How Kodiak Recycles

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Kodiak Island Recyclables are carried out by Threshold Services which was formed to provide jobs, training, and social interaction for Kodiak disabled workers. View the video below for a behind the scenes look at Island recycling.

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Wild Salmon Caviar

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Recipe: Ron Doubt’s Wild Salmon Caviar

Ingredients for Wild Salmon Caviar

Summary: Exquisite caviar in less than 2 hours

Ingredients

  • 3% Saline Rinse for Caviar
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • Marinade for Wild Salmon Caviar
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 2/3 cup sake
  • 2/3 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

Instructions

  1. Rinse egg skeins in 3% saline solution. Rub skeins over a racket ball racket into a bowl containing clean 3% saline solution. Drain eggs.
  2. Mix and stir together marinade ingredients in a bowl large enough to hold the marinade and eggs. Let eggs sit in the marinade 1 hour. Drain.
  3. Dry in strainers in front of a fan for 20 minutes. As they dry, you are looking for a tacky or sticky quality so that a few eggs stick to your finger as you touch the caviar.
  4. Refrigerate for 3 days or freeze for 1 month.
  5. Serve with cream cheese, crackers, and ice cold vodka.

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Springtime Treats

Kodiak is still clinging to winter with just a few dandelions open on isolated warm slopes. The fiddleheads are at least 2 weeks away from poking up but I list this recipe here for the rest of you who are well into spring.

Pick fiddlehead ferns while they are tightly rolled up just out of the ground. This is the edible part because when the fern unfolds, it becomes inedible. Take time to remove brown chaff off each fiddlehead. Parboiling helps the removal of fuzz but it is still fiddle some but the results are much like the best asparagus.

Picking dandelion flowers for this recipe is a great ‘kid’ job because no stem is required.

Recipe: Deep Fried Fiddleheads and Dandelion Flowers

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fiddleheads, rinsed, parboiled for 1 minute and cleaned of brown chaff. Dry well with paper towel.
  • 2 cups dandelion flowers, rinsed and without stems. Dry well with paper towel.
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups canola oil

Instructions

  1. For the batter, mix egg, salt, and water together, add flour and mix until most of the lumps are gone.
  2. Heat oil to 350. Dip prepared fiddle heads one at a time into the batter and drop into the hot oil. Fry several at a time but do not crowd the pan. Fry until golden and crisp. Drain on paper towel. Keep warm while frying the rest of the batch. Repeat process with dandelions. Arrange fiddleheads in a pile surrounded by the fried dandelions.

Preparation time: 30 minute(s)

Cooking time: 15 minute(s)

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Canned Wild Salmon with Lentils or in Patties

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Canned Salmon with Lentil Salad

In Alaska’s winter and spring, far from the fresh salmon runs of summer, I rely upon canned wild salmon for our meals. Bob Sullivan, a friend from Chicago, recommended adding ALASKAN WILD SALMON to the Best Lentil Salad ever from MY NEW ROOTS by Denmark’s Sarah Britton, http://mynewroots.org.  We process our own canned wild salmon during summer fish camp but I went grocery shopping to buy canned salmon from our local Safeway store so most everyone  who read this had access. I found 5 ounce cans of Alaskan pink salmon (this recipe would require 2 cans of this size) and red salmon in a 7.5 ounce size. These both come in larger size cans too. Sometimes, I have seen wild salmon in pouches. Any of these would work if you would like to add them direct to the len salad.

The salad would also be wonderful as aside dish for WILD SALMON PATTIES made with canned salmon. See recipe at the end of this article.

The list of ingredients for the lentil salad seems long but most are spices and herbs in your spice shelf. I like using small bits of time to do parts of a recipe so I made up the vinaigrette one day and cooked the lentils and combined the rest of the ingredients the next day.

Wonderful spring dish with small  French lentils cooked al dente, combined with onion, capers, currants, and flavorful spices. Add in chunks of canned wild Alaskan salmon and you have a meal. One that can be made a day or two ahead and wait patiently in the refrigerator for you or your guests.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups (1 lb.) Du Puy or French lentils
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 1 cup dried currants
  • 1/3 cup capers
  • Vinaigrette
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Optional add -in
  • CANNED WILD ALASKAN SALMON

Instructions

  1. Rinse lentils well, drain. Pour into a pot and cover with 3 or 4 inches of water and bring to a simmer. Check lentils after 15 minutes. They take 20 minutes total. Lentils are done when they still retain a slight tooth. It is easy to over cook so I tasted a small portion every few minutes after 15 minutes of cooking.
  2. While lentils are simmering, make the dressing by placing all ingredients in a jar, screw on the cover and shake vigorously to combine.
  3. Finely dice red onion, this salad is best if all the ingredients are about the same size.
  4. When lentils are cooked, remove from heat, drain and place under cold water to stop the cooking process. Once cooled, drain and place into a bowl. Add dressing, onion, capers, and currants. Chill. If using WILD SALMON or other add ins, wait until just before serving.
  5. This salad can stand in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. In fact it is better the second day as all the flavors marry.

