Saturday, August 7, 2010

Harvest meals

I love how simple meal planning and cooking dinner are this time of year. I could pretty much eat fresh vegetables in various combinations steamed with butter or stir fried, sprinkle with salt and pepper, garnish with fresh herbs, maybe some cheese. Serve with rice, noodles or bread and that's dinner.

Dustin came back from Chitina with twenty-three Copper River Red Salmon. He could have gotten up to forty fish but the water level rose drastically the night he arrived making it difficult to catch the fish. He held out a day, the water level went back down, he was finally catching fish, but had to get back for work the next morning. Twenty-three salmon is a nice number, plenty for us for the year. Wednesday night we processed fish, vacuum sealing and freezing most of it. We saved out several fillets to eat fresh within a few days and I set aside enough for about four batches of smoked salmon. In past years we have frozen fish whole wrapped in saran wrap and freezer paper. This year we filleted them all as we eat salmon more often when it is more convenient.

The only parts of the salmon thrown away were the guts. We froze all the row to feed to the chickens throughout the year. We put the whole carcasses in the bottom of a freshly dug trench and planted raspberry canes on top. We scraped all the extra meat off the carcass and froze eight quarts of salmon strips and pieces to make chowder and salmon cakes with. Today I'm either going to start canning smoked salmon or go blueberry picking depending on the weather and the kids.

A perfect meal, fresh baked salon with olive oil, garlic and fresh dill. Freshly shelled peas from the garden, cooked briefly over high heat with butter and a little salt. Tasty, simple and nutritious. I love summer meals.

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