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My Great American Road Trip – Alaska

July 11, 2020

In 2016 I convinced my friend Siobhan to join me for a 10 day trip to Alaska. She extended and jumped on a cruise for even more adventure, but the time I had there was breathtaking. Sometimes we would say to each other, I’ve seen enough natural beauty today, wanna go to a bar? But then even the bar would be rugged and beautiful. I loved Alaska.


(quick side note – I bought an amazing pair of winter boots in Alaska and they’ve vanished into thin air. If I left them at your house, please let me know. I’d love them back.). 

We ate a lot in Alaska, but it was ok, we also did a lot of hiking and other outdoorsy stuff. This is me getting ready to head out to a glacier on a kayak. (note my Moxie cap). 


They are not shy when it comes to eating, though. The Light Dinners menu fromMike’s Palace in Valdez was not full of salad. The burgers were great. 


Anyway, it wasn’t that hard to figure out what to make when celebrating Alaska. There are a few things that are must dos. Have something made out of reindeer meat.  We took a reindeer meat pie as a train snack one day. It was fine. King Crab legs (we did this this toward the end. Holy hell are they expensive, but they’re delicious. And of course, the mighty salmon.

These lovely pink fish go the wrong way up the river, are often scooped up by bears, and are so plentiful in the great north, that most families just go take what they need from the river to stock up for the winter. One boat captain told me he hated that the school lunches were so often salmon! (he’d change his mind after a few weeks of salisbury steak and taco tuesdays, I’m sure.)

I’ve never cooked salmon before, or any other fish for that matter, but I’m told it’s not hard. It’s not. I got a couple gorgeous filets with the bones already dealt with. I heated up my cast iron grill pan and laid them down skin side down.  Looking around for a glaze I settled on a little butter and brown sugar, heated up with some s&p (that’s salt and pepper for you not cooking insiders), a big squeeze of lemon, and some red pepper flakes. After about 5 minutes, when it was time to flip the fish, I did my little slather, turn that I’d perfected in Alabama. A few minutes on each side, and, so the internet tells me, when you can flake the fish with a knife, it’s ready. Topped it off with a little cilantro cause I had some (sorry Kristen), and it was DELICIOUS. And so easy. 


Berries are everywhere in Alaska, so for dessert I had some berries with cream and tarragon. I don’t know why tarragon, but when I was in the store, it seemed right. A little googling told me it’s mostly in French food, but there is Russian taragon and since you can see Russia from Alaska, I figured it would work. It did, it was so yummy. 


I can’t wait to go back to Alaska. Also – I loved looking at these photos and remembering such a great trip with my dear friend! 


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