Salmon Bake

Just back from the beautiful Pacific Northwest. We had a glorious week at Family Camp and were so sad to leave. The entire family was there spending time together as there was so much to do. We enjoyed swimming, boating, fishing, archery, BB gun range, BMX bike trails, a great speaker, games, touring Whidbey Island, and of course the amazing food. This was not typical camp food, no sir. Daily, they fed about 180 people three wonderful meals plus an evening snack. One of the highlights of camp is the Salmon Bake. This camp has been hosting them since 1969. They are always held on a Wednesday evening and if it is nice out we get to dine alfresco. We dined alfresco since the sun was hot, hot, hot. Yes unusual but very welcomed.

The staff members start the wood burning fires in the afternoon so the ashes are smokey and a perfect temp. They continue to stoke the fires in order to cook these huge racks of salmon.

I asked the camp director what he uses on the salmon but he said that he would have to kill me. I said, “shoot.” I was happy to hear the there really is no recipe. He told me that it is just a concoction of the following:

Salmon Baste
Lots and Lots of melted butter

Baste salmon prior to cooking and continue to moisten through cooking process. That’s it!

Oh you should have smelled that salmon cooking. The smoke, the seasonings. Mm mm, heaven.

A gentleman by the name of Mr. Robinson has attended every Salmon Bake since 1969. He states that this year was a good Salmon Bake, he is an expert of sorts. I had to agree as two years ago the salmon was fishy and flat tasting. Mr. Robinson said that it has to do with the weather. If it is a hot and sunny day the salmon is perfect, if it is rainy and cold that taste gets into the salmon and ruins it. I think he was right. Two years ago it was cold and rainy. Hmmm. The salmon we ate this year was juicy, tender, and cooked to perfection. The cooks served it with roasted new potatoes, salad, cheesy garlic bread, and a fruit salad. What a delicious meal. I think I got a weeks worth of protein in that one meal and enough Omega-3’s for the year thank you very much.

Alas, I am ruined. It will be another two years until I get good salmon again. I just hope it is sunny.


  1. EAT!
    Posted August 20, 2008 at 9:20 AM | Permalink

    Welcome home!! My salmon loving kids thank you for this recipe. We will have to make the trip to enjoy salmon on the West Coast.

  2. Sabrina
    Posted August 20, 2008 at 9:31 AM | Permalink

    Glad you had a great time away. But sooo glad you are back to share more delicious food.

  3. Anonymous
    Posted August 20, 2008 at 9:44 AM | Permalink

    What a wonderful change of scenery for you!
    I remember a Salmon Bake on Friday Harbor and also one on an Alaskan Cruise. Your experience brought back the BEST memories.
    Hmmm we may have to try some Salmon on our very own grill on a sunny day.
    We missed you!

  4. j*amy
    Posted August 20, 2008 at 10:28 AM | Permalink

    i don’t like fish or any seafood 🙁

    but! i did try crab cakes [for the first time] last week, and i must say they were OK…probably the fried breading that i liked so much.

    i think it was 95% mental, as it was hard for me to just swallow the fact i was eating crab. ick!

  5. Nicole
    Posted August 20, 2008 at 11:02 AM | Permalink

    Sounds like a wonderful time and what a fantastic looking meal.

  6. Beth
    Posted August 20, 2008 at 4:17 PM | Permalink

    Welcome home. It sounds like you had a fantastic time. And the salmon looks incredible. I just got a new grill and was looking for something other than plank salmon. Thanks.

  7. Grace
    Posted August 20, 2008 at 4:33 PM | Permalink

    wow…can you say flaky? i can! that slab o’ salmon looks moist and tender and awesome, and i don’t even like fish! hold on to those memories. 🙂

  8. dobetter
    Posted August 20, 2008 at 5:15 PM | Permalink

    Looks so good and so fun!

  9. Lisa
    Posted August 20, 2008 at 7:38 PM | Permalink

    I had never heard that before, about the weather effecting the quality of salmon. Interesting!

    It sounds like you had a fabulous time and that fish does look amazing. Fresh salmon cooked outdoors is one of the finest things about the Pacific Northwest!

  10. That Girl
    Posted August 21, 2008 at 12:05 AM | Permalink

    That camp looks like such a fun experience!

  11. Robin Sue
    Posted August 21, 2008 at 11:55 AM | Permalink

    Eat!- The salmon on the west coast is the best in my book!

    Sabrina- It is good to be back, but I did love every minute of my trip.

    Anon- I am glad you had good memories too! Thanks for welcoming me back!

    J*amy- Maybe someday you will like fish. You have to have it cooked right. Oh and never think, just eat!

    Nicole- I hope you had a grat trip as well!

    Beth do try this salmon it is so moist!

    Grace- Thanks, fish cooked well is great!

    Do Better- Thanks!

    Lisa- Who knows if the weather really affect? But it seeemed to!

    That Girl-It is the bestest and funnest place!

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