Tuesday, October 11, 2016

On turning 12, a 9 pound salmon, and 15 gallons worth of apple cider

This guy turned 12.  Luke, my middle child, fishing-obsessed, drumming-and-electric-guitar playing son who almost died when he was five.  I wrote about his terrifying bout with Kawasaki disease here, in case you want to know what happened.

Despite (or maybe because?) of his near-death experience, he is one of the most athletic kids I know, running through the woods with complicated parkour moves, backflips, twists and turns, doing pull-ups and push-ups daily (he keeps a tally sheet), sprinting after the football when he plays with his pals.

For his birthday, I made a complicated sour cream coffee cake - the same cake that every single one of my children requests at their birthday.  Eva "helped" to make it.

For his birthday, the whole family went fishing.  The Silvers are in the river now.  Two days before that, the kids and I went fishing as well, and I didn't expect to catch a fish myself but was happy to just throw in the line while taking some nice deep breaths, admiring the scenery around me and enjoying the company of the kids.

So when my line tugged taut and I realized that I was not snagged but actually had a fish on the line, I panicked and yelled for Luke, who expertly coached me on how to reel this thing in.

He scooped the fish out in a net for me, and as soon as we had it on shore, Luke started screaming because it was so big.  Turns out I caught a 9.1 pound Silver Salmon.  My first one ever - and I have bragging rights, don't you think?

Sure, it's a little on the red side, but the meat was firm and bright pink and delicious.  I made salmon stew with it, and everyone raved about it.

Luke cleaned up and filleted the fish for me, since I don't know how to do it.

What with all the fishing and birthday celebration, you might wonder if we get anything done.

Oh yes.

Our homesteading and wilderness weekend retreat is officially FULL, and there is a waiting list for next year.  We are busy planning and cleaning and shopping and preparing for the weekend and are really, really excited about our house, homestead and shop bustling with people.

There's still lots of homestead-y stuff to do around here. 

Making sauerkraut, harvesting veggies from the garden...

At a cider-pressing party with the neighbors, we pressed 15 gallons worth of apple cider.

In celebration of Luke, I'll leave you with images of a run in the neighborhood he and Steve went on a couple of weeks ago.  Yes, this is our neighborhood.

Happy birthday, Luke.  I'm so glad you are alive and well.

And how are you celebrating fall, dear reader?


  1. Dear Luke,Happy birthday to you!I'm hoping,you've had a wonderful day :) Warmest wishes from the Royal Tunbridge Wells in Kent,Uk.
    Kasia :)

    1. Awwww, thanks Kasia! All the way from England! Awesome!

  2. Happy birthday Luke! Another Libra, of course, he's special (my birthday is on 2 days)

    Gorgeous fish! Wonder what he's thinking as he's lifted out of his element into the air. Peace to you great fish and thank you.

    Love your kraut jar. I want one!

    Is there any way I can get your recipe for sour cream cake? I have a bunch of leftover sour cream and I want to make a cake with it.

    Vielen Dank

    1. Renee, the recipe I use is long and complicated, and the page I copied it from (from a magazine) is all messy. I have to type it up soon, and when that's done, I'll send it to you!

    2. You know what. It's ok. You're busy preparing for the weekend. No es problema, chica. :-)

  3. Replies
    1. See above comment about the cake.
      Also, I wanted to say: Every time I pull a fish out of the river, I cry. Not because I'm excited, but I am grateful for its life. There's sadness and celebration.
      And the sauerkraut crock? My friend gave it to me. I traded it for some goat milk soap. How cool is that?

  4. What a great way to spend a birthday! All that cider is making my mouth is water. We've been enjoying our fair share of apples - I made sauce with dinner last night and my step daughter (who is the pickiest eater I know) loved it! Oh and I bet your salmon stew was to die for - it looks it :^)

    1. Yeah for apples sauce!
      Yes, the salmon stew was incredible, with some extra cream in it!

  5. Happy Birthday Luke and Congrats on that salmon Corina!!! I'll have to have you guide me to that waterfall some day. We're currently cleaning up from falling several trees on our property just down the road from you. The apple cider looks amazing! Will be placing order on Etsy at beginning of November. Blessings for your fall!

    1. Tena, top secret location for the waterfall! I am trying to not say any names when I show pictures, so that our local treasures won't become common-knowledge!
      But you are a neighbor, so I can break that rule! :)

  6. I think you would agree that city dwellers don't know what they're missing!

    1. Well, Pat, the good thing is that many people are yearning for this life, yearning for a connection with nature. I see it more and more, and I am heartened by it, because it means that people are seeking out nature. That's a good thing, because if we don't care about the earth, we won't save it...

  7. Lieber Luke,
    gerade habe ich diese Seite entdeckt und bin so frech, Dir auf Deutsch zu gratulieren! (nachträglich, ich weiß) Alles Gute und mach es wie Pippi Langstrumpf, lass Dir Zeit mit dem Erwachsenwerden, man kann es nicht rückgängig machen.
    Liebe Corina (und Familie), eine wundervolle Seite, ich werde öfter vorbeischauen.
    Allerherzlichste Grüße aus dem schönen Allgäu (total gelogen, es ist zur Zeit grau und trüb)

    1. Liebe Susanne,

      Aus dem Allgau!!!! Da komme ich her.... ich bin in Wangen aufgewachsen. Wo kommst du denn her? So lieb von jemanden in meiner alten Heimat zu hoeren!

    2. I love Google translate. Is this close?

      Dear Luke,
      I just discovered this site and am so cheeky to congratulate you in German! (Retrospectively, I know) All the best and do it like Pippi Longstocking, leave you time with growing up, you can not reverse it.
      Dear Corina (and family), a wonderful side, I am going to cheer more often. Many greetings from the beautiful Allgäu (totally lied, it is gray and cloudy at the time)

    3. OK Google doesn't do Corina's reply as well.

      From the Allgäu !!!! There I come ... I grew up in cheeks. So, where do you come from? So dear to hear from someone in my old home!

      I love "grew up in cheeks". Wha????

    4. Shoot, I need to learn German (for fun) and Spanish (because of where I live).

    5. Liebe Corina (ich will Dir immer ein 2. n verpassen...),
      Wangen! Da war ich mit dem Liebsten vorletztes Jahr, allerdings auf dem Weg nach Weiler. Sagenhaft schöne Gegend dort. Wir sind im Unterallgäu in Dirlewang. Wie lang bist Du schon überm Teich? Soll ich Dir ein paar Spätzle schicken?

    6. Weiler ist auch schoen, da hat meine Schwester mal gearbeitet.
      Ich bin seit 1992 in USA. Ich bin hergezogen als ich 20 war...
      Und Spaetzle mach ich hier auch, aber mein armer Spaetzlehobler ist schon ganz alt und gibt bald auf!

    7. Guten Morgen dort drüben!
      1992...wow, eine lange Zeit. Darum hört man "es" auch nicht mehr (Nettes Video!). Zumindest ich Dödel und mein marodes Englisch höre nichts. 24 Jahre...rechne..rechne...wir sind fast gleicher Jahrgang. Du siehst erschreckend jung aus! (erschreckend für mich. Hmpf) Ich hoffe mein deutsches Gesabbele hier ist nicht unhöflich? Sonst stell ich um auf marodes Englisch.

  8. Are you guys getting a lot of rain and wind?

    1. Lots and lots of rain. Half an hour away from us there were very, very strong winds, but we never got the winds. Maybe they'll hit tonight. We did have a power outage for almost 12 hours though (while teaching our retreat!). More to follow in a blog post.

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