Churchill Wild polar bears featured on CNN video! Producer Jessica Ellis visits Seal River Heritage Lodge!

November 28, 2009 by  
Filed under Blog, Polar Bear Tours

Click the image above to see raw CNN video footage of the Polar Bears.

Click the image above to see raw CNN video footage of the polar bear trip taken by CNN producer Jessica Ellis and photographer Ferre Dollar to Seal River Heritage Lodge. It was quite the adventure!

It’s been a busy media week for the polar bear’s at Churchill Wild’s Seal River Heritage Lodge! Earlier this week we were featured in Newsweek in an article entitled The Polar Express and today we were featured in polar bear video on the CNN Web site in the “Most Popular” and “Don’t Miss” video sections!

CNN producer Jessica Ellis and photographer Ferre Dollar were recent visitor’s to Seal River Heritage Lodge on the Hudson Bay Coast and they were surrounded by polar bears – and photographers.

A short clip of their polar bear trekking trip also appeared on CNN (TV) today on the Rick Sanchez show! The video was part of a behind the scenes piece put together for CNN International’s Backstory (which aired Wednesday).

Click the image above to see the raw video footage of Jessica and Ferre flying through the snow from Churchill, Manitoba enroute to the remote Hudson Bay Coast. And there was a polar bear in the vicinity when they got off the plane – so they had to take a different route to the Lodge!

Make sure to watch sections 2:14 – 2:26, when the team was surrounded by polar bears, and the piece at 3:47 of the video, when a bear comes to the Lodge door. And of course, there are more polar bears.

This raw video footage, entitled Face to Face with the Polar Bears, shows just how much fun it can be to walk on the arctic tundra and visit with the polar bears up close and personal.

An additional clip of this arctic adventure is slated to air on CNN during the week of December 7. It will also feature Churchill Wild owner Mike Reimer, professional photographer Dennis Fast and polar bear guide extraordinaire Andy MacPherson – all talking about what it’s like to hang out with the polar bears at Seal River Heritage Lodge.

Jessica and Ferre told us they had a fantastic time! We owe them a big warm polar bear hug!

Thank you CNN!

Wish to see Polar Bears in Churchill comes true thanks to Make-A-Wish Foundation and Churchill Wild

November 18, 2009 by  
Filed under Blog, Polar Bear Tours

This is from Azzurra Riley’s Blog.  She is a 10-year-old old girl who came to Churchill Wild‘s Seal River Lodge through the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Guests are greeted by both staff and Polar Bears

Guests are greeted by both staff and Polar Bears

CHIEF ARCTIC EXPLORER

The 7-hour journey begins tomorrow at 5 a.m. where we make our way to LAX for our flight to Winnipeg. After an overnight in Winnipeg we catch a short flight to Churchill, Canada (population 900). The next morning we will take a turbo beaver plane to Seal River Lodge, which is located in the wilderness of the Northern Manitoba Tundra. Seal River is a natural habitat for wildlife, in particular the Polar Bears.

POLAR BEAR CAPITOL OF THE WORLD

We now find ourselves in Churchill, Manitoba a small town 800 miles north of Winnipeg, in the frozen sub-arctic tundra. Its latitude is 57 degrees north. This small community has one main street, no traffic lights, bill boards, only one paved road, and no cell phone towers. We got off the 26-passenger plane, where we were greeted by Rose who works for Seal River in Churchill. Rose organizes guests, as wall as supplies for the lodge. She took us to Helen Webber’s home where we would be staying while in Churchill.

After we met Helen, saw our rooms and got cleaned up, we visited Brenda at the Northern Images arts shops. This particular store is part of a co-op program across northern Canada that allows the northern and local goods to be showcased. Brenda explained to us the native ways of life such as trapping, and living in the North. She then showed us many of the clothing items that are still used today. Some of these items include seal skin coats for the children, Caribou fur outer shoes, and a special infant-carrying jacket.

Eye to eye with the mighty Polar Bear

Eye to eye with the mighty Polar Bear

After we met with Brenda we walked down the street to dinner at the Northern Nights Hotel and Restaurant. Being a remote town in the middle of nowhere, everything is flown in, delivered by train, caught or picked off the land. Most of the meat up here is fish, Snow Geese, or Caribou which can all be found right outside. All the restaurant menus depend on what is available at the time of year.

The next day we got up and had breakfast with Helen, who was renamed the “President of Churchill” by my father. Being an established chef with lots of cookbooks, Helen’s breakfast was amazing. Afterwards, Rose came to pick us up to go to the tundra buggy docking station. We went over safety instructions and then headed off to see some Polar Bears!

