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Kirsten Dixon

This week I am in New York City participating in a tourism event where I am cooking Alaska seafood. It’s been a good trip so far, nice to be out of the bunny boots and facemask for a change. But, today the crew at Winterlake Lodge sent me an email and some photos to tell me about the incredible northern lights they have been seeing. There were no guests at the lodge Thursday night, a welcome break after two hectic weeks of races and visitors. The entire crew packed up and headed out in the dark to our famous "sled hill" to watch the show...

Kirsten Dixon

The lake here at the Finger Lake Checkpoint along the Iditarod has come alive. Chatter between the lodge and volunteer Iditarod pilots on the VHF radio is fast and furious as the ten or so race checkers who will inhabit our lake for the next few days fly in with supplies and gear.

The checkers set up tents along the frozen lake near the shore to protect themselves from any wind or weather that might occur. A miniature village will spring up in the matter of hours, with straw bales for seats, a watering hole, a cook tent, and sleeping quarters. This year there is a small communications satellite positioned on the lake and the communications people now have a telephone. There seems to be advances every year...

Kirsten Dixon
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Alaska chef Kirsten Dixon isn't sure where the tradition came from, but an orange drink mixture that's always packed in Iditarod Trail checkers' stores makes for a tangy treat when used in Russian Tea...

Kirsten Dixon
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Ultrasport Energy Bars 1 cup rolled oats 1/2 cup wheat cereal or puffed rice 1/2 cup wheat flour 3 tablespoons brown sugar 2 teaspoons cinnamon 2 teaspoons ginger 2 eggs, beaten 1/4 cup apricot jam 1/4 cup honey 4 tablespoons vegetable oil 1/4 cup flax seeds 1/4 cup walnuts 1 cup chopped dried fruit...
Kirsten Dixon

During the winter of 1983, my husband Carl and I were living together along the Yentna River in a small two-room cabin. During the day, Carl would work on the construction of a new log building that would become our main lodge and I’d care for our infant daughter Carly inside the small cabin. I’d read, cook and plan for the upcoming summer. Carl would walk over for lunch, and, in the evenings, we’d play board games by lantern light. Twice a week, we’d tune our battery-operated radio into a Talkeetna station to listen to messages from town...

Kirsten Dixon
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Alaska Chef Kirsten Dixon shares how to make Alaska apple sourdough bread starter. Check out her column this week for more on this recipe.

Winterlake Lodge Apple Sourdough

2 Granny Smith (or other) tart green apples

6 tablespoons sugar

3 cups water...

Kirsten Dixon

When I was newly married and just settling into my first kitchen, I had a desire for all things domestic. In my kitchen, I had a little Scandinavian “kitchen witch,” a small fabric and straw doll, hanging in the corner for good luck (these were particularly popular at the time). I browsed through catalogs for months before selecting a set of deep cherry red cast iron pots and pans that would hang from a wooden pot rack near the stove. And, before I even knew why I wanted it or what I might use it for, I desired to make my own sourdough starter...

Kirsten Dixon

My daughter Mandy and I have taken a break from Iditarod preparations at our lodge to fly into Anchorage for a little R&R. We’re going to host a baby shower while we are in town, an opportunity to see old friends and catch up on all the happenings.

A few friends from my daughters’ childhood will come to the baby shower. In those days, the late eighties, kids would travel as far as 20 miles by boat or snowmachine to spend time together. Visits were usually all-day affairs, filled with games, activities and meals. Most of the kids in our neighborhood were homeschooled but a few traveled up the Yentna River to Skwentna to the one-room school that would eventually be shut down...

Kirsten Dixon
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Chocolate buttons are an elegant Valentine treat

Kirsten Dixon

If you can imagine where I live -- miles from the nearest neighbor, with warm and inviting lights glowing from the lodge across the lake, the landscape blanketed deep in snow and quietude -- and then peek into one of the windows of the “wellness room” where we normally play New Age music and practice yoga, you’ll find five or six men (and two women) lined up in teak rocking chairs brought in from the front deck, all in their Carhartt suits and winter boots, peering at an eighteen-inch television screen, cheering and rocking back and forth on Super Bowl Sunday...

Kirsten Dixon

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