11/29/2012 …summer is over.

In a run down old building in the heart of  Soldotna, AK, someone decided to open a coffee shop and offer expensive coffee and really delicious pastries.  I wasn’t drawn in by the smell of the coffee… I was struck by the simplicity and beauty of the fence and fireweed.  The Alaskan’s say that when the fireweed is gone… summer is over.

11/27/2012 … I will let you do that.

If you are interested in spotting whales, sea lions, and puffins while out glacier watching, cruise in Kenai Fjords.  The day that we went out it was freezing, blowing cold and later bright bluebird blue skies.  No, I didn’t see any whales, but I did see an island full of sea lions and a glacier calving.  It all depends upon where you are in the day cruise.  I think that I could make an application to life but I will let you do that.

11/19/2012 The magic sound of flowing water…

Do you think that this fisherman is thinking about his stock portfolio,  the next natural disaster or  what’s going on at work?  I hope not…. there needs to a place where your mind can rest.  The magic sound of flowing water, clean, crisp air filling your lungs and the ever-present anticipation of a yummy salmon on the dinner plate is better than any mood medication.  Near Coopers Landing, Alaska.

11/16/2012 We flew over in an “Otter”…

When the plane pulls away you know it will return BUT for a few brief hours you are living the dream.  You, your guide, an abundance of fish, bears and scenery.  Later that afternoon we were the only ones on the return flight and I was delighted to perform the co-pilot duties.   We flew over in an “Otter”  and were  guided by  ”Badger”.   Wolverine Creek, Alaska

11/4/2012 Tomato Mozzarella Salad

Food is more than nutrients that our bodies need.  Food is taste and smell and memories.  We talk about comfort food and food we crave when we are sick.  We remember the dishes that we had when we celebrated weddings, holidays…we have favorite birthday dinners and our favorite restaurants.  America is obsessed with cooking shows and specials about the direction we are taking with our food sources.

Jean Claude made this yummy tomato salad and the best polenta I have ever eaten.  We had a feast.   The basil was some that I had grown, dried and brought to Alaska… who would have ever thought that basil from Morriston, FL would end up being used by a Frenchman in Alaska!

Tomato Mozzarella Salad:

  • 3 vine-ripe tomatoes, 1/4-inch thick slices
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella, 1/4-inch thick slices
  • fresh basil leaves  ( 1 Teaspoon dried can be substituted)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • Coarse salt and pepper

Directions

Layer alternating slices of tomatoes and mozzarella, adding a basil leaf between each, on a large, shallow platter. Drizzle the salad with extra-virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste.