Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Ketchikan Daily News write up

“The Fishes & Dishes Cookbook: Seafood Recipes and Salty Stories from Alaska’s Commercial Fisherwomen.”
By Kiyo Marsh, Tomi Marsh, and Laura Cooper

Daily News Staff Writer
They’ve braved the ocean from Ketchikan to the Bering Sea, these “goddesses in Grundéns,” harvesting salmon and crab and halibut and herring.
Such hard work produces a healthy appetite, and fisherwomen know seafood at its best.
And thus have these fisherwomen — Kiyo Marsh, Tomi Marsh and Laura Cooper — combined their knowledge of seafaring, fishing and the culinary arts into a remarkable new volume entitled “The Fishes & Dishes Cookbook.”
Two neat things stand out in this book.
A variety of vignettes, glossaries and photos provide an illuminating glimpse of the authors’ fishing lifestyles and the seafood they harvest.
Secondly, the 80 recipes are as adventurous as the authors themselves. Betty Crocker, the poor dear, got left on the dock for this one.
Many Ketchikan residents and commercial fishermen in Alaska are likely to know of at least one of the “Fishes & Dishes” authors and contributors.
The most visible here around the First City is Tomi Marsh, the Ketchikan-based skipper of the 78-foot fishing and tendering vessel Savage, and a 28-year veteran of the commercial fishing industry.
Tomi’s sister, Kiyo Marsh, worked five years as a deckhand and boat cook aboard the Savage from Southeast Alaska to the Bering Sea.
Laura Cooper worked as a boat cook and deckhand aboard longlining and tendering boats in western Alaska.
Kiyo and Laura now reside in Seattle.
So, where did the cookbook idea come from?
Aboard the Savage, about a decade ago, Kiyo Marsh told the Daily News in March.
“When Tomi and I were fishing crab, rolling around the Bering Sea, cooking was always such a challenge,” Kiyo said. “We started off joking about making a cookbook called ‘Cooking in the Ditch.’ Each recipe would be good whether you were in 30-foot seas or tied to the dock.”
Kiyo laughs when she says this, recalling how she’d use bungie cords and straps criss-crossed over the top of the Savage galley’s stove in an attempt to keep pots and pans in place.
“You’d take a hard roll and it doesn’t matter how hard it’s strapped down. it’s going to want to jump,” she said. “There were times where I’m literally just laid out across the stove trying to keep things from going on the floor.”
Over time, Kiyo and Tomi collected recipes, testing and innovating at sea and on land. The process toward a cookbook gathered speed about three years ago when Laura Cooper began helping out.
The world-traveling Kiyo said she loves to be creative with cooking, which is reflected in the selections featured in “Fishes & Dishes.”
“I wanted to try to put some recipes in that were going to be a little different than what you usually see in a cookbook,” she said. “Not just your clam chowder, and your fish and chips, and your salmon dip — not that those aren’t good.”
Her personal favorite recipes in the book include the miso-glazed black cod, a cast-iron broiled salmon and the jade dumplings made with salmon.
Many of the recipes include ethnic flavors from Japanese, Vietnamese, Spanish, Chinese and Thai cuisines.
Kiyo also said she wanted to give cooks opportunities to make things like sweet chile sauce or green enchilada sauce from scratch.
“But you know, definitely if we’re rolling around on the boat, we’d probably grab a jar of chile sauce or a can of green enchilada sauce for the seafood enchiladas,” Kiyo said.
In addition to basic preparation tips for a variety of seafood species (ever de-beard a mussel or clean a geoduck clam?), “Fishes & Dishes” includes some beverage mixology and a section on how to pair wines with seafood.
“Fishes & Dishes’ has several contributions from other fisherwomen, such as Carol Brown, Stefani Smith, Mary Lang, Shannon Zellerhoff, Roxanne Kennedy and Kacy Hubbard-Patton. One short story is about Dawn and Dave Rauwolf of Ketchikan.
There’s also a page on fishing fashion —the book’s working title was “Goddesses in Grundéns” — that covers the fab basics such as Xtratuf boots, Polartec fleece, hoodies, rubber gloves and Carhartt coveralls.
It all rings true, written by women who’ve lived at sea and know their subjects well.
“Fishes & Dishes” is available now at some booksellers, including Parnassus Books in Ketchikan.
“People have been really positive and haav really liked it a lot,” Kiyo Marsh said.
She and Tomi Marsh plan to be at Parnassus Books beginning at about 2 p.m. Sunday during Parnassus’ 25th anniversary open house (which runs from noon to 5 p.m.).
“I’m not exactly sure what we’re going to make yet, but there will definitely be food from the book there,” Kiyo said.

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