Fur Rondy is ongoing. The Iditarod and the Tour of Anchorage are coming up this weekend.
It's midwinter and Alaskans are smiling.
Why not make it a perfect match and throw a little fresh seafood in the mix?
"The seafood world is plugging right along with fresh fish coming across the docks throughout the state daily," says Dannon Southall of 10th & M Seafoods. "From the beautiful pristine waters of Southeast Alaska, fishermen have been able to get out and target the amazing winter kings. Coming from the same pristine waters in Southeast are live Alaskan oysters."
Southall says there are usually some white kings mixed in with the fish from Southeast, but he recommends calling ahead to verify their availability. The Southeast oysters are $12.95 per dozen.
The Gulf of Alaska is producing fresh cod and rockfish. Cod fillets are $5.95/pound, rockfish fillets are $9.95/pound and fresh yelloweye fillets are $12.95/pound.
And halibut season is just around the corner.
At the market
The Center Market will have a full lineup this week. The Center Market is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Mall at Sears.
"Did you know that at the end of February, the Center Market will have already had 16 markets for the year?" asks market organizer Alex Davis of A.D. Farm. "That is as many markets as most have in a summer. The market is still going strong; we have eight vendors on Wednesday and six vendors on Saturday."
Davis will have "plentiful" carrots, beets and potatoes along with eggs, barley products and a wide variety of pork products.
Alaska Vegan & Gluten Free will be offering roasted beets and sweet potato soup, carrot ginger soup, split pea soup, spaghetti sauce, red beans and brown rice with pico de gallo, fresh pico de gallo, homemade corn chips, lemon garlic hemp seed salad dressing, breads (with or without rosemary) and cupcakes.
Rempel Family Farm will have eight varieties of potatoes, three varieties of beets, carrots, sugar pumpkins, stripetti squash, green cabbage, parsnips, rutabagas and daikon radish. They also will be selling Alaska-grown yak meat through fellow vendor Duane Clark.
In addition to handling the Rempel's yak meat, Clark's Country Health Foods will have grass-fed beef, local free-range chickens, Alaska seafood, local honey, jams, breads and items from Alaska Sprouts.
Drool Central will be at the market with freshly baked dog treats, including Fish Chips (oven-roasted cod skins) and Mini Paws (made with spinach and parsley).
"Drool Central's definition of fresh is: shelf life is short because the products don't contain the ton of preservatives that commercial dry dog food and dog treats contain," says owner Daisy Nicolas. "I just baked them the night before, a few nights before or within the last two weeks. ... None of the products are over a month old."
Dee Barker will be back with her Abeille Alaska beeswax products this week. One of the items to look for is a lotion bar made with Alaska beeswax, coconut oil and almond oil.
"The lotion bar can be rubbed on the skin and the body temperature melts the bar just enough to absorb the moisturizing ingredients," Barker says. "We also offer our handmade beeswax and honey moisturizing soap. This soap contains olive oil and is gentle enough to be used on the sensitive skin of the face. Both of these items would make wonderful Alaska gifts to give to family or friends visiting during Fur Rondy."
Coming soon: Dahlias
Rob Wells, The Persistent Farmer, says he will be at the Center Market at the Mall at Sears every Wednesday in March with dahlia tubers.
"I'll bring in pre-orders and extras for folks who have not had a chance to pick some out," Wells says of his plans for March deliveries. "Our recent sunshine, warm temperatures and 10 hours of sun possible this week -- going to 11 hours the following week -- mean it's time to get planting."
By STEVE EDWARDS