Friday, August 28, 2009

Pink Salmon Year

Around here on odd years, Washington experiences a heavy return of pink salmon (also known as humpies). Currently, these salmon are making their way back to their spawning streams. Apparently, this is a record year for humpies. The other morning, we watched 11 seiners fishing out in front of our beach-we've never seen this before, definitely a first!
My uncle went fishing, caught his limit that morning, and was so kind to share some fillets with us. Many people turn their nose up to pink salmon. We actually like it. In my opinion, it is best to eat the day you catch it, since this particular salmon does not freeze well. My favorite thing though, is to smoke it, and that's what I did with these. Once the fish is filleted, I remove the rest of the bones, and cut into 2-3" wide pieces. I lay the pieces in a 9 X 13" glass baking dish and sprinkle a mixture of 1/3 Cup salt and 2/3 Cup brown sugar over all the pieces. This mixture turns into a brine that I leave on the fish overnight.
In the morning, I rinse the fish very well, and pat dry. The pieces of fish are now ready to put on the smoker's rack.
The rack then gets inserted into the smoker and the fish smokes with mesquite chips for a few hours.
We like our smoked salmon a little soft, so I only smoked this fish approximately 3 hours. Thicker fish would take longer.
This batch turned out really well. I used a few pieces for smoked salmon orzo pasta - it was so tasty!
My hubby and I are looking forward to fishing with my brother Labor Day weekend. I have my white flasher and hot pink hoochie combination set-up and ready to go! Oooh... now, that does sound strange...really, that's what you use to catch humpies... hehehe

Thursday, August 27, 2009

End of Summer Doings...

It's so hard to believe that summer vacation is coming to an end. Last week, we spent time on the island, enjoying some beach time before school starts next week.
Here's a little bit of what we did: built forts out of driftwood, played lots of Scrabble, picked wild blackberries made pies & froze lots of berries, ate peaches & ice cream for breakfast, swam, fed seagulls, took a day trip to Deception Pass, rode bikes, played pickleball, went crabbing, dug & froze clams for winter, celebrated my birthday, searched for beach glass, hit local garage sales, enjoyed the view, and played with lots of our friends and cousins on the beach.
Just plain ol' good times!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Summer Estate Sale Finds

Here is a sampling of what I've picked up while out and about this summer. Some of my favorites: The pink prom dress from the 50's - so exquisite! A darling petit point purse that is great addition to my collection. Although I don't really collect dolls, I did find the vintage Madame Alexander bride doll too charming to pass up. The old chairs pictured on the top right are for our kitchen which I'm in the process of redoing. I was beyond thrilled to find them in my color palette and in their perfectly faded and chippy grandeur. Well, you know me, I can't pass up an old bride and groom cake topper either. Isn't this one sweet with the bride resting her head on the grooms shoulder? Hmmm what else... oh yeah, Victorian calling cards, bone china posies, vintage cupcake picks, and old tins - love 'em all!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Airing Laundry

My hubby is the bestest guy ever! Saturday, he completed another "to do" off my list, and let me tell ya, I couldn't be happier!
I've been wanting a clothesline my whole married life and we're talking 19 years, people. Well, OK, maybe not for all 19 years... but a long time nonetheless.
Just so you know, I'm not a fan of doing laundry, actually, I think it is my least favorite chore of all. But, since I got me a new clothesline, I'm loving the chore! I can't get enough. I've been pretty much washing anything I can get my hands on, just so I can hang it out to dry.
Hubby thinks I'm weird because everytime I look over at the clothesline I smile and get all giddy. Really though, it is so lovely! We'll see how long the honeymoon phase lasts. Until then, I'm off to do another load!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Family Favorite

Aahhh, root beer floats!
Definitely my families favorite treat on a beautiful summer evening.
I've been collecting vintage A&W root beer mugs for many years solely because they make floats taste better. Well, at least we think so...
When I was little, it was a special treat to go to our local A&W drive-in for root beer floats. When the waitress would pull a mug from the freezer, I knew I was in for something yummy. Now, when I make an ice cream float, that's exactly what I do - pull a mug from the freezer. A frosty mug is key for the ultimate ice cream float experience.
With a frosty mug you get perfectly slushy root beer mixed with creamy ice cream - mmmm nothing is more refreshing!
Drop-ins always welcome!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

House Numbers

I've noticed lots of people adding house numbers to their front door lately. On a whim this afternoon, I decided to do the same. I didn't feel like taking the time to get all fancy and paint, and I don't have access to a machine that can cut fancy letters out of vinyl etc... etc... so I drew my own design on paper, transferred it to the door, and went over the writing with a black sharpie pen. In less then 10 minutes our front door was transformed.
Ahhh, I just love numbers.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Breaking Ground

Last Friday, we broke ground for a project that we've intended to complete for um, lets see, more than 4 years...
After buying all new hardware, welding on an extension, sanding off old paint, repainting, and adding a shiny 6" finial, we were ready to dig a hole for our salvaged flag pole.
In the process, curious minds were busy trying to figure out if they could really see China through that deep deep hole...

Once the hole was dug, the pole placed, and 520 pounds of concrete poured into the form, we finally had a standing flag pole.
Before the concrete was completely set, the girls made their mark.
The project was finally completed on Sunday, and we got to fly our colors!
Our flag pole was actually built a long time ago by workers at my daddy's company. It stood in front of my great Uncle Art's beach house (which was next to ours) for many many years. A few years ago, his son took down that house to build a new one, and didn't want the flag pole. My father-in-law happened to be their builder, so we asked if he'd save the flag pole for us.
We're really glad to have preserved it for our yard!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Old Motto's

As you enter our home through the front door, you may notice a display of old motto's on the wall. Over the years, I've picked one up here and there. They're not something I always look for, but if one "speaks" to me, I'll usually get it. A little over a week ago, I went to a barn sale on Whidbey, hosted by friends of ours. I purchased a few cute things, one of which is the motto pictured below on the left. I put together this picture mosaic hoping you'll be able to read each of the 5 in my collection.