Monday, August 11, 2008

Home Grown Grub

Well, maybe not grown, exactly, but caught here in Alaska. Our freezer is now full, courtesy of our own efforts and those of our life-saving friends who offered us a ton of salmon and halibut. So, in addition to the previously mentioned clams, we now have scallops, halibut, salmon, rhubarb, rhubarb juice, and cranberries. The only thing missing is the big game.

Yes, the hunting permits have been issued to Alaskans, published in our paper for all to see. We do not pursue anything that does not swim or otherwise live near the water; I am content in this weakness. But we will, I can safely say, dine enthusiastically on whatever large animal our friends get and share with us. Thanks to the carcass drop-off.

Most sausage and seafood outfits in town also have game-processing facilities to aid Alaskans in their efforts to use all of their wild game. One of our favorite haunts is Indian Valley Meats, down the Seward highway some 25 miles. We like it because in addition to fabulous local sausage, they also have great salmon (smoked and pickled). They also have the best sign telling people where to drop off their respective carcasses.

Mind that you do not drop off the wrong carcass at the wrong door, however. Bone in, bone out, half, whole, these folks got it down to a science and will process, bag, and freeze the whole darn thing in a few days. Nice when one has 100 pounds of moose meat to jockey into the freezer (of course, every self-respecting Alaskan has a second freezer).

The tourists don't much care for the sight of dead things on the loading dock; maybe that's why hunting season begins after labor day. The ones yesterday had a hard time watching two guys unload their smelly, bloody fish from no less than five coolers. We'll see who's really crying when they get home and pay $20 a pound for halibut!

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