Pioneer Potluck: About leaving valuable things behind

1970’s August.


Cooper Landing, Alaska


My husband at the time, Richard and I were going on a leisurely trip to Anchorage to do some school shopping for the 6 kids we had between us. We arranged a baby sitter, we packed for two days in Anchorage. We said goodbye to the kids, got in the car and smiled at the fact that we were just going to take our time through the mountains and stop for lunch at “Our Point of View” in Cooper Landing. This beautiful place was perched on the side of a mountain with a winding road that lead you to a wonderful large log restaurant. It had a huge fireplace in the middle of the room. It had great big windows over-looking Kenai Lake. The windows had wide ledges to put flowers and pretty things on.

We took a table by the window and I parked my large tooled leather purse that we had bought in Mexico, on the ledge for safe keeping. (Remember those large leather purses with the long leather straps that you could put half a house in..then you slung it over your shoulder so you could pack all that stuff you did not need, around with you?)

We had a wonderful meal and proceeded on our way to Anchorage. Just outside of Anchorage at Potters Marsh, a truck driver pulled up behind us and started blinking his lights at us. Well, in Alaska in those days, you pulled over to let them pass. We pulled over and he pulled in behind us!!

The truck driver opened his door and jumped out with MY PURSE! I had not missed it!!!!! He too, was in the restaurant enjoying a meal and when my purse was discovered on the ledge, he offered to take it, follow us and give it back. He followed us about 75 miles through the mountains with its narrow and sometimes steep road, before he thought is was safe to pull us over. We offered him a reward and he refused it. I said thank you a thousand times! I had about $1,000 in cash in my purse and it was never touched!

On our way back from Anchorage we stopped at “Our Point of View” and after a delightful meal we left a months worth of paid meals for the trucker driver that all the waitress’s knew. Turns out he stopped on his trips to Homer and back to Anchorage on his hauls, for a hamburger, fries and a shake. Never knew his name and never saw him or his truck again! What a guy!

P.S. Sorry to say that “Our Point of View” burnt down and never reopened. I will always miss that place of peace.


1 can reduced sodium chicken broth

1 can cream of chicken soup - undiluted

1 can of cream of potato or celery or mushroom soup-undiluted

1 1/2 cups milk

2 can 14 oz diced tomatoes- undrained

2 cups cubed cooked chicken

1-11 oz can of Mexicorn drained

1/2 cup each chopped onion and celery

1 can chopped green chilies

1 cup of shredded Monterey Jack cheese for garnish

In a large soup pot or in the crock pot on LOW, stir all except cheese ingredients into pot. Bring to a simmer - but

DO NOT BOIL. When chowder is hot, ladle into bowls and garnish with shredded cheese. Serve with buttered flour tortilla’s heated on the griddle and a slice of your favorite cheese placed on one side. Fold over, flip tortilla over and heat until cheese is melted! Try this with chopped onion and green chilies sprinkled on cheese or for the daring, diced jalapeño’s. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve. Better make two for each person.


1 pkg Jiffy corn bread mix

1 teaspoon each diced onion, green or red pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 tbls of diced jalapeño’s - (op)

2 eggs

1/3 cup milk

2 tblsp butter- melted - divided

3/4 cup Mexican shredded cheese blend - divided

Combine the mix with the rest of the ingredients except for one tablespoon butter and the cheese

Stir to moisten and stir in 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese

Pour into a buttered 8 in square baking pan. Bake at 400% for 15 minutes. Brush with remain butter

and sprinkle with 1/4 cup of cheese, Bake for 2 to 4 minutes longer until cheese is melted and the center is done.

Serve warm.



Also known as Pull-apart-bread

Aunt Alma lives in Sterling, Alaska

She shared a piece of this good bread

and the recipe with me.

1 box yellow cake mix

2 pks of dry yeast

2 1/2 cups warm water

5 cups flour

Stir cake mix and yeast together and add warm water. Add flour and stir. Knead three minutes.

Let rise to double and punch down. Roll into balls and dip in butter and roll in sugar-

cinnamon. Place side by side in butter tube pan and let rise until double. Bake 350% for 15 to 20 minutes.

This makes two tube pans of great tasting Pluckin’ Bread!! Thank you Aunt Alma. She is a very good cook

and still cooks meals for herself and her son on Sunday’s. She is 97 and lives by herself.



This seems to be the easy way to do jam in this day and age.

5 cups of diced rhubarb

4 cups sugar

Place rhubarb in sauce pot and pour sugar over - stir evenly. Cover and let stand all night at room temperature.

Next day-in the large sauce pot, bring rhubarb-sugar to a boil and add:

1 large pkg of strawberry Jell-O. Stir to dissolve and pour into sterilized jars and seal. Use other flavors of Jell-O if you wish.