Wednesday, April 27, 2011

My Place.

Hey...welcome to my place. It's still piled with snow, and bright out 19 or 20 hours a day! This picture was taken at 1:00 a.m. last night (this morning?) on the tundra.


The temperature says its only about 30 above but when you're sitting on the ice in direct sunlight for hours on end, you can keep your winter boots on, with your tank-top and TAN away. Our temperature gage reads 65-70 degrees in the sun. And since we're in the sun all day long, its pretty warm.

Everyone here has a "native tan." One that wraps around their face like a reverse raccoon, thanks to the need to wear sunglasses from the time you wake up to the time you go to bed. Our hands and necks are also darker than the rest of our bodies. Funny, but normal up here.

Since my husband is a pilot and we have a plane, he thought he'd treat you all to a nice short flightseeing trip "around the patch" as they call it here. Come take a look, you can see the Hospital, the Senior Center, the Grocery Store and MY HOUSE!

My town isn't very big. But its home. And you can fly around it in three minutes! See!?

Thanks for visiting!

P.S. my husband took both the photo and the video! He sure thinks he's cool in his airplane! haha. Shoot, who am I kidding, I think he's cool too!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Weekends, Birthdays and stuff.

This weekend was a whirlwind blur of activities. Not quite as busy as last weekend, but close. I made a few things this weekend.

1. Spam Musubi. (How can you NOT like this!?)


2. A lined Easter Dress for my baby. (Thank you Walmart's $1 a yard section)


3. Blueberry Delight. (Seriously. Heaven on earth. And I totally had it for breakfast this morning!)

blueberry delight

So, in other news, 34 years ago today, my mom had a baby. She was real pretty. Like the prettiest baby EVER. My dad though, he was rabbit hunting. He missed it all. But we had rabbits for dinner.

Anyway, that baby's name ended up being Maija and today is her birthday. (Yay me!) So, in celebration of her birthday... Here is a recipe for you!

finnish cake

Finnish Birthday Cake!
(Adapted from Nordic Bakery Cookbook and Grandma's Kitchen!)

4 eggs, at room temperature
1 C + 2 TBS Sugar
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 1/3 C Self-Rising Flour

2 C Whipping Cream
Powdered Sugar to Taste, and for dusting.
1 1/4 C Apple Juice
Choice of Fruit, sliced (Strawberries, Blueberries, Raspberries, Aqpiks, etc)

2-9" greased cake pans (or 10" springform pans, but who has two, except ME! haha)

Preheat Oven to 400 degrees.

Place Eggs and sugar in large bowl and beat with an electric beater until the mixture is foamlike, it can take up to 10 minutes! When its ready, it will be almost white, and doubled in size.

In a separate bowl, sift the baking powder and flour together, then fold into the egg/sugar mixture as gently and briefly as possible. Do not overwork the mixture otherwise it will lose its fluffiness!

Divide the mixture into the prepared pans. Bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, until the cakes are golden brown. Let cool while you make the filling.

Whip the Cream until soft peaks form. Add powdered sugar to taste.

Remove the cooled cakes from pans, cute horizontally through the middle of each. Layer the first cake onto a cake stand. Sprinkle 1/4th of the apple juice onto the cake to moisten. Spread 1/4th of the whipped cream mixture over it, followed by 1/4th of the cut fruit. Repeat the process four times finishing with a decorative assortment of fruit on top.

Dust entire cake lightly with powdered sugar and serve immediately!


Friday, April 22, 2011

Professional Hotcake Maker

You know you're not from 'round here if you say, "Pancakes." Just like when people say, "In-OO-pee-ack" instead of "IN-you-pack."

Hello. My name is Maija and I'm a Professional Hotcake Maker. And lucky for you, I like to share.


So, if you were lucky enough to get some sourdough starter from the Hotcake Feed last weekend, or you're my friend and I just give you some, or you're my family and you FORGOT how to make it...I'm gonna share the recipe with you.

Beware. My hands are the measuring vessels!

Perfect Hotcakes

Sourdough Starter
Water (I use milk instead of water once a month to really "feed" the sourdough)
2 eggs
a handful of sugar
a pinch of salt
a small palmful of baking SODA
*Blueberries, or apples, or banana's or whatever you want to add.


*the DAY before, take your starter out of the fridge and let it sit through the day uncovered.
*the NIGHT before, take that starter and pour it into a non-metal bowl.
*Mix enough flour and water with your starter to equal the same consistancy as your original starter. Fill the bowl about 3/4 of the way up. (I always make more than I need so I can give starter to friends.) Let it sit overnight on the counter, loosely covered with a non-metal cover. *Mix it really well with a wooden spoon right before bed.

ready to mix

*In the morning, mix really well (there may be a liquid on top, just mix it up). You should notice a slightly sour smell. Remove about 1C of the starter and put it into a clean jar. Cover and place in fridge if you're not going to make hotcakes every day.

*Add two eggs,


*A handful of sugar,


*A pinch of salt,


* Mix well.


