In the morning, the tide was going down by the time we got our acts together. Rounding up eight adults and one dog islike herding chickens (an idiom which I have no business using, having never tried to herd chickens). A fact of my northern visit to Iqaluit is that cold-smoked arctic char was consumed almost daily. I actually packed a metric ton of Kettleman’s bagels into my suitcase, which was a stroke of genius. If you are or ever have been an Ottawatian, you’ll know that Kettleman’s makes the best bagels in the city. They are Montreal-style, cooked in a wood-burning oven, subtly sweet, and perfectly chewy. Add cream cheese, red onion, arctic char, capers, and ground pepper, and you’re set.
Back to the tide: As it was low, we collectively made our way to the ocean floor to dig for clams. I’ve never done this before, and it went a little like this:
1) Stroll along the ocean floor, look for blowholes.
2) Find a blowhole, squeal in excitement.
3) Position yourself above the blowhole, make a shovel-like shape with your hand.
4) Plunge your hand deep into the sand. Find a slug. Throw up a little.
After cycling through that process for bout an hour, we had a little hike and found the most strange shrine on top of a hill. It was filled with loose change, plastic jewelry, trinkets, and small toys. I imagine it was some children’s creation. I didn’t take any photos, because I always miss things.
That evening, we participated in a very Iqaluit activity: Radio bingo.
Frankly, I don’t know why we don’t adopt this down South, though now that I’m back I notice advertisements for radio bingo in a number of smaller communities. In Iqaluit, you would pick up your $20 package of bingo cards at Arctic Ventures during the week leading up to Saturday. Each package contains three or four…five?…sheets of six bingo charts. From there, you simply tune in at 6 pm on Saturday to play.
It was a wild ride. You can probably imagine what happens when a group of adults gets together to play bingo, but in five words: Near-wins, highs, lows, beer, and yelling.
I had been slowly cooking a white wine version of coq au vin for dinner while going about the day. I will definitely make this recipe again – it was absolutely delicious.
Overall, this is the first day that I felt really “at home” during this little adventure to the north. Surrounded by friends, at a long dinner table, with lots of delicious food, and wine.