Saturday, July 28, 2012

Copper River Reds in the Can

 All the stars lined up this past week & I was able to home can Copper River Reds!  I left the Kenai for good 10 days ago so when a friend came up with the best salmon in the world I had the time, equipment & know how to do a home pack.  But, it turned out my old electric can sealer did not work properly, so I went to my neighborhood Walmart & purchased a "hand cranker" can sealer for $200.  It works like a charm after I read the directions over & over.  Now I am confidant I won't kill anybody.
 My new Warthog Blade Sharpener made easy work of cutting up the sockeye.  The tough skin of the salmon dulls the knife after a few fillets.  Three swipes through the Warthog and I'm good to go.  No more struggling with dull knives!!!
First pack was a Freshpack with Jalapeno.

Second pack was a Freshpack with Ginger.
                               Copper River Reds are the perfect size for 1/2 lb flat salmon cans. 
 I turned my front entry way into a cannery.  Hooked up the stove to a bottle of propane & I was in business.
Jalapeno Freshpack Signed & Sealed

After the cans are sealed & cooled the next step is to make hand printed labels.  I code the can lids before I seal them with what kind of pack they are.  I know what they are but nobody else does until I stick the label on. 

Doesn't matter that this past week was the hottest days of the summer.  I got Copper River Reds in the can!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Ready for Reds

 Earlier in June I was on the look out for a propane stove (no electricity needed) and found one in Seward.  A six hour round-trip drive away from the lodge.  It was worth it as the stove sold for a hundred bucks & works great!  Perfect for exhausting the salmon cans in the oven & pressure cooking them off on the stove top.
 Last week I had a little bit of time off & instead of taking a nap I drove down to Homer, where the old Kachamak Gear Shed was, now Redden Marine. 
 And bought 600 1/2 lb flat salmon cans for $1.03 a can!  They threw in 600 lids (worth $150) which was a heck of a deal.  Well worth the drive to buy the cans wholesale.  Walmart's price is $62.50 a case of 44 cans leaving space for the lids.  A case holds 48 cans full.  Thats a lot of money for empty cans!  I bought 600 as I had the money, I was there & I figure the price is not going to go down.  My plan is to can at least 300 cans of freshpack Kenai sockeye this summer with plenty of cans leftover for next summer.
 To keep my knives sharp for all this canning I finally ordered & received my very own Warthog Blade Sharpener!  Ever since I used one in Cold Bay I've wanted one. 
I even got the traveling case since I am such a traveler.  Now, there are few things I need to get before the reds start running.  But, I consider myself prepared to can us some reds that are coming soon!