CRAFT by Under My Host® Issue No. 18 Made in America: Part III - Page 114

W W W. C R A F T BY U M H . C O M   Fall The bounty is at its peak. Plants and animals in our corner of the world are fat with summer’s hard won reserves as they prepare for winter. The most diffi- cult decision is which sustenance to pursue. Drooping bushes of blueberries, streams full of cherry-chrome Coho salmon, alpine Sitka blacktail deer on the mountaintops, or perhaps one last trip to stock the kelp supply for the winter? After deciding what to harvest it’s often the next part that’s hardest.   Steam hovers like a cloud ready to burst, music blasts, and tired friends laugh deliriously. The task at hand is daunting and we’re wishing we would have stopped at 20 sockeye salmon instead of pushing for 40. But the instinct to never run out of our favorite staple food is strong. Two pressure canners hiss steam on the stove top. The smoker outside blends alder smoke aroma into the vaporous mix while the salmon incrementally turn a vibrant shade of sunset red. Everyone is tired and wants to go to bed, but we still have 100 minutes be- fore the canner can be changed over again.   Processing is much less glamorous than harvesting. It’s usually done in the kitchen, and requires seemingly endless toil, endurance, and attention to de- tail. Picking leaves out of a sink full of blueberries, running the vacuum packer for two hours straight, stirring hot jam until the consistency is perfect. Over the years we’ve learned the time that goes into processing the catch can be far greater than the time spent catching. Though less heroic, this is the side of food’s journey to plate that shows the appreciation and art of putting up food. While we process, we also catch up with friends, tell stories of the hunt, and solidify our connection to the continuous cycle of life.   Our mission at Barnacle is to celebrate and cherish each part of the underap- preciated work that goes into preserving food. We showcase foods of Alaska by making them into prized pantry fillers and telling the story of how those foods came from the coast to your kitchen.   It’s not always pretty — late evenings cleaning the kitchen, hauling compost, and straining to lift kelp filled totes over and over and over again — but it al- lows us to live in alignment with the rhythms of abundance.   Barnacle formed from our lifestyle. It fits with the traditional way of people in Southeast Alaska. It is our hope that by anchoring our operation to this rugged coastline we can create opportunity for many and help ensure future genera- tions appreciate the unique foods that come and go each year with the return of the sun. © Hundred-to-One LLC 2018. All rights reserved.