Day 188 A Fish Story — Salmon Loaf and Cheese Relish

I am a wimp. This cottage has great recreational fishing with large and small mouth bass and perch leaping in the small lake just outside the back door. Nearly everyone in the family has been fishing either off the dock or in a canoe … and catching and releasing the fish. They supported me in the idea to catch at least one fish to cook using one of the recipes in the 1906 Berlin Cook Book. I decided that it would be even better if it was a fish that I had caught so last night I spent some time fishing off the dock and caught two bass. We decided they would be great for breakfast so they spent the night in a canoe that had filled with rain during one of the storms. This morning sped along and none of us talked about fish. Finally my mother suggested that it was getting hot and the fish might end up cooking in the canoe. My father prepared the necessary tools — a sharp knife and a filleting knife and proceeded to the dock. I found other things to do in the kitchen — I am a wimp. Finally, I decided that if the fish was to die for my blog I’d better go down and at least help a little. My father was fishing off the dock. Hmmm …. maybe the fish had died? No, he just couldn’t catch them in the canoe so was working on replacements but one had already jumped off the hook. I said I’d help catch the ones in the canoe but I soon realized neither of us really wanted to deal with them. My father hasn’t gutted and filleted a fish in a long time and I’ve never tried. We decided it was the lucky day for two fish. We hadn’t bargained on them being happy right where they swam. They were hanging out under the seat of the canoe and didn’t want to leave. We tried tipping the canoe, partially sinking the canoe and finally we had to lift the canoe and tip most of the water out before using plastic basins to catch them and put them back in the water. Fortunately the videographer in the family missed all this so there is no visual record of how silly we must have looked!

So what to make for the blog? I decided to make Salmon Loaf but my sister said she wasn’t eating fish unless it was the fresh ones we’d caught. I made her Cheese Relish instead. The Cheese Relish recipe was contributed by M. O. and Mrs. H. Rathman submitted the recipe for Salmon Loaf.

I made the salmon loaf first. I opened and drained one can of salmon. I think cans of salmon were larger in the early 20th century so I reduced the amounts of the other ingredients just a bit. I added a little under 1/2 cup of milk, some salt and pepper, about a teaspoon of butter and some bread crumbs. I didn’t have any soda crackers or eggs. I mixed it all together and formed it in the shape of a loaf since I didn’t have a loaf pan. I baked it on a greased flat dish for 30 minutes at 350 degrees F.

I started preparing the cheese relish. I sliced some medium cheddar cheese and put them on a frying pan. I mixed the milk, salt and a tablespoon of butter and poured it over the cheese. I kept the heat low and stirred frequently. I used bread crumbs instead of crackers and guessed at the amount of cheese since I didn’t have a scale. I used prepared mustard instead of dry. These are the challenges of cooking away from home for an extended period of time.

We pulled together the rest of the meal. I made warm potato salad and my sister made a fruit salad. We cut up chunks of bread to accompany the cheese relish. Some lavender iced tea and lemon water and we were ready to have lunch. The meal was a big hit. The salmon loaf was delicious even for this non fish eater. The cheese relish was enjoyed by everyone but a little cayenne pepper would be a good modern addition to this smooth cheese sauce. Both these recipes make my repeat list. They are good summer time dishes although the salmon loaf does require the oven but at least you won’t have to catch and kill the fish yourself!

Cut 1/4 pound of cheese into slices, put into a frying pan, pour over it 1 large cup of sweet milk into which has been mixed 1/2 teaspoon of dry mustard, a pinch of salt, add a piece of butter size of an egg, stir all the time, roll finely 3 crackers, sprinkle then in the above mixture; when thoroughly mixed turn into a warm dish and serve.

1 can salmon picked fine, 3 soda biscuits rolled fine, 1 egg, a little heated butter, 1/2 cup milk, salt and pepper to taste, roll with hands to a smooth loaf, butter a pan and bake in oven till slightly brown.

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One Response to Day 188 A Fish Story — Salmon Loaf and Cheese Relish

  1. Laurie says:

    Wish I’d seen the scramble to catch fish in the canoe!

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