The Seal

So Pam Anderson was back home yesterday, offering money for people to stop sealing.  People seem to fail to understand that the seal hunt isn’t clubbing babies anymore.  Its as humane as any hunt can be, and more so than any slaughterhouse.  Yes seal furs are used for clothing, but so is cow leather.  Seals are over populated and threatening fish populations, noone mentions that. Nor that they provide a source of food.

But anyway, this isn’t a political blog (and I’m not going to allow hate filled comments here either), its memories.

Seals weren’t that common back home, at least not right up in the sound, but they weren’t that uncommon either.  And anyone who’s seen a big old harp up close, snarling and trying to get at you isn’t going to say they are very cute either.  But they are some damn good eating!

Once many years ago, Eric and, I believe, Cory Avery encountered one on the beach in winter in just such conditions.  Perhaps they were looking for it, I forget, but I believe one of them had a license and they managed to kill it.  Once they did that though I think they were stumped as to what to do next.  None of us were squeamish about cleaning things, and that was done pretty promptly, but they really had no idea how best to cut or process it.

If I remember correctly they came to Dad, and he gave them some advice. I’m not sure how much Eric and Cory ate, if any, but I know Dad and I had a few good meals from it.  I love the taste of seal, reminds me a great deal of the taste of turr, but if it gets any blubber on it during the cooking it can ruin it.  I think this is why a lot of people don’t care for it.

Dad had some trick of soaking it in water and baking soda though, and that somehow made the blubber crystallize, and it could be separated easily. But the biggest memory was  that Eric and I used Dad’s old band saw to slice the frozen meat.  If you didn’t like seal before that I’m sure you wouldn’t after.  Seal sawdust has quite a pungent smell!