Early the next morning we were driven to the airport. We quickly boarded the small 8-passenger turbo beaver and flew for about 28 minutes. While flying we spotted both Caribou and Polar Bears. We then landed on the short gravel runway and were at Seal River Lodge. Just as we were taking off our coats and boots, we were greeted by an unexpected visitor; a huge Polar Bear!! It came right up against one of the windows in the main living room, not even two feet from where I was standing!!! The guides were telling us that he usually came around when the plane flew in and was given the name Bob and the role of the greeting committee.

After the excitement we waited for the other people to arrive, had lunch, and then it was out into the wild. We hiked for two hours and saw five bears as well as ptarmigans (birds), snow buntings (birds), a snowy owl, and an arctic hare.

ARCTIC EXPLORER HOME AT LAST

We have gone from -20 degrees to +85. I had so much fun but I’m happy to be home. Although I am upset to be away from the cute but not too cuddly Polar Bears. I learnt so much about all the animals, the natives and the culture of the north. It was great to learn so much from the locals too. One thing I love about Churchill and Seal River is that the people are so consciences of their environment and go out of their way to be very eco friendly. It’s all about the animals. I know we could learn one or two things from them!

I had an amazing trip!!!!!!


About Make-A-Wish® Canada

Make-A-Wish® Canada is part of the largest not-for-profit wish granting organization in the world, serving 30 countries with international affiliates on five continents (Make-A-Wish International®).

Make A Wish Foundation

You Can Help Make a Child's Dream Come True

Since inception in 1980, Make-A-Wish® has helped make over 225,000 wishes come true for children around the world. Make-A-Wish® in Canada consists of eight regional Chapters and the Canada Office, which is located in Toronto, Ontario. We grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.

Close Encounters of the Bear Kind – Churchill Wild Makes Dreams Come True

November 12, 2009 by  
Filed under Blog, Polar Bear Tours

A Polar Bear Checks out What is Going On in the Kitchen

A Polar Bear Peeks in Through The Bars

After visiting Clyde River and then Pond Inlet further north on Baffin Island back in 2005 and 2007, hoping to see Polar Bears in the wild and being disappointed in not seeing any there, we finally tried at Churchill Wild in Northern Manitoba in October of 2009.

Not knowing whether it was going to be third time lucky or not for us this time round, our trip actually turned out to be everything that we expected and more. We got to see Polar Bears at last! Lots of them, up close and personal, and on one occasion, even one large male pushing his nose through the bars across the open window of the hallway near the kitchen in the lodge.

His breath blowing into my face – which was only about two feet away from his – while I thanked my lucky stars (afterwards that is) that I had my camcorder rolling at the moment I stood in stunned silence before this ice giant. Shivers ran down my spine, tingling in excitement at this close encounter I never dreamed would happen to me.

You just cannot get better, or closer, than that! Fantastic experiences, thank you Churchill Wild for being in existence and for making my dreams finally come true.

Mike and Julie Trayhum 2009                  

Churchill Wild chefs serve up gourmet meals for Canadian Tourism Commission on Olympic Torch weekend

November 9, 2009 by  
Filed under In The News, Lodge Recipes

Wild Tundra Cranberry Cake with Warm Butter Sauce

Wild Tundra Cranberry Cake with Warm Butter Sauce

A delegation from the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) ventured to the polar bear capital of the world – Churchill, Manitoba – to join in the festivities on the weekend the Olympic Torch arrived in this small arctic seaport town, and the Churchill Wild chefs had the honor of cooking dinner for them!

Helen Webber and Dave Schellenberg prepared dinner for a group of 15 which included delegates from the CTC, a representative from Travel Manitoba, Frontiers North owners Linda and Merv Gunter, Frontiers North GM John Gunter and his wife Lisa Joy. Below is the menu the Churchill Wild chefs prepared for the group:

Appetizers
Bacon-Wrapped Manitoba Snow Goose
Any Port in a Storm Blue Cheese Spread
Baked Brie with Wild Cranberry Ginger Chutney

Salad & Bread
Mixed Field Greens with Mustard Vinaigrette
Artesian Style “Shaggy” Bread

Entrée
Manitoba Wild Rice and Black Bean Casserole
Lemon Thyme Spinach
Potato and Bacon Au Gratin
Slow Roasted Organic Caribou Served with Double Mushroom Ragout
Individual Horseradish Bread Pudding

Dessert
Wild Tundra Cranberry Cake with Warm Butter Sauce
North Knife Lake Blueberry Cream Cheese Tart

Your Dinner tonight has been prepared fresh for you while you were out on your Tundra Buggy Adventure. Our bread is made fresh daily with fresh ground flour and all berries are hand picked on hands and knees and are local to Churchill and our Lodges.

