Thursday, May 29, 2014

Kodiak Crabfest

Now if you read my blog often enough, you know that I love food.  And I have to say that the best thing about Crabfest was hands down the food.  Funny thing, though.  I didn't have any crab.  I know, there's something not right about not eating crab at a Crabfest.

I have a good reason, though.  Because again, if you read my blog often enough, you know that we're still knee deep in trying to eat our way through a ton of crab we managed to get a hold of over the last year.

We have our own personal Crabfest in the damn garage freezer. - Which we invoke on a weekly basis!  So no crab was had at the fest, but there was plenty of tempting deliciousness to experiment with instead of the guy the party was held for.  Crabfest is an event Kodiak puts on every year at the end of May, and it's a the perfect kick-off for summer.

The best thing I ate was the pan seared Alaskan Weathervane Scallops over wild rice.  So fresh, so tasty.  So much so that I got the scallops with red curry the first day, and went back again the next day to try them with the mushroom marsala sauce.  Both were fantastic.

They topped the red curry scallops with fresh cilantro, and I added a little Siracha for good measure.  Can't go wrong with that combo. 

Fish tacos!
 Now when it comes to any kind of fest where the selection of food is more than you could possibly have at one time, (I'm looking at you, Jazzfest) the best strategy is the classic divide and conquer.  Which translates to splitting as much as possible so we can experience as much variety as we can without having to be rolled home.

So along with the scallops, we went with the fish tacos.  It was fried Alaskan cod with fresh mango, lettuce, tomato, and onions, wrapped in a flour tortilla.  It was good, but it could have used a little baja sauce to put it over the edge.

I branched out a little and tried some smoked cod, (on a stick, of course) but I wasn't a fan.  The flavor was just okay and I wasn't crazy about the texture.  It didn't even compare to some of the smoked salmon I've had since we've been here.  The barely nibbled smoked cod on a stick went into the trash!  Sorry, Pickled Willy's.

Along with the fantastic food, there were lots of events, races, art shows, craft fairs, etc. to wander around and check out.  Overall, it's a very small event.  Appropriate for Kodiak and its small town feel.

One of the trendy outdoor decor accessories that I've noticed in front of tons of houses both on base and in town are carved wooden bears from this one particular artist who seems to be popular.   

The guy who does the carvings had a booth set up where he was doing demonstrations.  It's pretty impressive to see what he starts with, and what the completed bears look like.  He's a talented guy.

Some of the carvings are small, but some are life-sized and enormous.  Usually the fish the bear is holding says welcome or the family's last name.  They're definitely cute and whimsical, but not really the type of decoration I'd buy.  Not a subtle thing to be greeted by at someone's front door!

One of the fun events to watch was the survival suit races - where teams of four have to get dressed in a survival suit and swim about 50 yards to a life raft.

Survival Suit Races
The winner is the first team to get in their life raft.  Fun to watch because those survival suits aren't exactly sleek and easy to maneuver!  The Coast Guard team came in second place.  Shameful.  Just kiddin.'

Another interesting Kodiak tid-bit - Roller Derby is a thing here.  There's a team called the Rock Island Rollers, and they had a mini track set up where they skated around to songs like Brick House and Rockin' in the Free World.  It was entertaining to watch them, but I have to be honest, I don't really get it.  I don't know a whole lot about Roller Derby other than there was a Drew Barrymore movie about it a few years ago.  All I know is those gals seem to have a good old time and are a tad intense!
The Rock Island Rollers

And you've got to love the names on their jerseys.  Names like Paddy Whackher and Mystic Foxx.

Reminds me of the short lived XFL football league in the early 2000's and their ridiculous names like "He Hate Me."  Only somehow the roller derby chicks are cooler.

Of course, we couldn't leave without getting into some sort of dessert situation.  We indulged in a chocolate covered, almond coated vanilla ice cream pop.

It was among one of the many food recommendations I'd been soliciting from locals all week about what Crabfest foods are the must gets.  Another tasty "you just can't go wrong with that" meal.

While the hubby enjoyed his ice cream, I was compelled to harass him into standing in front of the salmon sculpture that lives in front of the Harbormaster's office.  The sculpture is made out of plastic debris collected from the waters around Kodiak.  I think it still has Christmas lights wrapped around it from the holidays.  Always keepin' it classy, Kodiak.  ;)

Our first Kodiak Crabfest was a fun diversion.  Even though we didn't actually eat crab.

Ta-ta for now.

St. Paul Harbor

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