Pioneer Potluck: About Gail's bear

Nikiski, Alaska





I was helping my friend Lonna with a Democratic or Republican rally at the Lamplight Bar. I have never been into politics, but enjoy the fun of having friends - no matter the political view-get together and chew the fat and eat the goodies that were provided. There was a large crowd and a band was provided - consisting of a man singing and playing the guitar and drums. When he got tired, the jukebox blared. Everyone was having a good time talking to neighbors and catching up on the latest gossip. Lonna and I had a hard time keeping up with the demands of the beer drinkers.

I came around the corner of the bar with a tray full of drinks and almost ran into my daughter, Gail. I did not see her come in. She lived on a homestead at Boulderpoint about 7 miles as the crow flies from the bar.

She said to me as I was passing by - “Hi Mom. I just shot a bear.” In my hurry I said “Oh that’s nice, Gail.” I was not paying to much attention-until I took a few steps and the “shot a bear” sunk in. I whipped around and said “YOU did what?” She repeated “I just shot a bear. He was stalking me in the yard.” I regained my tipsy tray and my speech. “Are YOU ok??” I asked. She replied “Yeah- but I did not know what to do with the thing so I skinned it. Do you want a roast or something? I am going to tan the hide.” I told her thanks but I was not into eating bear roast and I knew Bob would NOT! “Are you sure you are OK?” I asked again. “Let me deliver these drinks and you can tell me what happened.” By that time the whole crowd was quieting down but acting like they were not eve- dropping on our conversation!

She had trouble with this particular bear stalking her goat and pigs for a few days. Her horse was deathly afraid of bears and went into wild hysteria, letting Gail know there was a bear in her yard. This day the alert button went off in all the animals. She grabbed her “bear gun” and looked over the yard. She did not see anything. She walked toward an old car in the yard. The bear stood up. He was stalking her! She ran around the side of the car - opened the door slammed it shut and poked the gun out the other window and shot that bear - dead!

Then she had the task of gutting, skinning and cutting it up. She did this by herself because most of the time her husband was working on the slope.

When ever she tells this story to travelers and visitors, as she is a great story teller like my Dad, she can make the hair stand up on your head. Mine did! Still does!


In our family of friends, we have always kidded about fish tacos, so Bob coined the phrase “Carp Tacos” and would sing a song about them as his friend Roger strummed the guitar. We were at a late fall party at Lonna and Rogers. Bob and Roger were singing up a storm about carp tacos..Bob making up the lyrics, he is very good at that! We had just acquired a video camera and was fortunate enough to get this live Alaskan Concert on tape. It includes all our friends coming and going and making comments about the musicians.

I love halibut or salmon tacos-but not Bob!

Heat 2 medium size flour tortillas This is for a serving of one. Increase accordingly

Place a good tartar sauce down the middle.

Place small pieces of grilled or left over halibut or salmon over top of sauce.

Sprinkle with lemon pepper.

Add the following:

Shredded cheese, shredded lettuce, sliced avocado, diced tomato, diced onion.

Top with salsa and sour cream.

Fold over and enjoy a wonderful fish taco!


You have to have a deep fat fryer or a deep large pot to hold vegetable oil to cook the fish balls.

Mix in bowl:

One pint of canned salmon or two cups of left over cooked salmon

6 soda cracker, finely crushed

1 egg

2 tblsp finely diced onion

1 tblsp mayonnaise

1/2 teas lemon pepper

1/2 teas Old Bay Seasoning (op) but worth buying to keep on hand

1/2 teas black pepper

Mix with fork after taking all the dark piece out of the salmon.

If the mixture seems to dry - add 1 more tablespoon mayonnaise

Set aside for the crackers to soak in the flavor, about 2 hours.

Form in small balls the size of a large walnut-fry 4 to 5 at a time.

Drain on paper toweling. Pass the tartar sauce or ketchup mixed with horseradish.


2 cans fruit cocktail drained - saving the liquid

1 can pineapple chunks - drain save the juice

1 red firm apple diced in bite size

2 small banana’s 1/2 inch slices cut in half

1/2 cup dried cherries, craisins or raisins

1/2 cup pecan halves

1/2 cup shredded coconut

1 small pkg French Vanilla Instant pudding

Measure 1/2 cup of pineapple juice and 1/2 cup fruit cocktail liquid into a bowl:

Add the instant pudding and whisk or beat with hand mixer until nice a smooth

Fold into the fruit, adding the cherries, pecans and coconut

Pour in pretty serving bowl and chill two hours.

This is almost like a dessert.


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