Taste Bud Road Trip > Alaska
by Rainbow Bobbins
Stop two on the alphabetical; somewhat historically and culturally inaccurate taste bud road trip was Alaska. The indigenous people of Alaska include the Inuit and Aleut but I read they eat whale blubber mixed with berries so I went Russian. After vigorous endorsement from Secretary of State Seward, President Andrew Johnson and the senate approved to purchase the Alaska from Russia in 1867 for $7M. (Thanks Wiki). Many thought it was a ridiculous purchase but time proved that Alaska was chock full o’ goodies: gold nuggets; rivers of oil; baby seals to club; northern lights; big earthquakes; polar bears; salmon roe; men with beards; king crabs; grizzlies; glaciers.
For this dinner we drew from Alaska’s natural resources (salmon), cultural influences (Russia) and a kitschy namesake dessert. The menu was as follows:
Starter: Brined Alaskan King salmon, gournay cheese, crackers
Main: Sampler of Pirozhkis: Potato Dill Cheese; Beef Onion
Dessert: Red Velvet Mountain Berry Baked Alaska
Oh yea, and margaritas err… I mean polar bears.
The salmon was a no-brainer. I would have liked to have had king crab –but those things are $70 a pop. Pirozhki are a classic Russian dish that I remember seeing around Anchorage. They are stuffed pies that you can fill with all sorts of things. I was running late so this became a “make your own” kind of dinner party – everyone had a different approach to folding or wrapping their ingredients in dough. The Baked Alaska was fun – my first time making meringue- and it stayed solid with only a few sweet gooey oozes. “Baked Alaska” was coined by Delmonico’s in NY in the late 1800s as a tribute to the newly acquired territory – again, thank you wiki for the history lesson.
Alaska attire: furry hoods, flannel, wild game furs, fuzzy boots, mittens, fishing pole; Alaska reading: Jack London; Alaska Movie: Never Cry Wolf, 30 Days of Night, Into the Wild