Pioneer Potluck: About Bernie, Anchorage Airport, and the “Hot Wheel” Luggage

The continuation of bubblegum, Estes Park, bikinis and rain at the Denver airport in 1995.


Because we had stayed so long on the ground in Denver, in a hot airplane, of course our arrival time in Anchorage was late. That made our connection with the little airplane to Kenai almost late. Bernie announced to me, “Now, when we get in the airport we will have to run to the boarding gate, so when we get off, just follow me-okay?”

We hit the terminal on the run, and Bernie takes off to the left and I follow, thinking she is in control and always has a plan and knows exactly what she was doing. Wrong!

The airport was jammed with passengers. We ran down behind a big long line of waiting passengers in the main lobby, pulling our wheelie luggage and toting our big purses slung over our shoulders. 

We run and bump down some stairs, down the long hallway of the old airport, all the way to the end. Bernie stops, I catch up and she says to a man, ”Where’s the airplane?” The kind man says, “What airplane?”

“The one to Kenai” Bernie says. 

“Oh this is the old part of the airport. They are in the other end at the new part.”

The man pointed in the same direction we had just come from. 

“Oh I forgot! Thanks.” She turns her luggage around shouts, “Come on!”   

Off she runs in the same direction we came from, pulling her wheelie behind her. I had a very hard time keeping up with her.  As we drug and bumped our way up the stairs and behind all those people we just ran passed, I saw smoke coming out of her luggage!  I shouted “Bernie your wheel is on fire.” She stopped and looked at me like I was crazy.  Everybody was looking at us like we were two old crazy ladies running a marathon in the airport. She flipped her wheelie luggage over, grabbed the wheel and burnt her fingers! 

“Ouch! That darn thing is hot and look I have a flat tire ... what in the world?” 

Knowing we were on a deadline she flipped the flat tired wheelie over and ran off pulling that poor worn out piece of luggage sideways down the hall, screaming at me “Come on! Hurry up – let’s go, we are going to miss our plane!”

We made it to the boarding gate just in time for them to say, “Well, you ladies are lucky, we’re just about to close up and fly away!” 

We laughed all the way home - crazy ladies – yup!

Apparently while we were running through the airport, first one way and then the other, the wheel of her luggage got stuck and the friction from the carpet finally caught it on fire. The whole side of the plastic wheel had been rubbed off before it finally caught fire. The statement “Bernie your wheel is on fire,” And her shouting to me. “Look I have a flat tire!” caught the attention of all the waiting passengers.   

Unknown to us a few days later Bernie called me in total hysteria! While we were running up the down the hallway, some of our neighbors, distant acquaintances and good friends, were standing in line, watching us. First, the wrong way, then watching us running back to the other end of the of the airport. They watched us shouting at each other about a flat tire and wondering why the darn thing caught on fire. They watched us, on the run, round the corner and down the hall to the new part of the airport. They said it was quite entertaining, especially because they knew us.

And that is the end of this story of our 1995 trip to Colorado. We are still good friends and laugh about our memories of our special trip. By the way, Bernie proofread this and by the end of this story we were laughing tears again.

Baked Fried Chicken

Heat oven to 350 degrees

1 chicken cut in pieces or 4 thighs and 4 drumstick and 4 chicken strips.


1 egg

1 cup milk

1 cup flour

1/2 tea Garlic salt

1/2 to 1 tea black Pepper


Mix egg with milk.  Pour in flour and beat in with the salt and pepper until smooth.  I used a little old fashion hand held beater-mixer.

 7 cups of Corn Flakes crushed fine – makes about 1 3/4 cups

1/2 cup of Panko


 Pat chicken dry and roll in flour.  Dip in batter and let it drip off. Batter should not be to thick.   Roll in Corn Flake crumbs combined with the Panko – lightly press in the crumbs.  Sprinkle lightly with salt. 


Lay in foil lined heavily oiled (2 to 3 tblsp oil) cookie sheet.  Bake in oven for one hour.  Do not turn or cover.  



1 cup mayonnaise

1/2 or less cup of crumbed bleu cheese

4 or 5 drops of Tabasco (op)

A sprinkle of ground red pepper

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice.

1 to 2 tblsp of milk

Let set to blend flavors.  

Great dunk for chicken 


Fish – broiling, baking, poaching, pan frying

This applies to all kinds of fish.  Halibut, salmon, trout, etc.

To pan fry fillets: 

 I do this with salmon or halibut but is really good with trout.

Prepare fish; roll in flour, combined with salt and pepper.

Use good oil. Heat to very hot.  Fry quickly on one side, about 4 minutes until golden, flip over for another 4 minutes.  PS add a little corn meal to the flour for crunch

To broil or bake:  

Use an oiled broiler pan and baste with butter or some kind of basting sauce. Heat oven broiler to 450 degrees.  Broil or bake 2 to 4 inches from the heat.  Fish should not be no more the 3/4 inch thick.  If thicker bake and little longer on a lower rack. 


This is my favorite method to cook salmon or halibut.    Bring water to a rolling boil.  Slowly slip fish fillets into the water, bring back to boil, put on lid, turn off burner and let poach on stove for 30 minutes.  I sometimes leave mine on the stove until it cools down, seems to make the fish, especially halibut, moister.  

Grilling fish:  

Everyone has there method of cooking fish on the grill.  I lay my fish on foil; add onions lemon slices,  garlic salt, lemon pepper and any kinds of herb you like.  Seal up and put on slow grill heat for 30 minutes.  Turn once.  I have added potatoes, celery and onions to make a one pack meal.  

NOTE:  Today there are millions of people in American that suffer from respiratory problems.  It comes from standing at the check-out stand in the supermarket, holding their breath.  


Also known as “French Fries from the Far East”

Select raw shrimp, scallops, halibut or salmon, cut in strips.

About four or five fresh vegetables such as;

Fresh mushrooms, whole or halved.

Green and red peppers squares. 1/2 each

Onion rings.  1 onion

Zucchini sliced thickly.

Sweet potato slices

Broccoli pieces with stem

Cauliflower pieces.

Pea pods.


Select and prepare your favorite vegetables.  Pat dry and arrange on a platter or tray.  Cover and refrigerate. Make Tempura batter.



1 egg

1 cup flour

Pinch of salt

1 cup ice water +2 ice cubes

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

2 or 3 cups good vegetable oil.

Combine batter ingredients with wire whisk or a fork. Do not over mix. Use at once, leaving the ice cubes in the batter. The batter should be cold and so should the vegetables and fish.

Set wok on high heat. Add oil and heat to medium 375 degrees.

Dip shrimp and vegetables, one at a time into batter. Allow access to drip off, then slide into hot oil. Fry until lightly browned and crispy on both sides. Drain on rack or paper towels. Serve immediately with the following Tempura sauce


Tempura Dipping Sauce

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/2 cup chicken broth

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon minced garlic.

Combine the ingredients and serve in individual dishes. Enjoy! Have fun with friends.  

Serves four generously.  


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