Forget the halibut and eat some more salmon

We have local fluke halibut this week! Okay, so the halibut that came in was NOT good. I am in Portland to celebrate the thirtieth birthday of my best friend and raise a Shirley Temple in honor of her new business. I got a phone call from a longtime fish plant buddy telling me that the halibut was “no bueno” but we have pretty salmon. Okay, so salmon again it is. I hope that no one will be sad about that. I plan on giving the halibut another go next week.

If you are ever in the Portland area you should check out Nourish Northwest. They will be offering nutrition counseling, cooking classes, and all kinds of exercise options. I am writing this from their beautiful new studio and kitchen. It’a a wonderful place to be.

My cousin Kelin will be handling delivery duties this weekend. Say hello and ask him how he likes being a fishmonger in training.


See the previous post for salmon links!


I really hate writing these, but more and more I feel like this is just a part of finding fish this time of year. Sometimes, no fish is exactly the right thing to deliver, errrrr not deliver.

We had enough rain to shut down local shellfish harvesting for a few days, followed by wind that was strong enough to keep fishermen from heading out. I have been given reliable predictions that next week will bring much of the same, so I am headed into the smoke house next week to put up some more Bodega Bay King salmon. You know, just in case.

I apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause. I am always so impressed by the flexibility of Siren subscribers. Thank you thank you thank you for allowing me to stick to my standards. I am a grateful fishmonger.



Squid Thieves!

Well, not really thieves but it sounds more dramatic than competent people who mishandled my squid, and I choose to always err on the side of drama. The squid was left behind at the dock in Monterey, and because it was left behind it was sold to another buyer. I understand why this happened. If the product sits it goes bad and then everyone loses money. I had a few minutes of PANIC as I tried to figure out what to deliver this week.

During the day I work in a seafood plant that cooks at least thirty thousand pounds of crab a day. I looked out of my office window towards the unloading area, and saw bins and bins of lively Dungeness crab. Problem solved.

I apologize for the lack of new crab material. This was a VERY last minute substitution on a very busy day. Enjoy these links to past crab posts!

Dungeness Crab Season: A Meditation (RANT)

Break it down!

Crab + Pasta = forever



No Fish This Week

Ugh. No fish this week. I have been working through all of my back-up plans trying to make this weekend’s drop happen. I had plans A through D all lined up and nothing came through that met Siren SeaSA standards. I have always said that I would rather deliver nothing than send out something less than what I have promised, and this week I had to make that call. This will be the third drop that I have had to cancel in seven months of Siren, so it does not happen very often. There were many factors contributing to this decision. My plan A fisherman didn’t go out due to back problems, my plan B fisherman came back with a very small catch that was better suited for another buyer, my plan C mussel farm was temporarily shut down due to some unexpected run-off, and my secret stash of smoked salmon was accidentaly sold by the facility that was storing it for me. Yikes. Talk about rotten luck.

I do not anticipte next week’s drop being a problem. Fingers crossed. Siren subscribers are the best, and as always, I feel so lucky to work with all of you.


No Fish this Week!

This week we have no fish. Yuck. This is the second time I have run into this over the last five months. The fishing community is in a weird seasonal transition. Crab season is technically open, but the fishermen are striking to negotiate a better price. The smaller boats really depend on crab season to fund the rest of their fishing endeavors, so this is a seriously strange time down at the docks. No one really wanted to go out and set fish traps when the strike could break and they would miss the initial rush to set crab traps. It is an understandable concern, but it is unfortunate for us. The big trawlers do not re-tool for crab season, so they went out and brought in some pretty big loads of fish. Siren still does not buy from trawlers so those fish were not an option.

I had last minute shellfish plans, but we got a dousing along the Sonoma and Marin coastlines last night that shut down shellfish harvest. Working within the promised timeline and sourcing guidelines, I was not able to source anything that met my standards. I apologize for the inconvenience of a missed delivery. Your account will not be charged and the delivery schedule will remained unchanged. We have a scheduled break next Saturday for Thanksgiving.

As always, I am glad to have such supportive subscribers. I’m a little sad about not having fish, but I am really happy to know that you all support me sticking to my sourcing standards. Thank you!

A week off, but not for fun reasons.

It has happened. I have no fish this week. Well, there will be fish available, but not anything that would meet my standards for sustainability and freshness. I have been dreading this week, the first week I come up empty, but every one that I have spoken with in the CSF world told me that this would happen eventually. It will probably happen a few more times throughout the winter.

Most of the small boats are getting ready for crab season, and many that were willing to go out and fish had no quota left. Next week will be much better. The black cod fishery opens up again, and I have a few boats who have committed to catching some fish for Siren. It should be a triumphant return. It is just a couple of weeks until crab season launches and then the fish sourcing world should be an easier place.

I exhausted plans A-G this week, and nothing seemed to fit in perfectly with what I want to source for Siren. I am very sorry if any one is inconvenienced by this missed drop. Of course, no one will be charged and I will always try to give as much notice as I can when we will be fish-less.

Thank you so very much for your patience and understanding! I am so grateful to you all for being a part of our little seafood community.