Alaskan Cruise Day Five: Skagway- From the Gold Rush Days to "Excite the Senses" Gastronomic and Vineyard Tour

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It was another early sunrise before 4:00 am.  The ship arrived in Skagway at 7:00 and we were ready for our next adventure.  It was cold!  Notice the people wearing coats, hats, and mittens.  Our first stop was breakfast at “The Sweet Tooth Cafe,” one of those homey, cozy places that one would hope to find in this town that means “Land of the North Wind.”  In 1887, Captain William Moore and his son ventured up the Chilkoot Inlet and built a small cabin at the mouth of the Skagway River.  The area was previously unexplored and uninhabited, but became the largest city in Alaska within ten years. 
This is the most photographed structure in Skagway called “The Arctic Brotherhood Hall,”  which has been part of the town since the beginning.  It’s hard to see in the photo, but it is covered with hundreds of sticks and logs.  Other interesting items to see include the “Trail of ’98 Museum,” with its collection of old gambling equipment; the “Gold Rush Cemetery” just outside of town where you can see the markers of the notorious outlaw Soapy Smith, and Frank Reid, the lawman who killed him in a gunfight.
Skagway may have been a town of outlaws at one time, but now it is pure charm with its wooden plank sidewalks and historical buildings.
Skagway’s gourmet restaurant!


Doesn’t it look like our ship is going to sail right down the street?
Kristina and I found the bookstore and bought cookbooks from two of the local churches. Sometimes church cookbooks seem to have the same old kind of recipes, but these two had great sourdough and Scandinavian recipes. 
After a delicious lunch including fresh caught halibut and crab, we wandered around the streets again.  I found another Christmas store and bought more ornaments.  As we left the store and turned the corner we spotted an antique store.  Kristina is always on the lookout for antique cooking items to photograph, especially anything made of wood that looks like it was loved and used.  She found this spoon which she can’t wait to use.


My Pillsbury Bake-Off friends will love what I found sitting in a corner in an old rocking chair…
Oh, my goodness…  The poor Doughboy was in the clutches of the demon doll.  How could any mother, even from 1897 let her child play with that thing??  It’s probably the scariest doll I have ever seen and what childhood nightmares are made of.  Scarier than the clown doll in Poltergeist.  I couldn’t let our beloved Doughboy sit there with the Wicked Witch of Skagway.  I discretely picked him up and moved him to another part of the store.  I swear she was going to bite me…
We had to board by 5:45 for a departure at 6:00.  The day was far from over.  Tonight was to be the dinner we had been anticipating all week- the “Excite the Senses” culinary event with hosts Chef John Suley, Culinary Director of Celebrity Cruises, and Nicole Quandt, Marketing Director of Wente Family Estates, which was awarded by Wine Enthusiast  as the 2011 American Winery of the Year.
Our table was waiting for us.
The chefs were busy with the preparations.
The menu
The Wines
Chef John, and Nicole from Wente Family Estates, explained about the food and wine pairing.  Wente’s “The Nth Degree” wines are handcrafted, limited production wines.  Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, and Pinot Noir had been chosen to epitomize the heritage of these varietals in the LivermoreValley and Arroyo Seco appellations. Only the best of the best can achieve the distinction of the Nth Degree.
Course One:  Creamy Garlic Veloute, Watercress Puree, Frogs Legs, and Creme Fraiche.
Wine:  The Nth Degree Chardonnay 2010, Livermore Valley, San Francisco Bay
Course Two: Fresh Yukon Gold Potato Gnocchi; Prosciutto di Parma, White Asparagus, Arugula Leaves, Toasted Pine Nuts.
Wine:  The Nth Degree Merlot 2008, Livermore Valley, San Francisco Bay
Course Three:  Seared Turbot; Confit Peppers, “Patatas Bravas,” Chorizo Smoked Paprika Emulsion
Wine:  The Nth Degree Pinot Noir 2010, Arroyo Seco, Monterey
Trou Normand: Cabernet Shallot Sorbet, Crushed Pistachios

Course Four:  Lamb Trio; Moroccan Spiced Rack of Lamb, Merguez Meatball, Braised Shank Tortellini, Baby Artichokes, Nicoise Olives, Spiced Chick Peas.
Wine:  The Nth Degree Cabernet Sauvignon 2009, Livermore Valley, San Francisco Bay
Dessert:  Brown Butter Waffle; Candied Bacon Ice Cream, Spiced Peanuts
Wente Vineyards Late Harvest Riesling 2010, Arroyo Seco, Monterey
After our incredible feast, Kristina and I just sat for awhile and chatted about the meal and our day in Skagway.  She looked so content, I couldn’t resist taking this photo.  Tomorrow we would be at sea, but it was also the 4th of July and the ship had some special events planned.
Time to say good-bye to Skagway…

 ….and just hope I wouldn’t have nightmares about the demon doll.

One Response to Alaskan Cruise Day Five: Skagway- From the Gold Rush Days to "Excite the Senses" Gastronomic and Vineyard Tour

  1. July 21, 2012 at 7:12 pm #

    Demon doll meets doughboy (LOL)

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