Friday, November 1, 2013

Jim and Deanna's Alaska Food Experiment

Jim and Deanna's Alaska Food Experiment starts November 1!

Not sure what that is? Well, let me explain...

I've read about people who have set their own goals for eating only locally-grown Alaskan foods for whatever length of time they've decided would work for them. I've heard of them lasting as long as a year and as short as two weeks. My goal is to eat only Alaska-grown foods for two months. I sourced my vegetables and some fruits from farmer's markets, a Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) subscription, a gardening trade group, small amounts of local produce from the grocery store when they've had it available, and gifts from friends. Our meat is mostly pork and beef grown here on the Peninsula, as well as moose, our own poultry and eggs, plus additional poultry bought from the feed store. Our goats give us milk, cheese, butter and cream.

Every week, I'll post what Jim and I ate for the past seven days.

There will be a few small exceptions to the Alaska-only rule, and here they are:

Beverages. I've decided not to restrict beverages, within reason. Jim is a willing participant in the Experiment, but this wasn't his idea. He's been such a good sport and enabler that I'm not going to ask him to give up his beloved coffee and tea. As for myself, I'll be giving up sodas in favor of water, locally-grown fruit juice, or home-brewed kombucha.

Leavening agents. Not that I think we'll be using them often, but just in case I decide we want pancakes or muffins, I'll need some baking powder or baking soda. There are ways to leaven breads without them, and it was my original intention to avoid them, but honestly, there are enough things I make myself that I decided to have this option in my back pocket, just in case.

Cheese starters and cultures. I milk my own goats and make my own aged cheeses. I think that amount of devotion earns me some latitude there, right? Of course it does!

Seasonings. I'm fine with making my own sea salt, but other herbs and seasonings, not so much. 

Minimally-used preservatives. Mostly lemon juice, vinegar or olive oil, used extremely sparingly, and only in preserved foods.

Holiday meals. I've got locally-grown ingredients for much of the traditional holiday feasts, but here again, the Experiment wasn't my family's idea, and I don't want to ask them to skip pie, for example. If I do use non-Alaskan ingredients in my holiday meals, I promise to confess them to you.

There you have it: our Alaska Food Experiment!


  1. Good luck! As far as seasonings, sage, greek oregano, german thyme, sorrel, garlic, fennel, field mint, matchbox peppers, and spicebush (allspice substitute) do well here. You can do cumin if you transplant it, but it's a pain.

  2. Thanks for the tip, Charles! Perhaps next year I will actually do the windowsill garden I thought about doing for this year.