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Kirsten Dixon

(Twelfth of 15 parts)

The idea

When I got married, my husband Carl owned an Alaska river rafting company. He would return to our home in Anchorage from long trips and tell me stories about his adventures -- the blueberries along the banks of a particular river, the fishing, or what food he cooked over the campfire in the evenings. One night, while we were dreaming out loud to each other, we made the decision to seek a life lived closer to nature. I wanted a garden with carrots that my babies could pull up from the ground, and Carl wanted to teach his children how to fish for salmon...

Kirsten Dixon

We’ve all had it here in the Far North with root vegetables and potatoes, braised meats and simmered stews. Although there is still snow on the ground for many of us, let’s get this party started and start eating like the springtime it is.

For me, spring begins with anything green (except cabbage), and I can’t think of a brighter way to bring color to the table than a platter filled with herb and seafood-stuffed fresh rolls.

Fresh rolls are stunning when they are done right, meaning that they are filled to capacity with plenty of herbs and greens, a little bit of some kind of vegetable, and in our kitchen, we usually add in seafood. Today I’m making our fresh rolls with recently caught Bering Sea opilio crab...

Kirsten Dixon
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Chili crab is an outrageously delicious but impossibly messy dish from Singapore made from crabs, chili sauce, lots of garlic, sugar and tomatoes all simmered into a thick, sticky stew and served over rice....

Kirsten Dixon

In the brilliant perfect day of spring, we’ve decided to “call” our winter season at the lodge. We’ll begin the process of preparing for break-up and the two-month transition into summer. Out with the snowshoes and skis and in with the garden equipment and vegetable seed packages.

Our last guests of the winter season have spent the day out with most of our crew sledding, dog mushing, snowshoeing, and skiing. We packed a big cooler full of deli sandwiches, a thermos of hot carrot soup, bags of trail mix and packages of cookies. We added in marshmallows and chocolate and big long skewers to make s’mores in the bonfire that will warm up the crew between sled hill runs...

Kirsten Dixon
Primary Category: 

In the brilliant perfect day of spring, we’ve decided to “call” our winter season at the lodge. We’ll begin the process of preparing for break-up and the two-month transition into summer. Out with the snowshoes and skis and in with the garden equipment and vegetable seed packages...

Kirsten Dixon

Life is always an adventure living along the Iditarod Trail, but early March is an especially active time for those of us who live at Mile 198, the Finger Lake checkpoint. In our airplane-dependent world, weather is a constant topic of discussion and speculation around the kitchen table. Sometimes visitors might not be able to fly into the lake when expected. This past week we were wondering if the team of Iditarod checkpoint volunteers would be able to fly in. With giant snowflakes falling, we were relieved when the team of 17 checkers arrived at the last minute before the weather worsened...

Kirsten Dixon
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After days of preparation and anticipation, every year before the Iditarod starts, we have a little party of sorts for the checkers, the trailbreakers that might be passing through, for our guests and our staff....

Kirsten Dixon

Perhaps because I am packing my bags for London, everyone around my house has decided that fish and chips are a good idea for lunch today. I have a little bit of halibut as well as some fresh cod and I’ve decided to cook them both. Fish and chips are going onto the menu at our little café in Homer that opens in May, so it is good for us to get in a little pre-season practice anyway...

Kirsten Dixon
Primary Category: 

Perhaps because I am packing my bags for London, everyone around my house has decided that fish and chips are a good idea for lunch today. I have a little bit of halibut as well as some fresh cod and I’ve decided to cook them both....

Kirsten Dixon

In the depth of winter, whether it is snowy or icy, it is always a bit of slow-going getting our household underway in the mornings. Always a first step is to start the water kettle for coffee, often doing this in the glow of headlamps in a dark kitchen if the generator isn’t turned on yet. Even after thirty years of marriage and with many modern conveniences creeping into our backcountry lives, my husband insists on coffee being made the old-fashioned way by grinding beans at last minute and pouring hot water over the grounds through a filter...

Kirsten Dixon

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