Yukon Cooks

Here Comes the Sun

When winter is in its grip and snow is all around, take heart: the sun is not far away. Make it arrive sooner by enjoying some marmalade, aka “sunshine in a jar”. By this time of winter, the Klondikers of old treasured the batches of canning, especially when it was something as toothsome as the …

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Eat (or Sip) Your Veggies!

Decreasing meat consumption (even just a little) and upping your vegetable intake can do  wonders for the digestive tract. This vegetarian “Soup Pot” along with a fast-and-fragrant Corn Bread is a delicious meal that can be prepared quickly and by novice cooks. While you certainly can make this soup with dried beans rehydrated and cooked …

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Break Your Fast … F-A-S-T!!!

Morning is a great time for these muffins. Low in fat, high in flavour, calcium, complex carbohydrates and fibre, one of these with a glass of milk or piece of cheese will give you a good start to a busy day. Research shows that regular breakfast eaters are better able to maintain a healthy body …

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Oh What a Pear!

By this time of the year in old Klondike days, food supplies were running a bit low. However, in most cabins there was flour for bread baking and a few tins of fruit. In my perusal of food references (“grub”) in the Yukon Archives, I find many references to canned pears. Canned pears together with …

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Spring is in the Yukon Air

What better way to welcome the return of the sun but to pack a picnic and find a slope covered  with crocuses? While it may feel like spring will never arrive, eventually it does and the whole world seems to change … sometimes overnight. Here is a lovely scone recipe made with cranberries and pecans. …

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Summer Salads

With summer’s arrival in the North (thank goodness it is finally here) come picnics and pot luck BBQs. Having a salad or two to make ahead is always a good tactic in the time management department. Made ahead, the salad can marinate and improve while you take off on your bike or hike up a …

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Lovely Lemons and Rhubarb

That bright and beautiful time of year is finally here: the lupines are in the woods and the eagles are proudly flying overhead. So, too, our northern rhubarb is making its presence known. Use it in this lemon tart or as a spread on morning toast or freshly baked scones. Lemon Tart with Rhubarb Coulis …

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Beautiful Beans

Here is another make-ahead salad to add to your summer repertoire. This recipe is a great one for adding colour, fibre and flavour to your Yukon picnics. Make ahead since it will, like us, improve with age. Beans – both fresh green and canned — add valuable fibre to our diets. Beans contain oligosaccharides, a …

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Yukon Salmon Goes Upstream

Succulent salmon is a new gold in Yukon rivers and streams. If ever you cook, bake or BBQ a fillet and are fortunate enough to have some left over, this quiche is the way to enjoy it a second time around. Alternately, you can use smoked salmon or a home/commercially canned salmon. The flavour will …

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Starting to Go Plum Crazy

That special Yukon summer time is here. Go out and pick some fresh wild raspberries to combine with ripe, red plums in this delicious summer dessert. Yukon river banks and the sides of old railroad tracks and ditches usually yield a motherlode of wild raspberries. Take a bunch of friends with you so you will …

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Klondike Rice and Beans

In old Yukon, many a miner survived the winter with a sack of rice and a bag of beans. With escalating food prices, we may be wise to follow suit. While rice and beans by themselves lack certain amino acids, combined together in the same meal however, amino acids lacking in one are present in …

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A Simmering Supper

Roasting the vegetables makes difficult-to-peel squash easier to work with. As well, along with fresh garlic, roasting sweetens and intensifies the flavour of root vegetables. This is an easy-to-prepare soup which pairs nicely with a hearty bread and old cheddar or gruyere cheese. Very high in Vitamin A, dark orange vegetables are some of the …

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A Christmas Savoury

In Klondike days, the oldtimers would have used canned spinach to make this quiche. Today,  we have the luxury of being able to buy fresh spinach in the middle of a Yukon winter … how times have changed. This is a lovely and colourful dish that can be made in a traditional quiche pan or …

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Tropical Taste in a Northern Kitchen

When a prolonged winter continues cold, colder and coldest, one can counter with thoughts  and tastes of the sunny South. Here is a muffin, loaded with tropical flavour to help you get through the grip of winter. The “white stuff”, coconut, adds fibre and an interesting texture, while canned pineapple adds moisture to these marvelous …

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Striking Gold; One Potato at a Time

Yukon Gold potatoes, as fresh baby nuggets or mature full size, are wonderful for this  delicious, warm salad. Paired with fresh apple and Camembert cheese, this dish celebrates the good old potato. Yukon Gold potatoes have a firm texture, yellowy “golden” colour and grow very well in our cooler Northern climate. If you are not …

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Tutti Fruit-ee, Go Fruit

Sometimes fresh is not always available. In early Klondike days, canned or dried fruit was the norm. Many modern-day Northerners dry fruit for lightweight hiking food or for long-term winter storage. This quick and nutritious crisp dessert can be made using frozen, dried or canned fruit. While summer may seem eons away, this is a …

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Great Pick for a Potluck

This is a great recipe for your next potluck supper. Quick to put together, better after it has sat for an hour, this salad is loaded with great flavour and interesting texture. It is also a good choice for a refrigerator salad that can be packed for lunches during the week. This is one of …

