Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Fun With Kelp

Patient reader, I'll be getting back to you very soon with the story of that firebrand Lyman Cutlar. Meanwhile, in the mail today I got a package from my sister Patty including a 1985 copy of the San Juan Almanac published by Evelyn Burke & Eleanor Howard at Longhouse Printcrafters. Within it's pages are a few contributions from yours truly. Here is one with a few suggestions on how to have some fun with kelp. Here I am bragging about getting a blue ribbon on my kelp pickles.... well, wouldn't you?

I've had fun with kelp all of my life. When we were little girls my grandfather carved faces into the bulb of the kelp to make kelp dolls for my sisters and I. Later, as an adult, when I lived on Lopez Island I learned how to weave baskets out of kelp. The kelp shrinks up quite a bit as it dries but it does dry beautifully. A warning, you do not want to get your kelp basket wet.

I've noticed that even scanning the page from the Almanac in at a higher resolution it is still hard to read. I'm not trying to protect my prize recipe. If you would like the recipe but have trouble reading it leave a comment and I will happily reply.


  1. Oh, the 'Kelpy' dolls! We made 'em, too...and at least one jar of pickles a summer...and I can't count the times I've almost blown my eardrums out on a kelp horn! >sigh< ~THOSE were the days..........

  2. Hi there!
    Greetings from a new reader-- it's great to discover your blog. I, too, have a happy connection to kelp: my blog and my latest CD are both titled "Notes from the Kelp" and show just how much fun and music algae can inspire :-) I haven't tried any recipes, yet, tho...

    Be well,

  3. Hi Peggy Sue,
    In 1985, on our way for our first visit together to the San Juan Islands, my husband and I bought a copy of the San Juan Islands Almanac, volume 12, 1985, at the University Book Store. We treasured it for years, and lent it to someone...who hasn't returned it, and we don't remember who it was! There was a wonderful story you'd written in it about the lore of wish rocks. I have two lines that I copied into my personal journal, but the rest is lost! I've searched google high and low for a new copy. Any chance you could make the wish rock page available? Thanks for all you do. Lindy Le Coq

  4. Lindy,

    I will post the Wishing Stone page. I love your story and I am honored that you remember this.

    You might give Serendipity, the second hand book store in Friday Harbor, a call and let them know you are looking for that Almanac 360-378-2665.
    I bet there are still a few copies of that almanac tucked into some old bookshelves around here.

    I'm not sure what ever happened to my first copy. It was like getting a little treasure when my sister sent me this one.

    Here's Wishing you well,
    Peggy Sue

  5. Peggy, any ideas where i might find info on making sea kelp dolls ie. what materials/adhesives might work ...just moved to mendocino coast (after Bellingham!) and want to play with these finds, thanks..
    love your island...