Wednesday, July 6, 2011

First Catch! (or, The Icky-Morbid-Dead-Fish Post)

(If mild blood or guts makes you uneasy, you may want to skip this post. I am leading with that because I have many animal lovers in the family and I don't want to surprise anybody with a dead fish photo. It really won't be that bad though...)

Sully and Jeff caught their first Alaskan fish!

They are Red or Sockeye Salmon and are notorious for being tough to catch. As the story goes, these two wouldn't have been caught if a sea otter hadn't scared them right into the path of my boys' poles.

They are huge! And beautiful! Never thought of salmon as being beautiful, but they are.

It was amazing seeing them up close. The shimmer of the tiny scales and the gradation of color was amazing. The fins that can power up a stream and make a boy fight for 15 minutes with all his might, were so thin and delicate. Made all of us wonder, "How did they do that?"

Fishing and hunting here are so common and a way of life for many families on the island. For us, the idea of actually catching our own food is new. Especially for the younger ones. Fishing was more of a sport where we used to live and I have to say, that moving here has made me think even more about where our food comes from.

Catching our first fish led to questions and kid-brain statements like, "Mom? If we just go fishing, we don't need to buy fish that someone else caught anymore right?" And, "Now we can make sure our fish is cleaned good and cooked good."

And from my animal-loving, super-sensitive, fledgling-fisherman, "If I catch the fish myself, I can always know (emphatic arm movements) it was caught right and wasn't killed on purpose for no good reason."

All I learned from "Food Inc" and stuff, was in my 9 year old's heart all along.

Naturally, there was a lot of looking and wondering. Also, lots of learning in regards to prepping and filleting. Not everybody liked what they saw.

Or smelled.
But we understood and deeply appreciated.

We baked the fillets with honey, dijon mustard, pecans and seasoned bread crumbs. Then shared them with friends. Tasted very good and fresh and real.

Dear Fish,
Thank you.

all of us out here.

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