So I may not have told you the entire truth .....
Yes, there's been a little more going on than hundreds of electrical outlets being installed.
The Ram's also been busy impressing a pretty girl.
DIY for us doesn't just mean do-it-yourself furniture or even DIY homes for our mothers. To us, DIY is a way of life. It's just part of living up here in Alaska where amenities are scarce and sometime there is no one else to do things but yourself.
And DIY includes most of the food we eat.
As a child, my brother would catch fish in this very river, the Copper River
And it was my sister's and my job to carry each fish up this cliff, one at a time. I can still remember grabbing on to bushes, hoping it wouldn't give, trying not to kick rocks on my sister below, wishing the fish wasn't so slimy and heavy.
We've sparred our own children the danger of doing this and now fish from boats, with the little one's either staying home or in camp.
But sometimes when I cook salmon for dinner, and my daughter doesn't appreciate it, I worry that our children have lost the connection between harvesting our own food and being thankful for it.
So this year, when we went on our annual salmon fishing trip, we left a day early, so my daughter could see first hand where and how dinner is caught.
So here she is, dressed in pink and ready to fish.
She's only six, so we choose a much safer spot to hike down to the river.
For me, it was more of a slide than a hike ... but you know ... someone's gotta make everyone else look good.
And the Ram started sweeping with his dipnet.
With only knee high water boots in the freezing cold glacier fed Copper River, the Ram couldn't get his net out far enough to catch a fish.
But who needs to feel their toes when there's a pretty girl to impress?
And was she every impressed!
Each fish is at least two full meals for our family.
And it's not just any food for us. These wild caught Copper River Salmon are full of vitamins and minerals and healthy fats. We may not see the sun for months, but these fish can provide us with all the Vitamin D we need throughout the winter. It's amazing how no matter where you live, everything you need is right there.
As any guy will tell you, impressing a girl comes at a price.
Worth it though!
Back home, the real work begins. We were blessed to take home are limit in fish, but it will take days to process the fish.
Every fish is carefully cleaned. About a third are immediately put in the freezer without further processing.
Another third of the fish we brine in a brown sugar mixture for a day
And then smoked. The smoked fish is packed in my daughter's lunch for school.
We had intended to build a smokehouse, but we found this smokehouse in a landfill, and after Grandpa Tim and the Ram fixed it up, it works to good to not use.
Canning is the most work, but it's my favorite way to process salmon. I love how we can with the bones and skin on, making sure we use up as much of the fish as possible, and getting the most nutrients. Canning also lasts the longest, and requires no refrigeration or freezing.
Thank you for letting us share a little more of our DIY lifestyle with you. Just like making your own furniture can be so much more gratifying than buying, a DIY dinner is just that much sweeter.
Do you eat salmon? What's your favorite way to prepare?