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5 Things: End of 2018 Edition

Here we are, at the final 5 Things™ of 2018. Due to intense holiday exhaustion and an increasing desire to fall deeply into sleep and live off my fat reserves for a few months, I was just going to list our mail-order bestsellers and wax slightly poetic about each, but I remembered that we had an exciting year at Northern Waters Smokehaus, and perhaps this blog would be a perfectly suitable place to talk about it.

So because I am very tired and don’t want to choose between the two, here’s my compromise: For each bestseller, I’ll share an unrelated anecdote about our eventful year.

#5 — Salmon pâté. In the Spring of 2018, Casey Webb and the crew of the Travel Channel’s Man v. Food stopped by our deli for a day. As an employee, I really enjoyed the experience, because it reinvigorated my sense of pride in my work, but mostly because the spectacle distracted our customers and made for a very relaxed shift with a distinct lack of bad vibes (or, for the optimists out there, an abundance of good vibes). Leif made a Cajun Finn so beautiful it probably brought a tear to the camera operator’s eye, but it was at 6am, so I was not awake to verify that claim. I witnessed a minimum of eight takes of Casey popping up into the frame jiggling a whitefish side-to-side. Movie magic in action. The episode aired in June.


#4 — Lake Superior lake trout. In August, we had the great honor of being selected to cater the Glensheen Gala. I’m going from memory here, but the gala’s theme was a sort of low-fantasy English garden party, and we brought down the house with lamb hand-pies, boursin endive boats, watercress & butter sandwiches, and an assortment of cheese and desserts. I spent most of the night making tiny dessert pies with chocolate, a whipped cream topping, and raspberry jam, but as the night died down, those of us staffing the gig got to stroll around the mansion grounds to carouse and enjoy the sights. 10/10 would love to do this again.

#3 — Traditional salmon piece. Eric started Northern Waters Smokehaus in 1998, which means we are doing what we do well enough to have celebrated the business’s twentieth anniversary this year. We did so in style with a double-header celebration which began at Hoops Brewing (featuring a line to the free food that wrapped around most of the bar and didn’t slow down) and ended at Rex Bar (featuring a lineup composed entirely of Smokehaus-affiliated bands). We are grateful for our community, which embraces us, supports us, and parties with us.

#2 — Salamini. The first official NWS product catalog is out, and it is sexy. The design team did such a great job that people think we must have outsourced our work, but the Smokehaus is packed so full of talented individuals that it was just bound to be good. Now that we’ve crossed this threshold, it won’t be long until a cookbook hits the shelves. Check out the catalog online here.

Cake by Lake Superior Bakehouse

(I said these were going to be unrelated anecdotes, but you should know that the holiday season completely cleared out our salumi stock, so we’ll be out until mid- to late-January. We offer our apologies for any inconvenience this may cause.)

#1 — Whitefish.
Our 2nd-annual Sandwich Lab was such a rousing success that we will be sharing nine new sandwiches and a new vegetarian (optionally vegan) salad with you throughout 2019. Sandwich Lab is a time to relearn and polish our sandwich making skills and to share our personal flavor creations. There will be more announcements coming very soon and plenty of social media content to absorb over the year, but I will say that the new salad changed my life, and while the sandwiches will be monthlong specials beginning in January, the salad is a new permanent fixture on our menu.

This is how we make decisions.

It has been a pleasure writing for you today. I hope you have enjoyed yourself, and I hope your resolutions for the new year are reasonably attainable, and that you attain them all.

See you next year!

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