Sunday, June 9, 2013

My Sixth Year of Cooking at Gambell

On my feet and cooking nonstop for about 16-18 hours every day for this past week has kept me from blogging, and I will get back to my Borneo accounts later this week. Before I do, a quick recap of what has a been a very rewarding though exhausting week at Gambell, on the northwestern tip of Saint Lawrence Island.

First step was buying and boxing the nonperishables in Tucson the day after I got back from Indonesia. Second step was buying all the fresh food in Anchorage for two days and boxing it all up in 9 coolers, 8 boxes and two cartons (the 27 dozen eggs).

Then as a group, 15 of us flew to Gambell via Nome, and our Bering Air pilot Larry gave us a very nice view of the village before landing. (En route we also had views of Big and Little Diomede Islands to the north.)

This is the kitchen in the Sivuqaq Inn, my home for the week.

I cooked and baked up a storm. Here are whole wheat sandwich bread, no-knead bread (makes the best garlic bread), and challah (for the breakfast strata and french toast).

This is Nina Hansen, a saint and my savior in the kitchen. She washed 95% of the dishes while I kept prepping for the next meals, but that gave her bowl-licking privileges as well as license to give a few cookies to the kids. This Snowy Owl is one of a few pieces of precious ivory she bought from the local Yupik Eskimos who come in to the lodge to sell their works; exhausting her budget, she promised herself to not to buy any more. Then she bought some more.

And if you weren't there, here's what you missed:
Gambell Meal Plan
WINGS Tour, 2013
Rich Hoyer

Day 1, May 30
Afternoon flight to Gambell
Lunch: At Anchorage Airport
Dinner: Oven-roasted Salmon with Tangerine and Ginger relish, Green Beans with Toasted Hazelnuts and Browned Butter, Leafy Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing
Dessert: Strawberry-Rhubarb Fool

Day 2, May 31
Breakfast: Fluffy Scrambled Eggs, Cream Biscuits with Cheddar Cheese, Oven-fried Bacon                 
Lunch: Classic Chicken Salad Sandwiches, Barley Soup With Mushrooms and Kale
Dinner: Crispy Roast Lemon Chicken, Baked Wild Rice, Maple-roasted Brussels Sprouts and Rutabaga with Hazelnuts, Apple-Pear Salad
Dessert: Orange-scented Olive-oil Cake with Orange Compote and Ganache

Day 3, June 1
Breakfast: Fluffy Scrambled Eggs, Buttermilk and Buckwheat Pancakes and Sausage
Lunch: Slow-roasted Beef and Easy Roast Turkey Breast, cheese, West African Peanut Soup with Chicken
Dinner: Glazed All-beef Meatloaf, Quinoa-stuffed Eggplant, Shaved Kohlrabi and Arugula Salad with Chunky Garlic and Pimentón Dressing
Dessert: Blueberry-Peach Cobbler with Lemon-Cornmeal Biscuit Topping, whipped cream

Day 4, June 2
Breakfast: Sonoran Sunrise Bake, Fresh Tomato Salsa, Fresh Fruit
Lunch: Grilled Cheese Sandwiches on Homemade Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread and No-knead Bread, Creamless Creamy Tomato Soup
Dinner: Lasagna di Carnevale, Fennel-and-Endive Salad with Red Grapes and Walnuts, Classic American Garlic Bread
Dessert: Wicked Good Boston Cream Pie

Day 5, June 3
Breakfast: Fluffy Scrambled Eggs, Blueberry Scones, Oven-fried Bacon
Lunch: Roast Beef and Roast Turkey Sandwiches, Broccoli-cheese Soup
Dinner: Urban Tavern's Spice-rubbed Pork Spare Ribs, Couscous with Carrots, Raisins, and Pine Nuts, Evelyn’s Killer Kale Salad
Dessert: Classic Apple Pie with Foolproof Pie Crust and vanilla ice cream

Day 6, June 4
Breakfast: Fluffy Scrambled Eggs, French Toast, and Oven-fried Bacon
Lunch: Grammy Hoyer's Olive Spread, Hearty Chicken Noodle Soup
Dinner: Roast Cod Fillets with Potatoes, Garlic and Olive Oil, Walnut-Apple Celery Salad w/ Mustard Vinaigrette
Dessert: Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake

Day 7, June 5
Breakfast: Spinach-And-Fontina Strata, Sausage, and Fresh Fruit
Lunch: Homemade Pizza, Zuppa Toscana
Dinner: Egg drop soup, Gingery Chicken Stir-fry with Bok Choy, Steamed Jasmine Rice
Dessert: Blood Oranges with Caramel Sauce and Cocoa Nibs

Day 8, June 6
Breakfast: Fluffy Scrambled Eggs, Overnight Sticky Buns, and Oven-fried Bacon
Lunch: Leftovers
Departure to Nome in afternoon.

Home Made Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread
New York Times No-knead Bread
Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies
Classic Brownies
Ultimate Turtle Brownies
Key Lime Cookies
Pumpkin and Currant Cookies


  1. Sounds AMAZING!! I'm drooling!!
    What's the menu for your Togo trip? :)

  2. And working in the kitchen with Rich gave me something to do when I was simply unable to go with the group to Sea Watch and freeze in the icy winds, straight off the Bering Sea.

    It also gave me the opportunity to get to know Rich a bit. What a wonderful cook he is. What a wonderful birder he is. What a wonderful friend!

    So sorry I let the scrambled eggs brown a bit. Because of me, you served less than perfect eggs, but you never told anyone it was my fault.