Wild kitchen: “The Alaska from Scratch Cookbook” highlights locally sourced food

Wild kitchen: “The Alaska from Scratch Cookbook” highlights locally sourced food

It’s a scenario that Alaskans know well. A recipe calls for a specific ingredient, maybe fresh chives, but the grocery store has little to offer in the way of anything chive-related, thus throwing the entire meal into disarray.

Food blogger Maya Wilson learned this lesson early on after moving to the Kenai Peninsula in 2011.

“Alaska requires that you’re innovative and creative in the kitchen. You work with what you do have access to given the season,” Wilson said. “I came from California and avocados literally fell from the sky in my childhood. I was accustomed to having access to any produce, any time of the year and that is just not true here.”

Wilson doesn’t focus on what Alaska lacks, though, instead in her new cookbook “The Alaska from Scratch Cookbook,” she celebrates all of the delicious options available from Alaska, like seafood.

“Alaska seafood is by far my favorite, it’s the pride and joy of my cookbook,” she said. “It’s world-class, beautiful, fresh and healthy. It’s so easy and quick to cook.”

Alaska’s seafood is versatile, plentiful and perfect for those with a busy schedule, Wilson said, which is why “Alaska from Scratch” is full of seafood recipes.

Wilson will be demonstrating one of her many seafood recipes this Friday at the Dena’ina Wellness Center at 4 p.m. She’ll be preparing blackened salmon lettuce wraps with mango salsa and avocado cream.

“We’ll be using some local salmon, some local lettuce and talking about new fresh ideas of what to do with salmon,” Wilson said. Following the demonstration, Wilson will take questions and be available for a book signing. River City Books, of Soldotna, will also be there with copies of “Alaska from Scratch” to purchase. The event is being sponsored in partnership with the Kenaitze Indian Tribe and Kenai Local Food Connection. It is free and open to the public.

Seafood isn’t the only bounty Alaska has to offer, though.

“I love birch syrup, our local birch syrup,” Wilson said. “You can use it as a glaze for salmon or veggies, put it on sourdough pancakes. The options are endless.”

“Alaska from Scratch” also highlights recipes for food that grows in abundance around the Kenai Peninsula, like rhubarb, wild mushrooms and blueberries. The cookbook, though, isn’t all cookbook. It also details Wilson’s journey from her grandmother’s kitchen to Alaska.

“My grandmother got me in the kitchen, she made the kitchen my safe space,” Wilson said. “So, I’ve always had a passion for cooking, but Alaska brought out in me the need to cook for my family from scratch.”

After her move, Wilson found that melding her passion for cooking with the landscape of Alaska led to delicious, affordable meals.

“It’s part cookbook, part memoir and part love letter to Alaska,” Wilson said.

Reach Kat Sorensen at ksorensen@peninsulaclarion.com

Wild kitchen: “The Alaska from Scratch Cookbook” highlights locally sourced food
Wild kitchen: “The Alaska from Scratch Cookbook” highlights locally sourced food
Wild kitchen: “The Alaska from Scratch Cookbook” highlights locally sourced food
Wild kitchen: “The Alaska from Scratch Cookbook” highlights locally sourced food

More in Life

Virginia Walters (Courtesy photo)
Life in the Pedestrian Lane: Spring Fever

“OK, Boomer” is supposed to be the current put down by the “woke generation”

A headstone for J.E. Hill is photographhed in Anchorage, Alaska. (Findagrave.com)
Night falls on the Daylight Kid — Part 2

“Bob,” he said, “that crazy fool is shooting at us.”

File
Minister’s Message: Has spring sprung in your life?

Christ also offers us an eternal springtime of love, hope and life

Eggs Benedict are served with hollandaise on a bed of arugula and prosciutto. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Honoring motherhood, in joy and in sorrow

Many who have suffered this loss believe they must bear it in silence for the sake of propriety

Page from Seward daily gateway. (Alaska State Library, Archives and Museum, Juneau, A.K.)
Night falls on the Daylight Kid — Part 1

Night Falls on the Daylight Kid—Part One By Clark Fair

Meredith Harber (courtesy)
Minister’s Message: Spread love in these challenging times

I don’t know about you all, but the world feels pretty rough these days

Photos by Sean McDermott 
Artist Amber Webb starts works on a new drawing at Bunnell Street Arts Center. Her work will be on display at the gallery through the month of May.
Where the waters mixed

Artist uses art to explore the blurred boundaries between sorrow and celebration, hardship and healing

A copy of “Firefighting: the Financial Crisis and Its Lessons” rests against a typewriter on Wednesday, May 4, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Off the Shelf: An economy on fire

“Firefighting: The Financial Crisis and Its Lessons” gives a retrospective on the 2008 financial crisis

Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion
Prints are featured in the “Open Watercolor” show at the Kenai Art Center on Wednesday.
Playing with paint

Art center’s new exhibit displays the versatility of watercolors

Kalbi ribs can be served with an assortment of side dishes, including white rice, kimchi, roasted garlic cloves, broccoli salad, dumplings and soup. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Marking 1 year with a festive feast

Kalbi marinade makes ribs that taste like a party

Will Morrow (courtesy)
Moving on

I suggested to my wife that we could replace the old kids’ car with something “fun”

On Oct. 3, 1945, the Spokane Chronicle published this A.P. photo of Miriam Mathers and her goats as she prepared to board a Seattle steamship bound for Seward.
Tragedy and triumph of the Goat Woman — Part 4

Mathers had only three cents in her purse when she arrived in Kenai