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I Scream for Ice Cream!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Pike's Hot Licks ice cream!

    When Pike’s Waterfront Lodge first started selling Hot Licks ice cream from the lobby- it was an instant hit. Hot Licks, a Fairbanks based company, is well known for its delicious, old-fashioned ice cream. When they first started out, they were able to buy milk and cream from Alaskan dairies, but as they've grown those dairies simply did not have enough cows to produce their ice cream mix! Now all of the ice cream mix is made by Lochmead Dairy in Oregon. This multi-generational family farm does not use bovine growth hormone and produces the mix according to the Hot Licks formula. Fresh cream and milk are used to create an ice cream with a 16% butterfat content that is rated as super premium! Hot Licks then adds the best natural ingredients to this ice cream mix to produce all sorts of unique flavors.   

    Unlike large ice cream companies, Hot Licks ice cream is made in individual batches of forty quarts each. This method not only imparts the homemade quality to the ice cream, but also allows for a huge variety in ice cream flavors. Some of the favorite flavors sold from Pike’s include Aurora Borealis, Alaska Cranberry (made with handpicked lowbush cranberries) and Arctic Refuge Wildberry Snap, which uses ginger snaps to get its gingery flavor. For more information on the company and to look at the complete menu, check out their website at

Greenhouse Going-ons.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Pike's Hydroponics Greenhouse is located just adjacent to the Lodge and makes for an entertaining and educational visit. Did you know that Pike’s Greenhouse uses hydroponics to produce all the vegetables that are sold or used in the Pike’s kitchen? Hydroponics was initially the system of growing plants by immersing their roots in nutrient solution, but is now used to describe a variety of soilless growing techniques. Nutrients are dissolved into water and the plant roots are either directly immersed in this solution or first surrounded by a growing medium, such as gravel or peat moss, which absorbs the solution and makes it available to the roots.

This system has several notable advantages over traditional growing practices, namely the possibility of year-round production, system automation, and the lack of soil-borne diseases and fungi. Because no soil is involved, plants can be grown in close proximity and pots can be stacked so that space can be used more efficiently. This means that the greenhouse can produce many more vegetables and flowers than would a similarly sized garden.

Pike's Greenhouse hydroponics

Pike’s Hydroponic Greenhouse employs a variety of hydroponics systems to grow vegetables, including Nutrient Film as well as Ebb and Flow systems. In the Nutrient Film technique, plants rest in a growing channel through which nutrient solution is periodically circulated. This solution bathes the plants roots and then returns to the stock tank where the nutrient levels are readjusted before it is recirculated. The Ebb and Flow technique is very similar to the nutrient film technique, but the plants’ roots are suspended in a growing medium, usually peat, which serves to store the water and nutrients that are circulated through the system. Pikes uses hydroponics to grow tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, herbs, and more. The hydroponics system in the Pike’s Hydroponics Greenhouse supports 200 tomato plants which produce over 5,000 pounds of tomatoes per year!

Greenhouse Tomatoes.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The tomato is a native of South and Central America. Cortez found tomatoes in the gardens of Montezuma and sent the seeds back to Europe. They were then grown there not for their palatability, but for their ornamental value as they were thought to be a poisonous member of the nightshade family. In 1753 the botanist Carl Linnaeus gave the tomato the Latin name Solanum lycopersicon, meaning “poison wolf-peach.” Despite the bad press given to the tomato by its Latin name, the fruit began to rise in popularity and was finally cemented as a popular foodstuff in 1897 when Joseph Campbell produced a condensed tomato soup.

Tomatoes in the greenhouse.

The greenhouse at Pike’s Waterfront Lodge grows four varieties of tomatoes: beefsteak, cherry, grape, and plum. Beefsteak tomatoes are huge! They are some of the largest of all tomato varieties and can grow to weigh a pound or more. These tomatoes are often used in sandwiches as their thick walls allow them to be easily sliced. Cherry and grape tomatoes produce small and sweet fruits that are used in salads or eaten raw. The plum variety is also good for eating raw, but cooks down into a fine sauce and is often canned. All of these tomatoes are either used in the Pike’s Waterfront Lodge and Pike’s Landing kitchens or sold raw straight from the greenhouse.

Peppermint oil and Brain Freeze in Fairbanks

Monday, January 24, 2011

My editor has arrived back in town from her trip to Egypt so I guess it is time to get back to the blog. This one will be short but I have to pass on a valuable lesson that I learned this weekend. My daughter has had a migraine for about 23 days now and the doctor has tried several different things to get the headache to break. We are now waiting to get her an appointment with a pediatric neurologist as the neurologist that has been consulting has run out of options that he can use on a child.

