Monday, January 26, 2009

My Mentor

Preparing moose for canning (the moose was from Dillingham)
I am no longer afraid of my pressure cooker!! We made a couple batches of canned silvers --yum!! Irene is so quick she can fill a case of jars with salmon in the time it takes me to put a teaspoon of salt each of the jars from the previous batch! Her hands are usually blurry!
YUMMY We love it when Irene shares Pirok with us!!
Tonight is another great event, Souper Mentor where folks are invited to bring their mentor and some soup and share stories. Father Oleska is the guest of honor. I have a class and need to hit the gym too (Alena and I ate at my favorite lunch place-- sorry GA and CP Deli, but Peking is the BEST!!)

My mentor Irene McGlashan is out of town running the clinic on St. George Island for awhile...she's so cool, I sit next to her all day long at work, I'm lonely without her! Her daughter Kathy is a blogger too-- It's such a small town LOL... Irene tries to teach me patience and is my defender when I'm grouchy, I like that! Tells me to breathe and don't let them get you down, Kill them with kindness...that sort of thing.... her best advice for funerals or anything hard to handle, "Chew gum, you can't cry when you're chewing gum!" Try it!

She's had many different challenges in her life and still has more energy than four 30 year olds!! She picks berries all over the hills all through late summer and fall and puts them up along with lots of fish too.

My husband thinks Irene is the cutest gal too. He is so proud to provide her with all the salmon, halibut, crab and ducks that he can. All he asks is for a loaf of her absolutely perfect homemade white bread every so often!!

Irene knows so much about native foods and has taken the time teach me how to make excellent jam, canned moose and canned salmon. I have to smoke fish still....I'm working my way up to that! And next I'm going to conquer pie crust for blueberry pies and pirok (AKA fish pie) Irene spent a few years in Port Lions a village near Kodiak and makes it just like mom (my husband's mom that is) my mom won't eat ANY native food ever..that's another story!

Maybe I can learn to make bread like her someday too. I may even try duck soup, sea eggs or seal oil..MAYBE! I have tried seal and sea lion, only liked the latter...perhaps I'll acquire a taste for seal. I Don't care for octopus or pickled fish, or even dried fish, but could eat smoked fish, moose, halibut and crab and berries everyday...oh yea I do! I'm so lucky to live where I do where these foods are everywhere and not a fast food joint within 800 miles!

I've interviewed Irene for my rural foods classes a few times, her stories are of a life that really doesn't exist anymore and I'm so happy that she shares her knowledge with me, a hyper and silly blondie!!


  1. Hello, you mentioned the Irene blogged also, what is it called?

  2. noooo her daughter!

  3. What a nice tribute to sweet Irene!

  4. Thanks, I wanted to write about something to do with AKAOK's event, even though I'm tooo wiped out to have gone. I didn't make it to the gym or even sit down yet. Irene has been calling and making us smile in the office we appreciate her so much for many different reasons, her blueberry muffins are another marvel that I didn't mention.

  5. So, I think you and Irene should come in for a 40 minute conversation. I have been trying to think of someone good for Irene and you obviously are THE ONE! Then you can bring your husband in, and Junior, and then I think Alena should bring you in! Sounds about right. Absolutely great post.

  6. LOL LOL wow...I hadn't thought of any of those, sounds good!!...Can you REALLY record a conversation that Alena and I would have? How about we come at 8am today and just talk until 4:30??

    IM is gone for about 2 more weeks.