I know it's been a while since I last posted. It's summertime in Alaska - everyone (me included) is outside enjoying all that this great state has to offer.

Dipnets ready for action!
Over the past several weeks, Alaskans have been stocking their freezers with salmon for the winter. A couple of weeks ago, my man and I sent the toddler to a babysitter and enjoyed a day dipnetting for Sockeye on the Kenai River. Some couples do dinner and a movie, we go fishing.

This year, we took our small jet boat up to the river and dipnet from there. That was a better idea than netting from the banks. We let the boat drift about 50 feet from shore and secured our nets to the gunnels with a bit of light rope. Almost immediately salmon started to hit and we made our quota in no time.

During the personal use fishery openings, the Kenai river is a zoo. It wouldn't be very hard to walk from one side to the other on top of all the boats on the water. Other than the inevitable drama at the boat launch, the river was filled with happy and excited fishermen and their families having a great time together. 

A quiet moment at the Kanai City Pier.
I think the City of Kenai could sell tickets for people to sit and watch the mayhem at the boat launch. I've always been entertained by the acts of launching and retrieving a boat. It certainly brings out the best and the worst in people, out in the open, for all to witness. If I had to give advice to any of my single friends, I'd counsel them to launch and retrieve a boat with a potential suitor before deciding on a future as a couple. I think one could learn a lot about a person by how he (or she) handles themselves at the launch.

A highlight for me was watching a couple try to load their boat into the back of their covered pickup truck.  I'm not sure what they were thinking - or really how they got the boat in the water in the first place since it clearly was not going to fit in the truck. It took 45 minutes, flared tempers all around and a loud reaming from the State Trooper posted to the boat launch before they wedged the bow of the boat into the truck bed and marched up the boat ramp, cursing as they held up the stern. Clearly, they fail my couples' boat launch litmus. 

After we caught our fish, we brought it down to the local processor and had them vacuum seal and flash freeze it. We've now got half a freezer full of fish. The other half of my freezer is waiting for this year's moose - but that's another story.

Goat Share
In other news, my Alaskatarian cheese making is a great success! I produced and ate my first batch of feta cheese. Not too shabby if I do say so myself.  My brother arrives in two weeks and I'm sure we'll get into all sorts of cheese making trouble.

My new Pet
A few days ago, I made a sour dough starter. A starter is really just like a pet, you have to feed and water it regularly and make sure you take it out for exercise once in a while. I've got a giant (too giant) loaf of sourdough in the oven right now. I really should have made that two loaves but I misjudged the rising abilities of this particular starter. Ah well, we'll just enjoy some REALLY big sandwiches over the next few days.

I found a company in Palmer, AK, who brings in organic flour from Oregon and Montana. I ordered 50lbs of spelt, some Kamut, Amaranth, Quinoa and hard white and wheat flours for my wintertime baking. The only thing is that you have to grind the flour yourself but an inexpensive attachment to a Kitchenaid will do the work in no time. My last batch of Kamut bread was particularly good. 

Alaskatarian Update
I have to say, I'm pretty happy with this Alaskatarian diet of ours. Eating vegetables, salmon, cod, clams, halibut and (when we have it) moose and caribou had made me feel healthier than I have in a long time. The weight loss is a particularly nice bonus, too. Now that we're starting back into wintertime bread making, I don't expect this weight loss to continue but it's nice while it lasts.

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