When I open my freezer or visit my pantry this time of year, I’m acutely aware that the subsistence bounty we harvested here in Bristol Bay is tangible proof of a life well led.
Moose roasts wrapped in butcher paper, spruce grouse breasts sliced thin, ready for breakfast, greens blanched, halibut portioned out carefully, and berries in individual pie-sized portions all line the freezer shelves. Pickles, jam, and jellies all preserved in jars fill the pantry. Bins of potatoes still dirty from the garden lay cool on the tile floor. The season for being consciously thankful is here, my freezer is proof.
Of course, there is also an abundance of salmon, the main staple in our diet. There are fillets, steaks, heads, and roe all cleaned and frozen neatly in vacuum sealed bags filling the chest freezer. Buckets of salt fish cure in our cellar, smoked fish and strips are kept chilled or frozen, and then there are the cases and cases of jarred salmon all professing our hard work and our fortune. Truly, these are things to be ever thankful for. Continue reading