Calories per serving without salmon – 188

Patties made from Canned Wild Salmon

Summary: Easy and excellent, moist salmon patties.

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces canned wild salmon, drained
  • 1/2 cup Panko or homemade bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • Juice of 1/2 to 1 fresh lemon (1 1/2 – 3 tablespoons lemon juice)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1 egg

Instructions

  1. Mix ingredients together
  2. Form into 4 patties
  3. Heat non stick skillet to medium high
  4. Fry patties in a bit of olive oil for 3-4 minutes a side.
  5. Serve with lentil salad on the side.

Calories: 300

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Remodel Wild Salmon Kitchen (town side)

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I only thought to take photos when the kitchens was going back together. Here Matt is building a new overhead unit to hold a exhaust fan and 3 new lights.

Remodel??….NO WAY! I didn’t intend to ever to go through the mess and upheaval even through I sometimes dreamed of a gas stove top and a more spirited, modern kitchen. But these dreams demanded a concrete plan when structural issues from long ago caused us to go through just such a remodel.

We had hired our son-in-law, Matt Corriere of Coastal Contracting, to the external work on the house while we were out at fish camp. When he notified us that a whole wall of the kitchen wall needed to be torn out, I flew into town (90 air miles) to make some choices. When much had to be destroyed, why couldn’t a new Wild Salmon Kitchen be created? I was off the dreams and into plans for a renewed kitchen.

Pastel chalks are brighter and more intense than school room chalk. Mug up is the old cannery slang for mid morning coffee break.

I felt strong nostalgia for old canneries, wild salmon fisheries, and Alaskans now lost to age and time … I drew upon those themes…. including fish accents, rusty texture, rough hard stone, and copper, my favorite metal. I was delighted that I could now order a gas stove top…. I chose a basic 4 burner GE gas stove top plus a new GE oven and microwave. For the rest of the kitchen, the theme developed with strong dark and light contrast in paint, tile and flooring. The plan seemed waiting and ready in my head because I decided everything before returning to fish camp the next day.

3 inch facing tile inspired me to require 3 inch lip on the solid surface sink counter and butcher block center island.

In the past, I casually explored the possibility of soapstone counter tops but the cost of shipping was high so I now, pressed for time, I chose tile counters and back splash in Midnight Mist Serengetti tile which reminded me of the dark slate rock that makes up much of my island. Like Kodiak rock, this tile was tough and could withstand heat. Matt explained that new grout formulas were stain and germ resistant which made tile counter top even more appealing.

I kept the 20 year old cabinets but chose new heavy rectangular drawer pulls and square knobs (myknobs.com) to echoed the lines of this tile.

Illustrates position of copper sink and waist high dishwasher.

Years ago for another house, my husband hammered out a copper sink from sheet copper.  It remained beautiful through the years. For the new counter top around the sink, I chose black solid surface fashioned to an exact fit by Kodiak craftsman, Greg Spalinger. A new oiled bronze faucet replaced the old chrome. After we returned from fishing I sprayed the old chrome water filter spout with Rustoleum spray paint in oiled bronze after  carefully cleaning it with alcohol and masking the areas not to be sprayed.

Three inch thick cutting board on the small center island.

The new appliances were stark black which made the older (but not old enough) white refrigerator and dishwasher look out of place so I searched for new coverings. When we built this house, I had placed the dishwasher waist high for easy loading and unloading. In order to blend this appliance into the rest of the kitchen, I ordered two feet of high quality vinyl chalkboard (hhsignsupply.com) which was the right 24 inch width for the dishwasher. I hid the white edges and areas of the control panel by spraying with oiled bronze Rustoleum.

Our son, Erin, installs the photo vinyl on the fan chimney.

Seeing several buses and vans with full color photo signage made for exterior application, I thought it would be perfect for a kitchen. I searched and purchased 2 high resolution photos from Alf Pryor of textured walls at the old Moser Bay Cannery on the south end of Kodiak. My son, Erin, a professional sign maker, carried these digital photos to a auto sign shop where they were printed upon Orajet Digital Printing Media with Air Release.

