We just returned from Winterlake Lodge, located in a perfectly remote area of Alaska, specifically at mile 198 along the world famous dog-sledding path, the Iditarod Trail. Seclusion was found after a one-hour flight, by seaplane, from the Anchorage base, conveniently adjacent to Ted Stevens International Airport. I found it troubling that the airport still bears the name of the Senator who died in an airplane crash. It was nearly all I could think of as we also flew on a seaplane, a de Havilland Beaver DHC 2, built in the 50’s. The 1950’s when credit cards, radial tires, and the Barbie doll were invented. You’re thinking, were raspberry scones invented in the fifties because that would be the necessary connection to food for this post. Silly, scones were invented in ’13, 1513. Makes a seaplane seem like the Starship Enterprise.
Because roads are limited through rugged Alaskan terrain, air travel is common and necessary.We were in the air often, by helicopter, to get places. The bright red four-seaters lifted us to see glaciers and wildlife, to hike atop Wolverine Ridge and to fish along Yentna River.
Everything is remote and yet, in the middle of nowhere, the lodge cuisine was quite fantastic, rivaling any restaurant that would have easy farmers market access or last-minute store runs. Add to their challenge, generator electricity is shut down by 11 pm each night requiring refrigeration strategies and then, there is the threat of hungry bears, who wait for any sign of scrap food, requiring critical food storage and disposal management. The chefs are creative, resourceful, and inspired by their restrictions. Co-proprietor of Within the Wild lodges is a well-trained chef who set the standard at her lodges and has since shared her creations in two cookbooks, where we found an easy recipe for raspberry scones.
Shortly before our departure, we attended the daily cooking lesson. Sweet and savory crepes with homemade mascarpone cheese were on the menu. The chefs were informative and accessible. We learned much, but perhaps the best takeaway was inspiration and resourcefulness of our own. The morning we arrived home, our daughter made those same crepes with sweet fillings found in our refrigerator and that evening I filled them with a savory blend of chicken, mushrooms, and an easy mornay sauce made within the wild of our leftovers.
Of all the wonderful sites and experiences from our Alaskan visit, we unfortunately missed the two biggest – Mount McKinley due to fog and Sarah Palin due to not looking very hard. Note, we did not see Russia from Alaska.
fresh raspberry scones, lemon scented icing
I like a slightly sweeter scone, so I doubled the original sugar measurement. Gluten-free flour worked well for the recipe that called for standard flour. Any berry or no berry will work for this basic scone recipe. Lemon icing is optional but it provides a nice flavor balance.
preptime: 15 min 8 servings
baketime: 10 min
- 2 cups flour (I used gluten-free)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 Tbsp sugar
- 4 Tbsp butter (cut into pieces)
- 3/4 cups milk
- 1 1/2 cup raspberries
- 3 Tbsp powdered sugar
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- few grates of lemon zest
- 1 tsp milk
- Freeze raspberries for an hour. You want them firm enough to blend easily into the dough without breaking apart.
- Preheat oven to 400°.
- In a food processor, add the first 5 ingredients through sugar. Pulse 2-3 times to mix.
- Add butter. Pulse a few times until butter cut in but still in small pea size bits.
- Add milk. Pulse a few times to blend in. Finish mixing with a wooden spoon.
- Gently stir in frozen raspberries.
- Roll out or press out the dough to a loose circle about 1/2″ thick.
- Cut dough into 8 wedges and place onto a non-stick baking pan or one lined with parchment or a silpat liner.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes.
- Meanwhile: combine powdered sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest and milk.
- After scones have mostly cooled, drizzle icing using a spoon.
recipe from the Winterlake Lodge Cookbook and adapted by your friends at crunchtimefood.com