Homemade biscuits and gravy anyone? or say….fresh garlic bread off the smoker, with some lodge famous meatloaf, taters from the garden and home whisked gravy??
The Holitna River is over 200 miles west of Anchorage in the bush of Alaska. Here at this remote lodge, we offer trophy sportfishing trips as well as moose and bear hunts. When most people plan a trip of a lifetime or return to a place of rest, it’s usually because they had a fabulous experience or heard that the amenities were worth the investment. A lot of us also judge a place by its ratings or stars that they earn. What does this mean to us at Alaskan Adventures? In regards to amenities, we pride ourselves in bringing you classic lodge grub, to accompany the rustic feel of the lodge and cabins, along with the fresh veggies from the garden and wild berries from the patch outback. ALL HOMEMADE. Sauces, dressings, bread, desserts and more!
After a long, fun and action-packed day on the water, battling the fish of the Holitna River, we know you have worked up quite the appetite, and we want to bring you some good ‘ol homemade wilderness gourmet food. Not “fancy” by any means, but when you look at the logistics of getting anything, let alone food, to this lodge, you’ll understand what goes into a single meal.
Because we are so far out, and air transportation is expensive, we have to strategically plan every meal. Now, if you’ve never been to the lodge, we should let you know that we have ONE regular-sized refrigerator, along with three small drink (dorm) mini-fridges, and two chest freezers. Why is this important information? Well, the closest store is a 2-hour boat ride north and west to the nearest village of Sleetmute, and that trip we only make once a week to get the mail at the small post office. To be practical, and save resources, a lot of our food comes in frozen. We will order in bulk and the food for the first half of the season comes in on one plane about a week before guests arrive. Space is limited and we must get creative while packing the freezers and fridges! Imagine fitting 50 dozen eggs in the fridges, along with all the other perishables and dairy products like butter, cheese, and cream. Just getting them in there is great, but placement is key. We don’t want any of those precious eggs freezing! Remember too that once meats are thawed and bottles are opened, those foods then need a place to stay in the fridge!
The next plane of food……
doesn’t come again for another 5 weeks! Pounds, ounces, teaspoons and pinches matter!
We eat as fresh as we can, which means the garden is our most prized asset for meals. The growing season, sunlight, as well as the soil and weather conditions, can be a challenge so some vegetables are started in a greenhouse. We eat fresh lettuce, broccoli and cauliflower, Brussel sprouts and potatoes, carrots, strawberries and raspberries, beets, tomatoes, cabbage, and rhubarb! Along both sides of the garden, there are two impressive fresh herb gardens that we use to season all the savory food including thyme, oregano, cilantro, rosemary, chives, onions, sage, parsley and more.
So let’s talk about the grub. When the menu is planned out, we have to take into account the number of eggs to begin. What desserts and breakfast can we serve with the allotted eggs? Which days do we serve what foods? A lot of thinking, planning, and ingenuity go into feeding the guests and the staff at the lodge; and no sneaking for late-night snacks!
Meats get attention the day before, with thawing, brining and seasoning. Breads are made fresh every day. Alaskan Adventures did not buy a single loaf of bread from a supermarket in 2019!! Fish is freshly caught the day of the meal. Desserts are also made the same day and we use fresh berries from the strawberry and raspberry patch in the garden, as well as the rhubarb and wild blueberries for pies. Spice cake with cream cheese frosting, cake roll with berries, warm out of the oven cookies, sweet fry bread, brownies with homemade caramel sauce, berry and rhubarb crisp and many more. Breakfast consists of scones, burritos, quiche and French toast, pancakes, egg sandwiches and bacon of course. Dinner has us always excited for pork ribs and tenderloin, meatloaf, fresh cedar plank salmon and fried sheefish, Ribeye steak and baked chicken thighs, all complemented by vegetables picked fresh, like coleslaw and various potatoes dishes.
In 2019, the lodge favorites were the meatloaf with mashed taters and French bread, as well as the cookies and cake roll with raspberries and cream cheese filling, and don’t forget the famous corn casserole, creamy with a slight bite of spice!
We love having guests at our lodge. We love to take care of them and bring them the best experience possible and do it in a way that makes them feel at home away from home. Stories told on the porch and flies tied on the bench with a cozy cabin to rest, all add to the rustic wilderness experience. The time is now to book with us. You will have a once in a lifetime experience. We are a unique and special place, out in the wild space of Alaska. Our river is full of life and the sites are unforgettable. The food is only a small piece of the puzzle that we want to put together for you and your loved ones! We look forward to meeting you or seeing you again!