We will be living, breathing, dreaming, scheming, dreaming of SALMON until the end of the month. One thing that has been hard since Dad needs much care is that we haven't gotten away to go fishing or camping or hiking....TOGETHER. We could go separately, but we haven't. FISH CAMP is about filling our freezer, but it's MOSTLY about getting away as a family...the older kids come - some for the whole 5 days, some for the weekend...we work together and then we relax together...and it's sweet.
This year, I asked Will, my brother, if we could bring him up for a week. He agreed. Dad and Will get to spend time together and I get to go to FISH CAMP 2021! Dad came the first year and seemed to enjoy himself. He came the second year and again enjoyed it. The third year he told us he didn't want to go and we made arrangements for him to stay home. We now know those arrangements weren't the safest. This year we knew he can't come because we haven't figured out how to get him in and out of the RV....and because we can't leave him alone at the RV all day and he won't want to be on the beach all day....Will is a God-send.
BUT before we can go dipnetting....we have to empty the fish freezer, prepare the RV, plan and shop for meals, and get things ready for Dad and Will here in town. I have two mornings clear...today and tomorrow.
"Empty the fish freezer." I've learned from my Alaskan friends one clears out last years fish before going to get this year's fish. The trick is making sure to leave enough fillets so if it's a bad year you still have enough fillets for the year. We like the canned salmon and jerky....I will save a milk crate full of fillets and jerky, smoke, and can the rest. I think that will be enough. We lost two nets this year: Krista (who will fish for her own house) and Alex (who opted to stay home and work). LOL Maybe I should save a bit more.
I started skinning salmon before anyone else was up .... I'm getting my own style. It ain't pretty and doesn't look like my Alaskan friends showed me...but it works...and I was nearly as quick as Michael. I started early in the a.m. and got enough ready I could start it marinating for Salmon Jerky. The girls made the marinade while I skinned, chopped, repeated....the trick is to keep from eating it as fast as it comes off the trays. Note this marinade is not as sweet as many...but it does have a T of molasses.
|One tray down - six more to go|
Once the strips were marinating, I began cutting salmon and filling jars...my wrist and fingers hurt. Michael had mercy on me and came to my rescue. I had to leave right as the canner began. The girls did a great job watching the process so Michael could work on the truck and RV. I got 16 pints made, and 7 more in the fridge ready for tomorrow.