A mother-daughter conversation on food and cooking (mostly)

Saturday, August 20, 2011


I needed to use some problematic okra from the garden--some was old and pretty tough, and some was young and tender, and there wasn't very much of either. I started out with Paula Deen's gumbo recipe, and made a few modifications, as usual. I used chicken thighs instead of breasts. I used butter instead of margarine and cut down on the fat amounts a bit. Also, I didn't have 5 bouillon cubes (!) so I used two chicken ones.

I sliced the elderly okra and threw it in when the recipe suggested. Then I steamed the baby okra separately and garnished each bowl with a few of those. It was so pretty, and gave the okra its due.

Eating and Drinking in Alaska

Our seven-week camper trip to Canada and Alaska has left me with some wonderful food memories.

Anchorage has many excellent restaurants! My favorite meal this time around was lunch at Muse, which is the cafe at the Anchorage Museum. I had a halibut sandwich and my mouth is watering now as I remember it. Although the place was busy, great care was taken with every detail: the fish was cooked so perfectly, and the bun buttered and toasted so that I had to eat every crumb. In Girdwood we lunched at Maxine's, where I had the lunch special, a duck quesadilla. In addition to the duck, the filling had a spicy homemade peach jam and a mild jack cheese. And slow-cooked onions, if I remember correctly.

In Whitehorse, in the Yukon Territory, Dad had a birthday lunch of fish and chips, but in this case the chips were "yam fries."

Russell cooked some beautiful things for us at home, particularly this sockeye salmon that he caught and filleted. Together he and I made a rhubarb-raspberry cobbler with rhubarb from their garden. The topping was made with Bob's Red Mill gluten-free cornbread mix with a little sugar added.

Camped out in the forest above Hope we intended to make martinis but had forgotten the olives. So, inspired by a Spruce Tip Vinaigrette I saw on a menu in Homer, we invented the

Spruce Tip Martini

Fresh spruce tips

Estimate amounts of gin and vermouth in plastic glasses. Muddle with spruce tip and serve with lots of ice. Best enjoyed in cool, rainy forest setting.