My Beast Is A Beast! - Musings of a Kenai Peninsula Foodie Blog at - 261122

Musings of a Kenai Peninsula Foodie

My Beast is a BEAST! 
Dec. 18, 2011 1:51 am 
Updated: Dec. 20, 2011 5:58 am
Sorry for not blogging sooner.  My recliner ate my computer.

That was after my recliner ate my Tempur-Pedic® pillow and before it ate my cell phone and DVR remote.

I really don't know why it has such an appetite...

Oh...  Let me explain.  My husband, who was six-foot-seven, required a much bigger and stronger recliner.  That's when I discovered The Beast™ -- a recliner made to tolerate six hundred pounds and is can accommodate guys up to six-foot-ten.  And because of the car accident, it is the most comfortable thing to sleep in.  I barely reach the foot rest which is now reserved for Miss Lena, my Maine Coon cat.

I woke up one morning to find more than half of the laptop within the jaws of this recliner, cracking the display, LCD screen, and a few other things.  So that meant camping out in Anchorage for five days as they sent for the parts.  But I had fun.  Spent half of my meals at a restaurant called "Tempura Kitchen" which has been open for over thirty years and still makes the best hijiki (seaweed) salad I've ever tasted.  The other meals were split between "The Sourdough Company" and "Outback".  (I simply love their huckleberry Mai Tai!)

So now I have The Beast™on a diet.

Recently, I bought a great cookbook from Phaidon Press -- The Art of French Baking

Now I've always been more than a little intimidated by any baking more complicated than a cupcake, but somehow, I was drawn to this cookbook when I saw a few of the excerpts.  But ordering... that was a little more difficult.  I originally ordered it, and a day later, I was notified that due to interest in this tome beyond their expectations, they were sold out.  Grr....  But four days later, I received a phone call from one of their other locations, and the woman said that they had plenty there.  Within three days, I received a box from UPS.  That's speedy service with FREE SHIPPING!  I've never had free shipping via UPS up in Alaska before!

The excerpts didn't do this cookbook justice.  It is amazing!  Lots of pictures which I enjoy.  But the recipes of the classics and the not-so-classics are so simple!!!  That's what really surprised me.


Even the pastry recipes are no longer intimidating.  So what happened?  Why did I feel French baking was difficult??

I do highly recommend this book for anyone who is interested in conquering his or her fears... and wants to enjoy high quality bakery goods without paying the inflated price, or -- in my case -- a really good bakery is nowhere in the vicinity.  We do have "The Moose Is Loose", but they don't do French baking.

I've also made a discovery this evening.  You know the saying that the cockroaches will inherit the earth after a nuclear fallout?  Scratch that.  It'll be the fruit fly that will take over the world.

I accidentally brought home a colony of fruit flies when I brought groceries from New Sagaya, Anchorage, home.  This evening, while I was warming up some mussels and scallops paella I had made the previous evening in the microwave, I saw a fruit fly zoom in.  I tried to shoo it out, but it didn't.  So I decided that one less fruit fly in this world wouldn't amount to much...  And after one-point-five minutes, I opened the door... and out flew out the fruit fly!!!!  HUH!???  What is this?  The few that managed their way in the refrigerator also survived 33 degrees F!!  (I love ice-cold milk!)  What kind of fruit flies are these things??  Extremely hardy ones, I figure...

Yule is coming up... And so is the shortest day of the year.  What does that mean?  Any day afterwards means we are getting more light!!

The photo above is the sun on Yule -- aka Winter Solstice -- and that's how high the sun gets on the horizon.  However, we do get to do a ton of things.  First of all, this is the time of year we have our fireworks show -- Thanksgiving, Yule, Christmas, and New Year's.  Why?  Because it's pointless to have a Fourth of July Fireworks show in the summer when the sun is up all night.

We will also have the ice carving tournament.  The artists are usually sponsored by a local business, and we're always wondering what will be the carvings this year.  Here's some by the Firth Family:

As you can tell, this family does go all out.  I wish I had a photo of the pirates' ship they did last year...  That was absolutely stunning!

Time to go to bed...  Now that my neighbor overhead has stopped practicing juggling bowling balls, (well, that's what it sounds like when she drops one!), I now can try and get some sleep!
Dec. 18, 2011 8:12 am
Loved the whole blog, but the juggling bowling balls is a hoot. Now I know how to describe the noise my upstairs neighbor makes. And he says he has carpet with padding.
Dec. 18, 2011 2:12 pm
Wow, my upstairs neighbor sure gets around! I often wondered how one amuses oneself in Alaska in the have very talented ice carvers.
Dec. 18, 2011 4:59 pm
alaska from california, huh? by choice?? :-) nice reading your blog!
Dec. 20, 2011 5:58 am
I'm fascinated by people who live in Alaska, because I'm strictly a warm-weather girl, but with pics like that, I might work up the nerve to visit someday. I'm also curious how a SoCal girl ends up living in the Great White North. I laughed when I read you'd ruined meatloaf. I did that recently, too, undercooking it. So we ate fried meatloaf that night, because that's always good!
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About Me
I have lived many places, including Amish Country in Ohio, but Alaska is the place I adore. I get all my seafood from Peninsula Seafoods, including wild white King Salmon, and King Crab at $9.95 a pound! I love the summers where it is just around sunset all night long! And on the Summer Solstice, we'll either stay up all night with the Dragon Drummers or go fishing in the middle of the night. In the Winter, we hibernate and eat comfort food.
My favorite things to cook
I LUV to grill! I'll grill all the veggies in my house once I get my charcoal grill going. I also love Asian cooking, especially Japanese, but Kalbi is my all-time favorite meat to grill.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My grandmother on my mother's side left me a lot of her authentic Slovak recipes which I adore. I also tried to learn as much from my Uncle Bob who is a chef extraordinaire.
My cooking triumphs
Anything seafood and noodles. In fact, I make my own pasta because it tastes so much better and soaks up the flavors of my sauces.
My cooking tragedies
Lately, I really screwed up meatloaf. And some goolash I recently did. Yuck!!! How can anyone mess up on these two entrees?? I guess I can...
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