I’d like to hope that we enter into each new year with a sense of optimism and possibility. We get a clean slate, a fresh start, a blank page on which to leave our mark. Now that it’s 2017, I am excited to share with you a bit of important news.
The carved pumpkins are gone, the Halloween costumes are put away, the candy is stashed for mom-supervised rationing. This year was the best Halloween yet because my 11-year-old son had the brilliant idea that he would dress up as a hot dog and my partner and I would be ketchup and mustard.
As we experienced our first light snowfall of the year this week, I find myself not even remotely prepared to let go of fall. In Alaska, it’s so impossibly brief, particularly for my love of fall food. Fall flavors are my favorite flavors of the year.
If you’ve been firing up your grill this summer, it’s likely you may have some leftover grilled proteins on hand like salmon, steak, or chicken. One of my favorite ways to use up leftover grilled meats is to make a big, beautiful green salad the next day.
A good friend visiting from San Diego admitted to never having enjoyed salmon and was hoping this trip to Alaska could turn the tide. She went on to say that the only way she had enjoyed cooked fish in the past was a traditional Baja-style fish taco – a San Diego staple.
Once the pan of shrimp was cooked and photographed, I called for my oldest son – the teenaged shrimp-lover of the household – and told him there may be something he might be interested in on the dining room table. He came downstairs, took one look, and perched himself beside the hot skillet, devouring every single last piece of plump, glistening shrimp.
Summertime in Alaska always includes many varieties of fresh, ripe local berries. Whether you’re choosing your berries at a farmer’s market or going berry picking in the wilderness, summer berries are always a family favorite. They are also a favorite in my kitchen because they are so versatile in recipes.
During breakup season, we Alaskans break up with a lot of things. We break up with slushy roads and icy conditions. Good riddance. We break up with prolonged darkness and nights so black the constellations glow and the northern lights dance. We break up with the daily ordeal of making sure our children have every single last piece of snow gear packed in their backpacks. Can somebody please tell me where all the gloves go? We break up with our snow shovels, snowblowers, snow machines and studded snow tires. We break up with auto starting our vehicles and scraping our windshields. And inevitably each spring, we break up with last year’s salmon we have sitting in our freezers.