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/4 cups old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups packaged finely shredded unsweetened coconut
12 oz semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), cut into 1/2-inch chunks (about 2 cups)

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Beat together butter and sugars in a bowl with an electric mixer at high speed until fluffy. Add eggs and beat until just blended, then beat in vanilla, baking soda, and salt. Add flour and mix at low speed until just blended. Stir in oats, coconut, and chocolate.
Arrange 1/4-cup (*or smaller, this makes huuuuge cookies) mounds of cookie dough about 3 inches apart on 2 lightly buttered large baking sheets (about 8 cookies per sheet), then gently pat down each mound to about 1/2 inch thick. Bake in upper and lower thirds of oven, switching position and rotating pans halfway through baking, until golden, 15 to 18 minutes total.
Cool cookies on sheets 1 minute, then transfer with a spatula to racks to cool completely. Make more cookies in same manner.