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#283 Kemp's Ridley

Critically Endangered

Around the World in 80 Days - Day 74

Phileas Fogg could well have seen these sea turtles. They live all along the eastern coast of Canada, the US, and down into Mexico. Though their main nesting sites are in Mexico, they could have been up where Fogg was sailing. In fact, their meanderings can take them all the way across to the seas off of England. Their nesting sites were put at serious risk in 1979 with an oil spill, and again in 2010 with the Deepwater Horizon accident. There were 156 sea turtles known to have been killed, and most of them were Kemp's Ridleys. They are the smallest of the sea turtles, reaching a maximum of "only" 100 pounds. The hatchlings are a dark almost black, and then they lighten as they get older with most a sort of drab (don't tell them I said that) greenish grey, though quite a few pictures I saw were darker and brownish. This in real life is a more greenish brown than it looks on my monitor. I found it fascinating, but it can take a hatchling up to 7 days to dig out of the nest onto open sand. What I read about them said that they might orient to the water after they have made it to the sand by using light reflected from the water, or that they may have a magnetic internal compass of sorts. Essentially it seemed they were trying to say "we have no idea how they orient themselves, but here are some of the options most likely to be used". It is difficult for the hatchlings to reach adulthood, but those who do can live to be 50 years old. Their biggest threats are shrimping/fishing nets, and pollution.

Do you go through food phases? I certainly do. Right now I've latched onto a chocolate sea salt granola. I rarely eat it for breakfast but it makes for a great dessert. I've never been much of a breakfast person. It takes a long time for me to warm up in the mornings. I like to have coffee, but other than that, I generally don't want anything until noon, often I don't really want anything until 2 in the afternoon. When I was pregnant I had morning sickness for about 5 months, and I would invariably throw up if I ate anything before noon. After that point in the day, I could hold down food. With my first I craved green curry and had no problems eating that. I couldn't handle the smell of cooking with olive oil and hated lemon pepper, something that college me had always loved to put liberally on potatoes, pasta, pretty much anything. Unlike most women I know, my aversion to those never went away, and in fact I couldn't handle them with my second pregnancy either. We now use sesame oil in foods where the oil is for flavour. For instance, when I make tabouleh or a Brussels sprout salad, in the past we would have used olive oil, but I can't handle that. Both recipes use essentially the same thing as the dressing, it is just the main ingredients that area different. You will get an idea how I cook now because this is how I would tell you the recipes. For tabouleh, I cook some quinoa I usually use the red because the extra colour makes it more interesting looking. Then I cut up a lot of parsley, enough to make however much quinoa I cooked not be the main ingredient. Chop up a bunch of green onion, maybe some regular onion if you like extra onion, and then tomato. For the tomato I usually like to do halves of cherry tomatoes, but if you have large tomatoes pieces of them works well too. For the Brussels sprout salad, shred a cabbage or two, I usually use green, but purple is pretty and fun too. Add a bunch of green onion. Pick a nut you like, cashews and almonds are what we do, chop them up a bit and add some. The dressings for both are the same, just squeeze some fresh lemon juice, use some (sesame) oil, add enough salt, and if you can eat pepper (I can't) add enough of that. There you go, that is how I cook. It is all based on smell, taste, and what looks right. I don't measure at all. I could write it a bit more exactly, but it would all be a guess and I wouldn't like to be held accountable for amounts being correct.

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