Alaska - The Last Frontier
Updated: Jun 13, 2021
Official Motto: “North to the Future”
Suggested Motto: “Closer to Canada, Eh?”
Two Truths and a Lie
Alaska has a lot of land, a lot of animals, and not very many people. In fact, moose outnumber people five to one.
The state capital, Juneau, is not connected to the rest of the North American Highway System. It is only accessible by sea or air.
Alaska has a large indigenous population and recognizes 21 official languages: English, Inupiaq, Siberian Yupik, Central Alaskan Yup'ik, Alutiiq, Unangax, Dena'ina, Deg Xinag, Holikachuk, Koyukon, Upper Kuskokwim, Gwich'in, Tanana, Upper Tanana, Tanacross, Han, Ahtna, Eyak, Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian.
The Recipe - Sourdough Biscuits with Salmon Mousse
The Great King Salmon is Alaska’s Official State Fish. Alaska has no other edible state insignia, so I decided to work with it. I live far from Alaska’s salmon fisheries so I opted for smoked salmon which has no place in a sweet cookie, so a savory biscuit was called for.
Few white settlers lived in Alaska until the Klondike Gold Rush brought a stampede of prospectors from 1896-1899. These miners had to pack a year’s worth of food as they hiked to the Yukon. Most relied on wheat flour and a sourdough starter for sustenance. Stories abound of miners sleeping cuddled up to their starters to keep the yeast warm and active. Alaskans honor this history in their slang. Newcomers are called (not charitably) “cheechakos”. A “sourdough” is a term of respect for someone who has lived in Alaska a while.
My sourdough starter is named “Levi”. I took a handful of Levi and mixed it with olive oil and sea salt. I spread this paste into a thin layer and baked it until brown and thoroughly crisp. I cut the crackers into triangles to resemble mountains. Alaska is home to four major mountain ranges and the country’s ten tallest peaks. Denali is the highest at 20,308 ft.
Salmon mousse is a simple puree of smoked fish, dairy, pepper, and lemon zest. I piped the mousse onto the crackers in a rough pattern to resemble a snowy peak.
I was delighted with the final look and taste. I was a bit too generous with the seasoning, but a cold beer balanced the salty snack perfectly.
Want to experience Alaska for yourself? Then Teresa recommends ...
Sadly I have not visited Alaska myself. My parents took a cruise around the Alaskan panhandle and loved it. To be transported from your armchair, read "Two Old Women" by Velma Wallis.
Time for the whole truth
Caribou outnumber people in Alaska, not moose.
(By the way, you can click on any of the 2 truths and a lie statements to visit the source of the trivia)