German Apple Pancake Recipe

German Apple Pancake (2 servings – seriously)
Batter ½ c. flour, ¼ t. cinnamon ¼ t. cardamom 2 T brown sugar ½ c. milk 1 t. vanilla 3 eggs
Apple mixture 1 apple, peeled & chopped 2 T. brown sugar ¼ t. cinnamon ¼ t. cardamom
Turn oven to 400 and heat 3 T. butter in 10” cast iron skillet in oven. Toss apple mixture together and spread over melted butter in skillet. Return to oven. Mix dry ingredients together. Add milk & vanilla and whisk until smooth. Whisk in eggs one at a time. Pour batter over apples. Bake 15-20 minutes, until center is set. As soon as you take the pancake out of the oven, it will start to fall – no worries; that’s normal!

What Do You Do with All of Your Spare Time?

This is the seventh in a series of posts I’m writing in answer to the questions I get asked the most.

“What do you do with all of your spare time?”
Thankfully, both what I love to do on a daily basis and what it takes to survive off grid intersect often, running at a close parallel most of the time. Last night, I was up late watching Downton Abbey, Season 4, Disc 1, which just arrived from Netlflix. So, this morning, I lounged in bed until the sun was high overhead around 10am. I only have to tilt my head back on the pillow to look outside the window at the blue sky scattered with cottony clouds, a slight chill in the air fogging the windows on the inside, just around the corners.
Gregg has been up for a couple of hours reading trapping magazines and working Sudoku puzzles, so the coffee’s warm and sits atop the heating stove. We’ve had a hard freeze the past couple of nights and a heavy frost coats the grass and shrubs across the still river, so still that it makes me stare an extra…

Wheeler Crash

It seemed like a good idea at the time. But, now the razor blades on my skull and gut pain with every breath tell a different story.
It was mid-September, the first snowflakes fell a week ago, and we needed to get the broke-down 4-wheeler back to town to get it in working order before spring. It had bald tires and no brakes – neither of which I truly identified before I drove it out to the cabin in June, reeling down the switchbacks on the mountain at mock 9 and coasting to a stop, feet on the ground like a Flintstone’s brake pad, three feet before heading over the last hump into the fast running Unalakleet River. Whew!The only place that wheeler was going was back up the hill to town and the shop to be fixed!

The tires had gone flat over the summer, of course, so we got them aired up and I headed up the hill that Wednesday morning while Gregg enjoyed an extra cup of coffee at the cabin before heading to town in the boat to meet me. He needed to keep the dogs inside so that they woul…

The Spirit of The Man

I’d watched enough outback Alaska shows and read enough books about bush life in Alaska to know. I’d done my homework. I was 48 years old. I’d been around the block. Half a dozen times. I could hunt, catch, and clean wild game and fish. I could bake bread, use an iron skillet, and wash with nearly no water. I loved dogs, gardens, and the smell of wood smoke. I was prepared. Or so I thought. I was ready to meet my Mountain Man.
“Dances with Wolverines,” he was aptly named by locals.
I’d never met anyone like Gregg.I could never have imagined anyone like Gregg.
I have a traditional education, Bachelors in English, Masters in English Education, plenty of graduate hours, and dreams of a PhD. Gregg has a high school diploma and a year of trade school, I think. However, I have never met a more well read man -deep thinker, philosopher, adventurer. I’ve never seen a larger, more well-used library in anyone’s house as I saw in his self-built cabin, eight miles upriver from the nearest year-ro…