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A Taste of Our Northern Woodlands

Morel mushrooms are an exquisite treat found in the ashy remains of the forest fire floor. Because these mushrooms only germinate when exposed to extremely high heat, morels are available the year after a forest fire has raged through the woods. While destruction does take place, much growth occurs afterwards. Harvesting the woods in early …

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Wild About Rice

Northern wild rice (Zizania palustris) is a grass that grows in shallow lakes and slow-moving streams. While not harvested in the Yukon, one can sometimes find it when paddling in the Southern Lakes district. High in protein (albeit, incomplete protein), fibre and low in fat, wild rice is a welcome accompaniment to wild meat and …

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Round and Round and Round We Go

In old Klondike days, ingredients were rather limited. Lard or bacon grease was often the only fat for baking. Holy smokes, can you imagine? In this recipe, we have the luxury of using butter. There is no doubt: real butter makes the best cookies. Teamed up with brown or raw Demerara sugar, oats, flour and …

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Simple Salad for People on the Go

Here is a simple salad, colourful and high in nutrients. Try using a whole wheat penne or vegetable pasta for interesting texture and increased fibre. Bright-red tomatoes contrast with celery and cucumbers to make this a light, easy-to-prepare and easy-on-the-budget summer meal. It can be served warm, right after mixing, or be kept in the …

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Bittersweet Endings

While the snow is gone, and with it the skiing and snowshoeing, back come the swans, ducks, crocuses and the long-awaited spring light. One season ends and another begins. End a meal with both bitter and sweet flavours, a decadent creamy texture and get an extra bit of calcium and add Vitamins A and D …

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Rhubarb and Strawberry Fare

Rhubarb is the earliest crop to be harvested in the Yukon and is now fresh and plentiful. Grab it from your garden or find a friend who has a bunch. Ruby-red or tart-green rhubarb, along with sweet summer strawberries, make this a quick-to-prepare cake that packs a wallop of flavour. Enjoy a slice with a …

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Tasting Tagish

Pat McKenna takes a cook’s tour of famous, infamous and soon-to-be-famous Yukon chefs. Café, motel, RV park, store and more – Tagish Stores is serving up authentic German cuisine, real Italian coffee and a Saturday barbecue for which reservations are recommended. Kurt and Jutta Gantner are the owners, operators and chefs who credit their style …

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To the Beat of a Northern Bakery

Pat McKenna takes a cook’s tour of famous, infamous and soon-to-be-famous Yukon chefs. With dancing, folk singing and lots of great music entertainment, the Village Bakery in Haines Junction pumps out a wide variety of products to a decidedly Northern beat. Owner-operator Boyd Campbell, in his twentieth year of running the bakery, says that, while …

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Kerr-razy for Taste

Pat McKenna takes a cook’s tour of famous, infamous and soon-to-be famous Yukon chefs.  Featured today is Mary-El Kerr of Whitehorse. Mary-El Kerr, owner and operator of Mary-El Fine Food & Catering, brings a wide variety of expertise and pizzazz to the table. An early start cooking at her father’s restaurant launched Kerr into course …

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Raked Over the Coals

If you like to camp in comfort and enjoy a challenge, take a Dutch oven. Breads, bannock, cinnamon buns, upside-down-cake, succulent meats and baked fish are taken to a new dimension over an open fire. The trick is to keep only a few coals underneath and more on top of the Dutch oven. This bread …

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Plank It Up

Sockeye is in season and if you haven’t yet discovered the ease and piquant flavour of cooking fish on a cedar plank, now is the time. Planks infuse a wonderful woodsy taste to fish as well as minimizing the mess in cleaning up. Following are two recipes, a really easy one and a more challenging …

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Bottoms-up in the Blueberry Patch

Picking in the blueberry patch; what could be sweeter? Along waterways and creeks, hillsides and rocky patches, these little blue beauties are worth the hike. This upside-down cake is a nice way to celebrate blueberry season in the North. It is also important to reward your pickers with a delectable goody after the pickings. You …

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Held Together by a Noodle

Vegetables and fresh fruits, lots of them, held together by pasta in this quick-to-prepare meal, is perfect for a busy fall night. You can eat it warm or make it ahead, refrigerate it and then heat it up to fit individual schedules. Vary the vegetables: use what is freshest and in season right now. Cooked …

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Simmering Spuds

The firm texture of Yukon Gold potatoes goes well with fresh corn to deliver a rich flavour in this hearty and healthy soup. Leave the skin on new potatoes as the skins are high in Vitamin C. Yukon-grown potatoes are plentiful now as the digging is well underway in Northern gardens. Shaving kernels from corn …

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Approaching Life ‘Gingerly’

There is nothing like ginger for spicing things up. Fresh, candied, pickled in syrup or dried; all forms of ginger are pungent, fragrant and especially aromatic when in the oven baking. Fruit desserts like this Pear Apple Crisp are quick and easy to prepare and contribute lots of nutrients and soluble fibre. Leftovers, if you …

