November 24 2008 Alaska Newsletter
As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, I am reminded of the wonderful Thanksgiving feasts we attended in the various villages we lived in. Although the feasts would always include the traditional “American” food – turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie – there was usually just as much locally produced food: barbecued black bear ribs, salmon, sheefish, caribou stew, and blueberries. I am thankful for those opportunities I had to taste new things and share the bounty of the land.
This year we’ve experienced a new bounty – hares. The snowshoe hare population is at a high in our area right now. They ran rampant through the garden this summer (fortunately they didn’t destroy too much of our food, though they ate a lot of yarrow and other flowers) and there are trails running all over the place in the snow. So we decided to snare some – and have enjoyed a new meat source that has been surprisingly mild and tender.
I have to admit, I don’t really enjoy the process of snaring, skinning and butchering, just as I don’t enjoy hunting or fishing. I do, though, appreciate the food that the land provides and the opportunity to enter into the messy and ugly process of obtaining it. It is a good reminder of the value of life and what sacrifices are made in order to sustain it.
Here's the latest article from the Alaska site at BellaOnline.com.
Hares in Alaska
When I was teaching kindergarten in Kobuk, my students would come into the classroom in the morning and say, “Teacher, we saw lots of rabbits by our house.” I would typically respond, “Really? Are you sure? I don’t think there are any rabbits in Alaska. . . you probably saw a hare!”
Kimi Ross, Alaska Editor
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