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Monthly Archives: February 2022

A little target practice with their BB guns.

Welcome to my new weekly series about everything Alaskan. Alaskana as the old timers call it around here.

Let’s start with a definition of “sourdough”.

A helpful guide to all words new Alaskans need!

Sourdough is (1) a “yeast-flour & water concoction made, preserved, carried and treasures by Alaska pioneers and prospectors, who needed it to make bread, hotcakes, cake and other baked goods, and who kept it alive by “feeding” it frequently with more flour or milk and making sure it didn’t freeze or dry out; continuing mainstay of many Alaskan kitchens; (2) originally a prospector, now any old-time Alaskan, but particularly one who has spent a lot of time out in the bush.”

Alaska Dictionary and Pronunciation Guide by Jan O’Meara

This series of posts will mainly focus on definition 2 with a surprise post now and then regarding #1.

My main inspiration of a true sourdough was my Dad. I have since met a few characters who embody the spirit of the Alaskan Sourdough. All inspire me to continue my quest for sourdoughness. As a mere cheechacko, I have a long way to go.


With each passing season and opportunity to do Alaska things I try to feed my inner sourdough. Kayaking Kachemak or Resurrection Bays, halibut fishing, personal use set-net fishing, hiking, foraging, hunting, aurora watching, cabin building… The list goes on and on.

After nearly nine years here and all the experiences that I’ve had the pleasure of, my “to-do” list is still miles long. My bucket list is a 55 gal drum.

A few of those listed items… See Denali, up close, got to Chicken, visit Cordova in the fall, cross the Cook Inlet to explore the other side, go to Seldovia, soak in Chena hot springs, watch the red lantern winner cross the finish line, drive the AlCan, visit Barrow (now officially known as Utqiagvik), tan a hide, catch a yellow eye, pick gallons of blueberries, find gold while panning, dig up fossils, live full time in my cabin.

Do you know a sourdough?

Or are you a sourdough?

Just a hint of spicy, refreshing. My new fave beverage with probiotics.

For some local flavor, very near my house.

HEA installs Tesla Megapacks

We usually experience seasonal power outages, thankfully there haven’t been any very long term outages for our home, others in our area have had long term outages (more than 12 hours). Time will tell if these Megapacks make a difference locally. Most of our outages are caused by downed trees and ice accumulation, which isn’t going to be helped by this new addition I’m guessing.

I’m all for diversity and not having all our eggs in one basket. We have ample supply of natural gas here which seems folly not to utilize. A combination of solar, wind, natural gas seems like a good idea. I’d like to see our own grid here, not connected to the lower 48 at all. But then again I’d like to be completely off-grid myself so I suppose I’m biased!

It is kinda cool to drive by this installation and know what it is/does.

Satisfied my sweet tooth. Just right, zero added sugar.
The ultimate Twos day

I scored a big box of mixed citrus at the local IGA today so I thought I’d try out my new fermentation weights I got for my birthday!

Thanks Mo, best gift ever!

The box had lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruit. We’ll eat the oranges and grapefruit fresh but I have way too many lemons and limes to use up in time. So what better way to preserve them but to ferment them! Fermented lemons are so delicious! But I haven’t tried limes yet. No time like the present!

I used this recipe as my guide/inspiration.

I sterilized my quart jars and weights and started prepping my lemons & limes. I washed them thoroughly and quartered them not cutting all the way through. I kept them attached at the base, like little blooming citrus flowers.

I packed them tightly in a jar layering salt liberally in-between the fruit. I used about a half a cup of pickling salt per jar. I filled in gaps with quarter slices and topped off the jar with fresh squeezed juice.

Weight in place, submerged in the salty lime juice.

I had some jalapeno peppers in the fridge that needed attention so I threw those together with some sliced onions, garlic and sliced lime, covered with saltwater brine. I’ll leave my jays on the counter for about a month then move to the fridge.

Now the hard part, waiting until they are ready. Fermented lemons are so good and have such intense flavor. Perfect in recipes calling for lemon juice, rind or flavoring. Once fermented, the rinds are edible. Chop them up in tiny dices and add to any dish calling for lemon something or other. Add the juice as well. It’s all good. I hear that fermented limes make a killer margarita. I’ll be trying that out sometime this summer I’m sure!

They’re so pretty!
This is *the* best seasoning for butter chicken!! You've got to try it!
Steaming hot gluten free ramen, with added veg & egg. Perfect food when you're sick!

Somewhere around this time, half a century ago, my existence in this realm began. Newlyweds and Valentine’s Day and all…

This being a milestone year I’ve been thinking a lot lately about things like accomplishments, unfinished business and future things. Thinky things.

Thinky things.

I like to think about this being the time that my parents were happy.

It was the only time, so far, that I’ve been to Canada. And with Canada’s draconian behaviour of late, I’m not planning on going again.

I was born in the snow and cold. (Well not literally, like my mom was inside the hospital.) But is that why I’ve always loved the snow? Is there a genetic reason why I love the snow? A geographical one? Or just a generic one?

I loved the mountains, even before I ever saw them in person. They were the subject of many of my juvenile drawings and again in my adult art class experience with Beverly years later. Mountains with pine trees with a log cabin. I need to live near them.

My first painting, circa 1993, after my first visit to Alaska.

Is all of this coincidence?

I’ve been on a health kick recently. Which has been building for quite some time. Trying to improve my overall feeling of wellness, increased energy, etc. They all say everything is harder to do after 50, so… Best get to it!

This phase of life has me seeing my first born graduating highschool and eventually moving out on her own. Of course I knew this day would come. I’ve tried teaching her all necessary skills and instilling what wisdom I have to impart. And yet I find myself wondering how we got here, quite so fast. It’s hard for me to imagine daily life without her right here, with me, in my house. At the same time I’m looking forward to having an adult child to experience life with. I’m excited for her and all the new things she will get to experience.

Then the second one will follow in a few years… And before I know it, they all will be out in the big world on their own. Whatever will I do with myself?

Oh, I have plenty of ideas.

But I’ll think about that tomorrow. Along with those other inevitable things I don’t want to think about right now.

So thanks to my Mom & Dad for giving me life. Thanks to G-d for bringing me to this season, and with HaShem’s help, I’ll get through it.