Barbra and Jack Donachy

Barbra and Jack Donachy

About Barbra:

I’ve always wanted to be a photographer and a traveler. I have arrived. I get to be outside in one of the most beautiful places in the world… Alaska! In this amazing state, the word “awesome” exists in its intended form. As I travel around Alaska, I am constantly awe-struck.

About Jack:

When I was in third grade, I read Call of the Wild thirteen consecutive times. Not the real version. The version I had was in a volume titled Reader’s Digest Best Loved Books for Young Readers. No matter. For half a year of my life, I was Buck. So began a love affair with a place I’d never seen – Alaska.

Sweet and Sustainable: Alaska Prawns and Shrimp

alaska-shrimp-scallops-excerpt The windshield has a crack running through it, there’s a little rust and a dent or two on the body, and some of the paint is chipping off the hand-lettered sign affixed to the vehicle’s side, but we look for Patrick Johnson’s little black truck every summer when we’re cruising around Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula. If we don’t happen across his truck, we go find him at his Shrimp Guys Seafoods shop in Soldotna. See the recipe.

Seafood Kebabs on Forbidden Rice

cutterlight salmon kebab The early Persians were onto something. Skewered meats, seafoods and vegetables deftly seasoned and grilled or broiled to perfection are easy to whip up and always a hit. The variations on these Alaskan seafood kebabs are endless. Read more.

Silver Salmon For Lovers

salmon-for-lovers-1 The pleasant tanginess of homemade crème fraîche, lemon and leeks harmonize with the buttery richness of wild caught Alaskan Coho salmon presented on a bed of homemade egg noodles. Light candles, play soft music, pop a cork and serve. See the recipe.

Point Hope, Alaska School Holiday Program

The annual school Christmas program in Point Hope is a little different than in most communities. Yes, there are seasonally popular songs and carols, but many of them are sung in Inupiaq, the language of the Tikigaqmuit. Read more.

Salmon Cheddar Soup with Lobster Mushrooms

Cutterlight Salmon Mushrooms Soup 1 With or without lobster mushrooms (see photo below), this quick, easy seafood soup is one of our wintertime favorites. Other iterations have featured broiled or grilled salmon, smoked salmon, and Alaska shrimp. We enjoyed this soup with homemade biscuits. Click for the recipe.

Grilled Halibut with Puréed Olive and Garlic Filling

halibut-grilled-w-olive-and-tomato-bell-peppers_n The opportunity to grill and serve a halibut in the whole doesn’t come along every day, particularly in waters where 50-pound fish are more commonly caught than five-pounders. But, I could feel the characteristic thumping of a halibut 130 feet below, and I knew the metal jig I was fishing might have found just the fish we were looking for. Read more.

Alaska Salmon Lox or Gravlax

Cutterlight Lox Salmon Many cultures have a tradition of salting and burying fish, a technique that results in both preservation and fermentation. In fact, the origins of sushi can be traced back to fish prepared in this method. The grav of gravlax derives from the Scandinavian word for grave, and lax, salmon, has cognates in many old European languages. Thus gravlax literally means “buried salmon.” See the recipe.

Whole Sheefish (or any fish) Poached in Foil

Cutterlight Sheefish 1 A large fish poached and served whole makes for a dramatic presentation and a first-class dining experience. You don’t need a fancy fish poacher to pull this off. Poaching and steaming recipes need not be complicated. See the recipe.

Ikura: Curing Salmon Eggs

Donachy Salmon Eggs 6 Like fire opals lit from within, freshly cured salmon eggs are ready to be served as ikura sushi, sprinkled on a bowl of rice (ikuradon), as a seafood garnish, with cream cheese and rice crackers, or simply gobbled by the spoonful! Learn more.

Razor Clam Fritters & Wasabi Slaw

My dad gave me two pieces of advice which have stood the test of time: 1. Take the stairs whenever you can, and take them two-at-a-time. 2. Eat as much fried food as you can when you’re young, because at some point you won’t be able to. Clam fritters are so easy, I’m not sure why I don’t make them more often. Read more.

Whaling: Two Miles Out on the Frozen Chukchi Sea

Two miles from land across the frozen Chukchi Sea, the ocean ice is constantly breaking up and reforming, creating ridges of fragmented ice. We had heard that the bowhead whale was out near the point, three miles west of the village of Point Hope. But once out there, we saw few signs of activity. Read more.