Saturday, September 21, 2013

Alaska Distillery Cookbook

Filled with the Big Yummy


Why have a cookbook as the first reading in a book club - well, lots of reasons.  First it is just being launched so breaking news is always fun.  Second, Alaska Distillery Toby Foster agreed to be one of the founding members of the book club and he normally reads really dry books.  Like non-fiction books about Salt.  That's right Salt.  Specifically Mark Kurlansky's Salt: A World History.

They say that, "The only rock we eat, salt has shaped civilization from the very beginning, and its story is a glittering, often surprising part of the history of humankind. A substance so valuable it served as currency, salt has influenced the establishment of trade routes and cities, provoked and financed wars, secured empires, and inspired revolutions."  

Flying Chef Mark Bly
Fascinating as that sounds, when Toby mentioned something about publishing a cookbook I jumped on it.

Toby agreed to bring Chef Mark Bly with him to our meeting, and I was really looking forward to sampling some of the dishes featured in the cookbook.  Well, that didn't happen. Troubles in the kitchen meant we only got to talk about the food and not taste the food - although we were assured that everything tasted amazing.  Not a big believer in the "everything" qualifier I challenged Chef Bly to come on to Alaska Daily once a month with real food created exactly according to the book.  He agreed, so looking forward to that!

Alaska Distillery's Toby Foster
Toby did bring on the cocktails as promised - this time a light, sweet, fruity cosmo called the Last Frontier that was featured in the cookbook.  Like every other recipe, it includes a dash of Alaska Distillery product, and Toby put his own personal spin on it by using Alaska Distillery Rhubarb vodka instead of the Permafrost vodka that it called for.

Now I don't drink at all, and Professor Paul Ongtooguk, the other member of our book club, has a class he has to teach after taping - so he is slow sipping like it is $5k an ounce.  Toby isn't a good source when determining if the cocktail is any good - he likes all of his product which is why he sells it, and Chef Bly is tainted on this one because he has ties with the cookbook.  So we got a volunteer from our studio audience, Weathercaster Ryan Overton to be our official taste tester.  Is a Last Frontier cosmo manly enough for a man who predicts severe arctic stormweather?  I guess you are going to have to watch to find out.

Love love love my Ugly Girl's Book Club

 Here is an Alaskan aside - Paul went into great depth discussing the different flavors of polar bear, musk ox and beluga whale and there was some discussion with Chef Bly on how best to cook them in a non-traditional manner.

Jane Austin is likely never to surface as a selected reading, so I am going to miss the ladies of my now-disbanded book club.  They were, fun, flirty and wonderful women.  

The new "girls" aren't nearly as pretty, but I can tell already that the discussion of Alaskan authors and titles is going to be engaging, hysterical, and I'm going to learn a lot!  We meet monthly on ABC Alaska Daily - please join us!   Will leave you with a virtual sample from the Alaska Distillery cookbook.

Click here to purchase a copy of your own.

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