Tag Archives: barter

Bear-Talking – Early Morning Daydreams

Ice fishing on some tour or other – the kind for beginners who have no clue what they’re doing (e.g.: me). Brown bear – awake (which shouldn’t have been) breaks into the fishing shack (we don’t have fish yet, so this doesn’t make a lot of sense) through the wall. There are a lot of teeth and claws (holy crap) and addrenaline and I stab the bear in the eye (seriously lucky shot, that is all) with one of the knives my Ghost gave me.
This is follwed by shaking and more than a little freaking out.
I killed someone. I killed a fucking bear. I mean, I went out there to catch – and therefore kill – at least one fish of reasonable size. But this was different. This was a mammal, and a really big one, and a preditor who could have done me a lot of damage.
We (I am the only woman on this trip, there is a tour-guide dude and one or two guys in big jackets and the winter equivalent of baseball caps) drag (don’t ask me how) the dead bear off the ice, hang it from a tree and butcher it.
This is important.
I think I did something with the heart – piled rocks over it or something – though the brain went home with me so my partner could use it to tan the skin[1]. We brought the meat home and ate it, and I cleaned up the skull. It sat on my (not very big) coffee table. The skin was draped over our love-seat (and pretty much covered the thing).
And then the bear showed up in my head while I was sleeping.

Bear: You killed me.
Me: Yes.
Bear: You ate me.
Me: Yes. That was important.
[Something. I don’t really remember. Apparently bears have seven options for gender and this one was one of the 4 or so that I don’t have a translation for].
Me: So how, exactly, did you end up in my head?
Bear: Anyone can walk in dreams.
Me: But how do you get home again?
Bear: You killed me and ate my body. I don’t have a home.
Me: But what about, I don’t know, Bear Country? Where do you go after you die?
Bear (giving the serious impression that zi intends to take up residence in my head): I came here.
Me: Uh… This is my head. Don’t you have people you can go to?
Bear : I was a very solitary bear.
Me : Hrm… Well… I have your head. You could live there. Or maybe I could make you a house to live in[2]…?

…I think it was determined that we’d do the clay house thing. Certainly, later that day, while at my mom’s place, I noticed a little green vase she was getting rid of and thought “That would be perfect!” And I think there was going be some sort of exchange going on wherein the Bear would teach me… something. Possibly the bit about how to walk in dreams. Not sure.
However, around the point of making the vase decision is when I actually woke-up-all-the-way, basically thinking “Huh. So that was a weird story to make up. O.o”

So, yeah. I put it down to (a) seeing a Groupon for ice-fishing tours some time last week and (b) reading this post at Root and Rock. I don’t think anyone actually turned up in my head and brokered a deal about housing in exchange for education/technique. Gods know I’ve never killed a bear. O.O

None the less. I’m keeping an eye on this. It might turn into something. Who knows.

Meliad the Birch Maiden.

[1] She hasn’t done this for a while and, I gather, it kind of reaks. None the less.

[2] Meaning a clay vase, more or less, with a door painted on it and some dried blueberries and pine needles[3] and similar in it.

[3] The blueberries were obvious. The pine needles might have been for… bedding? There may have been very, very dried-out smoked salmon involved as well…?

Bartering – The Continuing Saga

So, as I’ve mentioned before, my Young Lady arranged for us to barter preserves for moose meat with one of her coworkers. Said arrangement was made back in July, long before Moose Season (which is all of two days long, if that, in Ontario) was upon us BUT arrive (and depart) it has, and my sweetie’s coworker shot himself a moose.

Go him! 😀

Which means, of course, that it’s care-package time for me[1].

So far, I’ve made:

Apple Red-Wine Jelly
Caramel Apple Jelly with Pie Spice
Grape Jelly
Apple-Serviceberry Sauce
Green Tomato Chutney
Garlic-Dill Cucumber Pickles

I’ve also made peach-strawberry jam, but I’ve only got a little bit of that, so I’ll be making more. I’ll also be doing a mint jelly, a hawthorn-berry jelly (mixed with rosehips and possibly crab apples), an apple chutney, a spicy peach chutney, and a cranberry curd[2].

I actually need to hit the grocery store just now and pick up eggs, sugar, and more jars before I can keep going. Woops. O.O

Anyway. This has been my totally-preoccupied-by-food post. Hope you don’t mind it. I’ll let you know how the moose is, once we’ve given it a go. 🙂

Meliad the Birch Maiden

[1] This is not a bad thing in any way what-so-ever, as I quite enjoy making preserves and, hey, I’m also taking the opportunity to make a bunch of little 125mL jars of the same concoctions so that I can make Gift Baskets in late December for my various relatives. 😉

[2] Planning on making a BIG batch of this, so I can put some of it into a coffee cake over the weekend! 😀

Barter! And Local Food! :-D

I got a lovely, if stress-inducing, surprise this morning. Some co-workers of my partner go hunting a couple of times a year, so she’s arranged to have us barter preserves for steaks. Moose, and possibly deer, specifically.

Other than freaking out about not having enough jam on hand (despite not needing it on hand for another 2-3 months) to do an appropriate trade, I’m really pleased about this.

See, I’m not a hunter. I don’t know how to aim and I don’t know how to shoot and I don’t know how to gut and dress a dead body. While I can see that as a potential in my future, somewhere in the foggy distance, it’s seriously Not There Now. Which means that my options for eating critters are:
(a) factory farm stuff, that I don’t support ethically but can afford
(b) ethically raised smaller farmer stuff, that I LOVE but can’t afford
(c) being vegetarian – which I just seriously Don’t Wanna.

So the possibility of getting Happy Animal Meat (as opposed to factory farm meat) at a price I can actually afford (barter) is an extremely good thing in my world. 😀

Re: Don’t Wanna: Yeah, that. I’ve tried being vegetarian, with short stretches of vegan, and it doesn’t work. I’m constantly hungry (not “I have eaten something light and so I don’t have the heaviness of body that I associate with fullness” but “I am slightly dizzy and my stomach feels like a clenched fist, wtf didn’t I just eat??”) and after a few weeks have trouble stringing complicated thoughts together (this on eggs-&-dairy a-go-go + a wide variety of mixed beans and whole grains, so…). So, yeah. Not for me.

That said: I live in a temperate climate with long-ass winters and an unreliable growing season. I know people can and do eat a mostly vegetarian diet in this area (look at the Six Nations and the Algonquins, hello), but a diet that includes fish-in-summer and mammals-in-winter does make sense to me from an Eat Local perspective.

Anyway. That’s my thoughts on that. With this in mind, i will have to make extra preserves this year (haha “this year” – it’s my first year doing preserves with any intent at all) so I can make some appropriate trades. 🙂

– Cheers,
– Meliad the Birch Maiden