Blueberry-bourbon ribs, strawberry salsa, and where to find supercharged summer vegetables
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Chill Pill

by Julia O'Malley


Newsletter #56: Cool it.

I’m just back from fish camp outside Naknek, where the sockeye fishing was five-fire-emoji hot. Also hot, politically fraught, and smoky: this whole dang state. By the time you read this, my iPhone says we will all have cooled down some, temp-wise anyway.
You still might be in the mood for Kim Sunée’s new curiously delicious ice cube soup. Or maybe just a light dinner of oven-roasted chicken flatbreads with cucumber and feta. Or maybe you’re exhausted from the cabin/fishing/politics/kid soccer and just want a big bowl of strawberry salsa, leftover Bear Tooth corn chips and some rhubarbaritas in front of “Stranger Things.”
I’ll tell you what I’ve been craving: big pitchers of unsweetened basil-grapefruit “Innocent Love,” a massive salad made of my garden greens inspired by this one at Via Carota (shall we come up with our own anchovy dressing recipe?), and Kim Sunée’s fried squash blossoms. Also in my brain: soft white bread with Carlyle Watt’s pimento cheese spread. And blueberry-bourbon ribs for family dinner.
Anytime now, we’ll hit that subtle shift, when the air starts to feel just a touch thicker, and you find yourself watering the garden in the evening in the same set of shorts and T-shirt you wore last week but there is just the tiniest chill. Then comes the rush of loss and relief. The last weeks of summer. Blueberry season. Comfort yourself, will you, with Maya Wilson’s jalapeño popper mac and cheese?
[Read previous newsletters here. Find more Alaska recipes here.]
In Alaska food news: Some produce is going nuts in the heat and it’s time to get to the farmers market, says our market columnist, Steve Edwards. And, no surprise, Alaska salmon is like the best protein there is. Oh: in case you missed it last week, we have a roundup of our best rhubarb recipes. One more thing: Who has tried the new bakery Benji’s in South Anchorage? I am pretty curious about that lychee-rose croissant.
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Finally, in these fraught, hot days, I offer this out of Kotzebue from a friend on Twitter:


Julia O'Malley, an Anchorage Daily News editor, is working on a book at the Anchorage Museum about how Alaskans eat. You can sign up to receive our weekly Alaska food newsletter, "How Alaska eats," in your email inbox by visiting Find more classic Alaska recipes here.

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