*Now comes the fun part! Add a palmful of Baking Soda and watch the magic.

It'll Bubble...

bubble up

And bubble more...

bubble more

And get nice and fluffy!

bubble spoon

*If you're adding blueberries, do it now!

(yes, I totally overflowed this little bowl!)

*Place on a HOT skillet (Cast iron works best) greased with bacon grease, or crisco, whatever floats your boat. We use Bacon Grease. Hey, I didn't say it was Good FOR you, I just said, GOOD!


*When you start to notice the sides getting a bit dry and bubbley, then its time to flip.


*Repeat with the rest of the batter.

blue hotcake

Enjoy with some butter and LOG CABIN syrup. Seriously, has to be Log Cabin, or I'll punch you. Sorry, did I write that out loud? OK, use whatever you have but if you don't use Log Cabin, don't complain when it doesn't taste like camp!

P.S. Beware of the random thieves who sneak around and eat your blueberries. They can only be caught by the telltale sign of a Blueberry-Thief!


Yay. Hotcakes.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Spring Festival

(* heavy post after you read a bit!)

Holy Cow. What a whirlwind week. We celebrated the arrival of the sun for more than 16 hours a day with a huge Spring Festival. The 2nd Annual Arctic Circle Spring Festival that is! And it was GREAT.

The sun cooperated and shone above us giving us all that often-sought-after Eskimo Tan after several days in the sun.

The Arctic Circle Spring Festival was created by a group of volunteers who wished to celebrate the return of Spring to our home as a community, as well as to give an opportunity to experience our unique culture of the Alaskan Arctic. With events like Eskimo Football, Harpoon Throwing Contest, TWO Community Dinners and even a Snerts Tournament, this jam-packed 6 day event gave everyone plenty to do and see this week. "Headquarters" were set up at the Nullagvik Hotel Banquet Room where people could come in, warm up, have a cup of coffee and relax.

The highlight of the event was the mass start of the
Kobuk 440 sled dog race on Thursday the 14th where all the dog mushers started the four hundred and forty mile race through our beautiful region all at once. Such a sight to see.

Also largely popular, (and by popular, I mean 14 gallons of sourdough starter was eaten) were the two free Sourdough Hotcake breakfasts on Saturday and Sunday. I mixed up two 7-gallon buckets of sourdough starter each night and in the morning made plain and blueberry sourdough hotcake mix that was fried on Coleman Stoves at Headquarters. Lucky people who brought their own container also got a "sourdough starter" that has been in our family for generations.

In addition to those above, we had two community dinners, one entirely of baked Shiifish. Alaska's answer to Maine's Lobster. And so much better, in my opinion! The cupcake contest and super cookie contest were also well liked and the winner of the cupcake contest was much deserving in her rendition of "Kobuk 440" cupcakes! (AND she made them in her "spare time" between working full time taking care of three little girls, taking a full load, and graduating college next week in Anchorage, and all that!)

Anyway, I'll explain a little on each photo...otherwise, ENJOY!

The entire cast and crew of the Kobuk 440 sled dog race. ("Native Tan!")

Ruth Iten, local gal after her strong finish of the 440.

Harpoon Target Contest

The intent of the Harpoon Contest is to see who's the best Seal hunter.

Isn't she the cutest little thing EVER!? Tiana Nelson hanging out at the finish for the dog races.

"Time Immemorial" play writers and actors, Jack Dalton and Allison Warden. I super cried during this part.

Here comes my husband
Here comes my husband!

tea contest
Tea Making Contest! Contestants had to run down, make a fire, boil snow in a can and make tea.

making tea
Tea! I know who I want to bring to camp with me!

hi eric and kari
My friends Eric and Kari, hanging the air...above me!

flat stanley
Flat Stanley is hanging onto the Arrow for dear life! He was visiting the ACSF this year.

me archery
Bullseye! Not quite, but almost!

Hotcake Breakfast makers, cookers, servers!

Nothing better than a deluxe Coleman Stove.

Especially one that makes Blueberry Hotcakes!

Wait, she might be the cutest little thing ever! Laci Hess.

Traditional bentwood snowshoes.

Claudey racing to the finish.

Here comes Ruth! (You can tell because she's not very tall!)

Here comes Hugh! With his KOTZ Radio hat.

Ken Anderson after his finish.

Twins!? We're not even that related! Distantly, maybe third cousins...but people like to come up to me and hug me and say, "HI LIZ!" I just say Hello back. :)

Pretty mama with her Indimo.

Snerts Champion! Attamak Sheidt. He has FAST hands.

One of the snow sculptures.

Free Dogsled rides for everyone!

The kids favorite event. The Clothesline Cash run races...

I would definitely do laundry every day if I found this on my line!

See!? Isn't she so darn cute!?

440 Mass Start.

Cupcake Contest winners!

Pete Kaiser, winner of the 2011 Kobuk 440 Sled Dog race.

Gunny Sack Races.

Arlene jumping high!