Thursday, June 26, 2008


No, nothing crazy -- just our salmon! Last year our fish weren't done drying before we took off to Indiana, and so I missed the smoking part of the dryfish process. This year I made my travel arrangements for later, plus Tuluk and I decided to smoke the fish earlier so that they will be slightly softer than fish that has been all the way dried before being smoked. Our original plan was to smoke them down at our camp, but it's been pretty windy and that might have proved challenging... so Tuluk's mom generously let us use her smokehouse. Here are some pictures of the process:

First, down at camp we cut some willow bushes and peeled some of the bark, which lends a bitterness to the smoke.
Then we hauled all the fish to town, to the smokehouse behind Tuluk's mom's house, and we carried the fish inside, as Esther is showing us in this picture.

Then we hung the fish on the racks inside the smokehouse -- Tuluk laughingly said, "What are you doing taking a picture of me doing this women's work?":). Well, since he showed me how this year, I can do it myself next year... :)
Then we lit the fire...And waited for it to catch...and then it got too smoky to take any more pictures until the fish were done! Over the fire was a piece of tin that kept the fire from growing too large, so that the main output was smoke. It took 3 days of constantly (or almost, anyway) checking the fire, keeping it smoking, adding wood (except at night we left it alone) and by the third morning the fish were done and ready to be put away. Tuluk and I are a great team processing our stuff -- he got a vaccum sealer, so I cut up the stuff, put it in the bags he's getting ready, and he seals it up. Here are some pictures of me processing the fish in our kitchen:

Surrounded by all our food ready to put up for the winter in the freezer! It feels great to accomplish all this, especially since Esther and I are leaving Hooper Bay on Thursday for 3 months, to stay in Indiana with my mom and wait for our new baby. It's been an awesome June, and hope you enjoyed watching our process also.

1 comment:

Laurie said...

Hi Cate!

I loved seeing your pictures and reading your blog. It makes me home sick for Alaska.

I just found out yesterday that one of the young men from our church is in Hooper Bay this summer. His name is Jose, but I'm not sure of his last name. If you run into any strangers, ask if they know Barney and Laurie Edwards from Orange City, Iowa!!

Congratulations on the new baby. Keep us posted on your life!


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