Hello Phoenix

We’re happy to be back in Arizona for a few weeks before our last market of the year in Los Ranchos, New Mexico and our annual winter vacation. Come see us at Roadrunner Park and Ahwatukee Farmers Markets every weekend through the first week of December. We have a great selection of Sockeye salmon and Keta salmon. Don’t forget our amazingly delicious New Mexico Grassfed-Grassfinished Beef and Pork + a HUGE variety and abundance of Arizona local raw honey and specialty raw honeys. We also have Bariani Olive Oil and Kenny’s Spice Rub along with a few other items. It’s going to be a great fall season!

This is the perfect time to stock your freezer and pantry for the winter. As always, we offer stock up discounts for case orders. Check our website for details. If you’d like to order in advance for a market, please do so by 5:00pm on Fridays.

We welcome your comments, questions, feedback and insights. We look forward to serving you all this fall.

Cheers,

Brenna & Kenny

[ABQ] 3 Weeks New Mexico!

Due to a late fall pork harvest date, we’ll be staying in New Mexico a few weeks longer than is typical. We usually fly just before the balloons do, but we’ll be remaining here in the Albuquerque area and plan to attend the Los Ranchos Growers Market for the next 3 Saturdays, through October 8, 2022. After that, we’ll be heading to Phoenix and plan to pick up the Roadrunner Park and Ahwatukee Farmers Markets beginning sometime in late October. As usual, we will plan on being back in New Mexico for the Winter Market in Los Ranchos on Saturday, December 10, 2022. 

If you’re in New Mexico and need to stock your freezer and pantry for the fall, please let us know ASAP. The sooner you get your order in, the more likely you are to get exactly what you want.

A special thank you to all of our customers, co-vendors, farmers, gardeners and market managers. We absolutely love this job and couldn’t do what we do best without all of you! We truly appreciate you all and always welcome your feedback, comments and input. It’s been an AMAZING harvest season and we have reaped the rewards and stocked up plenty of green chile and other yummy produce and fruit for the winter. This week, Kenny has been processing frozen grapes, elderberries and pears to begin fermenting our family’s Christmas Mead!

Cheers,

Brenna & Kenny

Phoenix September 7&8 – Please Order!

We intend to be available in Phoenix on Wednesday and Thursday, September 7 & 8 for those who order in advance. Whether you need multiple cases or just a few items, please place your order via email or phone by Friday, September 2. We have mostly Keta and some Sockeye Salmon, along with a bit of Halibut. We’re sure to have an abundant supply of Grassfed-Grassfinished-GrassFAT Beef, New Mexico Pork, Arizona Local Raw Honey (we have a nice variety of specialty raw regional honey too), Bariani Olive Oil and Kenny’s Spice Rub. We’ve also recently added our FishHugger t-shirts and insulated tote bags to our product list along with a couple of other specialty items.

We find that most customers are best satisfied with a custom order, it’s a great way to eat what you want when you want it! Should you require assistance in determining your freezer needs, please let us know, we’re here to help. Our website is updated with the current product list and pricing information. If you need a 7 or 14 cubic foot Kelvinator commercial freezer this trip, please let us know ASAP.

Again, please place your order via phone or email by Friday September 2. Orders will be picked up at our Phoenix home (near Thomas Rd & 44th St) on Wednesday and Thursday, September 7 & 8. If you have already put in a Phoenix order for September and haven’t heard back from us, please re-confirm…we don’t want to miss you! We welcome any further inquiry, feedback, input or suggestions anytime. Our website is thorough, informational, and answers every question we’ve been asked to date. Typically, most other questions and concerns are best addressed by phone. Please call us…we can’t always answer immediately, however, we do return voice messages. Alternatively, you are welcome to schedule a phone consultation via email.We appreciate you and look forward to stocking your freezer and pantry soon!

In Health & Happiness,

Kenny & Brenna

Beef in Stock!

Great news! Our New Mexico Pasture-Finished GrassFAT Beef is back in stock including ground beef, beef roasts, beef steaks, beef bones and organs. This beef was dry aged 21 days and processed at a small family-owned USDA facility in Raton, NM. Same great beef, same great taste…all packages are vacuum sealed.

