Yadao Inong, Traditional Foods

Eel is one of my favorite foods from our region — but I wasn’t always a fan.  If you’ve ever seen lamprey eel you will know it is isn’t one of the most glamorous looking foods — in fact I’m sure there have been many horror movies that have used the idea of the lamprey to create a monster that would terrify us.  It has a mouth that seems like just a sucking hole lined with teeth — and really…does it have eyeballs?  I never got past the mouth.

Lucky for me one of the Humboldt Del Norte County Master Food Preservers brought some smoked and canned eel to one of our meetings to share.  What I discovered for myself is that eel is a comfort food for me.  With that smoky flavor and oily delicious flesh, I think eel hits a part of me that is satisfied no other way.  If you ever get a chance to taste eel, I suggest you do yourself a favor and try it.  I’ve also had it deep fried and, well — I’ve never met a deep fried food I didn’t like…but still smoked is my favorite.

I was very happy to have the opportunity to talk with a young man who grew up along the river and fished for eel and has been enjoying it all his life — Yadao Inong. I learned about fishing for eel and also about other traditional foods he grew up with.

Part 1 listen here, Part 2 listen here

This program was supported in part by the Northwest California Tribal Communities Extension Program, a USDA funded project through UC Cooperative Extension of Humboldt and Del Norte Counties

Klamath Salmon Festival

For the 56th year the Yurok people in Klamath are celebrating the life blood of the region — the salmon that come charging up the river!  This year the festival was very successful because the salmon were plentiful enough to be caught for this event — and were cooked in the traditional way making a very special lunch for many of us.  The streets were lined with vendors and stores in the community were open and celebrating as well.  Lena Hurd was busy weaving a basket in the booth that she was sharing with several others, many vendors were selling clothing with native designs, and I bought a beautiful fused glass dish with a raven design (and sure enough I called raven to my house with that bowl because he is visiting constantly and has lots to say!).  There was some fantastic music with a live band and a parade down the main street.

Listen here to the interview with Penny Gensaw while she and her family prepare the salmon barbeque to feed the hungry crowds.

This program was supported in part by the Northwest California Tribal Communities Extension Program, a USDA funded project through UC Cooperative Extension of Humboldt and Del Norte Counties


Kit Mann, Sports Fisherman

I first met Kit Mann at a chicken processing event in Blue Lake.  I had been intrigued because a couple of my friends were part of a poultry collaborative — a group raising, and group slaughtering of chickens every year.  Of course I had to go — and it was easy to get invited because this Blue Lake group was pretty proud of their venture and knew it was important to share it with others (to find out more about that check out the interview with Rhonda Wiedenbeck).

So Kit Mann was there — and was proudly demonstrating his WhizBang Chicken Plucker.  He found the plans online and assembled it and it worked like a dream (ok, don’t look in while it is going — the spray of chicken feathers will leave you feeling tarred and feathered).

Well — I found out that Kit is also a successful sports fisherman — fishing locally for salmon, tuna, and rockfish.  But it was salmon we especially wanted to hear about.

Salmon has been a staple for people living here since the beginning of time — and local native people have been sharing it with friends, family and the community ever since.  Turns out Kit is just as generous — and his worst nightmare is that he is opening the freezer at the beginning salmon season and it is still full of last year’s salmon.

I confessed how shameless I can be — the art of begging for fish is one I excel at — in case you are looking for tips, the words…”wow, that is a really beautiful fish” will earn you a piece every time!

Listen Here

FV Shenandoah, Carrie and Clay Collins

I first met Carrie at the Master Food Preserver Training, class of 2014.  When talking about pressure canning it was clear we had a pro in our midst — with a husband who was a fisherman, the average catch of albacore might involve hundreds of pints of the delicious and highly prized protein that is the most pressure canned item in Humboldt (no stats here…just anecdotal).  Carrie’s tuna was not only properly and safely canned, it actually looked pretty in a jar.  Ever see a jar of home canned albacore?  Good thing we know it’s good to eat because it normally isn’t such a lovely item on the shelf (sorry Charlie!)…

Check out the interview with Carrie and Clay and find out how some of the best food in the world gets to our table!  Or go check out the Shenandoah yourself.

Tony Sepulveda, Green Water Fishing Adventures

Have you ever thought about how your local dungeness crab is caught?  Ever want to do it yourself?  There are a couple of sports fishing opportunities in Humboldt County to catch your own crab and salmon and Green Water Fishing Adventures is one of them.  You can check out their website or listen to their interview!

Scott Bradshaw, Fish Brothers

I first met Scott when he volunteered to do a presentation for the Master Food Preserver Program about smoking and curing fish — loaded with great info after years of doing just that, Scott was relaxed, fun and funny — and I knew I’d have to interview him for Food for Thought.  Now I’ve tried to smoke fish — fish jerky is what I ended up with!  My husband has perfected lox which he cures with a combination of salt, citrus zest, vodka (yeahhhhhh….) and dill….but I swear I’ll give hot smoking salmon another try…and in the meantime I’ll just buy Fish Brothers — especially the Wild King Salmon — because it’s so good and much easier!

Check out Fish Brothers

Listen to the interview

Sports Fishing, Doug McCullough

Doug and Ninon McCullough are some of my closest friends…so as my dad used to say — What are friends for if you can’t use them?…without a bit of shame I invited myself and Jessica Eden on a salmon fishing trip.  I loaded up on Bonine to help with seasickness (I was very worried about this, tall tales of the high seas can send me retching)…and we searched the weather reports for a day that would be incredibly calm.  I also found out I could buy a one-day fishing permit just in case we were incredibly lucky and could get 2 more salmon…

well, as it turned out — I was in the way a lot of the time with camera gear — but we still came up with 2 salmon…and a lot of footage.

Part 1 interview

Part 2 interview

Seal on buoy...Doug doesn't like seals...

Seal on buoy…Doug doesn’t like seals…

Female salmon -- removing roe

Female salmon — removing roe

Doug gets his chance as videographer

Doug gets his chance as videographer


Jess Eden walks the dock at first light toward the waiting boat at Trinidad harbor

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