While waiting for Erin to visit at Christmas time, I cleaned the top, sides and handles of the refrigerator with alcohol and sprayed with oiled bronze Rustoleum. This paint seemed tough enough for the refrigerator handle which was used several times a day. During Christmas vacation, Erin made the installation look easier than unrolling Contact paper. Any bubbles simply disappeared due to the construction of this innovative vinyl.

I sprayed Rustoleum on the center brass light to match the metals used elsewhere. Matt installed 6 inch crown molding all along the top of the old cabinets including the new area surrounding the stove top hood.

New gas stove top, black microwave and stove, new black cabinet replacing trash compactor, vinyl chalkboard on dishwasher.

Tiled buffet

Favorite part of the photo vinyl refrigerator….this is the lower door to the freezer….a perfect echo of an old cannery door.

Photo vinyl on the refrigerator resists water and chemicals making it perfect for kitchen applications.

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Big Fish, Small Neice

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A 77 pound halbut almost dwarfs our 22 year old neice, 5 foot 1 inch Paulina Barker. This is a lot of fish.

Only a small portion of a fish this big makes it to our table right away. Most is frozen. Once frozen, all fish becomes dryer and less moist. Making halibut patties from frozen fish addresses this problem brillantly. These patties are moist and mild with a crispy crust and showcase all the qualities that make halibut such a great food.

The recipe is a bit messy and time consuming but I compensate by making a huge batch of patties to freeze again which is really OK. I have refrozen patties in all stages, without the breading, with the breading, and fried up to golden. Each time, the patties preserved the freshness and moisture of the fresh fish.

These are delicous (!) and wonderful to have in the freezer. I wouldn’t hold these patties more than 3 months but they never last longer than a few days. They are just too good to wait around.

My most requested halibut recipe.

 

 

Halibut Patties

Summary: Originally adapted by my daughter, Heather, from Pan-Fried Salmon Cakes in the America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook. This is my most requested recipe for halibut. 

Ingredients

Cut halibut into 1 inch chunks.

  • 1 1/2 pounds halibut
  • 1 1/2 cups plain dried bread crumbs or Panko, divided
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup grated onion
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • lemon wedges or tartar sauce for serving

Pulse until minced but not pureed, about 4 pulses.

Instructions

  1. 1. Remove any skin or bones from the halibut. Pat dry with paper towels and cut into 1 inch chunks. Pulse half the halibut in a food processor, not too fine, about 4 pulses. Transfer the halibut to a large bowl and repeat with the remaining halibut.
  2. 2. Gently add 1/4 cup breadcrumbs, mayonnaise, onion, parsley, lemon juice and salt to the halibut to form a cohesive mixture. Form into 8 patties about 2 1/2 inches wide. Lay patties on two plates lined with plastic wrap. Freeze uncovered until patties feel firm, about 15 minutes.

    Patties ready for quick, 15 minute freeze.

  3. 3. Spread the flour, eggs, and remaining 1 cup bread crumbs in 3 separate shallow dishes. Working with 1 pattie at a time, dredge through the flour, dip into the egg, then coat with the breadcrumbs. Press on the breadcrumbs to make sure they adhere to the fish. Lay the breaded patties on a clean plate.
  4. 4. Heat the oil in a 12 inche nonstick skillet over medium high heat until shimmering. Gently lay all the salmon patties in the skillet and cook until gloden on both sides, 4-6 minutes. Let the cakes drain briefly on paper tpwels before serving with lemon wedges.

Quick notes

To make ahead, uncooked halibut patties can be covered and refrigerated for up to 8 hours before breading and cooking ( no need to put them in the freezer). I have frozen them for a few weeks, then thawed in the refrigerator before breading and cooking.

Preparation time: 45 minutes

Cooking time: 4-6 minutes

Number of servings (yield): 4

My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)

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Masculine Gift of Bacon and Chocolate

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One pound of the best quality bacon cut into 2 inch pieces, baked in a 350 degree oven until rendered and crisp.

Birthdays and other gift giving occasions are sometimes difficult at fish camp without nearby stores and shops. So my gift giving demands creativity. Add into this that the recipient is a man and it becomes almost impossible.

What to give a son-in-law for his birthday? I do try to think ahead.

Last spring, I found my birthday theme in the Seattle airport, a Bacon Tie…..a printed silk tie that mimicked raw bacon.  Matt and bacon are inseparable. Of course, I included a great new shirt in the present but the bacon tie and something made with bacon would add  originality and thoughtfulness.

I have covered many food items with chocolate, cherries, cake, strawberries, nuts, cookies, and pretzels. So, this time it was bacon. I experimented with different chocolates, bittersweet chocolate tasted too harsh. Good ole Hershey’s chocolate, the sweet milk chocolate candy bar, combined really well with the crunchy saltiness of the bacon. I was ready to create my present.