Feel free to ask questions, indulge and enjoy!

Snow Goose Recipe – Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Snow Goose

November 9, 2009 by  
Filed under Lodge Recipes

Cranberries & Canada Geese Cookbook

Cranberries & Canada Geese Cookbook

Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Snow Goose

We server this appetizer at all our lodges, and any dinners we cater. You can make these a day ahead. Keep them covered and in the refrigerator until ready to cook.  This recipe should make 12 wraps.

Ingredients:

  • 6 strips bacon
  • 6 tsp. cream cheese
  • 1 average sized snow goose breast
  • pickled sliced jalapeno peppers

Directions:

  1. Cut the bacon strips in half, so you have 12 pieces of bacon.
  2. Clean the goose breast of any silver skin or fat.
  3. Slice the breast across the grain into strips about ¼ inch by 1 ½ inches. You should have about 12 pieces.
  4. Lay four of the bacon strips down on a cutting board. Place one slice of goose across each strip of bacon.
  5. On top of the goose place one heaping teaspoon of cream cheese. On top of the cream cheese place one (or two, if you like it a bit hotter) pickled jalapeno slices.
  6. Roll the bacon around the goose, cream cheese and jalapeno. Skewer with a tooth pick to hold together.
  7. Repeat with remaining 8 slices of bacon and goose breast.
  8. Heat barbeque grill on high. When grill is hot, place wraps on grill.
  9. Cook about 5 minutes on each side and until the bacon is done the way you like it, but do not cook too long as the goose will become tough.
  10. Remove from grill and serve.

Note: When the bacon begins to cook it will drip grease and can cause flair ups on the grill.  Be careful to watch.

Variations: We have also brushed these with apricot jam, marmalade jam, and even Dijon mustard while cooking. These can be made with any type of water fowl – snow goose, duck, pheasant etc. You can also use any type of tender red meat.

Cooking Tip:Soak the toothpicks in water for a few hours before preparing these. This helps prevent them from burning on the grill.

To learn more about Webber’s Lodges Award-Winning wild game cookbooks please visit:

http://www.blueberriesandpolarbears.com

Blue Cheese Spread Recipe – Any Port in a Storm

November 9, 2009 by  
Filed under Lodge Recipes

Blueberries & Polar Bears Cookbook

Blueberries & Polar Bears Cookbook

Any Port in a Storm Blue Cheese Spread

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz.  cream cheese – softened
  • 2 oz.  blue cheese
  • 3 tbsp.  dried currants, blueberries or cranberries
  • 2 tbsp.  Port*
  • 2 tbsp.  toasted sliced almonds

Directions:

  1. Combine cream cheese, blue cheese, currants and port.
  2. Spoon into a small dish.
  3. Sprinkle with toasted almonds.
  4. Server with crackers.

Makes approximately 1 cup

Note: *Port is a fortified, sweet wine from Portugal that varies greatly in quality and in price. Vintage ports can be aged for 50 years or more. Less expensive ports are often just labeled Ruby or Tawny. Generic ports are made in several different countries and are fine for use in recipes with other strong flavors.

To learn more about Webber’s Lodges Award-Winning wild game cookbooks please visit:

http://www.blueberriesandpolarbears.com

Cranberry Ginger Chutney Recipe with Baked Brie

November 9, 2009 by  
Filed under Lodge Recipes

Black Currants & Caribou Cookbook

Black Currants & Caribou Cookbook

You wouldn’t think this incredible blend of flavours would be a “keeper” – but so it has been proclaimed by all who taste it. Don’t skimp on the ginger – more is better than less!

Baked Brie with Cranberry Ginger Chutney

Cranberry Ginger Chutney Ingredients:

  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. water
  • 2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. cloves

Baked Brie with Crackers or Sliced Baguette

  • 2 lb. round of brie cheese
  • crackers or sliced baguette

Directions:

  1. Combine the chutney ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer over low heat until thickened, about 15 minutes.
  2. Place the brie in a baking dish that fits, with just a little room left over. Score the tip of the cheese into diamond shapes.
  3. Spoon the chutney over the cheese.
  4. Bake at 350°F (180°C) for 15 – 20 minutes. You can also microwave it instead for about 2-3 minutes, or until cheese is soft.
  5. Serve with crackers or a sliced baguette.

Note: The chutney may be refrigerated for up to a week, or frozen for longer storage. It may also be served with meat.

Variation: There is enough chutney to accommodate 4-4 ½ oz. rounds of brie if your prefer.

Serves approximately 20.

