Set the Net

Recipes and snapshots of life in Bristol Bay, AK

When the weather hits a consistent average of above 50ºF during the day and the snow is mostly or completely melted away, the birch sap begins to flow back up from the roots to the above branches preparing to bud. That sap, when tapped into, can be drank straight from the tree as a cool …

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It is no secret around Set the Net that salmon plays an integral role in our livelihood. We eat Bristol Bay wild Alaskan salmon 8-12 times a week from dinners, to snack-times, breakfasts, and in lunch boxes. Salmon was both of our daughter’s first food. But it’s not just the eating of the salmon that …

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I distinctly remember walking with my mom up and down our garden rows throughout my childhood. I used to dream I was Laura Ingalls swishing my long skirts, scavenged from yard sales, imagining life on the prairie. We always had rows of broccoli, snap peas, lettuce and squash of all colors, and when the zucchini …

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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 …

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Ikura. This cured salmon roe while a tedious and somewhat lengthy process, is worth every glorious bead of glistening sunshine it produces. Like so many things that are unassumingly extravagant, Ikura preparing seems daunting but really is quite uncomplicated. The other evening, I filleted two hens just brimming with roe and I knew it was …

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As I write this, I know I should be sleeping, it is midnight but I am too exhilarated… brought in by some virtuous wind Chinook hit the beaches here throughout Nushagak Bay yesterday, lighting up nets and beginning to meet people’s subsistence needs here in Bristol Bay. Everyone is beginning the filling of smokehouses, diligently picking …

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Ostrich ferns cover the woods in thick undergrowth here in Bristol Bay by mid-June but as they peek out of the ground in spring wound in tight curls called fiddleheads, they are perfect for harvesting. With a taste comparable to fresh asparagus these beautiful fern heads are lovely sautéed in butter and garlic, tossed in …

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