Should you have feedback, comments, questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us at anytime. We sincerely appreciate each and every one of our patrons, customers, co-vendors, growers and market managers…we couldn’t do this without you! It is our pleasure to provide you and your families with our premium quality salmon and beef!

In Health & Happiness,

Kenny & Brenna

Pork is back in stock

I have been refining my diet for a long time. Reading books and comparing notes with perceived healthy people has helped. Sometimes I would believe what I had read and make a change for the better or worse. Once of those books demonized pork and shellfish. We kicked both out of our diet for a couple of agonizing years. A few books later, and I was enlightened to pursue the highest quality pork and smoked oysters possible. Reintroducing these foods addressed the cravings and dreams of bacon and sausage. That ended when I developed a source I could see with my eyes and verify the breed, feed, and harvest methods I could feel good about.

This week I harvested 300 pound prime hogs into thick cut bone-in chops, sausage, ground pork and fresh side/pork belly. I eat all the liver, heart, ribs and excess lard. The rest is stockpiled in freezers at -10 degrees F to eat or share with you good folks, until it’s all gone. Tonight we’re eating ground beef and pork lasagna with a micro green salad. Tomorrow is biscuits and sausage gravy with a poached egg or two. 

Once I learned that pork fat is the second highest source of vitamin D, my pork guilt transformed into pork pride. I fry potatoes and corn chips in lard with no guilt or the physical problems that come from frying in cheap seed oils. 

Two weeks from now, I’ll be harvesting beef for the winter and begin planning a trip to Phoenix to fill a few empty freezers. After that will be the honey harvest and mead brewing season. The good rains this month will yield lots of wildflowers full of nectar to build bee colonies and fill barrels to the top with raw honey.

We are all omnivores under the temporary guise of vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian or carnivore.

Come by the growers market in Los Ranchos to see what we have available. As always, if you enjoy our content, please share with a friend and encourage them to come see us or join our email newsletter list.

Eat Well,

Kenny

Tales from Alitak Alaska

The summer of 1997 Brenna and I signed a contract to work aboard the F/V Halcyon for captain Markus Abramson for 90 days. Home port was Alitak, Alaska on the southern tip of Kodiak Island. This part of the island has no trees, but tundra and beaches with set net cabins miles apart. The only access is still by boat or seaplane. The kind of place that reminds you of how small you really are. 

We readied the 41 foot fiberglass vessel with fuel, water, provisions and a seine net for the traditional June 9th season opener and went to work on sockeye salmon. The prices paid to fishermen had been dropping for many years since the glory days of yesteryear (mid-late 1980s). 

Fishermen all over Alaska were grumbling about striking for a fair price on humpies (pink salmon) mid-season.Canneries and buyers had posted a price of 5 cents a pound for pink salmon. The Kodiak Seiners Association was formed to address the issue around the island with communication to other groups around the state. Most of the Alaska salmon fishermen decided to strike for 5.5 cents which lasted for about a month. I don’t remember which side gave in. A dock full of 30 boats and crews with nothing to do all day in a remote part of the world created interesting opportunities. Hunting Sitka black-tailed deer occupied a few days. Learning cribbage took a week of tournaments to master with other captains and crew amongst the fleet.

Crew from the F/V Dolphin introduced us to an abandoned net loft where the community smoker and table tennis was stored. Being a long walk from the docks, smoking fish is a commitment of time away from the distractions and relative comfort of the boats. Tending the old wooden smoker while playing ping pong filled many days with staycation gratification. Kodiak red fox would tip toe by us, eager for a taste of cold smoked fish that trailed smoke across the bay for days on end. Salmonberries (Rubus spectabilis) were abundant, covering the hillsides. We snacked on the berries as we gathered them and brought plenty back to the boat for a fresh cobbler and pancakes.