She also has an MRI scheduled for Feb. Hopefully everything will be ok and we can get the headache to break. So, my ex-sister in law had Cam spend the weekend with her. She ( Aunt Tracy) swears by peppermint oil. Her husband uses it in his sleep apnea machine and he now sleeps 8 hours a night and Tracy uses it to help her stay asleep through the night. She rubs it on her temple and sleeps 8 hours a night without waking up every hour on the hour. She also recommended it to a co-worker that gets 3 day migraines. You can either smell it or rub it on your temples.

They tried this with Cam and she had a brief reprieve and the headache went from an 8 to a 4. Now, she is also taking a medication that is supposed to help so we really don’t know if it is the peppermint oil or the meds or a combination. She also got a massage and was able to have one headache free day but I am sad to report that it is back this morning. Well, I decided to buy some of the peppermint oil as I am prone to headaches from “ wearing my shoulders as earrings”.

I get home and rub some oil on my temples and it is instantly cool!!!! I think I have too much on so I try to wash some off and that results in nothing but a larger area that is cool.
Now, I did not realize that from the time I went to the store and the time I rubbed peppermint oil on my temples, that it dropped back down to 35 below zero. Now, the valuable lesson I learned is that you DO NOT want to walk outside when it is that cold with peppermint oil on your head. Instant brain freeze!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So, that is the lesson that I thought I should pass on.

Until the next time, take care and please drive safe as the intersections are pretty slick. I am happy to report that it has warmed up to -6.

Take care,


New Menu Options

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Pike's Landing has some exciting new menu additions. The favorite so far is the chicken and walnut salad, though all of the new salads are good. The staff is really excited to be preparing and serving this new food and I know that some of the Lodge employees have not been bringing lunches so that they have an excuse to get their noontime meal from the new menu. We managed to snap a quick photo of the chicken and walnut salad right before it was devoured.

Fairbanks weather improves over Thanksgiving! A Bow in Anchorage!

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Happy Friday to all! I hope that you had a great Thanksgiving. I did. I spent it in Anchorage. It was nice to see it stop raining. Granted we got 10 inches of snow at the house in Anchorage.

I took my son to Sportsman’s Warehouse to get his early Christmas present. He wanted a Recurve bow. The salesman there was absolutely FANTASTIC. Excellent customer service. That was very nice. He was so helpful and so nice. I do believe his name was Scott. So if you are ever in need of any archery supplies I would go see him. It is the one around Dimond Blvd. And yes, I did get lost leaving there. Got stuck on an incline and could not get into the street but the very nice, patient gentlemen who pulled up behind me did get out and without saying a word, pushed me just enough to get me moving. I was very appreciative, so Thank you!!!!!

Back to the bow. We get home and my son decides he cannot wait to go try the bow. Off he goes into the backyard and shoots off the arrow. Well, it will now be Spring before it is found again. At least he is very happy with his early Christmas present and will just have to live without one arrow until it resurfaces. Things are warming up around Fairbanks. YAY!! It is currently 2 degrees. Much warmer than the 29 below it was yesterday.I should go, I have to get a few things done.I will chat with you again soon.



YIKES! Seattle weather moves north to Fairbanks!

Monday, November 22, 2010

YIKES! Seattle weather moves north to Fairbanks!

I hope this finds you all at home safely and not on the roads. I should have know that it was going to be bad when I walked out my front door to start my car and promptly landed on me rear end. Just what I needed, another fall.

On Friday I bent over to straighten up the fringe on a rug here. I have a sinus infection and two ear infections and apparently my head weights 200 pounds because when I bent over, my head kept going and I used my head to straighten the fringe. LOL I am just grateful no one was around to watch my graceful head landing.
So my advice is to kneel when sick and attempting maneuvers such as fringe straightening. Or, wear a helmet.

Today we are under a winter storm warning. It warmed up to 32 degrees and it is raining. Yes, raining.
All of Fairbanks is one giant ice skating rink.

Today it took me 45 minutes to get to work which normally takes me about 15. I was terrified. Patty called me when I was already on the road to tell me to stay home but it was too late.
Then the radio kept telling us to stay home. Well, it was too late for that. I was able to go about 10-15 miles per hour. Lots of sliding.

I don’t even think I was that scared driving clear across the country by myself as I was on that trek to work today. I have been convinced to leave while it is still light which I had no problem arguing against. The planes are currently cancelled and may resume later this evening.
The Richardson Hwy is allegedly closed as well as the Johansen. I guess I will have to decide which is the least frightening route home for me today. My choices are pretty limited. Wish me luck!! And I hope that if you are on the road, please use extreme caution. Do not let the other drivers intimidate you and just be safe.

Slow and steady wins the race. I will let you know how I fare later.


