Monday, May 21, 2012

Kluane Cooking Club

Or, in private circles, referred to as the KKK (Kluane Kooking Klub.)

(Racism is wrong, ok readers? In order for you to be allowed to be a smartass and refer to your club teasingly as a supremacist organization, you must have at least one ethnic other in the midst. In our case, that is me.)

(Plus, I'm pretty sure I was the one that first started calling us the KKK. I like alliteration.)

This post will show you how we got through the Cold Butt of Winter this time around. Given that this was my second year up here, the novelty of the inaugural first October snow, first minus thirty cold snap, first freezing of eyelashes upon leaving the house... it had worn off. 

Our good friend Laura came up with starting a supper club this Winter that would go beyond your typical potluck. We've got a bunch of foodies in our circle up here. We've also got a bunch of enthusiastic folks that realllllllly like to dress up. So, she harnessed our restless energy and proposed a monthly event where a couple would host a themed dinner, provide the main entree, the ambience and set the stage in terms of attire. The other couples would bring appies, sides and desserts that fit the food theme, and all would be well.

What follows will be our antics from the last few months...


November -- BJ's Chinese Banquet

To kick off the club, Bryan and I hosted the first unofficial trial run, to coincide with the (belated) Chinese Mid-Autumn festival.

Our friend Carmen has hosted an annual, invite only Chinese New Year dinner that we wanted to replicate. So, with her help, we invited five or six other couples, had them select from a predetermined list what delicacies they would be in charge of,  and bring the ingredients to the party. The theme was to wear red and gold.

                           Our fearless leader, Laura, in gold lamé.
           Her partner Scott, dicing up water chestnuts.

Beef + Water Chestnut Lettuce Wraps.

Ma Po Tofu + Rice. 

Carmen's recipe for the banquet goes like this:

Everyone takes a shot + First couple cooks the first dish + Eat + Everyone takes a shot + Next couple cooks their dish + Eat + Take a shot..... ad infinitum. 

We ate until midnight.

Mike showing off a helping of Ear Fungus.

We projected the movie "Hero" onto the ceiling. 
I think this is....later into the evening.

We all ate too much.


November Again!-- Laura & Scott's Moroccan Magic Night

Not two weeks later, it was time to take the test-run and launch the KKK with the first official dinner club event-- this time moving to the spices of Morocco.

 Having not spent much time on the African continent myself, I didn't really think about wearing anything special. Bryan, of course, insisted on wearing his ubiquitous headwrap, as well as wrapping his body in some cloth as well. I was convinced that he would be the enthusiastic odd man out. We showed up, homemade baclava in hand.......

To be greeted by a man in a giant, homemade red fez.

Luckily, they were prepared with headscarves for all who were empty handed. We perched on brightly colored pillows, with the only light inside the silk tent being those of a trillion tiny candles.

On the menu: think chilled mint + cucumber soup, roasted red peppers, eggplants, lamb... 

Pretty sure this night ended up with the clutching of bellies on the floor.


December-- Mike & Courtney's 'Winterfell' Dinner

So..... Game of Thrones.

Arguably the most epic television series EVER. We are obsessed with it, here in Haines Junction. I won't go so far to judge you if you haven't seen an episode yet (hi Mom! keep on watching your chinese soap operas!), but suffice it to say that you are missing out big time on: dragons, the battle to sit on the Iron Throne, snot-faced snivelly teen kings, badass female heroines, and lots of mutton.

Straight from Westeros, I bring to you...a (sometimes blurry) scene from a Song of Ice and Fire.

Huge plates of ribs, wine poached pears, beer bread, fish cakes.....

 The dishes were inspired by the website The Inn at the Crossroads, which is written by a couple gals that have taken ALL of the meals mentioned in the George R.R. Martin series, and transcribed them into recipes. If you're thinking of hosting a "Game of Thrones" event, this site is a must-see....

Examples: Serve up Robert Baratheon's favorite venison steaks or Daenerys Targareyen's spiced lamb skewers.

M + C did an amazing job of transforming Mike's house. Thanks to an abundance of hunters in the Junction, there were pelts and hides of all kinds on floors and shoulders alike. I think we had wolf, bear, bison, and sheep. There were definitely goat horns on someone's head and live horses escorting some guests to the door. Swords and daggers were everywhere.

Winter's Coming. 

I didn't get any pictures of my costume, but I was basically the best character on the show.... Arya Stark. Laura, if you're reading this and you have less blurry pictures from the night than I do....let me know!


January-- BJ's "A Touch of Class, A Dose of Comfort"

Bryan and I decided to host our KKK night based on the elements of cozy comfort food and a classic 50's vibe.

(To be honest with you, I came up with this mainly because I wanted to wear the skirt and apron I had just ordered from Anthropologie.)

B served Old Fashioned's + Mint Juleps.
I wore m' pearls.
We roasted a chicken. Others brought such things as mac n' cheese, deviled eggs, meatballs, biscuits.
It was a carb-tastic time.

These are our fine hosts, Betty and Chet Fairweather:

Some classy dudes and their stepford wives. Haines Junction has never been so fancy!

Nothing like a bit of Grace before dinner to really get the digestive juices flowing. Topics of conversation at the dinner table: the dangers of the Women's Rights movement, how to really get glassware sparkling clean, and the pleasures of a good, healthy cigarette. Unfortunately, despite the conservative leanings of our guests present, some dirty Mendenhall Rats crashed the party and greased it up a bit. Filthy hoodlums!


February-- Sarah & Georgie's Brit Inspired Dinner

(We missed this one. Was already in Vancouver at this point. But we hear that the likes of Ozzy Osbourne, Amy Winehouse, Elton John, and Posh Spice attended the event.)


Marchy April-- Ryan + Megan's MEXI-FEASTSPECTACULARO!!!!!!!

When we got back from down South, the sun was back. It was joyous.
As a result, congregating because of a shared, common lack of a social calender was not as necessary, and we all let some KKK opportunities slide. But you know, getting out into the land and sunbeams isn't so bad either.


Rosalita and her gringo husband, Ted.


Memorable details include: B painstakingly spray painting pine cones neon orange to string up on the dash board of Scott + Laura's car ("Jesus is the man!"), all the ladies being blindfolded and taking turns wailing on the pinatas in the dark, green rice + slow cooked pulled chicken, Ted turning into a bandito and stabbing the turtle, with perfect, uncanny aim, in the heart.


That's it for now, folks. We're off to Vancouver in like... THREE WEEKS time, so if the KKK gathers, we will be there in spirit from afar.

Thanks for some great eats + some seriously epic photo ops.



  1. Hahaha. "Cold Butt of Winter". Awesome. Even better than the real thing. Hey if people have more photos they should send them to Joann so she can add style up our online rep even more. I wanna see Ozzy. And Darling, could please explain the photo of Mike passed out under the table with Khaleesi draped across him?
    This post - LOVE IT.

  2. This is awesome! I may have to copy your idea! Hope all is well! Enjoy Canada for me!

  3. joann! i love how documented very well done and now available on the interweb for everyone to know how awesome our lives can be. thanks for doing this!!!

    BG - a dinner at winterfell isn't a success unless there is at least one battered brother covered in beer and meat sauce.

  4. wow. looking at your pictures it doesn't seem like you're in the boonies, or that you're that lacking in ethnic food supplies. my favourite is the game of thrones night.