That season was a total bust for money and a jackpot in experiences and relationships never to be repeated. After that, I knew I really wanted to become a commercial fisherman and I was able to buy my permit at the bottom of the market with no way but up for the next 20 years. “Hurry up and wait” boat life taught me patience and the power to be present, thanks to repetitive drudgery with moments fo sheer panic or conquest over the ocean. 

A few weeks ago, my family presented me a table tennis set for Father’s Day. I had not thought of the early days in Alitak until I picked up a paddle to play with the family. Brenna still has a mean backhand and we’ve been tending to the smoker in between games getting ready for market.

We have a great supply of smoked sockeye salmon available for the Los Ranchos Growers Market on Saturday…come see us! If you like our fish or our story, please share this email with a friend and encourage them to join our email newsletter or come on down to the market. We appreciate the opportunity to feed you and your families and friends!

Cheers,

Kenny

Wild Salmon (Pt. 3) – Sockeye

Welcome to the final installment in our series on Wild Pacific Salmon. There are five species of salmon in the cold, clean waters around Alaska, today we will discuss our customers’ all time favorite, Sockeye Salmon.

Well traveled, Sockeye Salmon spend their time in salt water swimming and feeding in the Alaska Gyre in the Gulf of Alaska before returning to their natal streams to spawn. They hatch and live in fresh water for 1-4 years and then spend 3 years in the open ocean.

Wild Alaska Sockeye Salmon are well known for the brilliant red hue their fllets possess both raw and cooked. This is due to their natural diet of krill and plankton which contain a carotenoid pigment called astaxanthin. This powerful compound not only provides a deep color and strong (not fishy) flavor, but also is an antioxidant, may help prevent cancer, promotes skin and heart health, and can alleviate joint pain. A 3 ounce cooked portion of sockeye salmon contains 23 grams of protein, 3.8 micrograms of vitamin B12, 14.2 micrograms of vitamin D and a whopping 730 milligrams of the omega 3’s DHA and EPA. These essential fatty acids are the most studied, beneficial, and readily usable fats for the body. Salmon, by far, contains more DHA & EPA than any other source.

This firm, robust and vividly colored fish has a high oil content and is a perfect star of the plate when prepared by baking, broiling, grilling, poaching, sautéing, smoking, sushi/sashimi, roasting or steaming.

If you’d like to review the first two parts of this series (including recipes) check here:

Wild Salmon (Pt. 1) ~ Coho

Wild Salmon (Pt. 2) ~ Keta

Although we’ve offered all five species, we currently have Sockeye and Keta Salmon in stock. While we aren’t planning extended features on two other salmon, they are worth brief mention here. 

King, or Chinook Salmon, is the largest and least abundant of the Wild Pacific Salmon with the longest lifecycle in the open ocean. Most kings are troll caught in southeast Alaska. The first Copper River King Salmon of 2022 was about 10 pounds and sold at Pike Place Market in Seattle last month for just over $900. The Alaska Department of Fish & Game’s 2022 salmon forecast anticipates a return of approximately 310,000 King Salmon statewide.

Pink Salmon is the smallest and most abundant of the Wild Pacific Salmon species. Typically, the returns are larger in odd numbered years. The 2022 forecast calls for a total return of approximately 67.2 million fish, lower than in 2021. As Pink Salmon is the most bio-abundant, most are canned and not as easy to find fresh or frozen. We recommend canned Wild Pink Salmon over fresh farmed salmon any day of the week.

Overall salmon forecasts for 2022 call for a total commercial harvest of 160.6 million salmon (all species). A record Sockeye Salmon harvest of 74 million fish is anticipated and the Coho and Keta returns are projected to be average.

Alaska Sockeye Salmon with Red Chile Honey Glaze

Ingredients:

1/2 cup honey

3-4 tablespoons red chile sauce

1.5 pounds Alaska Sockeye Salmon

Sea salt and pepper, to taste

1 lime

Instructions:

1. Make the glaze by stirring red chile sauce and honey in a small bowl until well combined. Store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

2. Prepare the salmon for grilling by removing the salmon from the refrigerator 15 minutes before cooking. Heat grill to 375F. Season salmon with salt and pepper.

