In the midst of salmon-season chaos, and on the theory that every dog needs a kid (in this case, two)…meet Halo, the newest addition to our family. In spite of adopting her at 3-years old, she’s already bonded with the kids on a deep level, refusing to sleep anywhere other than Weston’s room, and following the kids everywhere, even if just to another room or to take out the trash. She’s cheerful, easy going, enthusiastic, and the very definition of sweet. To take the anthropomorphism even a step further, I swear she’s optimistic about everything. Halo brings happiness and love, and we’re happy to accept and return it. It’s great to have her in the family.
With this year’s short king salmon season in full swing, it’s been an all-hands-on-deck exercise in fishing, processing, brining and smoking salmon, vac sealing, curing ikura salmon caviar, fishing, smoking more salmon, fishing, etc, etc. Three smoker batches and two salmon-caviar-making sessions in, we are full steam ahead. We’ve been eating salmon every day for more than a week now, and nobody’s complaining. Oh, yeah, there’s also work, chores and summer sports camps in the mix as well. Did I mention fishing?
This is summer, when the longest days of the year fly by the fastest, and we try to make the most of every minute of daylight. And based on how much the kids love smoked salmon for school lunches, and how we ran out of it by February last year, it’s time to produce, process, package and preserve. And on that note, it’s time to go eat some of the smoked belly strips pictured above. I love summer.
We almost bailed this year. Coming off of a big family visit, Skyla fighting a serious sinus infection, and with work piling up, all that goes into out annual king-salmon fishing and camping trip with the Sweeneys seemed too daunting. It would be so much easier to simply stay home and fish our local waters. But at the last minute, mostly at the urging of Sweeney’s younger daughter Laine, we decided tradition wins out and went for it. A twenty-hour whirlwind of shopping, packing and fishing-gear organizing ensued.
We hauled it all to our campground and found the boat ramp closed, which added yet another complication. But as we unpacked our gear and set up camp, I realized we were having fun. It felt great just being there. When the Sweeneys arrived, the uplift was complete.
5:00am came fast, but the kids woke up easily (wish I could say the same for their dad) and cheerfully, and we were on the water in time for the good tide. For the next two days, we fished hard, cooked and ate outside, played frisbee, read books and napped in the afternoon. We had a wonderful time. And now, looking back at our camping trip, I’m so happy we didn’t bail. It was more than worth it.
My brother, Adrian, brought his family out to visit from NYC, so a little crab feed seemed in order. We put the boat in the water at the crack of noon, sank some pots, and settled down to enjoy a little picnic on the water. That’s my brother, his daughter Nora, Skyla and sister-in-law Sarah, waiting for the pots to fill.
Here’s the whole crab crew, minus our mom, who stayed onshore to watch baby May, with our first keeper of the day.
More soon followed. With a bucket stacked full of fat Dungies, we decided to call it a day.
Skyla drove us home…
…while Weston–maintaining his reputation as the World’s Greatest Sleeper–and Cousin Nora sacked out in the bow. Great weather, plenty of crabs, big fun, and the anticipation of an epic dinner. Mission accomplished.
With summer berry season in full swing, we found ourselves with big piles of strawberries and raspberries. So many, in fact, that they were going soft faster than we could eat them. (Based on the rate at which Skyla and Weston can consume berries, this means we had A LOT!) Simple solution: the best popsicles ever. And a fun project for kids, too. We just mashed up the berries–leaving some pretty much whole–with a little sugar, let them juice out in the fridge for awhile, then filled popsicle molds. A couple hours in the freezer and we were off to the races. Unlike liquid-juice-based pops, these have great texture, with bits of fruit to chew on as they thaw, and the flavor is pure, fresh, ripe berries. Awesome, fun and delicious. My kind of project.