Newsletter #17: Doughnut give up, friends
I have turned into the hugest historic Alaska cookbook nerd and it doesn't help that generous readers keep giving me or lending precious old community cookbooks.
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This week I went deep into the world of doughnuts, specifically the sort of homemade yeasted doughnuts that I've eaten many times in villages. Recently a reader gave me a stack of cookbooks from King Cove where I found a pretty classic recipe for "Sunshine Donuts." I tested it, toned it up (with LOTS of advice from village doughnut makers on Facebook — thanks, guys!) and now you can make it in your kitchen. My doughnuts were imperfect, but that's part of it. They taste great and kids love the process.
One of the things that comes up a lot when I talk to Alaskans about our food culture is the idea of longing. There are all kinds of foods from Outside that people bring up when I ask them what they want but can't get. Avocados. Real Italian food. Chick-fil-A. People who grew up in villages but live in the city talk about craving subsistence foods. (If there's something you really want, maybe I can figure out how to make it? Write me?)
Maya Wilson's recipe for an In-N-Out burger made "animal style" this week gets right at that feeling and delivers California sunshine to your kitchen.
I am going to show some bias here, but I must tell you how much I am grieving the fact that my neighborhood farmers market at the corner of 15th Avenue and Cordova Street is having its final market on Saturday, closing out the outdoor market season in Anchorage. Our market columnist Steve Edwards has all the inside details on the end-of-season deals you'll find there and where to find indoor markets.
I'm told that a cook from Big Lake by the name of Sugiyarti J is a semifinalist in the Eggland's Best America's Best Recipe Contest for an Alaskan King Crab Gougere Sandwich. They could win $10,000 if readers vote for them. Give the recipe a try and if you like it, show some Alaska pride.
[Explore more Alaska recipes here.]
Oh: I just got a copy of The Best American Food Writing 2018 in the mail and was happy to find an essay I wrote about subsistence on Page 212. (I'm pretty sure that's the first time eating whale has made it into that anthology.)
In the virtual test kitchen, I'm working on pot roast (Moose pot roast has me TOTALLY STUMPED. PLS ADVISE.). Join us and test recipes? And, if you don't already, support local news like this and subscribe to the paper?
Here's hoping all your cheeseburgers come animal-style.
Julia O'Malley, an Anchorage Daily News editor, is working on a book at the Anchorage Museum about how Alaskans eat. Part of the project involves researching, testing and writing "Alaskana recipes" for dishes commonly made in Alaska's kitchens or that use Alaskan ingredients. You can sign up to receive our weekly Alaska food newsletter, "How Alaska eats," in your email inbox by visiting adn.com/newsletter.