Set the Net

Recipes and snapshots of life in Bristol Bay, AK

Fourth of July weekend at it’s finest, canning, stripping, smoking and putting up fish for winter is how my days were spent. It was a fifty fish weekend with fillet after fillet, cut and vacuum sealed to freeze, case after case of fresh salmon jarred, and a smokehouse working on being filled with strips to smoke.

Now don’t fret Bea and I got a kayak in, some BBQ-ing and playing in the sun while Ethan was off at Camp Tanalian, but there is an innate satisfaction that comes with having a freezer literally filled to the brim with fish your family caught and you processed. Having shelfs lined with jars of fish and knowing you need to run out and make sure your smokehouse fire is still lit. The feeling of being bone tired but so exhilarated all at the same time, it’s summer when work and fun seem to have no clear line drawn between.

If you have been feeling the itch to can up some fish yourself, I wholeheartedly encourage it but be sure to safeguard your catch by using the proper methods, I tend to put my stock in our local Cooperative Extension for all my canning Q & A’s.

As you can see in the photos I like to spice up my jars, especially the half pints. We called them our snack packs, shown are jars filled with salmon, jalapeños, a 1/4 tsp Old Bay Seasoning and a half clove of garlic. Really anything flies. I like to do a bit of salt, cumin, garlic, cayenne pepper, and paprika for fish tacos straight out of the jar.

What do you love to can?

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