Scenes from the second Seasonal Cooking class: Spice It Up With Lexie Smith at the Sitka Kitch

Students learned how to make a Valentine’s Day dinner during the Spice It Up With Lexie Smith class on Monday, Feb. 12, at the Sitka Kitch community rental commercial kitchen. This was the second class of the Seasonal Cooking class series at the Sitka Kitch.

Lexie Smith, the NMS chef manager at the Island Skillet at SEARHC Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital, taught students how to make baked coho salmon with an apricot glaze, curried butternut squash, couscous, a marinated salad with arugula, tomatoes, strawberries, watermelon and cucumbers, with yogurt and limes for a garnish.

The next class in the Seasonal Cooking series is Pakistani Cooking with AFS exchange student Shanzila Ahmed, from 6-8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 27, at the Sitka Kitch. Shanzila will teach students how to make a very famous Pakistani dish called biryani, which features rice, chicken and a lot of different spices.

Shanzila and fellow AFS exchange students Ceren Gokpinar (Turkey), Haifa Alsafadi (Jordan), and Omar Ali (Egypt) to host a free “Meet and Greet a Muslim” event with the community from 3:30-5:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 3, at the Sitka Kitch. They will share some desserts and drinks with the public from their countries. (NOTE: The time, date and venue for this event will change due to a scheduling conflict, so watch for updates.)

Other classes in the Seasonal Cooking class series will be announced soon, but topics include healthy cooking for National Nutrition Month, herring appreciation, and Puerto Rican food. There also will be videoconference classes on earth-friendly cleaning products and how to start a cottage foods business.

Class space is limited, so register early. Unless noted, the Seasonal Cooking classes cost $27.50 per person, plus a food/supply fee split between the registered students. The registration deadline for Shanzila’s class is 11 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 24.

Register online at https://sitkakitch.eventsmart.com/ (click on class title) and pre-pay using credit/debit cards or PayPal. To pre-pay by cash or check, contact Chandler, Claire, or Clarice at 747-7509 to arrange payment. For more information about the class series, contact Jasmine at 747-9440.

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Sitka Kitch to offer Seasonal Cooking: Spice It Up With Lexie Smith class on Feb. 12

NMS Chef Manager Lexie Smith holds deer hind quarters before preparing them for Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital patients as part of the hospital’s new traditional food options

Lexie Smith, the NMS chef manager at the Island Skillet at SEARHC Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital, will teach the second class in the Sitka Kitch‘s new class series, Seasonal Cooking, from 6-8:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 12, at the Sitka Kitch community rental commercial kitchen. The class is called Spice It Up With Lexie Smith.

Lexie and her students will cook a Valentine’s Day dinner of baked salmon, curried butternut squash, cous cous, marinated tomatoes and cucumbers, with yogurt.

Other classes in the Seasonal Cooking class series will be announced soon, but topics include Pakistani cooking, healthy nutrition cooking, herring appreciation, canning beans and salsa, and Puerto Rican food. There also will be a class on earth-friendly cleaning products.

Class space is limited, so register early. This class costs $27.50 per person, plus a food/supply fee split between the registered students. The registration deadline is 11 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 10.

Register online at https://sitkakitch.eventsmart.com/ (click on class title) and pre-pay using credit/debit cards or PayPal. To pre-pay by cash or check, contact Chandler, Claire, or Clarice at 747-7509 to arrange payment. For more information about the class series, contact Jasmine at 747-9440.

Check out the February 2018 edition of the Sitka Local Foods Network newsletter

The Sitka Local Foods Network just sent out the February 2018 edition of its monthly newsletter. Feel free to click this link to get a copy.

This month’s newsletter has short articles about our new Sitka Food Business Innovation Contest, a request for volunteer gardening instructors this spring, a reminder about the Pick.Click.Give. donation program, information about our sponsorship program, and an invitation to join our board of directors. Each story has links to our website for more information.

