It was Wednesday night and we were leaving early Friday morning for our annual New Years cabin trip to Caines Head out of Seward. Normally one day would be plenty of time to get all of our food together and pack up, but as I started to plan our menu, I realized that there was no way I could bake bread and treats and make snacks and lightweight meals in one day while tending to Graysen. Hmmmm, poor planning indeed.
To make matters worse, our friends couldn’t make it on the first day, so Matt and I would be hiking out by ourselves. First adventure with the little one over a trail that can often be very icy, windy, and generally a bit treacherous. Normally we carry out way too much food and spend a good part of our time there cooking in the warm cabin, but that requires many ingredients. I would carry Graysen on my front and a small pack and Matt would carry everything else, so we didn’t have room for tons of food.
So, we split the difference. I made zucchini-carrot bread to share and bought bread for our sandwiches. We had dried soup mix for dinner the first night and had Margi and Scott bring out some of our caribou for our traditional New Year’s fondu for the second night. For snacks we brought some of our dried apples and Cliff bars. For breakfast, instant oatmeal and farmhouse eggs.
Even though we had just as much of (and shared) Alaskan food as store-bought, it was our first time buying groceries since June, and felt like a bit of a let-down. I knew if I had been prepared enough, we could have done it all Alaskan. It would have taken an extra loaf of bread in the freezer, maybe some home-made granola bars stashed away or some frozen pasta.
Before Graysen was born, we stashed a lot of food in the freezer and it kept us eating Alaskan in the first weeks. I’m now realizing this is going to have to be a regular part of my routine…. make extra to freeze for a busy day. This is also a good way to turn produce that might start to spoil in the cold storage into a ready meal for the “hunger-season” in spring. Which also happens to be the busy season in the garden. Conveniently, our freezers that were jam-packed this fall now have a bit of space in them. And we have more time to cook right now!
Our trip to the cabin was splendid. Graysen was a trooper, sleeping most of the way including the climb over the icy rock. It took some time to get the cabin heated up and I was thankful for some hot tea and pre-made sandwiches to refuel my body. Soup mix never tasted so good as it did that night. We had a great New-Year’s celebration with our friends the next day, complete with fondu, carrots, popcorn, and champagne that Levi carried out for us. And we were really glad we had some extra soup mix and pasta when the four of us had to stay in the cabin an extra night because the waves were crashing over the ice-covered rock on the beach!