Behold! The Alaska Tan

I was giving Toddler a bath the other night and I noticed how grubby her little hands looked. I was trying to think of what on earth she got into in the short time between washing her hands for dinner and bath time. As I set to scrubbing, I realized, she wasn't dirty, she has an Alaska tan.

Alaska tans are remarkable things: deeply coloured hands, necks and faces paired with pasty white bodies. Kinda of a extra long farmer's tan. I know a few hearty Alaskans who sport a lovely summertime glow but for the most of us in this neck of the woods, it's Alaska tan all the way.

Last summer, while back in Canada for a visit, I tried to undo the telltale sign of a near 60 dweller. To be honest, I looked ridiculous in a short-sleeved shirt and a pair of shorts. So I used Toddler's 70 sunblock on my tanned bits and 15 on the rest. By the time I got to my in-laws in Florida, two weeks later, I almost had it licked. Almost.

Terrible tans aside, summertime in Alaska is living up to its standard of awesomeness. (Unless you're a die-hard salmon fisher, in which case you have my sincerest sympathies for the Peninsula's closures and restrictions.)

Being a pregnant lady prone to sea sickness, fishing with the stream of visitors we've got is not in the cards. (Note to anyone fishing with Hunter: don't ever let him see you pitch your guts over the gunnels or you're not invited fishing again. Even if you just happen to have bought him the boat he's fishing in.)

Round and uninvited, Toddler and I have been enjoying all that the Kenai Peninsula has to offer the waddling landlubber. Yet another favourite of ours is the Homer farmer's market. I go for the music, the food and the chance to bump into friends. Toddler goes solely for the popcorn. If she sees a friend, it's a bonus but mostly, the farmer's market is all about a bag of popcorn enjoyed in the sunshine. (By the way, kudos to whoever is booking the musical acts this year.)

This Saturday, with popcorn in hand, Toddler and I wandered over to our favourite local nursery, the Wagon Wheel. In summertime, if you time your visit properly, you can score a box full of rhubarb for a more than decent price. Even cooler, you can also take your Toddler inside to say hello to a talking parrot, a couple of bunnies, a chinchilla, a few guinea pigs, birds and tanks of fish. A win/win situation if there ever was one.

With a box of rhubarb, a napping toddler and a house full of hungry men, I got to cooking. I had too much sour cream and no eggs in the house and frankly, felt too lazy to make a pie crust, so I made a sour cream rhubarb crisp. It was awesome.

My brother is giving me grief for not telling you how I've been cooking what I've been cooking, so here's what I did:


  • 5 cups rhubarb, cut into 1 inch lengths
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar (I used 3/4 cup of sugar and 1/4 cup of Stevia this time and it was really good)
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup low fat sour cream 

  • Topping:
  • 1/2 cups Rolled Oats
  • 1/3 cup Flour
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 5 Tbsp melted butter

  • Method:
    Place rhubarb in a greased pie plate. Stir sugar and flour together in small bowl. Mix in sour cream. Pour over rhubarb.

    Mix the topping ingredients until crumbly. Sprinkle over pie. Bake in a 350 F oven for about 40 to 50 minutes until rhubarb is cooked and topping is browned.

    Happy Fourth of July, my American friends!

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