Sunday, September 25, 2016

Crab Apple Jelly

Step one - pick the crab apples. We've got 3 trees, each of which produced prodigiously this year. Then, there is the cooking. this is more complicated than picking. Some recipes tell you to add the sugar and flavours at the cooking stage. In my experience this means you get a bag full of jelly, not juice. I cook down the fruit with just a little water, then put it into a mesh bag (or old tea towel) to drip into a glass bowl overnight. I like to see the colour of the liquor, that's why I use glass. Don't add too much water, it just makes weak liquor. You don't get much juice out of fruit, but what you get is really lovely.

Wool Ahoy! Colours

I have had some great times colouring the white wools that I bought this year at Olds Fibre Week. I've tried many different combinations and two differed dye companies. Each company has slightly different formulas for their colours, so it pays to experiment.

More Fish Fun

Last weekend we were able to get some more salmon - this time Taku River coho and sockeye. There were so many they would never fit in the freezer whole, so we filleted some and smoked some. We were very happy that a local elder dropped by - her timing couldn't have been more perfect. She was very kind and taught each of us her method for filleting salmon. Chris was a much better pupil than I!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Alaska Fishing Trip Haines to Icy Strait and Back Again

We had the most amazing time this past Labour Day weekend on a ocean fishing trip that took us from Haines Alaska through the Lynn Canal to Icy Strait and back again. We had fabulous weather and saw amazing sights.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Fish Ladder Walk

We love doing our local walks with look outs over Schwatka Lake and the surrounding mountains. I call this the fish ladder hill because there is a fish ladder to bypass the hydro dam to allow King Salmon which have travelled all the way from the Bering Sea to finish their epic migration to spawn in some of the inlets above Schwatka Lake. Today there were 54 salmon through the ladder.

Grey mountain and hidden lakes

Schwatka Lake and our ski hill and Ibex Mtn (I think)

The float plan base and the dam in the far right of the photo

Yukon Cranberry Primer

Here in the Yukon there are two types of cranberries, regular (low bush) and high bush. For the first time this year I've found low bush cranberries. In the past all I could find were bear berries. Bear berries are not edibly delicious unlike cranberries.

Here's what I was looking for;
 And these:
 On the other hand, these are bear berries, they look a lot alike, but bear berries don't taste very nice and they'll give you the runs if you eat 'em.
 Bear berries in a big patch:

Now these here on the left are high bush cranberries. They are an amazing jewel of a berry with a large pit. They are very juicy and tart. They also have a distinctive scent, sort of musky.

The berries below are soap berries. They are sort of edible, and you might mistake them for high bush cranberries if you saw them on a plate, not their bush. The leaves are totally different for one thing. Soap berries are high in saponin and are used by First Nations folks to make Indian Ice Cream, a pink foamy concoction.

Saskatoons Ahoy!

It has been an amazing year for berries. I think it's been the weather and the fact that our neighbour has honey bees.