It's a long time until Alaska's recreational anglers will wet a line. But the commercial folks are out right now.
And a quick trip to the store will get fresh seafood on your dinner plate.
"Even with these frigid temperatures fishermen have been able to get out and target some of the fresh winter seafood bounty," said Dannon Southall of 10th & M Seafoods. "The cod fishery opened at the beginning of the month with fresh fillets coming throughout the week. These amazing flaky white fish fillets will be going for $5.95 per pound and work great for fish tacos while watching football.
"Instead of being pulled up in big pots in larger numbers these come up one by one on a hook and line, adding to the quality of the fillets. Cod is definitely a great sub for fresh halibut this time of year."
Southall said Southeast Alaska waters are a "happening spot" right now with oysters, troll-caught king salmon and side-stripe shrimp. Oysters are $14.95/dozen and the shrimp are $12.95/pound. The kings are available as fillets and head-on fish.
The Thursday market is back with multiple vendors.
The Spice & Tea Exchange is ready to help with the football spread. "We will be bringing game-day ideas to the market this week — spices for hot wings, steak and easy dips," owner Liz Eldridge said. "We'll also have wellness teas for your 2017 goals in mind, like Marrakesh Mint or Ginger Turmeric."
Duane Clark will have grass-fed beef and yak; Yensis onions, potatoes, carrots and beets; honey and honeycomb; salsa; jams; zucchini relish; and smoked salmon products from Tilgner's Seafoods. Clark said Three Bears Farm will have a wide assortment of jams and Non Essentials will have fresh eggs.
The thrice-weekly market (Wednesday, Friday and Saturday) is back, including a second week on Friday.
Alex Davis of A.D. Farm will be at all three markets with his products and a variety of items from other Alaska producers — Mosquito Mama's balsamic vinegar, Alaska Sprouts items, barley products from Alaska Flour Co. and biscotti items.
Davis' pork lineup includes bratwurst, loin roast, pork chops, fresh side sliced and slab, ground pork, Italian sausage, spicy sausage, breakfast sausage patties, ribs, roast, bone for broth, fat for rendering, liver, feet and hocks. Davis is also taking reservations for pigs to be butchered this spring. The vegetables include spaghetti squash, kohlrabi, beets, carrots, fingerling potatoes, Yukon gold potatoes, German butterball, magic Molly potatoes and fiesta potatoes. He also will have goose and chicken eggs.
Monica's Confection Connection will have a selection of sweets at all three markets. New this week is a walnut brittle to go along with the regular brittles, gummies, caramel, root beer marshmallows and fudge.
Catherine's Cupcakes will be at all three markets and at their own kiosk in the mall. Cupcake varieties include Purple Carrot made with Alaska-grown purple carrots and a Red Velbeet made with beets from A.D. Farm.
Rempel Family Farm will be at Saturday's market with loads of vegetables. Look for organic orange and purple carrots, red and green cabbage, purple onions, snow apple turnips, red beets, parsnips, kohlrabi, six varieties of winter squash and 13 kinds of potatoes. Also available is grass- and veggie-fed yak cuts.
Steve Edwards lives and writes in Anchorage. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Local farmers markets
Monday in the Valley: Colony Farmers Market, noon-6 p.m., 610 S. Valley Way, Palmer
Wednesday in Anchorage: Center Market, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., The Mall at Sears, Benson Boulevard and Denali Street
Thursday in Anchorage: Thankful Thursdays market, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., The Mall at Sears, Benson Boulevard and Denali Street
Friday in Anchorage: Center Market, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., The Mall at Sears, Benson Boulevard and Denali Street
Saturday in Anchorage: Center Market, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., The Mall at Sears, Benson Boulevard and Denali Street