Fall Foliage and Silver Salmon

September 26, 2012

Spectacular!  No other word for it; the beautiful expanse of these fall sunrises.  I’ve been scaling the penthouse stairs almost daily while the early morning light paints the sky in reds, oranges, yellows and pinks. 

You can still see many people out in their yards, raking leaves, pulling dead flowers up, rolling up hoses, or passing over the lawn for the last time this year.  Topics of daily conversation include the threat of a deep frost, only to discover some of the heartier varieties have survived.  Hunters drive through town with their hard-earned rack  prominently displayed in the back of their pick-up truck.  

We spent a good week “harvesting” and preserving the fish my husband, Paul scooped out of the Chitina River in the middle of the month.  His good friend, John, routinely comes up from Anchorage to visit and make the trip down the road to dipnet with him in the muddy Chitina waters.  They spent only a day this time, catching 8 silvers as soon as they got down, with another 22 the next day.  John is very good about gutting and filleting them, so all we had to do was soak them in brine.  The actual smoking process seems to be the hardest part; something about cleaning off the oven racks to place in the recycled oven proofer turned “smoker.”  A day of tending the hot plate and replenishing the alderwood chips, and voile, we now have plenty of bags of smoked salmon for all kinds of recipes, as well as the traditional breakfast  of bagels, cream cheese and smoked salmon.