Tag Archives: Salmon

Summer in full swing

You can tell it’s summertime in Alaska by the smell of birch smoke and salmon in the air-well at my house anyway. Fish to be caught, smoked, canned and enjoyed now with more for later. Salmon is not unique to Alaska but Alaska salmon is unique! Sweet, firm and tasty. ​


Apparently it is not just myself that feels this way as there is an organization devoted to sharing all about how salmon connects Alaskans. Check it out for yourself-it’s a great group with lots of stories, recipes and of course news about salmon. The salmon project can be found here atSalmon project.org

Went to the spring today with my son on our water run. What should take half an hour per trip turned into a two hour adventure. We watched a grouse try to distract us from her babies (look closely in the center of the picture you will see her in the tree), saw many berries forming and the wild flowers were amazing. Our time together wasn’t wasted as we enjoyed it immensely and I have come to realize as my children get older these times together will be fewer. Relish the moments folks for they are fleeting.


Dear hubby turned 61 today. We celebrated with A feast of birch planked salmon, barley pilaf, candied carrots and salad from the greenhouse. Cati baked an amazing chocolate cherry cake but forgot to get a picture before we all gobbled it up.

Working on a new project that I hope will inspire others. I’m beginning to video the things we do here such as fish processing, soap making etc. I’m still a bit camera shy so bear with me as I work through this. Coming soon I promise!

Dear hubby recently was asked by Bore tips to test their gun cleaning swabs and whips. Let me tell you this is something you must check out! The ease of use and compact design is a must for any firearm owner. Easy use, easy clean up, you can take them anywhere which is a bonus if you hunt in an area that’s wet oh and one more bonus-keeping the bore whip in your barrel when transporting ensures you have a safe and clear firearm. Check them out for yourself and volunteer to test their products! You can find them at www.bore-tips.com

Well the fish is almost done smoking (it’s after 3a.m.) and I need to get it in the canning jars and process. I pray your all blessed with a warm bed, fully tummies and the love you deserve. God Bless

What’s season is it again?

Our seasons are so confused-rain all winter then bam!three feet of snow. Well guess what-it’s raining again! Almost all the snow is gone and with the temps hovering around 40 it won’t be long. Of course there’s some minor flooding but that is to be expected. The kids had fun in the snow and now are ready for it to be done. Isn’t the changing weather amazing though? It’s like the picture changes every day. Winter brings ice and dreary short days but also bring us snowstorms to change it to a portrait in white. Spring brings rain but longer days and new growth and life, the green haze is beginning to show itself in the trees and on the ground where the snow has melted. Yes, I do love the changing seasons even if they are a bit fickled. 

 Finally got the snow cleared away from the smoker and got the salmon finished smoking. 12 pints of smoked salmon (my kids call it fish candy) slightly sweet, a hint of salt and the mellow smoke of birch made it a hit with all. After all of the years I have canned my family still insists on opening the first jar of anything the minute it is cooled. Strange but hey if it makes them happy. More smoking to be done later this week as dear hubby’s friend Norm called and has more fish for us, I do love that we have friends who support and encourage my smoking habit but that doesn’t mean the little goat wether is safe. Smoked goat just sounds yummy! For you vegetarian followers I apologize but I am a meat lover. 

 Spring fever has come-I’ve been cleaning and making new curtains, basically doing anything I can to take my mind off of gardening. I did get 3 sweet potatoes going in water to grow my own slips. I have never grown any sweet potatoes but reading up it is said for best results start with slips. Slips are the little shoots that grow from them. I’m going to give it a try though as we all love sweet potatoes baked with butter it’s almost as good as regular potatoes. 

 My kids seriously need to quit growing. Stretching to try to get the yeast from the top shelf Cati (11 years old) reaches over me, says let me help mom and gets it down. She is now 5’6″ tall. Caleb is the same height at 12 years old but he is about to shoot up again. He is eating us out of house and home. Cami is still the smallest of my twin girls but what she lacks in size she makes up for in attitude.  

 Always something that needs to be done and hoping the rain stops soon-fishing season is coming up quick! I’ll leave you with a few pics as is my norm and pray your blessed beyond measure. 


Falling leaves and falling temps

this morning we awoke to a 1/4 inch of ice on everything outdoors. The leaves are changing colors and quickly leaving the trees and there is a briskness to the air. Yes fall is here and I am glad!

