My Husband, Three Frozen Chickens, and an Ax


The most common question I heard when people learned that I’d be on an island for at least a month with only my husband for company and without regular access to stores was “What will you do for food?” The second most common question was “Aren’t you worried it’ll be like ‘The Shining’?” (See notes below if you aren’t familiar.)

By this coming Wednesday, we will have been on island four weeks. We did our best – short of outlining a specific meal plan for each week – to estimate how much food, and which kinds, we’d want and need. Other than spices, of which there is a wide and plentiful variety here, we needed to consider everything we’d need in the kitchen. We almost forgot vinegar, so ended up with two bottles. We focused on proteins and ingredients to anchor our evening meals. We also hoped we’d be able to enjoy our own catch of fresh crab and rockfish. I suggested we bring a whole chicken per week, which would yield at least 2-3 meals off the bone, and then soup. (We wanted to bring four, but Costco only sold them in three-packs, hence the three in the title.)

We are almost at the end of our fresh green vegetables. The organic broccoli, bought in 1.5 pound bags at the Costco down island nearly a month ago, has fared the best, and has proven to be the most versatile in our cooking. We still have one very large and unopened bag of green leaf veggies, although the contents aren’t looking as enthusiastic as they used to. We have plenty of eggs, lemons, red beets, cabbage, and rice, and have frozen left-overs from five or six particularly successful and bountiful meals. Clearly, we will not starve. Nonetheless, we are anxious about running a low on essentials: apples (one a day for me!), almonds, peanut M&Ms, and bourbon.

Weather permitting – we think Monday or Tuesday will bring a break between storms, and offer us calm(er) seas, mild wind and temperatures – we will take the skiff in to Port Hardy to resupply a bit. We’ll also refill the gasoline canisters that fuel our adventures in the skiff. It is about an hour commute in each direction.

As for “The Shining…” If our cooking adventures together are any indication, we’re not yet at risk for the crazies. We chat early in the day about what we might want for dinner, and exchange ideas about flavors and preparation. We share meal prep duties; I do the dishes, which creates all kinds of good will. Last night, we enjoyed a very fresh, very large Dungeness crab (from our pots in Harlequin Bay) in an Asian-fusion coconut milk and vegetable sauce over rice. We researched how to kill the crab ‘humanely’ and expressed our gratitude before devouring him. Earlier in the week, we enjoyed three meals derived from a large pork loin: Cuban-style black beans and rice with pork, Chinese-style sauteed pork and green beans, and pulled pork tacos with coleslaw (remember: plenty of cabbage!). This afternoon, we’ll make a lemon cake to satisfy a sweet need and to deter scurvy. Tonight we’ll roast the second of those three chickens.

All that said, for those of you still worried about the isolation and the crazies: there is, in fact, an ax just outside the door…


“The Shining”, a movie based on a Stephen King novel: Jack Torrance (played by Jack Nicholson) becomes the caretaker of the Overlook Hotel up in the secluded mountains of Colorado. Jack, being a family man, takes his wife (Shelly Duval) and son to the hotel to keep him company throughout the long and isolated nights. During their stay, strange things occur when Jack’s son Danny sees gruesome images powered by a force called “The Shining” and Jack is heavily affected by this. Along with writer’s block and the demons of the hotel haunting him, Jack has a complete mental breakdown and the situation takes a sinister turn for the worse. Jack tries to kill his wife with an ax. (From IMDB)

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2 thoughts on “My Husband, Three Frozen Chickens, and an Ax

  1. Wow, your menu is better than mine and I live within a mile of a grocery store. Pour some bourbon over the green leaf veggies and they might be a bit more appealing. What – no wine?


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