Thoughts, ramblings, experiences and joys of an Alaska girl. Home is where the heart is, and my heart is firmly rooted in the Great Land of Alaska.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

2008 Denali Road Lottery Results

The results are in... and I won again this year for Monday, September 15. Unfortunately, I can't take work off that day, and the kids have school.... sooooooo, if anyone won for a different day, Friday, Saturday or Sunday, and would like to trade for my Monday, drop me a comment with your email address and let me know. If not, I'll be giving the winner's slip to another to enjoy the park for me.


Summer ????

It's been quite a while since I last wrote. My last blog was about making spruce tip jelly. By the way, it turned out WONDERFUL! I'll give a quick blurb, then get on with my summer goings-ons.

I picked all the spruce tips from the spruce trees in my own backyard. Since we are surrounded by spruce trees, I didn't need to go any further, or search for them the way I have to search for berries in the fall. I picked about 6 full cups of young, freshly "bloomed" spruce tips. Since this was my first time picking them, or making spruce tip jelly, I read a lot about what to look for, what to avoid, and when to pick before I started. After getting the tips, I placed them in a food processor and finely chopped them. Then, I covered them with water and boiled them for about 30 minutes and let them steep overnight. After straining the juice through a jelly bag, I put it back on the oven, added 1 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice and 1 package of powdered pectin, and then added 3/4 a cup of sugar for every cup of liquid.

It took about 3 weeks in the cupboard for it to set correctly, but man, is it tasty. It smells like Christmas, but tastes like heaven! I was very surprised at the taste. When I was picking the tips, and when I brought them into the house, they smelled very much like evergreen trees. However, once I chopped them, the kitchen was pervaded with a citrus smell. Even my boy asked me how much lemon I'd cut up, and I hadn't cut any lemons yet. I'm definitely making the jelly again next year. It's DIVINE on English muffins.

Since May, we've been WAITING for summer to start. Now, in August, we are still waiting... This has been a very odd "summer." The entire summer was overcast, we didn't have very many purely sunny days, and the temperature only hit 70 degrees perhaps 4 times all summer. During the "waiting" for summer, summer somehow slipped by, and now it's mid August and fall is about to start.

I didn't do many hikes this summer. In fact, I didn't do much of anything this summer. I didn't fish much, I didn't CATCH anything, I went camping only once, and all of my grand desires for summer that I had during last winter never came to fruition.

OH, I DID get married though! That will be my favorite summer memory of 2008. We, along with 9 of our friends, went to Girdwood, AK, and hiked to Glacier Creek for the vows. In true Alaskan style, we wore shorts and t shirts and hiking shoes. My impromptu flower girls carried fiddle head ferns we found on the forest floor because we couldn't find any flowers