Eagle River, early 1970s
Our time on Daniels Lake came to an end. We moved to Mallard Park, near Unocal, for a short period of time, before going on to Eagle River to start a new business and a brand-new way of life.
The kids' experience on Daniels Lake, learning to ski, skate and snowmachine, continued while they were in school in Eagle River and high school in Chugiak.
Our new experience came with the pipeline in 1970. We built a house in Eagle River Valley and started a business in Anchorage, supplying welders, roustabouts, equipment and material for the North Slope. We purchased a restaurant/bar in Eagle River and rebuilt it from the ground up, decorating it in the South of the Border theme. I was in charge of the restaurant. The customer cooked their own steaks to their liking. I baked the potatoes, made the garlic bread, and set up the salad bar every day. The salad bar consisted of several different salads, but the main salad and the most popular salad was the Mexican Bean Salad -- a salad of my own creation. You will see the recipe in this column.
We also had another business in Eagle River, doing the underground work for basements water lines and septic systems. I purchased a thriving little takeout business, named the Jolly Burger. I started the breakfast on a bun, before McDonald's. It consisted of a sausage patty or bacon or ham with egg and cheese on a large toasted hamburger bun. We opened at 5 in the morning, meaning I got up at 4. We sold tons of breakfast on a bun, not only to the early rising working men and women of Eagle River, but the working force that drove from Wasilla to Anchorage every morning. We had a big following. Breakfast slid right into lunch, which was, a special hamburger on a bun, named the Jolly Burger and poor boy sandwiches and tacos.
This special hamburger on a bun, was a grilled 1/4 pound handmade hamburger patty, then dipped in au jus and put on a large toasted hamburger bun. The customer added their own condiments.
The poor boy sandwiches were made on large loaves of French or sourdough, split length-ways. The top half had the middle of the bread hollowed out with a spoon. It was spread with mustard and mayonnaise. The bottom half of the bread got various sliced cheese and a large amount of assorted sliced deli meat. That was piled high with thinly sliced onions, green peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, black olives and shredded lettuce. The whole thing was then sprinkled with Italian dressing, the top half of the hollowed out bread was placed on top. It was wrapped in Saran wrap and placed in the refrigerator to marinate for noon lunches. We made these following the breakfast rush.
We were very busy, but never too busy to have fun snowmachining on Big Lake during their races. We all won trophies but not as many as David.
Grannie Annie is the author of Grannie Annie Cookbook series, featuring Alaskan recipes and stories