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Time for Bison

If your family or circle of friends didn’t harvest any bison this fall, don’t despair as bison is now  available in local grocery stores. As steaks, ground mince or roasts, bison is a high source of protein, iron and B vitamins. Russian influences, during early Alaskan days, is evident in some Klondike recipes such as …

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Simple and Sweet: An Old Time

Simple ingredients: butter, sugar and flour make up real old-fashioned shortbread. While  variations on these basic ingredients are many, the real McCoy is hard to beat. The trick is in the kneading; you really can’t knead shortbread too much. The more you knead, the stronger the dough (your arms, too) which, in turn, will result …

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Cranberries Colour Christmas

The bright-red colour and tart flavour of Yukon cranberries complements Christmas feasts  beautifully. For a change, try baking cranberry sauce ahead of the big day. Adding thyme and some Northern sage imparts a nice woodsy mellowness. Cranberry-Orange Squares are a welcome treat on your cookie tray and make up quickly with the use of a …

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Springtime Rice

In old Klondike days, about the time of spring break-up, often all that was left in the cabin  larder was a bag of rice. With a few weathered, withered and dried vegetables, even a prospector or miner could rustle up the vittles in a stir-fry like this. We have it much easier now. Colourful and …

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Those Irish Eyes … (… Potato eyes, that is!)

Our cool northern climate is similar to conditions in Ireland where so many potatoes (with Irish  eyes) grow plentifully. Yukon Gold potatoes, along with the humble cabbage, are the ingredients for a simple, satisfying and cheap soup. Accompanied with a brown soda bread, you have the makings of a St. Patrick’s Day lunch or supper. …

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Lightweight Foods to Lighten The Load

Here are two lightweight and quick-to-prepare recipes sure to deliver loads of flavour and little  weight while being carried in your pack, canoe or kayak. The taste of a meal increases dramatically when eaten in our fresh Yukon outdoors. Once you are at camp, it brightens everyone’s outlook when hearty foods are offered to weary, …

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Beets Me

Beets are one of the “super foods” – extremely high in vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants.  They also happen to grow well here in the Land of the Midnight Sun. Gathered now, as winter fast approaches, there are green beet-tops and the lovely red beet-root to harvest and use. Paired with fresh basil, this roasted beet …

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Cooking on the Wild Side of Summer

Wild raspberries are yours for the picking in a ditch or river bank near you. Take advantage of our warm summer weather and gather plump, succulent red raspberries or peach-coloured salmonberries for jam, juice, pie or these delicious squares. Similar to a date square in texture but amped up in flavour, these will be quickly …

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Conserving Cranberries

For the Thanksgiving table, nothing could be finer than Yukon cranberries prepared with the zing of oranges. This is a very simple, very delicious way to celebrate the bounty of our Yukon forest. Conserves are really rather runny jams made with fruit and sugar. Sometimes nuts and dried fruits such as raisins are used. This …

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Going Nutty North of 60

Nuts of many kinds (both the human and plant varieties) were common about town in early  Klondike days. Nuts keep well, have great flavour and add crunch and texture to sometimes bland situations. These Nut Butter Cookies have the advantage of tasting even better cold and can be frozen or kept in a refrigerated pantry …

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Snap it Up

Those long and much anticipated golden days of the summer solstice are upon us. Go out and enjoy the sunshine and warmth. When you get back, relax with a refreshing glass of Lemon-Limeade and a light Lemon-Lime cookie to dunk into it. Lemon-Lime Snaps INGREDIENTS: ½ cup butter, room temperature 1 cup granulated sugar 1 …

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With Sage Advice

Along with the crocuses, up come new buds on ‘artemisia frigida’, better known as wild sage. Aromatic, especially when crushed, sage is a silver-grey-green member of the mint family. Gather these lacy leaves from local hilltops and make this warm and very fragrant Sage Focaccia Bread. It is great for camping, picnics and backpacking as …

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The Great Garbanzo

Garbanzo beans, although relatively bland, have a rich texture that can be easily perked up with herbs and spices. For vegetarians, legumes are a standard source of protein, so variety in the bean preparation is always welcome. In this garbanzo patty recipe, a food processor makes light of the work. The Garbanzo Stew can be …

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Something’s Fishy for Dinner

While a fish stew exists in many cultures, our northern fish shines like no other in the version  presented here. Choose a firm textured fish and incorporate as many fresh vegetables as you can get. Using the barbecue keeps the fishy smell outdoors and adds a bit of a rustic flavour to the mélange. I …

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A heart warming Valentine

Tomatoes, paired with roasted peppers, garlic, onions and carrots take on an outstandingly rich flavour in this good-for-your-heart soup. Lycopene is a phytochemical in tomatoes that is made more available to the body when tomatoes are cooked. A powerful antioxidant, lycopene has been linked to lowering cholesterol levels as well as reducing risk for some …

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Go for Oats

Those who enjoy the Yukon outdoors know that snacks need to be easy to pack and hold up  without crumbling too easily. Peanut butter packs protein while oats are an excellent complex carbohydrate. The following recipes use oats and are quick to make and easy to transport. The secret to a firm cookie is to …

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