You can sign up for future editions of our newsletter by clicking on the newsletter image in the right column of our website and filling in the information. If you received a copy but didn’t want one, there is a link at the bottom of the newsletter so you can unsubscribe. Our intention is to get the word out about upcoming events and not to spam people. We will protect your privacy by not sharing our email list with others. Don’t forget to like us on Facebooklike our new Sitka Farmers Market page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter (@SitkaLocalFoods).

Like what we do? Please join our board of directors or volunteer with us

The 2017 Sitka Local Foods Network board of directors and St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm lead gardener. Back row, from left, Tiffany Justice (treasurer), Ben Timby (secretary), Sam Pointer (director) and Charles Bingham (president/communications director). Front row, from left, Nina Vizcarrondo (co-secretary/farmers market manager), Laura Schmidt (lead gardener), Jennifer Carter (vice president).

Are you enjoying the fresh local veggies at the Sitka Farmers Market this summer? Did you take any of our garden education classes this spring? Are you concerned about increasing access to local food for all Sitka residents?

Please consider joining the board of directors for the Sitka Local Foods Network to help us pursue our mission to increase the amount of locally produced and harvested food in the diets of Southeast Alaskans. We need more board members in order to keep running our programs.

Board members help direct the Sitka Local Foods Network, a non-profit that promotes the harvest and use of local food in Sitka. In addition to setting the focus of the group during our monthly meetings, board members also serve on at least one committee supporting at our three main projects of the Sitka Farmers Market, St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm, and garden education and mentoring. We also hope to help with the Sitka Community Gardens project as we look for a new location now that Blatchley Community Garden has been closed. In addition, some board members have supported other local foods projects in Sitka, such as the Sitka Kitch, Let’s Grow Sitka, the Sick-A-Waste compost project, the Sitka Community Food Assessment project, Sitka Fish-To-Schools, other school education projects and more.

To apply for a spot on the board, please fill out the application linked below and submit it to sitkalocalfoodsnetwork@gmail.org. For more information, please email us. Please note this is a working board, and our group is evolving and maturing as we try to raise funds to hire staff. Board terms are for three years, with three seats up for reapplication each winter.

We also are looking to increase our pool of volunteers who will help out during the various projects hosted by the network each year (no formal application needed, just send us your name/contact info and what types of projects you enjoy). We need volunteers to help with the upcoming Sitka Farmers Market, helping our lead gardener at St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm, and helping us teach gardening classes or working with our garden mentor program families.

The next regular Sitka Local Foods Network board meeting is from 6-8 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 28, at the Southeast Alaska Independent Living (SAIL) office, 504 Lake Street, Suite C (note, this is a meeting date change from what was previously announced). The board usually meets once a month. Please note, we will sometimes move our meetings to avoid conflicts with board member schedules, venue schedules and to insure a quorum. All of our board meetings are open to the public.

Click here for a copy of the Sitka Local Foods Network board of directors job description. Click here for a copy of the board application.

Scenes from the Seasonal Cooking: Cooking With Hank Moore class at the Sitka Kitch

Students learned how to make blackcod with black-eyed peas, rice and collard greens during the Cooking With Hank Moore class on Tuesday, Jan. 16, at the Sitka Kitch community rental commercial kitchen. This was the first class of an upcoming Seasonal Cooking class series

The rest of the Seasonal Cooking classes are still being finalized, but they should be announced soon and will be posted on our Facebook page once they’re available. Interested individuals can register at https://sitkakitch.eventsmart.com/ (click on the event title to register). Please pre-pay online using credit/debit cards or PayPal. If you want to pre-pay using cash or check, please contact Chandler, Claire or Clarice at Sitka Conservation Society (747-7509) to arrange payment. We need at least eight students registered for each class to guarantee they happen.

Class size is limited, so register early. The usual class cost is $27.50 per class, plus a food/supply fee that will be divided among registered participants. The registration deadline is late on the second night before each class. For more information about the class series, call Lisa Sadleir-Hart at 747-5985 or Jasmine Shaw at 747-9440.

A slideshow of photos from Tuesday’s Cooking With Hank Moore class is posted below.

Don’t forget to file your PFD applications with Pick.Click.Give. donations

Happy New Year! Now is the time when most Alaskans start applying for their 2018 Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend. As usual, Alaskans can share their wealth with a variety of Alaska nonprofits, including the Sitka Local Foods Network, through the PFD’s Pick.Click.Give. program.

