A Little Celebration

Huge milestone in the Donahue house.  You'd think that I would be posting on our upcoming move to Tunisia (our departure date is in one week fyi). Nope, yesterday our oldest daughter got her drivers license. After taking drivers ed last summer, and advancing from driving like Mr. Magoo to being quite an excellent and cautious driver, and driving the 50 hours needed to get her license we found ourselves sitting at the Dept. of Licensing waiting for her to take her test.

I think that we were more nervous for her to take this test than when we dropped her off for her first day of kindergarten.

We paced, peeked through window blinds, and also celebrated this wonderful kid that we have. I'm not sure who was more relieved when she walked into the waiting area with the word from the drive instructor that she passed!! Yay!

We offered to take her out to celebrate, anywhere her heart desired.  She quickly responded that what she really wanted to do was to take her little sister out to dinner, just the two of them.  Told you she was wonderful. The girls went out for cheeseburgers later leaving Andy and I to celebrate on our own.

We split a bottle of Lambic Framboise, a Belgian raspberry beer.  It's a great beer for a hot summer day, almost a cross between a sangria and beer.  Fruity, bubbly, smooth and all too easy to drink. Then for dinner we had Salmon burgers and some baby greens with a mustardy dressing. Also very summery.

And so we celebrated our great kids, our good fortune, the beauty of the Pacific Northwest, and our upcoming adventure. Phew, that's a lot of celebrating!

Salmon Burgers
1 ½ pounds wild salmon filet skinned and finely chopped
1 egg white
½ red onion finely chopped
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a large mixing bowl beat the egg white until broken up and slightly frothy.  Add the red onion, lemon zest, basil, Dijon mustard and salt and pepper.  Whisk well to combine.  Add the salmon and working quickly mix  well and then shape into 4 patties. 
Place the patties on a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment and place in the freezer for about 30 minutes.
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a sauté pan over medium high heat. Place the salmon patties in the pan and let cook until browned and slightly crusty on one side, approximately 3-5 minutes. Flip them over and finish cooking approximately 3 minutes or to your desired degree of doneness.

A word about wild vs farmed salmon:
Having grown up on the west coast of the US I have been spoiled by the abundance of wild salmon available. I had never tasted or heard of farmed salmon until I was in college and I was shocked at how bland the farmed stuff tasted. Then news reports started coming out about the environmental impact of farmed salmon as well as nutritional problems. The U.S. Department of Agriculture research bears out that the fat content of farmed salmon is 30-35 percent by weight while wild salmons’ fat content is some 20 percent lower, though with a protein content about 20 percent higher. And farm-raised fish contain higher amounts of pro-inflammatory omega 6 fats instead of the preponderance of healthier omega 3s found in wild fish.

In addition due to the feedlot conditions of aquafarming, farm-raised fish are doused with antibiotics and exposed to more concentrated pesticides than their wild kin. Farmed salmon are given a salmon-colored dye in their feed “without which their flesh would be an unappetizing grey color.

Go with the wild salmon okay. Be it King, Coho, or Sockeye, nothing tops the taste of a wild salmon.  Yes they may be pricier but they are well worth it, and you are supporting your local fishermen!

A word about canned salmon:
Canned salmon has the same nutritional benefits as fresh. Don’t be alarmed however when you open up that can to find black bits of skin and bones sticking out. You can eat the skin and bones, the canning process makes the bones soft and from what I gather are an excellent source of calcium.  If you are a tad more squeamish, like moi, you can find some “gentrified” canned salmon products.  Look for boneless and skinless on the label to avoid the shock.
And always look for the label to read WILD salmon!


  1. I make these almost once a week now. We LOVE them. Bless you.

  2. That's great! They're pretty quick, I just found salmon at the market here and I think I'm gonna give them a whirl here. I'm certain that they're much better with Alaskan wild though:)