Salmon, its what’s for dinner?

26 11 2007

After our visit to Piper’s Creek, it may not be dinner for a very, very long time. The day after Thanksgiving, Scott and I decided we needed some exercise and walked to our local park to view the salmon run.

For those who may not know, about this time each year, the salmon begin their journey from the Pacific Ocean and Puget Sound up the creeks and rivers in which they were born to spawn. The Pacific variety will die after spawning. We saw (read: smelled) many who may have spawned in Piper’s Creek (unlikely) or will never make it to their destination. It’s definitely a brutal trek for those fish. We came upon a pool filled with about 10 salmon attempting to make an 18inch jump over a log with pretty fast water rushing down. They were pretty spiteful little (not really, probably all at least 10 pounds) guys and biting each other, fighting their way to the jump.

In the end, after about 45 minutes, we only saw ONE salmon make her way over the log. The others were still fighting it out. We happened to catch some pics of it, but didn’t have our good equipment, so slow digital it is.

Some of the less fortunate, or strong who did not make the journey:

Dead Fish

You can kind of see the three swirling in the water. They just kept biting each other, there were some nasty flesh wounds

Food Fight!

This guy was SO close to making it over, but he stopped and posed for a picture first

Trying to Jump!

YAY! One finally made it over the log. I ran upstream and saw her haul through the creek and jump over another log. She was on a mission to have some babies.

Made it!

We kept laughing pretty hard imitating fish from Alaska. We imagined that they would make fun of these city fish. They don’t even have bears chasing after them yet and they can’t make it. Hahaha!

And to cleanse your pallet after all the stinky fish…A beautiful pear tree in the orchard on the way home. It has really tiny fruit on it, are pears winter fruits?

Pear Tree

Good Morning

14 11 2007

Beautiful Sunrise

Holy Sprouts, Batman!

11 11 2007

Are you ready for this? Brussel sprouts (one of my most favorite foods of all time) come from a stalk (?)
I came home this evening to a stalk of sprouts and a dozen roses. I’m so lucky!

Anyone want to come over for dinner this week? Roasted sprouts all around!!!

Brussel Sprouts

Daylight Not Saving

7 11 2007

Well. It’s official, our days are getting a bit shorter! I caught a beautiful, peaceful (camera phone quality) picture of the start of sunset this afternoon (at 3:20). The official time for set is 4:44. My building faces west. If you look at the bottom of the picture, you might see a vessel that resembles a certain wedding venue.

Sunset in November

The best part of the slow of sunshine: the mountains are getting snow!!! Everyone is gearing up for what is so far promising to be a great ski season. I’ll put up with a little less daylight for a couple of months for the proximity to the ski hills alone (not to mention those summer sunsets at 10:30pm).

Roasted Food.

2 11 2007

I love everything roasted! I’ve taken to oven roasting brussel sprouts, cauliflower, potatoes, broccoli, winter squash, carrots, etc…..tonight, I decided to get carnivorous tonight and roast a whole chicken. Here is the recipe I used (slightly modified from Joy of Cooking).

Roasted Chicken
4 to 7 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 55-65 minutes + 15 minutes resting

1 whole chicken (4 to 7 pounds)
3 Tbsp butter, melted
2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary or thyme, or ¾ teaspoon dried, crumbled
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (optional)
2 to 3 medium cloves garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon salt
1/2 bag baby carrots
1 pound baby potatoes, quartered
Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 F.

Combine herbs, lemon zest, garlic, red pepper flakes, and salt and set aside. Remove the neck and giblets from, then rinse and pat dry the chicken. Generously rub the body and neck cavities and sprinkle the skin with salt. Set a v-rack or flat wire rack in a shallow roasting pan, place the chicken on the rack, and brush all over with melted butter. Using your fingers, loosen the skin and spread the herb mixture over the meat of the breast, thigh, and drumsticks.

Toss the baby carrots and quartered potatoes at the bottom of the rack, no oil necessary.

Put the chicken in the oven and roast. If you prize moist breast meat, consider the chicken done when the thickest part of the thigh exudes clear juices when pricked deeply with a fork and registers 170 to 175 F. If you like dark meat falling off the bone and are willing to risk a dry breast, roast until the thigh registers 180F. The total roasting time for a 4-pound bird will be 55-65 minutes. For larger birds, figure 1 hour for the first 4 pounds, plus about 8 minutes for each additional pound. Remove the chicken to a platter and let stand for 10 to 15 minutes.

I used a method of turning it twice in order to have the breast meat less dry, but it was a pain and the legs didn’t cook thoroughly. I’d recommend the above! The carrots carmelize (delicious!!!) and the potatoes crisp.