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Pioneer Potluck: About living on a homestead in Alaska

Posted: January 7, 2014 - 3:17pm  |  Updated: January 8, 2014 - 9:46am

North Nikiski at
Boulder Point, 1985 to 1993

 

My daughter Gail and her husband Gary lived on a Homestead eight miles back on the tip of Boulder Point. If you stand at Arness Dock and look to your right the land that juts out into Cook Inlet is Boulder Point.

She has lots of stories about homesteading that are fascinating! Some cannot be repeated! They walked into their place at times or they plowed themselves in and plowed themselves out of the homestead at other times. They were stuck more times that can be counted when it came to break-up in the spring as the mud in the trail turned to Jell-O.

Sometimes Gail walked in and out on a short cut trail in the middle of the winter with a backpack to get groceries. Coming back from such a trip she had a sheepskin cap on. All of the sudden something hit her from behind and knocked her into the snow, face first. As she tried to roll over to see what happened, her big backpack was so heavy it pinned her down and she had to wiggle out of the backpack and then roll over to see what hit her. A large white owl had swooped down and tried to carry her away in his talons. She had a big rip in the sheepskin cap and a story to tell.

Another time she took a shortcut across a lake to get home. She had snow shoes on and was carrying a long pole “just in case.” The long pole saved her life. Her snowshoes broke through the lake and she went into the icy water up to her waist. By using the pole she finally wiggle herself out. She stated that she was never cold but her Carhartts froze as she was walking home and by the time she got home she was taking little tiny steps.

She planted beautiful, bountiful, large gardens. We all benefited in the large quantities of green broccoli and kohlrabi which Arleigh called “cabbage apples” and other produce. She also tired her hand at raising mushrooms. She had a horse, a goat and pig (a birthday present from me and Bob one year) and chickens for eggs. Later in the year she butchered them and we canned them. Oh my, what nice big-big tasty chickens they were! And she was always on the lookout for bears and moose. (But that is another story!)

She drove herself off the homestead one wintry January day in 1986 after she watered and fed the animals. Then she put chains on the truck to get out to the main road and meet Gary at his work place. They went off to Soldotna Hospital where she was Medevaced to Providence Hospital. She said the Air-vac nurse was airsick. Providence Hospital is where my grandson, Arleigh was born on January 6, 1986. He was placed in the very new, newborn ICU facilities. I am still in awe of the efficiency of the nurses. This teeny tiny baby was hooked up to wires and oxygen tubes in an incubator that was hooked up to a large unit of blinking lights, switches and wires. He was there 27 days. He was sent home hooked up to a breathing-heart monitor that made him look like he was a little robot for two years. His Mom did not get much sleep!

Now he is 28 yeas old and has built his own home. He is a truck driver and heavy equipment operator. Can you tell how proud this old grandma is!

You had a wonderful Happy Birthday Arleigh!

UPSIDE DOWN BROWNIES

1/3 cup flour

3/4 cups old-fashioned oats

1/2 cup butter-room temp

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup walnuts

 

Mix all ingredients EXCEPT THE BROWNIE MIX, together in a bowl and sprinkle into a 9 x 9 baking pan.

Mix brownies according to directions and carefully spoon over the ingredients in bottom of pan. Add 10 min. to your baking time. Cook brownies about 15 min. and invert on foil-cut in squares and placed upside down back in baking pan to store or transport. Next time I will leave out the oats and use one cup of crushed walnuts. Use your imagination!!

CHERRY CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

2 1/4 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup butter-room temperature

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cups brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs

1 cup chopped nuts-walnuts or pecans

One package chocolate chips

1-8 ounce red and green candied cherries chopped

Beat butter, sugars and vanilla in a large bowl until creamy, add eggs, mix well. Add the flour, baking soda and salt, mix well. Stir in chocolate chips, nuts and chopped fruit. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased baking sheet. Bake 9 to 12 min. or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheet 5 min. before removing to wire rack. Garnish with the half candied cherry.

BOBS FAVORITE SUGAR COOKIE

I like this because it does not require butter.

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoons salt

two large eggs

3/4 cups sugar-additional sugar for topping

2/3 cups vegetable oil

2 teaspoons vanilla or lemon or your favorite extract

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest-optional

Whisk eggs in a large bowl until blended and add sugar oil, vanilla, and lemon zest if using, and mix well. Add flour, baking powder and salt and mix until blended. Chill covered for 30 min. or longer-at this stage store in the refrigerator for three or four days. Drop (>//<) by rounded teaspoons 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet. Lightly butter the bottom of a three-inch flat bottomed glass and dip in sugar.Press onto dough lightly with glass and flatten, dipping glass in sugar before pressing each cookie. Bake cookies until lightly browned about 8 min. Cool on baking sheet for 2 min. and remove to wire rack. Store in airtight container or freeze or just serve to Bob.

JELL-O SUGAR COOKIES

A new fad going around-I baked them for Bob using orange Jell-O-then bake another batch using lime

Jell-O.

1 3/4 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 cup softened butter

1 cup granulated sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 ounce packages of Jell-O-of your choice..

(I recommend doubling this recipe)

Mix the butter and sugar together. Add in egg and the vanilla. Mix well. Dump in 1-3 ounce package of your favorite Jell-O. Mix. Add the flour and baking powder and combine. Shape into balls and flatten onto an ungreased cookie sheet with a spoon or a fork-sprinkle with colored sugar-sprinkles. Bake at 350 for 10 min. Cool a couple of minutes before removing to cooling rack. Next for Valentines I will use raspberry or strawberry - strawberry or lemon for Easter. Fun and easy!!

TURKEY OR CHICKEN NACHOS

Use one rotisserie chicken or left over turkey - about 4 cups of diced chicken-turkey.

In a cast iron skillet add

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1/2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon red paprika

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1/8 teaspoon garlic salt

Stir above seasonings into olive oil and add cooked chicken or turkey, heat slowly and stir often until all the spices are absorbed into the chicken-Turkey.Keep warm.

Cut 4 - 8 to 10 inch tortillas into wedges-spread out on a cookie sheet and spray with cooking spray.Bake 4 to 5 min. until golden brown and crispy. In a shallow 9 x 15 baking pan, spray with cooking spray.

Spread half baked tortilla wedges into the baking dish

Top with:

1/2 package-8 ounce-shredded Mexican cheese blend-Set the other half aside

Add half the chicken-turkey mixture

Add 1/2 can-15 ounce black beans, rinsed and drained-Set aside remaining half

Top with the rest of the tortilla wedges, then the chicken, beans, cheese and sliced black olives. Bake 8 to 10 min. until the cheese melts. Sprinkle with avocado, diced onion and tomato, salsa, and large dollops of sour cream. Sprinkle with green diced onions. Serve immediately with remaining salsa.

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