3. Grill the salmon by lightly coating preheated grill with olive oil. Carefully place salmon skin side down to the center of the grill. Close grill cover and cook for 5 minutes. 

4. Glaze the salmon, finish grilling, and serve by spreading the glaze on the salmon filets evenly. Close grill and continue to cook about 5-7 minutes more. Cook just until fish is lightly translucent in the center – it will finish cooking from retained heat. Remove from grill and let rest a few minutes before serving. Garnish with lime zest and serve with lime wedges.

Variation: Salmon can also be roasted in an oven preheated to 375F or pan-seared and finished in the oven. Cook just until lightly translucent in the center; be sure to let salmon rest a few minutes before serving.

Enjoy,

Brenna & Kenny

Hello New Mexico

We’re happy to be back in the Rio Grande Valley for the summer and will begin the Los Ranchos Growers Market this Saturday, May 28. We plan to be there most Saturdays through the end of September.

We gladly accept advance orders for pick up at the market. Orders can be placed via phone or email by 6pm on Fridays. Please be sure to review our product/pricelist before ordering. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Cheers,

Kenny & Brenna

What is cubed steak?

Our perfect harvest methods require us to estimate a year or more in advance what we plan to share with fellow FishHuggers. Inventories of preferred cuts dwindle while waiting patiently for the next cycle of having every cut available to those with specific tastes or need for convenience.

We lean towards selling what is most desired and eating whatever is picked over. This method has inspired me to be creative with whatever is left in my freezers.

The technical difference between a roast and a steak is how thick or thin any muscle group is cut. Rib steak or rib roast, round steak or round roast, chuck steak or chuck roast. The strong locomotive muscles of any animal have the most flavor. Dry aging for 14 days or more is the first step and hammered tender is the second step. Marinades and cooking techniques are the third step.

My beeves yield an average of 20-25 pounds of tendereized round steak per animal, labelled as cubed steak or eye of round. It is my source for jerky, chicken fried steak, steak strips, fajitas, pho, broth, swiss steak, tartare, and eating raw with salt similar to the liver king and carnivore md.

Urbanites tend to purchase just in time to consume immediately to satisfy cravings or storage and time constraints. Rural families tend to purchase just in case to satisfy efficiencies in price and logistics of food security. This method forces people to eat what is available instead of what is desired at the moment.

This principle applies to food, fuel, spare parts and tools. My father was a logistics genius after serving 20 years as an accomplished military officer, followed by 20 years of running a commercial farm with my mother. He would say, “If you rely on one, you’d better have two. If you use it every day, buy the best. If you use it once a year, rent or borrow. If you borrow, bring it back as good or better than you found it, fill the tank and fix the tire. Do what’s right because it is only money.” I can’t call him for advice anymore, but I know what he would say because he said it so often while he fed me and taught me how to learn and work. Make a decision, only time will tell if it is a good or bad one.

Kenny

[PHX + ABQ] Spring update

Phoenix: We’re staying here in Arizona a bit longer than usual. We’ll be at Roadrunner Park and Ahwatukee Farmers Markets through the weekend of May 14/15 this season. If you need to stock your freezer and pantry for the summer, please let us know. It’s officially still spring, but temperatures are forecast in the high 90’s the next 2 Saturdays, so we recommend shopping early and bringing pre-chilled coolers/cooler bags and gel packs. If you’d prefer to pick up or shop at our home, please do schedule an appointment. If you’d like to join Kenny’s Kelvinator club, we currently have both 7 cubic ft and 14 cubic ft freezers available for pick up or delivery. Generally, you can plan on storing 20 pounds of food per cubic foot of freezer space. 

Albuquerque: We intend to begin the Los Ranchos Growers Market in New Mexico in late May 2022 and continue most Saturdays throughout the summer. We have pork and beef ready for harvest during the summer and early fall. We are bringing A TON of salmon to New Mexico and look forward to seeing you soon. Advance orders are welcome.

Our many thanks to you all, we appreciate you so much! As always, we welcome your comments, questions and insights.

Brenna & Kenny