When you write about food for a living, homegrown recipes get shared with you everywhere you travel. I have a folder full of marinade recipes scribbled on post-it notes, rub ingredients on barbecue-stained napkins, and blurry cell-phone pics snapped of the recipe cards of long-passed relatives. In an age when the Google machine is a source for anything you might desire, it’s nice to remember a time when Grandma’s recipe box held a whole host of treasures worth discovering.
I plan on sharing some of these found recipes with you from time to time—with the caveat that I have not tested many of them. I’ll also transcribe them as I received them, which often leaves some of the actual mystery and magic of cooking up to the reader, which is how it should be.
This particular one came from a small chapbook shared by a friend. Titled Fish Tails and Scaly Thumbs by Thelma Cook Arnold, it’s a 31-page typed remembrance of the life of a hardcore fly angler as written by his widow. Along with a number of great stories, it also included this recipe for smoked salmon that was originally shared by a Canadian Air Force officer.
Canadian Air Force Smoked Salmon
1/3 cup canning salt
1/3 cup white sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. lemon pepper
1 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. rosemary
1 tsp. pepper (1/2 tsp. Java black cracked pepper and 1/2 tsp regular pepper)
(Makes enough for 8 medium fish)
Mix all together. Put some on a board, dry fish with paper towels. Lay fish on mixture, put some in body cavity, put rest on top. Tip board so it can drip into sink. Leave 5 hours. At end of 5 hours, wipe off excess mixture with paper towel. Place on racks of smoker. Smoke 12-inhc trout 3 ½ to 4 hours. At 3 hours test one—if it is still juicy and meat will not pull away from backbone, continue smoking. (The larger fish should be on board longer, be heated in a 150 degree over for 4 min. before smoking. They may take 5 hours of smoking.) Have continuous smoke on fish.