I’ve come to impression that being an Oregonian is kind of like happiness: it’s a state of mind. Most “Oregonians” you’ll meet are actually FROM somewhere else. I was actually born in CT, but consider myself an Oregonian, having grown up in the Oregon high desert overlooking Mount Shasta. Many of my fiber artist friends here came from places ranging from Colorado to Maryland, yet they seem fairly native to their homesteads. On the occasion you DO meet a “native” Oregonian, they tend to be really good fisherman or hunters, and have some tales to tell. Well, my husband may not be a true native (yet) but he’s finally overcome his first hurdle on his way to Oregonian-ship: he caught a salmon!
Note: this is actually his second salmon, but since he shared that first fish with a friend i’m counting this as his real “first.” While i “slaved” at work on Saturday, Andy drove himself to Waldport where the Alsea river meets the great blue sea. Armed with his newish pole and some salmon rigging, he joined the line of fisherfolk along the banks and did his best to throw bits of metal into the water in hopes of exciting some large aquatic life. And he succeeded!
We have a few things to learn about “fileting” i’m afraid, but we managed to get meat off bone, scraping off any wasted bits from the carcass for scrambled eggs the next day and i cooked up half a salmon for two proud humans for dinner just hours after the Coho was plucked out of the sea. We overdid it. I learned my lesson. Despite the freshness and rarity of this particular harvest, i will eat less next time. in one sitting at least. Pocket was proud of her daddy (and enjoyed the liver, heart and some undigested tiny fish from the salmon’s gullet) and i was proud of my Oregonian husband. You fed us well, sweety! Now get back out there and do it again: those fishing licenses and salmon tags haven’t paid for themselves quite yet.
It’s an amazing feeling to sit down to a meal you harvested yourself. Whether it’s a plate of homegrown veggies, or a cut of meat from an animal you raised, there’s something satisfying and honorable about eating food you provided. I think it’s especially true about fresh fish you caught yourself. Fresh fish is so much more delicious than anything from any market, and the process of catching a fish contains so many emotions and sensations that connect you with both your environment and your self. Do you or your mate hunt or fish? Do you do it for the food, the sport or for the psychological benefits?