A nice day for a walk

Today we took a family walk. 

 We decided to walk down to the stop sign at the highway and back up the hill again, about 1.5 miles round trip. 

It was a beautiful walk.  We are lucky to live in such a wonderful place.  


Where we went in our Indian Car...

My family and I went to Round Valley (Covelo, CA) today to see Gary Farmer and the Troublemakers featuring Derek Miller play for the California Indian Day Celebration.  We have been fans of Derek Miller for quite long time, and I love the blues that Gary writes and plays too.  This is the first time I have seen either in person.  It was a blast!  

Family Salmon Recipe

Family Salmon Recipe

Traditionally cooked Salmon (in my wife’s culture, Karuk) would be roasted on redwood sticks over a very hot Alder fire.  It is not possible to do this on given random weeknights at home when we want salmon for the family dinner.  However, my wife has found an oven-roasted salmon recipe that creates some of the same wonderful flavors of salmon cooked on sticks over a fire, simply and quickly.

This is a high-heat recipe, intended to imitate the properties of searing heat from the fire on the salmon fillets.  The basics of the recipe come from  “The Joy of Cooking”  1997 edition.

You don’t want to overcook the fish, keep to the recommended cooking times, then inspect the fish for doneness.  You want to remove it before the center is totally opaque, 125-132 degrees, depending on taste.

The oven should be fully preheated to 500 degrees.  

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a small sauce pan and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a half teaspoon of salt.  

Get a shallow roasting pan, spread half the melted butter/oil mixture over bottom of pan.  Add salmon fillets, 1.5” thick (plus or minus), into pan, skin side up.  Spread remaining butter/oil mixture over fish.  Salt and pepper as desired.  

Roast for five to six minutes in fully preheated 500 degree oven, remove fish, close oven to keep it at heat, flip fish, return to oven, cook for another five to six minutes on other side.

Check for doneness.  Remove the salmon to a platter, pour pan juice over it.  


Family Quiche Recipe

The Family Quiche Recipe

I am reposting this by request.  This is one of my best meals, not only according to me, but as verified by family and friends that keep asking me to make it over and over again.  The “secret” is that it is really easy to make.  If I have all the ingredients I can prepare it from start to oven in less than 10 minutes.  After that it is just cook, cool, and eat.

½ cup+ jack or swiss cheese, coarsely grated (I like pepper jack)
¼ cup sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely grated (sharper the cheddar, the less you need)
9” deep dish unbaked pastry shell (try a whole wheat shell if you can find one, or make your own crust!)
1 cup creamed cottage cheese (nonfat or low fat)
1 tablespoon onion chopped (I like green onions)
4 eggs (the ones still warm from under the chickens are the best!)
¼ cup of milk (nonfat or low fat)
1 tsp salt (I cut this in half and it still tastes fine)
1/8 tsp pepper (I go heavy on pepper and still add more at the table)

Optional Items: 

dash of hot sauce (I like the green kind best in egg dishes)

½  to ¾ cup of any filler item(s) you like, chopped into appropriate sized bits.  I have tried each of the following at one time or another:

  •     Bacon (I just can’t help it, sometimes I’m bad.)
  •     Alder Smoked Tofu (redemption for the bacon, and really good too!)
  •     Smoked Salmon (traditional quiche? Aaaaay)
  •     Spinach (lightly cook the spinach leaves to reduce the water content before adding to quiche)
  •     Mushrooms (also lightly sauté to reduce water content before adding to quiche)
  •     Broccoli and Pine Nuts

Combine cottage cheese with eggs, milk, and seasonings in blender, beat on high till smooth and frothy.  Pour a thin layer of egg mixture on bottom of pastry shell. Sprinkle jack or swiss cheese in bottom of pastry shell.  Then scatter into the pie shell the onions and any filler items from list above, (or invent your own). Pour remainder of egg mixture over cheese, onions and filler items in pastry shell. Do not overfill. Cook at 350 degrees for a total of 45-50 min (or more) till silver knife inserted in center comes out clean. (Sprinkle cheddar cheese over top of quiche after first 30 minutes in oven so it melts all over the top during last 15-20 minutes of cooking).Allow to cool and set for 20 minutes or more before cutting and serving.  (I guarantee whatever you don’t finish will be even better the next day!  I usually just double the recipe and make two).

Updated 4/28/19

What's in a name?

Ryan Burns of the Lost Coast Outpost posted an article yesterday afternoon that resonates with me.

The Internet is abuzz today with news that the U.S. Patent Office has canceled several trademarks belonging to, as John Oliver calls it, “the-football-team-for-some-reason-not-yet-formerly-known-as the Washington Redskins.” The patent office ruled that the term “redskins” is “disparaging to Native Americans.”

The move comes — coincidentally it would seem — at the crest of a wave of public backlash. Last month 50 U.S. senators wrote a letter urging team owner Daniel Snyder to change the name, and President Obama recently suggested the same thing. (Snyder has vowed repeatedly that he’ll never do so.)

Anyway, all this hubbub got us thinking about a certain auto repair shop near Costco in Eureka.

Honest Engine has been in business since our nation’s bicentennial, and lest you miss the pun, its logo features an “injun” in a feather headdress — an apparent riff on the old Indian Head penny.

Is that racist? In our experience, opinions locally range from totally blasé (“Meh, I never even thought about it.”) to fairly incredulous (“How can they still have that name?!”).

I encourage you to jump over to the Lost Coast Outpost and read Ryan's entire article.

Ryan sent me a private message via Twitter asking me my opinion before he posted his piece.  I replied, but unfortunately my reply was sent hours after he had posted his article.  (hell hath no fury like an editor's deadlines scorned?).

I decided to publicly post my response here.  I truly appreciate Ryan's article, discourse on this issue is long overdue.

To: Ryan Burns, Lost Coast Outpost

The local business name, coupled with the logo is insulting to say the least.  The entire concept of the pun behind that business name belongs in the history books chronicling the dark ages of this country, next to blackface and minstrel shows.  (Do a google image search on "Negrobilia advertising"). Would any decent person approve of Negrobilia style advertising in this day and age?  Why is it ok when it is an Indian?  

While I am not Indian, my wife and 8yr old son are Indian.  I am tired of having to try and explain why society allows the inherent racism of the Washington R-word team name splashed all over national media to my son, and I am saddened by local businesses using cultural appropriation and racist implications in their pun-based name as a dark ages advertising gimmick.  

Greg Gehr

Update #1 6/20/14

Ryan from the Lost Coast Outpost has done an update on the issue, including a letter from the owner of the business, with a welcome and respectful response.  Sometimes things do get better!

"What's Wrong Little Pookie"

This is a old video of my 2 yrs old at the time, reading Sandra Boynton's book "What's Wrong Little Pookie?" to the grandparents.  It is one of my all-time favorite videos and I decided I want to have it accessible on-line.  They are really reading it, it is not memorized.  They even start to read the back of the book at the end of the video.  The book is of course copyrighted by Sandra Boynton, and if she objects, I would/will pull the video at once.  But I hope she agrees that this is fair use, and pretty darn cute too!  (I am sending her the link so she can let me know if she objects).  If you want to get a great book for a little kid, I highly recommend buying this book (and her others too!)


David Isley - Humboldt Studio Sessions

My good friend, David Isley, has provided me some of his recent studio session recordings, and I am honored to post them here for you to enjoy with his permission.  I could wax on about David's musical talents, and the many instruments and styles of music he plays, but I think the music speaks for itself.