For a while now
I’ve wanted to share the beauty of Alaska in a different format, not Facebook photos, Instagram photos, posts, shares, and so on but something more personal. An intimate look at what makes Alaska so beguiling, tantalizingly close and so far from the grasp of many people. Beautiful and yet so intense at times it’s hard to fathom.
And that, along with this winter, froze me.
I didn’t know my next move, I just knew I wanted to make one. And when I finally decided to make a move, I moved sideways to SubStack.
If you know me at all you know I write a recipe blog called Little House Big Alaska, if you don’t know me “Hi I’m laura, I have a website that features comfort food recipes that feel like home, Little House Big Alaska.”
I love it, it’s exactly the job I wanted when I was a little girl growing up in Alaska destroying my poor mother’s kitchen and hosting a cooking show no one ever watched. I wanted to do exactly what I’m doing now except that the job didn’t exist. It does now and I am SO thankful.
If you know anything ELSE about me you’ll know that my husband and I own a small folk school in Palmer Alaska. We started it in 2019 as a way to slowly build a handcrafted retirement business. We run it by ourselves, teach most of the classes, and do all the behind-the-scenes work too, like mowing our weed patch we call the lawn and making sure the gardens look somewhat presentable.
We live in an 88-year-old farmhouse that is, if I’m honest, more shabby than chic, and we do all our own stunts, um I mean repairs. We’ve also raised three boys here, have had too many chickens to count, and currently have two of the hairiest doggos known to man.
And we wouldn’t change a thing. Mostly.
But like I said something else was calling my name.
Welcome to Mug-Up Alaska
According to retired Alaska State Trooper and Cook Book Author Gordon R. Nelson, a Mug-Up is an old Alaskan term, also a seafarer’s term, that essentially means “A coffee break with snacks” I am always up for snacks!
In his book, LowBush Moose Nelson says the intent of inviting someone for a mug can mean a few things and I quote “you like them, you think they are interesting, you think you would like to talk to them, they look like they would benefit from your fire and food, you are lonesome and need company, you have the only place in site to get warm, or you’re proud of your place and you want to show it off. The fact of the matter is that for the price of a cup of coffee, you can acquire a captive audience.”
And that’s what my intent with Mug-Up Alaska is, a place to escape to, drink a cup of something hot, and for a minute, be somewhere else. With me and the northern lights.
A few things I plan to include in Mug-Up Alaska:
Notes from DownHome—these are similar to the old-fashioned radio check-ins that no longer exist “hey Jim, checked on the cabin today, looks good but we’ve got a tree to take down next summer” An old-fashioned way to keep in touch when the internet didn’t exist. So if you want to check in with ANYBODY send us an email at ______ with your check-in message and we’ll include it in an upcoming newsletter
Alaskan Book Recommendations—typically they’ll be books written by Alaskans that we as a family have enjoyed. We ALSO take book recommendations so send them to us!! This week’s recommendation came in the form of an explanation behind the name. If you love funky cookbooks with a lot of Alaskana thrown in give LowBush Moose by Gordon R. Nelson a read.
Occasionally recipes for Mug-Up treats—I don’t want to bog this down with endless recipes and photos, but occasionally as seen fit I’ll be tossing in a recipe, or more than likely a “hey y’all’ go check out THIS recipe
Hometown news tidbits from around the state on and off the road system. Got something to share? Send it in!
We’ll also be including a list of cool Alaskan Oriented Events from around the state. We don’t need to be able to attend to share it!
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