Turtle and C's soft heart

Sunday, November 07, 2010

So I have to tell you about Turtle. ( Formally named Pike)

Pike came to the hotel by a friend of Michelle’s. He worked for a moving company and some family had asked them to just take it to the dump, he could not do that so he called Michelle and she said she would take it. When he got here, his tank was filthy. He seemed to be quite happy when he was let out to roam around. I was very happy that Michelle took him as I thought it was just horrible that someone would just send an animal to a terrible death at the dump. Michelle told me stories about Turtle from time to time about how crazy he is. We laugh and go on about our business.

The next thing I know, Michelle is asking me to take Turtle because she just has too much going on. I don’t even think about it but immediately say I will ask the landlord.

I call him, he says yes and now I have agreed to take home Turtle.

We get his aquarium into the house, everything set up and put Turtle in the tank. All is well. Well, you would think this turtle never gets fed. As soon as I walk in the door from work, he starts trying desperately to get out of the tank. I never knew they could move that fast. It is pretty funny. I am always afraid he is going to hurt himself. It gets even worse as soon as he sees the can of food. So, you have to feed him. As soon as he is done you have to get him out of the tank. ( It is set up very nice for a turtle I might add) He then crawls around for a few minutes and then crawls to his favorite spot.
( under the desk behind the computer or in the kitchen behind the plant stand by the fridge) Now at first, I spent a lot of time asking the turtle out loud where he was. That is how he came to be renamed Turtle. Not very original I know. I actually had to “ turtle proof” my apartment. Good thing I had had some practice child proofing the house because basically it was the same concept.

Now, I also thought oh a turtle, should be low maintenance. Boy was I was wrong. I have spent some money on that turtle and keeping up with keeping the tank clean is quite the chore. Now it is a pretty big turtle which requires a pretty big tank so he has room to swim although he seems to be the one turtle that doesn’t like to swim or be in water for any prolonged period of time.

So, that is the story of how I came to inherit Turtle. The turtle that does not like the water. ( and No, he is not a tortoise, he is a turtle and is supposed to like the water.) I will be happy when Summer rolls back around so we can let him roam around outside. Until then he seems to have free rein of the apartment and seems quite content.

Well, time to run so I will chat with you all later.



Try Thanksgiving At Pike's

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Greetings all,

Long time no blog. I know and I apologize.

AFN is over and was a great success. Everyone really seemed to enjoy it. Look forward to it coming to Fairbanks again.

Well, winter is settling in these days. Cold, snow, and less daylight. Good news is that in 48 days we will start gaining daylight again.

Halloween is over and they already have the Christmas decorations out. Time certainly flies.

This is the first year that my children have actually given me good ideas for Santa’s list.

If any of you plan to spend Thanksgiving week in Fairbanks, you can have Thanksgiving dinner at Pike’s Landing. There are three sittings and lots of great Thanksgiving foods. It would be wise to make your reservations in advance.

You can also top it off with your free cookies and ice cream from the lodge if you are a guest.

We will also put you on the Northern Lights wakeup call list if you would like. It is a good time of the year to see them.

I will try and blog some more later today.


Substitute Pike's blogger

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Hello There-
Well, our usual blogger is blogged down so I thought that I would post this email I received from my husband. He sent it to my when I was at the Alaska Travel Industry Association. This is why my house is not clean when I return from trips.

AT 9:30 last night I drove past the ADF&G office after visiting David M. K. to see if people were already lined up to get one of the one hundred Ship Creek above Fort Richardson any bull moose permits that were to be handed out this morning starting at 8:00 AM. And they were, eight of them including Ed S., with sleeping bags and lawn chairs. At 6:00 AM I showed up with sleeping pad, hat headlamp, book, sweater, parka, down vest, long john bottoms, and gloves. The line looked like a gaggle of concert ticket buyers or a line of the hungry homeless. After a moment of despair, I joined up. Two and a half hours later I had the seventieth permit. The horse hunters and I think most are horse hunters were talking about previous hunts; there are plenty of moose and bears, black and grizzly, in there about ten miles back where the creek forks. The hunt is from October 25-November 30. Hopefully the snow I see out the window in the mountains will stick and get deeper allowing tracking and moose retrieval by sled. Because Ship Creek is a deep heavily wooded canyon, wind and sun won't wipe out the snow. It will be cold: I will probably hunt in bunny boots and borrow a sled from Dick G.. Possibly have to camp in there because with the short days by the time you reach the hunting area it is dark. Alternatively hiking in at 4:00 AM would be less painful.There is also an archery moose hunt in the Eklutna drainage through October 20. I will be home October 16-17 and might give it a look in, although I haven't drawn a bow since the moose I got on Fort Richardson six years ago.