I am a lover of adventure and fine tastes – a forager of the wild world. The life I live is close with nature and so is my diet.

I am a Gwich’in Inuvialuit Caucasian woman living in the far north, and a student of natural medicine. My elders taught me about the healing gifts in nature and I do my best to share those gifts with others.

I have been creating herbal products like lotions and tinctures for many years. The traditions I have carried from my family as well as those I have learned along the way make up my outlook on nourishing the body mind and spirit. I cook food that comes from local and wild resources and those from far away lands.

I grew up on the Husky Channel, along the Mackenzie Delta near the hamlet of Aklavik, Northwest Territories. My family brought me up hunting, trapping, fishing and wild harvesting for our staple foods, with the inclusion of store-bought goods.

I now reside in Dawson City, where I can continue living in this way with the addition of gardening and the luxuries of a variety of spices and delicacies from other countries I have visited.

I pick and play with what local wilderness can add to a dish and items from elsewhere regularly. I simply enjoy food and feeding people.

My grandmother taught me to cook and we read cookbooks for fun in our cabin. Living in the Yukon, harvest before the heavy snow makes winters more enjoyable, just like the company of good friends.

My partner and I went salmon fishing in July – it was his first time in many years being able to harvest king salmon. Since I grew up on a fish camp I was very excited to see the fishing practices of the Yukon. We spent the weekend fishing, gutting, cleaning and cooking these massive fish. I also saved some of the eggs.

Later I had a sushi night, inviting many friends. I made fresh salmon sashimi, salmon caviar and oven baked salmon. Each guest brought an ingredient. Being able to share not only the fishing experience, but also the bounty of our harvest with friends felt so good.

Salmon roe is nutritious and a special delicacy. Fresh local food, decent wine and warm laughter is what makes my community worth facing the bitter cold for.

I am participating in the arctic char harvest with my family in the Northwest Territories at the end of August. I feel truly thankful.

Here is my recipe for Spruce Tip Salmon Roe Caviar that I served at my sushi night.


Spruce Tip Salmon Roe Caviar

You will need:

-A running source of cold water

-Two large bowls

-Wire mesh, with squares roughly the same size as a salmon egg

-One strainer

-Tea ball or cheesecloth with string

– One hour of patience

Ingredients:

2 sacs filled with fresh salmon roe

½ cup to 1 cup of kosher sea salt (I used Himalayan pink salt)

2 Tbsp dried peppercorns

3 Tbsp dried rosemary

2 Tbsp dried thyme

4 Tbsp dried or fresh spruce tips

Method:

Fill one large bowl with the coldest water you can get. Add enough salt to make a heavy brine; when you stir it there should be undissolved salt grains.

Put herbs and pepper into tea ball or into cheesecloth with a string tied around it. Set aside.

Put salmon eggs into brine and let sit for 10 minutes. Taste an egg – if it isn’t salty enough to your taste wait another five minutes and then rinse in strainer.

Put mesh sifter on top of second bowl and slowly push the eggs through, removing as much as you can of the egg sack.

Add fresh cold water to the eggs, then add peppercorns, rosemary, thyme and spruce tips contained in the tea ball. Let sit 30 minutes.

Strain and rinse under cold water, put eggs through mesh sifter into a clean bowl. Remove any remaining egg sacks.

Serve immediately and keep cold.

Notes:

Spruce Tip Salmon Roe Caviar is great on toast, in sushi and on top of many appetizers! It will store in the fridge for three weeks in a closed jar. For longer storage, put into jars, and vacuum seal plastic around the jar creating an airtight seal. Will last in the freezer for three months.