Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Susan_ Schnitzel and the Trout and Gravlax

Susan and I first became acquainted because of our blogs_ hers being Schnitzel and the Trout. Over the years, because of so many common interests, it was natural that we became friends. Then several years ago while traveling in Montana, my husband and I personally met Susan for lunch, and it was as if we had known one another for a hundred years (my dear husband’s expression when something seems to fit). That wonderful smile of hers says it all: warm, genuine, fun-loving… all straight from the heart.

And last week we had the pleasure of finally meeting the Trout when they traveled to the Pacific Northwest to spend some time with us.  The front door was opened with smiling faces abound_ hugs all around! They were finally here.

Such a wonderful surprise_Susan made me a personalized towel for the kitchen,

and they brought a lovely stone for the garden, inscribed_ 

Quiet hearts can hear the song of a Garden

After we settled and talked a bit, Susan asked if we knew of a local business, Singing Dog Vanilla. We had not, but my husband found the location and called. We were invited and given a personal tour by Marty, co-owner, and you can read about it on Susan's blog. Following the visit we scurried over to the local Capella's where we could purchase some of their products. Can't wait to try the vanilla bean!

Back home we had fun sporting the t-shirts Marty gave us, then prepared for a relaxing evening. Fresh Sockeye salmon, fresh green beans from the garden and a spicy cabbage slaw for dinner. (Note: Susan and Dale asked if I had ever made Gravlax. Since I had not, they suggested I set aside the end pieces of the salmon and offered instruction for making it later. See below.)

Mornings in the garden:

Morning walks in the garden
Morning bouquet
Breakfasts in the gazebo_ looks like they weren't waiting ;)
King Estate Vineyards
Wine tasting and lunch at King Estate


We laughed and talked and carried on as though we had known one another for a hundred years. The days passed too quickly! How blessed we were to have Susan and Dale visit, and we look forward to our continued friendship and the next time.


2 remaining pieces of sockeye salmon (approximately 1/4 pound and skin on)
2 TB Kosher salt
1 TB brown sugar
Black pepper (to taste)
Lemon zest, sprinkle
Dill sprigs, chopped
1 TB vodka

Skin side down, coat the salmon pieces with the salt and sugar, a little black pepper, some lemon zest, dill and finally the vodka. Sandwich the two pieces together (skin side out), place them in a glass baking dish, and cover the fish lightly with plastic wrap. Place a heavy weight (i.e. a covered brick) atop the fish and refrigerate for about three days. Each day baste the salmon with the released brine and return to the refrigerator.   

When it’s done, scrape away the dill and slice the salmon as thin as possible. Careful not to include the skin.  We happened to have a bagel: cut it in half, toasted and slathered with cream cheese; sprinkled with capers, slice of sweet onion, and the salmon. My what a treat.

Note: the next time I make this, I will use a larger and thicker filet rather than the tail end, and of course increase the ingredients.