Wednesday, November 30, 2011
I used to have an electric Little Chief Smoker which I used for years to smoke fish. I had that smoker before Gary and I were married. I'd smoke trout I caught in California streams and salmon I got at fish markets in the San Francisco Bay Area. Later when Gary and I were married I'd smoke fish for us on occasion too. Folks raved about my smoked salmon and trout. Autumn seems the time of year I am called to smoke fish. Perhaps it's my Native American roots which unconsciously bring me back to preparing fish to preserve for the winter season.
Years later at a gathering in a former workplace I brought some of my smoked salmon with cream cheese on crackers, everyone raved about that smoked salmon and wanted to know how I made it. I told them about the brine I made and about my smoker. My boss asked to borrow my smoker, so I lent it out. A few months later half of the staff were laid off from that job, including myself. After months of calling to ask for it to be returned numerous times, I finally got my smoker back from my former boss. It was so dirty and damaged we had to throw it away. How could someone borrow something from me and return it in such poor condition? C'est la vie.
Since then for many years Gary and I dreamed of having another smoker to use but could never find another smoker like the one we had or justify the price of others we saw. Just the other day we looked at a few smokers at Lowe's but decided we didn't need to spend the money to purchase one.
I can't believe how lucky I am, sometimes it just boggles my mind. Gary and I went to a couple of estate sales last Friday hoping to add to our repertoire of items to sell at flea markets. At the first location we found this electric smoker for $12. This smoker was never used and sells new for about $300. We were going to sell it, but we decided to try it out just one time to see if it compared to our old smoker in quality.
A few weeks ago I purchased some salmon in the frozen section of wally world for not too much money (wild caught in USA - check labels carefully) putting it in the freezer to thaw out at a later date. We happened to have some hickory chips in bags we've had for years, saving them for that time when we got another smoker. I thawed out the salmon and put it on some tin foil and used some of those hickory chips I had from long ago. I smoked that salmon in less than an hours time in this new smoker. I didn't even make a brine. I just smoked the salmon the way it was.
Oh my goodness it was so good. Gary and I were in heaven eating that smoked salmon. It brings back so many memories of the smoked fish we used to eat in California. Thanks to the universe for this wonderful gift. We're keeping this smoker; sorry flea market junkies. I know this may seem like an insignificant happening, but to us it was a wondrous thing. Sometimes the little things in life make up for all the drudgery we wade through on a daily basis. Thanks for reading and for all your comments.