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30 October 2016

Alaskan cookbooks and bars

Juneau Centennial Cookbook written and collected by Jane Stewart and Betty Harris. Edited and designed by Phyllice Fallah Bradner. This distinctive Alaskan cookbook contains recipes from families who have lived in Juneau and Douglas at least 50 years. Many of their ancestors settled even earlier. The cookbook published in 1980 contains early photos, family history and wild game recipes. The chapters offer 18 pages of fish, 12 pages of game, 4 pages of fowl, 4 pages of vegetables, 10 pages of berries and 9 pages of specialties recipes. The specialties include ethnic breads, fermented eggs, punch, teas and stronger drink. The cookbook is heavy on game and light on vegetables, breads and dessert recipes.
Simply Sourdough: The Alaska Way by Kathy Doogan provides the starter and many delicious recipes. According to the author, this oldest form of leavened bread may have been discovered when Egyptians accidentally left dough at room temperature; it picked up wild yeast from the air and began rising. The date could have been as early as 4,000 B.C. In the 1800s, prospectors with their sourdough starter and some flour would not go hungry. Kathy continues with how to make sourdough starter, tips for working with sourdough and common terms. After the necessary preliminaries, the recipes include everything from breakfast breads to desserts. All 39 recipes are guaranteed tested and tasted.

A Guide to the Notorious Bars of Alaska by Doug Vandegraft provides the address, amenities, history and notoriety of 134 bars scattered throughout the state. What makes a bar notorious? According to the author who writes on page 10, "When a bar is around for more than twenty-five years it tends to gain a reputation and a kind of notoriety... The facts get distorted and the legend grows." Many bars have their own web pages, Facebook pages and/or YouTube videos. Their history may be a reason to check them out.

Family historians, publish your receipts with your history. Comments or questions, contact Selma Blackmon.

Stewart, Jane, Phyllice F. Bradner and Betty Harris. Juneau Centennial Cookbook. Juneau, Alaska: self-published. 1980. New books are available from stores in Juneau, Alaska.
Doogan, Kathy. Simply Sourdough: The Alaska Way. Anchorage, Alaska: Todd Communications. 2007.
Vandegraft, Doug. A Guide to the Notorious Bars of Alaska. Fairbanks, Alaska: Epicenter Press. 2014.

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