To learn more about Webber’s Lodges Award-Winning wild game cookbooks please visit:

http://www.blueberriesandpolarbears.com

Mustard Vinaigrette Salad Dressing for Mixed Greens

November 9, 2009 by  
Filed under Lodge Recipes

Cranberries & Canada Geese Cookbook

Cranberries & Canada Geese Cookbook

Mustard Vinaigrette Dressing Recipe

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 tbsp. celery seed
  • 10 oz. mixed organic field greens
  • sliced red onion rings
  • tomato wedges or cherry tomatoes halved
  • grated carrot or radish

Directions:

  1. Combine sugar, dry mustard, salt and red wine vinegar in a blender for about 30 seconds, add the oil while running the blender on slow.
  2. Stop the blender and add the onion and celery seed; give the blender a 15 second pulse.
  3. Set aside until you are ready to toss the salad. This is another dressing that keeps well so just put any extra in your refrigerator. It is great with fruit too.
  4. Toss the mixed greens with the dressing in a large bowl, just before serving. If you are serving on individual plates, place the desired amount of greens on the plate, top with two onion rings, two wedges of tomato on the side, and the grated carrot on top. If serving in a large bowl, garnish the top of the greens with the onion rings, tomato, and carrot.

Serves 6-8

To learn more about Webber’s Lodges Award-Winning wild game cookbooks please visit:

http://www.blueberriesandpolarbears.com

Helen Webber’s Shaggy (Ciabatta) Bread Recipe

November 9, 2009 by  
Filed under Lodge Recipes

Shaggy Bread & Home Made Buns

Helen Webber's Shaggy (Ciabbata) Bread

Shaggy Bread Ciabatta Bread Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups warm water
  • 1 ¼ tbsp. sea salt, kosher salt or 1 tbsp. table salt
  • 1 ½ tbsp. yeast, instant or regular
  • 6 cups flour – unbleached or all purpose – I often substitute 1 cup of some type of whole grain flour for a total of 6 cups
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal

Directions:

  1. Mix the water, salt and yeast, stirring to dissolve in a 16-cup container preferably with a lid. I use a gallon ice cream pail.
  2. Add the six cups of flour and stir with a wooden spoon until all the flour is moistened. It should look like shaggy dough when you’re done. It will not be a smooth like regular bread dough and it will be quite sticky.
  3. Cover dough lid (don’t put it on tightly) or plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place for two hours. Refrigerate until ready to bake.
  4. Cut off about a third of the dough and shape into a ball on a well floured counter. Place on a baking sheet that has been well sprinkled with cornmeal. The whole sheet doesn’t have to be covered with cornmeal, just an area a little larger than the dough ball. Be sure the top is well covered with flour.
  5. Let rise for 40 to 50 minutes on the counter. Slice the top two or three times.
  6. Begin preheating the oven to 450 degrees F about 20 minutes before it is time to bake the bread. Place a broiler pan on the floor of a gas oven, or on the bottom rack of an electric oven.
  7. When the oven is hot, place the bread on the rack above the pan and then immediately throw a cup of hot water into the pan. Close the oven quickly. Bake for 20 minutes and then reduce the oven to 400 degrees and bake for another 20 minutes.
  8. Remove from the pan and cool on a rack.

Notes: This bread dough will keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. It just gets to be more of a sourdough as it ages. There is no need to wash the container between batches. This recipe can also be doubled if you have a big enough container. A little wetter dough will give a different but still delicious result, as will slightly heavier dough.

Experiment and have fun!

To learn more about Webber’s Lodges Award-Winning wild game cookbooks please visit:

http://www.blueberriesandpolarbears.com

Manitoba Wild Rice and Black Bean Casserole Recipe

November 9, 2009 by  
Filed under Lodge Recipes

Icebergs & Belugas Cookbook

Icebergs & Belugas Cookbook

Manitoba Wild Rice and Black Bean Casserole

This colourful festival of flavours is a hearty vegetarian meal, or a tasty side dish served with chicken, beef, or pork.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped onions
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • ½ cup chopped red pepper
  • 2 cups cooked wild rice
  • 14 oz. can corn niblets, drained
  • 19 oz. can black beans, rinsed
  • 1 tsp. Dymond Lake Seasoning
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. cumin

Directions:

1. In a large frying pan, heat the butter and oil. Saute onions, garlic, celery, and red pepper, until tender-crisp, about 5 minutes.
2. Add cooked wild rice and remaining ingredients. Stir well while heating thoroughly.

Serves 8 as a side dish. Enjoy!

To learn more about Webber’s Lodges Award-Winning wild game cookbooks please visit:

http://www.blueberriesandpolarbears.com

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