Spread chocolate on 2/3 of bacon strip, leaving some bacon showing.

Recipe: Bacon Dipped Chocolate

After I sent this to town, I received this quick thank you note via email.

“Thank you for the gift of porky goodness. I had to sneak into the refrigerator alone so I wouldn’t have to share.” Matt

Salty, crunchy bacon and creamy sweet chocolate is a perfect gift for a man in your life.  

Ingredients

  • 1 pound good quality thick sliced bacon
  • 6 Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Candy Bars
  • Coarse sea salt
  • Cellophane gift box and ribbon

Instructions

  1. Cut bacon into 2 inch pieces. Lay on a rack over a rimmed baking sheet without overlap.
  2. Bake in 350 degree oven until rendered and brown, about 30 minutes.
  3. Cool.
  4. Melt milk chocolate in glass bowl on high in microwave, stopping to stir every 30 seconds or melt in a double boiler on the stove top.
  5. When melted, spread  a bit more than half of each piece of bacon on both sides with chocolate and set onto parchment lined pan.
  6. Put the remaining chocolate into a sandwich size plastic bag, snip the corner and draw a ‘B’ on each piece.
  7. Sprinkle with sea salt.
  8. Refrigerate until set.
  9. Place in gift box lined with parchment paper. Tie with ribbon.
  10. Keep cool.

 

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Trying to Eat Jellyfish, the Alaskan Way

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Bright colored stinging jelly fish drift into our nets.

Clear moon jelly fish are the kind in this experiment.

What is there about our fish camp that leads me to experiment with all kinds of different foods, like now, as I turn my attention to jelly fish?

This fish camp is centered upon the kitchen. Warm bread beckons, pot lids are lifted, cookie jar is tested. Cooking several times a day for 7 people, I utilize a wealth of seafood, wild salmon, crab, halibut, and sometimes a sea cucumber in all kinds of recipes. Some dishes are terrific. Some not so great.

There is no question that I cook to chase away boredom and fuel good feelings with tasty food. I use the items on the menu board to entertain and give the camp something new to talk about as we are far off the grid and even farther from a road of any kind.

I had eaten jellyfish in China in a dish that looked like translucent, brown spaghetti noodles waiting for sauce. The stands of jellyfish clung together, tasted like soy sauce, and contained the mouth feel of very stiff gelatin, not quite as tough as a rubber band. Still, I wasn’t eager to turn my attention to jelly fish but, being surrounded by an adventurous family and crew removed the last bit of hesitation.

Jelly fish float in the water column, drifting into our commercial salmon nets. Most are the pink, purple and red kind with long stinging tentacles but a few are clear moon jellies. Reading on the web, I learned that alum removed the sting from jelly fish making them edible but I had been stung enough by the colorful lion mane jellies while commercial fishing, so I preferred to try the moon jelly fish, a bland clear jelly which didn’t sting.

So Heather collected a one for me which I washed. I trimmed out the 4 gonads under the center and was left with a clear mantle about 1 inch thick.

I had decided to experiment with two recipes so I cut the mantle into two. One half I sliced into strips which went into a heat proof bowl. I poured in boiling water to cover and let this sit for 15 minutes. The strips all but disappeared into small worm like morsels.

Removing the 4 part center

Jelly fish strips after standing 15 minutes in boiling

The other half, I cut into squares, dipped into seasoned flour and fried. The pieces being wet and jelly like spattered alarmingly when they hit hot oil. Then, the oil simmered down and the pieces browned with a crisp crust.

In tasting the final products, the water cooked jelly strips contained a congealed texture which was not acceptable. The fried squares fared better as each piece yielded  a crunch and a brief flavor of the sea.

Paolina tastes fried jellyfish.

About half of the camp tried both. All of us talked about it. Neither recipe inspired me to keep jelly fish on the menu beyond this experiment.

Still, perhaps if I had a different recipe…on a different day, with a new crew, I might try it again because this animal  lives in our bay, is some sort of food, is eaten in a far away culture, and gives our camp a camaraderie. Sort of like, ”Jellyfish came to our table and we survived.”

Jelly fish squares sputtered as the moist squares hit the hot oil.

Crisp jelly fish morsel

 

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Cooking with Wild Sitka Rose Petals

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            This is the time of year for Rose Petal Syrup poured over Peaches, Rose Vinaigrette sprinkled on Green Salad, Candied Rose Petal garnish on ice cream, and Wild Rose Petal Jelly stored for gifts.

