Pioneer Potluck

Posted: Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The series is written by a 44 year resident of Alaska, Ann Berg of Nikiski. Ann shares her collections of recipes from family and friends. She has gathered recipes for more that 50 years. Some are her own creation. Her love of recipes and food came from her Mother, a self taught wonderful cook.

Grannie Annie's sewing cottage.

Intermingled with the recipes are stories that are told, Alaskan style, full of humor, sometimes tragic, sometimes entertaining. Ann gets her love of telling stories and her style of telling stories from her Irish Father. She is the oldest of five, learning early in life to help her Mother in the farmhouse kitchen. After each meal, her Father told stories of the day. Sunday was a day for company, wonderful dinners of fried chicken in the summer and chicken noodles in the winter, followed by her Father telling one of his numerous stories, laughing just as hard telling them the 5th time he told them as the first time. He loved to tell stories as much as Anns Mother loved to cook.

You will find a variety of recipes, using common ingredients, Alaskan grown produce, moose and fish. The desserts use rhubarb, strawberry and other Alaskan grown berries. She feels she is a food artist and reads cookbooks as though they were novels. Her collection is extensive and varied.

The cottage where she creates cookbooks, makes quilts and wall hangings, is separate from the main house, built by Bob. She learned to use the computer after she retired at 62. She has been a "grandma quilter" for a long time, learning that art from her Grandma, who had a quilt frame hanging from the ceiling in her kitchen. When a big holiday meal was over and the dishes washed and dried by hand and put away, the quilt frame would come down, aunts, neices and granchildren were given a needle with white thread in it. They would quilt, even 5 year old Ann. The gossip and the stories were of great interest also.

Working most of her adult life, she is now retired and doing the things that she longed to do and never had the time. Her collection of material is almost as extensive as her large cookbook collection. The oldest cookbook being published in 1859.

She hopes you enjoy the recipes and that the stories will bring a smile to your day.

Grannie Annie can be reached at anninalaska@gci.net .

Fireweed Herb and Gardens has her books and you can sometimes catch her there when she visits her daughter Susan. Numerous outlets in Kenai, Soldotna and other sites carry her books.



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