Sunday, June 14, 2009

MmmmM, smelly cooking blubber!

So, we love Cathy ( she is the bomb!

Due to the Marine Mammal Protection Act, my husband, who's white, can not hunt sea faring mammals. This includes Seals, Whales, Walrus, etc. My large family tends to be a bit lazy, and have never gotten me a seal. My dad always made sure my mom, aana and I got Ugruk every year, when he was here.

Now that he's gone, we haven't had ANY Ugruk and have had to basically BEG for some from people.

Dean pulling it up

Since its embarassing, I'd rather not. So, Cathy so nicely offered to share hers. She's in the same boat, kinda. She's not from round here, and can't hunt either. But her family can. So, we're sharing.

When we bought our house, part of the kicks included a screened in drying rack attached to the garage in the back yard. We have never actually used it, except to hang a hind quarter of a caribou every once and a while.

Dean and Zach pulling

This year, we changed that. We have now kicked the ducks out of their nice warm pen, made them a fenced in (by pallets, no less!) area in the back yard, and are now using our drying rack, for..... DRYING!

Hanging rack

After scooping the duck poop, adding some baking soda (for the smell) and more gravel, topping that with stinkweed, we put some skinny trees up and are hanging our Ugruk.

Elsa cutting

The process, of course, starts when the hunter brings it home. After its brought home gutted, the blubber and skin are removed from the carcass.

Maija and Cathy cutting

Once that piece is removed, the younger kids, and inexperienced ones, are given Ulu's to remove any meat that snuck onto the blubber. The older, more experienced ones remove the meat from the bones!

Maddie cutting ugruk

Once the meat is removed, its slabbed and cut into strips to hang, blubber side up in your inisaqs (ing-ee-sucks) for a day or so to harden a bit, so its easier to cut.

Sometimes, getting the bones to separate is you ask your husband nicely to "cut that STUPID $%*&#*&%ing flipper OFF the carcass! .... please."

Dean hatchet

So, he does. :) With a double-bitted axe.

Of course, we ALWAYS have a pot of Inaloaqs (ing-ah-lokes), or seal intestines, some meat, and some blubber boiling in a pot sitting on a siigruq (see-ig-rook), or camp stove.


Mmm, we love us some intestines! With mustard, of course.

eating meat

Anyway, we cut for half the day and now, its time to watch a movie. And wait for that meat to dry....I can taste it now!

Koy eating ingaloaks

Tomorrow, we'll Kavraq (kuv-ruck) the blubber from the skin, stretch the skin over a board, and render us some oil.

Man, its good to be Eskimo. And, its GREAT to be HOME.


Anonymous said...

I learned so much from you and cathy about this process. It's extremely interesting!

The Force Family said...

oh man, thanks for the mouth watering pictures and descriptions. It has been so long since I've had inaloaqs with mustard! I have a bit of black meat left from when I went home last year, i'm gonna go and have a sample of the sweet and chewy stuff! I have a tiny bit every now and then so it's lasts longer...LOL

Trish said...

I wanted to do that with you guys! i'm so bummed that I missed out.

I love that last picture of Koy!

Cate said...

Hi! Found your blog via "Keeping it Real..." and your family is beautiful! We are your coastal neighbors to the south in Hooper Bay. You might like to check out my blog, Tundra Topics....try this post: