It is 7pm, and snow softly falls from the long-darkened Alaskan sky, dancing through the porch light to land on the deck where I am hard at work evicting it. Down a flight of stairs, Lee ducks and weaves through snow-capped cars, waging epic snow wars against
his littlest nephew and the two of them giggle in harmony.
“One of you guys, come over here, quick!” I tease, pointing to a prime spot under the deck where I am shoveling. Only little Andrew complies and his naivete is quickly rewarded with a shovel full of snow from above.
“She GOT ME!” he squeals and takes off running, too surprised to even mount a counter offense.
Oh yes, it is winter. And, we are home at last, after a year of adventures in the wilds of the big city and never so glad to see a foot of unplowed snow on a dirt driveway and a 100ft downed spruce tree blocking the hiking trail. There is something so raw and
perfect about an Alaskan winter- difficult for sure but also strangely simple. Chop wood or go cold. Wear warm socks or kiss your pretty toes goodbye. Casseroles and hot chocolate, a huge filet of salmon straight out of the oven, beautiful fluffy snow turning
to torrential rain in a heartbeat and winds that rattle windows and tear hundred year old trees straight out of the ground. I am happy because as long as it keeps raining (or snowing), I can take as many showers as I want. Our water comes from the sky, our
heat comes from the trees, and our food comes from the ocean. How can it get better than this?
Not everyone can survive an Alaskan winter, but everyone can enjoy our food. Pretty much everyone here has their preferred method of cooking salmon, but this is my personal favorite. Start with a nice slab (about 8 oz per person is a good bet) of wild Alaskan
salmon- king, coho, or sockeye. The topping is estimated- scale up for more fish. I usually cook for two.
1/2 cup plain unsweetened greek yogurt
1 tsp basil pesto (OR, 1 tsp each dried basil and oregano- you can totally eyeball this)
1/4 tsp nutmeg
Whisk ingredients and smear on top of fillets. Bake for about 20-25 minutes at 350, or you could grill them. Use a cedar plank if you have one.
You could also try dredging the fish in flour and pan frying it. This is Lee’s grandfather’s preferred method of salmon cooking and is probably more traditional than yogurt and pesto. However, it’s not very healthy and the flour makes it a no-go for me anyway.
If you’re gluten free and want to try this, white rice flour would probably be the way to go.
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