This is the fourth year the Sitka Local Foods Network will participate in the Pick.Click.Give. program, which allows people to donate in $25 increments to their favorite statewide and local 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations when they file their PFD applications from Jan. 1 through March 31. We missed 2017 due to a clerical snafu, but we’re back in the program for 2018.

When you choose to donate part of your PFD to the Sitka Local Foods Network, you support the Sitka Farmers Market, St. Peter’s Fellowship Farm, education programs about growing and preserving food, the Sitka Kitch community rental commercial kitchen, Sitka Community Gardens, matching dollars at the Sitka Farmers Market for SNAP/WIC beneficiaries, the sustainable use of traditional foods, the Sitka Community Food Assessment, the Sitka Food Summit, and a variety of other projects designed to increase access to healthy local foods in Sitka.

In 2017 Alaskans contributed $2.7 million to 668 Alaska nonprofit organizations, and more than $18.5 million has been donated since the program started in 2009. Some Alaskans choose to donate to just one group, while others may spread several donations around to many groups. There now are more than 600 total 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations participating in Pick.Click.Give. for 2017 (including multi-location nonprofits), including 23 from Sitka. In 2017, Alaskans donated $100,500 to Sitka-based nonprofits.

To encourage more Alaskans to donate through the Pick.Click.Give. program, the Double Your Dividend contest has been revised to encourage philanthropy. Anybody who makes a non-anonymous Pick.Click.Give. donation to at least one of the registered nonprofits will be entered into a contest where five lucky Alaskans will win a second PFD check for their favorite participating Pick.Click.Give. nonprofit (or couple of nonprofits). The winners no longer receive a second PFD for themselves, just one to donate to an organization. The winners will be announced in October, about the time the PFDs start hitting bank accounts.

So how do you make a donation to the Sitka Local Foods Network through the Pick.Click.Give. program? First, go fill out your Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend application at http://pfd.alaska.gov/. When you get to the section of the application asking if you want to participate in Pick.Click.Give. Charitable Contributions program, click on the PCG link and search for the Sitka Local Foods Network. You also can look for us by using the town search for Sitka.

The Pick.Click.Give. program is available only to people who file their PFD applications online, and not to those who file by mail. Even though you can’t file a new PFD application after March 31, you can go back into your application and update your Pick.Click.Give. donations through Aug. 31 each year.

You still can donate to the Sitka Local Foods Network if you aren’t from Alaska or aren’t eligible for a 2018 PFD. To donate, send your check to the Sitka Local Foods Network, 408D Marine St., Sitka, Alaska, 99835. You also can donate online by going to our online fundraising page on Razoo.com, and clicking the Donate button to make an online contribution. You also can send in a check or make an online donation if you are trying to make nonprofit donations before the end of the 2017 tax year. Please let us know if you need a receipt for tax purposes. For more information about donating, you can send an email to sitkalocalfoodsnetwork@gmail.com.

Thank you for supporting our mission of promoting and encouraging the growing, harvesting and eating of local foods in Sitka and Southeast Alaska.

Sitka Kitch to host Cooking With Hank Moore class on Tuesday, Jan. 16

Local cab driver, fisherman, teacher and musician Hank Moore will teach a class in the new Sitka Kitch Seasonal Cooking class series from 6-8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 16, at the Sitka Kitch community rental commercial kitchen. Hank said students will cook collard greens or mustard greens, black-eyed peas, brown rice, black cod, lemon water and caramelized onion.

Hank grew up in the south, so his dishes have a soul food base. But he’s been in Sitka for many years, so he’s Alaskanized this dish with black cod (sablefish).

Class space is limited, so register early. This class costs $27.50 per person, plus a food/supply fee split between the registered students. The registration deadline is 4 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 15.

Register online at http://sitkakitch.eventsmart.com (click on class title) and pre-pay using credit/debit cards or PayPal. To pre-pay with cash or check, contact Chandler, Claire, or Clarice at 747-7509 to arrange payment.