CRAFT by Under My Host® Issue No. 18 Made in America: Part III - Page 108

W W W. C R A F T BY U M H . C O M For those of us in the other 49 states in the US, Alaska is a completely differ- ent world. My husband often spoke of eating limpets and seaweed during his Alaskan survival training and of his roommate who made chili out of bear and elk that he had hunted himself. Home smoked salmon, pickled sea beans, and spruce tips—these things are a part of everyday life in many parts of Alaska. At Juneau’s Barnacle Foods, not only is local food a way of life, they built a business out of it. Matt and Lia’s pickles, salsas, and seasonings are made using kelp foraged from the shores of Southeast Alaska. In this piece Matt gives us an inside glimpse at what life in Southeast Alaska is truly like. Winter It’s December, and summer has a funny way of feeling like it may never return during Alaska’s long winter. Winter in Alaska is cold, windy, and piercingly dark.     Walking outside into the frigid air you’re either well prepared — or you rush back to a warm and well-lit place. Extended darkness means night stretch- es from mid-afternoon until your morning coffee break. The darkness can be claustrophobic or relaxing depending upon the person, but many agree that Alaskan winters allow plenty of time to cook and organize around the dining table. Long evenings are perfect for slowing down and enjoying all that food you caught, pickled, netted, and dried back when the sun was shining.   Winter’s crisp embrace makes food from past seasons taste even better. Each jar captures a spark from summer’s sun, the absolute essence of place and time. Shining in the cupboard, these gems can’t be compared with anything you can buy. Home packed foods are strictly for gifts, trade, and personal en- joyment. Every jar is a story, a memory, a tradition.   Aside from eating, winter is also a great time to scroll over maps, plot adven- tures, scribble on calendars, and plan for the seasons ahead.   At Barnacle, we spend the winter preparing for the year ahead; we must be ready for the arrival of the harvest season. Knowing that summer comes and goes before you even knew it happened, planning is critical to make the most © Hundred-to-One LLC 2018. All rights reserved.