On a single petal, I see the outer edge is dipped and the roundness of the sides come to a pointed tip into a heart shape

Untamed cousin of the tea rose, my rose bushes stand wild, loose, and raggedy along the front of our cabin. I can see why English poets compare wild roses to the blushing innocence of young love because for a moment of summer, wild roses are all magic.

For use in the recipes below, collect wild rose petals or domestic roses that contain no pesticides.

 Recipe: Wild Sitka Rose Syrup

Summary: Rose syrup enhances berry compotes of raspberries, strawberries or salmonberries. It is luscious on peaches or nectarines. Add this syrup to whipping cream for flavor and fragrance.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup rose petals (collect rose petals that contain no pesticides)

Instructions

  1. In a small sauce pan, scrape vanilla bean and drop scrapings and rest of bean into water and syrup. Bring to boil and reduce to one cup. Remove bean. Add lemon juice. Crush rose petals and add to hot liquid. Let set until cool. Strain the petals and reserve syrup. This lasts for five days in refrigerator.

Recipe: Wild Rose Vinegar

Summary: In this recipe, rose petals yield pale pink vinegar with a dreamy fragrance. Use in salads where the acid of vinegar isn’t associated with romance or love…

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rose petals (collect rose petals that contain no pesticides)
  • 1 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

Instructions

  1. Place the following ingredients together in a wide mouth jar, shake and set aside for three days. After three days, strain out the rose petals and discard. Refrigerate the rose vinegar

 Recipe: Rose Vinaigrette for Green Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons rose vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 tablespoons mild olive oil

Instructions

  1. Shake or whisk with a fork about 30 seconds. Use immediately or cover and refrigerate. Mix or shake again before using 1/4 cup with 2 quarts of salad greens. Sprinkle a few fresh rose petals on the salad just before serving.
    Recipe: Candied Rose Petals

     Recipe: Candied Wild Sitka Rose Petals

    Summary: Place crisp, fragrant candied rose petals on top of rhubarb dessert, simple vanilla pudding, or on top of whipping cream and chocolate cake.

    Ingredients

    • Choose a dozen perfect pink rose petals (collect rose petals that contain no pesticides)
    • Whip one egg white to a foamy
    • Bowl of granulated sugar

    Instructions

    1. Dip rose petals one at a time in egg white, let drain a moment and drop in bowl of sugar. Use fork to cover with sugar. Remove with fork and set on fine hardware cloth or a sheet of parchment paper. Let dry for two hours, turning over once or twice. I have put these in a warm oven to hurry along the drying process.

      Wild Sitka Rose Jelly, Wild Rose, Wild Sitka Rose Vinegar

 

 Recipe: Wild Sitka Rose Jelly

Summary: A repeat from last summer’s blog, this jelly glows translucent pink with a subtle perfume. I give these away in tiny four ounce jars with a heart shaped note explaining that this is the traditional gift between lovers in Greece

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rose petals (collect rose petals that contain no pesticides)
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice or 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons or one half package of powdered fruit pectin

Instructions

  1. Prepare seven four ounce jars with lids, each holding about 1/4 cup, by washing in hot soapy water, rinsing and pouring hot boiling water over them. Let stand in hot water until ready to fill with jelly.
  2. Wash rose petals only if you have collected them from a dusty spot. In a sauce pan with a lid, mash petals in water. Bring water to a boil. Remove from heat and add lemon juice or vinegar. Cover and let stand for ten minutes until the color washes out of the petals. Strain the liquid and measure. You should have about 2 cups. Return liquid to the pan and add sugar. Return to boil. Stir in pectin and stir and boil at a hard boil, one that can’t be stirred down, for 1 minute. Skim off any foam that rises to the top. Pour into sterilized glasses, seal or cover with paraffin. Store in refrigerator or process in a hot water bath described in the instructions in the package of pectin.

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Making a Kodiak Bear Plaster Claw

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Going on a bear hunt....for paw impressions that is. We walk the beach toward the Dog Salmon River.

Rachel, Paolina and Heather chose a bear impression from the Great Bear Highway of mud.

Rachel, Paolina, and Heather looking along the bear path for a perfect print to cast into plaster.

Heather and Rachel mix up plaster of paris to a consistency of thick cream. Make enough to fill the impression about 2 inches thick. Any thinner and the cast may break.

Rachel pours the plaster mixture into the mud impression. Let set up about 30 minutes before lifting up gently.

Plaster cast of Kodiak Brown Bear Claw

As we retrace our steps to the cabin, bear prints show that a bear is ahead of us, walking in the same direction as we are..

Mama Bear or Beatrice watched us walk by from under the cottonwoods 50 yards away.

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