Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Smoked Salmon Spread and Mystery Italian Plates and both my blogs are fixed!

So many times something is mentioned in a book that ends up on my menu. Does that happen to you? I have always written down inspiring menus from books I'm reading.


Salmon has been a favorite for RH to put on his smoker for decades but we had never soaked it in rum first before I read that mentioned in Alexander McCall Smith's The Sunday Philosophy Club. 

He smokes it himself in one of those old smoking sheds. He soaks it in rum and then puts it over oak chips. It's the rum that gives it that wonderful flavor.


 I recently soaked some wild sockeye salmon in dark aged rum for two hours then dried it well, smeared on a little brown sugar, salt and pepper. RH had the smoker going with oak chips and the air in the garden smelled wonderful as the two sides of salmon smoked.

We had some of it on a big salad that night and I flaked the remainder, put half in the freezer, and used the other half the next day to make Smoked Salmon Spread from this Ina Garten recipe.

I halved Ina's recipe and added a little chopped celery, scallion, and jalapeƱo, plus a little cayenne and paprika. 

 I rarely make appetizers anymore for just the two of us so this called for a pretty old green glass container and a linen towel with fish embroidered on it and one of my mystery Italian plates.

I have a treasured stack of them and they never go in the dishwasher. I haven't been able to identify them online. I've searched for "sea creature plates marked Italy"  to no avail. Every time I've posted a picture of these plates on my blogs I've asked for help in identifying these so if anyone knows what kind of a sea creature this could be, please let me know.

I can't even remember where I got them but they're perfect for summer days. And ever since I read Frances Parkinson Keyes's New England-set novel Also the Hills many years ago, salmon has always been on the Fourth of July menu for me, along with the barbecued ribs for RH that we both grew up eating on Independence Day. Keyes's novels were full of good menus, whether in her New England-set novels or her Louisiana ones or her ones set in France or South America.

As were Laurie Colwin's novels. The best books have good food in them! Are there any fiction authors you find yourself jotting down recipe ideas while reading? 

And yes, both my blogs are working again! I have no idea how. For days they weren't despite everything I tried and then all of a sudden presto, there they were and I was no longer "anonymous"! 

Thank you so much, Google, if it was you that fixed it! 

My best to everyone reading here,



  1. How delicious that salmon looks. I'm definitely going to try soaking a filet in rum before smoking it next time. Well, actually HE does the salmon, so I'll tell him what to do! And he'll be fine with that! So glad your blog woes are fixed.

  2. Thank you, Lorrie! I'm so happy that they're working again, I was a little worried that it might be the end of blogging for me.

  3. So glad your blogs are working again! Oh, how I wish I liked fresh salmon: I know it's nutritious. I'm afraid I'm just not a fish and seafood fan. But I will eat canned tuna and salmon if it's made into a tuna salad or salmon patties. That is so interesting to soak the salmon in rum!

    I love your Italian plates. I've never seen a shape like that. Maybe it's not a sea creature shape? I don't know what you could Google though. It's not scalloped edges. Hmm. Is there an antique shop that you go to that you could take one in, where they could perhaps identify it?

    Have a wonderful Fourth of July weekend!

    1. Sorry, my reply is in comment below, Melanie!

  4. I've never thought about taking one of the plates to our local antique mall, Melanie. I'll do that next time I go. They probably have the app that identifies them if others have been listed or sold. Thank you and happy Fourth to you and Brian!

  5. wow, that looks so good!! I like how you read something and then it gives you the motivation to try a new way of cooking something like salmon. Very nice. Nice plates. Wonder what you will find out.

    1. Ha! Sandy, I'll probably find out they sell for $9 on Amazon, right? Until then, I'll continue to hand wash and treasure them.

  6. I'm trying to imagine the delicious aroma (and taste!) of your rum soaked smoked salmon, Dewena! Reading your recipe and looking at your photos, I am THIS close to giving salmon another try, since I have never been keen on it! I did have a very tasty salmon marinated in maple syrup and various spices, when I was in Toronto, last Christmas, perfectly prepared and baked by my aunt Vivian, and that was the first time in 34 years that I actually gave it a another shot!

    Your Italian plates are very pretty and practical, especially for fish and seafood, with those scalloped edges. Do tell us if you ever solve the mystery re: more details about their roots!

    In the meantime, I hope you are enjoying the summer and everything it has to offer!

    Poppy xx

    1. Poppy, I often use maple syrup on salmon and love it. I have a half dozen favorite salmon recipes but I think my favorite two are one done with caramelized onions and the other is a butter, garlic, lemon and capers one. But I understand there are some tastes we just don't like. For me it is eggplant and artichokes and I bet you love them!