Summer was long and my body thinks if the sun is out I need to be up and working-that equals really long days when it’s light until midnight and the sun is up at 3 a.m. We did accomplish much though and have expanded our farm to a size that will soon make us self sustaining. I traded a hog for veggies some this year some next to make up for any shortages we may have. Our first years garden produced enough to encourage me for next year and by bartering I have ensured we will have enough to sustain us.

Hubby provided a lot of salmon for me to can and the 100 plus jars will do us until next season (still lots of salmon in freezer too).  Carrots are canned, kraut is fermenting and life is good. I have a hog to butcher this weekend and will make lots of sausage with my seasoning I finally perfected and will have much lard to render. We are only keeping half as the other is sold. This works out well when space is limited and with a few days of moose season left we are hoping for a bit of luck there. If not we have a friend who has promised to share and we will share our farms bounty in return.  

  Honey from 1 of my hives  

Bread and butter pickles

  3 bean salad  

  Many are looking for a simple way to make kraut and here it is: shred cabbage put in sterile 1 quart jar and crush down with wooden spoon to break up the cells that hold water. Add 1/2 to 1 tsp salt and mix it in well if you like (be aware this will slow down the fermentation process and is not required) leave an inch headspace and top off with water if it is not wet enough, cover with a coffee filter or cloth and wait. After a couple of weeks it will be saurkraut! If you see any mold scoop it off if it’s inside the cabbage toss it. After it has achieved the desired sour taste simply place a sterile lid and ring on it and water bath it at a full boil 15 min or so.

Time to do something with the cranberries I picked this morning so I’ll bid you farewell until next time. God Bless!

Days getting shorter and the rush is on

There never seems to be enough time. Taking time out to teach my children about the world around them has been a priority and as we quickly see the berries maturing and fireweed complete its bloom it’s now time to go from foraging lessons to fishing and hunting. My kids love to fish and have been doing it since they were old enough to hold a pole but that was lake trout and panfish-now it’s time to work on catching the big boys! I grew up fishing the waters off the coast of California. I remember being 5 or 6 and halibut fishing with my paw paw. I also remember catching my first halibut. Yes it was bigger than me and yes I needed much assistance but I also remember wanting to just let paw paw real it in as I was tired. He was having none of that and asked me “do you really want to let that fish beat you”? Of course my little arms were screaming yes but I knew how good halibut tasted and I really wanted that fish so I persisted. When we finally got it close enough to the boat and he gaffed it in I was an excited little puppy and asked if we could eat it for supper. Mind you that fish was big enough for many meals but my only concern was right now. We headed in and with his help once again we filleted it and I was pleasantly surprised when instead of loading into the station wagon he headed for the beach. Right then and there he built a fire with drift wood and we cooked halibut strips wrapped over sticks and secured with hooks. THAT was the best tasting fish ever and I want my children to experience that feeling of being able to provide for themselves and take pride in it. Never mind we cooked it with the skin on and it burnt or the fact it was covered in sand it was my catch and it tasted like heaven. Memories like this not only warm the heart the  knowledge stays with you a lifetime.

I will post pics as they come available.

Hubby was able to get some Alaska commercial fishing experience in the past couple of weeks. A friend needed a deck hand and he was more than ready! Made a few bucks and got a few salmon all the while enjoying the sights and new experience. I might add he had such a good time he is looking forward to next season already. Our son Caleb was able to go on one of the overnight trips to observe and he too is anxious for next year.  

 I canned the salmon except for one meal of fresh and made salmon patties out of one quart jar already. Once you have fresh salmon store bought is no longer an option. Yes it’s that tasty!   

Hubby even caught a shark and was excited! 

 We have been so blessed living here I wake every morning and thank God for another day. We are finally achieving our goals of self sufficiency and are assisting others when we can. Many still question why we want to live off grid and without the basics like indoor plumbing but for us it’s a dream come true. We can work beside our children and teach them ways that are quickly being forgotten. 

Our garden is doing well for our true first year with the exception of a few potatoes the chickens managed to dig up, the pigs are growing, our goat herd has doubled in size not including the Wethers we have sold and now we have turkeys and chickens reproducing too! 

Time has been an issue but soon I will make time to harvest the honey from the hives and am feeling very accomplished at splitting a hive for the first time. 

Yes it has been a busy summer and I apologize for not updating more but will get back to a more regular schedule as soon as hunting season is over. For now I will leave you with random pics and a prayer for peace in your hearts. God Bless!