Thanksgiving Alaska-style

There's no telling what kind of exotic meat you might encounter at an Alaskan feast.

Dear gourmand reader,

Several of you have asked if we ate an unusual Thanksgiving dinner during the holiday. I’m afraid we might disappoint those who were hoping for a wild Alaskan feast. We did eat locally grown potatoes and vegetables, and we did throw some wild blueberries in our cranberry sauce. In past years we have cooked turkeys we raised ourselves, but this year it was store-bought. For the most part, we had a very traditional meal. (And thank you Christy for answering Sarah’s question about candied yams.)

But over the weekend I received an email from a friend whose Thanksgiving dinner is more in keeping with the wild reputation of Alaskans. Each year she and her husband gather with friends for a game feed. I first learned of their tradition when they contacted us to see if we might have some lynx meat to contribute to their annual feast. We did.

Lynx meat is actually quite good and as a mild, light meat falls into that cliche of “tastes like chicken.” Sam traded our friends some lynx meat for some of their delicious jerky.

This year, our friends did not have lynx on the menu. But here’s a peek at their Thanksgiving menu:

     Mountain goat sticks
    Crackers with cream cheese and basil jelly
    Black Bear sausage
    Pickled salmon
    Snowshoe hare stew
    Musk ox roast
    Baked salmon
    Caribou stroganoff
    Elk/Delta barley bake with garden herbs
    Snap pea hot dish
     Pickled kohlrabi/carrots
     Pickled beets
     Cranberry gelatin salad
     Blueberry muffins
     Zucchini dessert bread
    Carrot cake
    Pumpkin (home-grown!) pie
And rhubarb punch to drink.
Now that’s an Alaska Thanksgiving!
P.S. Thank you to our friends for sharing their wonderful menu.




7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. sarah davis
    Nov 28, 2011 @ 23:58:32

    Wow that is a feast! they must need a day ot two to recover after all the food. In the uk years ago during christmas it was traditional to serve a 7 roast bird ( which is basically 7 different birds all stuffed in a large turkey ( it would take days to cook ) some rural areas still revive this tradition. Incidently rhubard punch sounds good. take care Sarah

  2. Mr. Baer
    Nov 29, 2011 @ 08:15:18

    The previous two Thanksgivings we also went wild Alaskan, nobody in this household really liking turkey, although we did raise turkeys sometime back in the distant past (and that’s a story in itself), with snowshoe hare, sockeye salmon and moose ribs on the entree menu. This Thanksgiving, laziness set in, two of us did the in law ordeal, where turkey is the tradition along with family discourse that ought to be avoided. We did bring homemade cranberry sauce, cranberry ketchup and gooseberry chutney. I want to give a big hug and thank you to the Ivey family for rescuing our Thanksgiving evening. With a quick departure from the in laws, we had a wonderful and wild sledding night (I have the scars to prove it) followed by a long discourse in the wee morning hours that ran the gamut from a Mennonite upbringing to the legend of Subaru autos.

  3. Nathan Dunbar
    Nov 30, 2011 @ 20:49:45

    1. I want an Alaskan Thanksgiving, like right now.
    2. What are mountain goat sticks? 😉

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