Wednesday, October 14, 2015

October News 2015

Hello friends, fans and followers of everything at the Squirrel!

I can't believe how fast September went by. Do I say that every month? Every season? Every year? This September in particular went from full on warm busy days to quiet cold rain and snow in a blink. October is here and I haven't even spent a day catching up on paperwork yet (pictured above)! And, Brian and I have spent more than a day or two "off" putting up our favorite farm harvest products including green tomato salsa, sauerkraut, apple cider, and my new extra favorite, winter squash butter (also pictured above). Usually all the fun winter activities that bring you to the Squirrel are planned out by now. Here are a few, but there will be more to come once...well, once I spend a day doing paperwork...

Second Saturday Art Opening
Join photographer Fredrik Norrsell at the opening reception of his exhibit on Saturday, October 12, 3-5pm. The show, entitled Wild Alaska features photographs of wild places around our beautiful state and will be on display through early November. Meanwhile, WE NEED ART! There is only one other art show for our bright and empty walls and we're happy to talk to any Alaska artists and photographers about the possibilities - please pass on my contact information to artists you know!

Fun & Learning at the Squirrel!
Gluten Free Baking Class: Sunday, October 18, 1-4 pm. Most people who are trying to keep gluten out of their diet are already experimenting with gluten-free cooking and baking at home. This class will take a few steps beyond the basics of gluten-free baking, including discussion of special ingredients and techniques, as well as preparation of two of the hardest gluten free baked goods to make: cake and bread. Plenty of time will be allowed for questions, and participants will take two recipes home. Cost: $36. Register for the class on Alaska Folk School's website.

November Holiday Baking Class: Caramel! Sunday, November 15, 1-4pm. Caramel is a simple yet tricky confection. It can be utilized to add that sweet caramelized sugar taste as a topping for ice cream, or to add something special to classy desserts and confections. Learn tips and techniques for making perfect caramel plus find out how to add unique flavors that will impress everyone who gets an edible holiday gift! Help prepare a fancy chocolate tart with salted caramel, almond brittle with cardamom, and spicy caramel corn. Cost: $36. Register for the class on Alaska Folk School's website.

Halloween Creepy Treats - Ages 4-8: Wednesday, October 28, 2:30-4pm Kids always have a great time in the kitchen at the Squirrel making tasty, spooky and somewhat healthy Halloween snacks such as mummy pizza toast, jack o' lantern rice ball, monster mozzarella finger, cracker spider, spooky cat cookie and more. Children 5 and under must have a parent in the building. Preregistration and prepayment is required! Sign up early to reserve a spot in person at the Squirrel or call 733-nuts! Maximum class size, 12 children.

Trick Or Treat Pizza Night - Saturday, October 31, 4-9pm
Halloween is on a pizza night this year, so before or after trick or treating around Talkeetna town, be sure to stop by in costume to eat something solid, drink something hot, or just show off your costume! Gingerbread bats and chocolate coconut ghosts for actual trick or treaters PLUS PIZZA SHAPED LIKE PUMPKINS and other Halloween shenanigans.

Deliveries to Willow and Anchorage (and Eagle River?)
So, I'm working on it, REALLY! The concept for this year's CSB with bread, pastry and gluten free prepaid "shares" delivered to Willow and Anchorage is coming along with plans for a single subscription season from November through April. Deliveries will be made every other week, 10 total deliveries of Squirrel deliciousness just a little bit closer to your home than Talkeetna! The cost will be $10 per delivery for breads and $15 per delivery for pastry/gluten free. If you are interested in this program, please send your contact information and I will e-mail you with all the details when it's official. We would very much like to stop in Eagle River, but need a good location for that - any suggestions?

Thanksgiving Heads Up
I already have pumpkins on the brain! Brian's beautiful winter squashes and pumpkins from the farm are helping us gear up for creative and delicious Thanksgiving special order ideas! Look for information in early November about dinner rolls, pies, turkeys and more. The practice bourbon pumpkin pie with brown butter streusel was a big thumbs up in my house!

Winter Hours
SUNDAY: 10am-4pm
WEDNESDAY: 8am-5pm
THURSDAY: 8am-5pm
FRIDAY: 8am-9pm (Pizza Night: 4-9pm)
SATURDAY: 8am-9pm (Pizza Night: 4-9pm)

Hope to see you at the Squirrel...
Anita Continue reading »

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Autumn News September 2015

Well, goodbye busy summer, hello early autumn!

Hard to believe the busy Talkeetna summer tourist season is already winding down. As with everything this whole year of 2015, early seems to be the theme of each season. Many people I talk to seem ready - ready for starry nights, a little more relaxed pace, and opportunities for creativity and community.

At the same time, truth be told, however we analyze the numbers and the pros and cons of Talkeetna's winter customer base, it's incredibly hard to find the right balance that gets us from October until May without draining everything that's gained in the summer.

Please support this little bakery cafe business throughout the winter, bring your friends, send your guests! We promise, in exchange, to provide you with a warm and friendly atmosphere, tasty fresh bread and pastries, high quality thoughtfully produced espresso, coffee, tea, and juice, made from scratch soups, sandwiches, quiche and other breakfast and lunch items, plus our 2 wood fired pizza nights. IT IS REGULAR CUSTOMERS LIKE YOU WALKING IN THE DOORS THAT KEEP THIS PLACE OPEN! Thank you and, here are some upcoming reasons, besides just being at the Squirrel, to come pay us a visit:

First of all, we're OPEN LABOR DAY! After Labor Day, we will go right to our winter schedule with a few small changes this year. We'll still be open Wednesday through Sunday and although the hours will now be posted as 8am, we encourage early morning working folks to waltz right in the front door at 7:45 and get a coffee and muffin to go!
After September 7:
Sunday 10am-4pm
Monday and Tuesday: closed
Wednesday and Thursday: 8am-5pm
Friday and Saturday: 8am-9pm
Wood Fired Pizza Nights: Friday & Saturday, 4-9pm

Bun to Bun Marathon/Half Marathon and 5 K
Saturday, September 12
Our local children are all back in school and the Talkeetna Elementary School has awesome and exciting programs happening! Part of the success of our school is due to the PTA and parent involvement bringing healthy snacks, salad bar, art classes and many other important lifestyle activities to the school. You can help support those programs by joining in on this fun fall trail marathon/half marathon and 5 K run. The 2nd Annual Bun to Bun starts at Flying Squirrel and ends in Talkeetna. Run your buns off! Sign up at

Fall Classes
Three classes are planned this fall! Sign up at Northern Susitna Institute! All classes cost $36 per person and have a minimum of 6 to run the class, so don't delay if you want to come into the Squirrel's kitchen for tips, tricks, techniques and simply a fun time...

Sourdough Baking: Basic & Artisan Techniques
Sunday, September 20, 1– 4:00 pm
In depth discussion, demonstration and participation to include caring for a starter, hands-on preparation of two sourdough breads, time for questions, and eating as well!

Gluten-Free Baking: Beyond the Basics
Sunday, October 18, 1– 4:00 pm
Most people who are trying to keep gluten out of their diet are already experimenting with gluten-free cooking and baking at home. Take a few steps beyond the basics of gluten-free baking, including discussion of special ingredients and techniques, and preparation of two of the hardest gluten free baked goods to make: cake and bread.

Holiday Baking: Perfect Caramel
Sunday, November 15, 1 – 4:00 pm
Caramel is a simple yet tricky confection. Learn tips and techniques for making perfect caramel, find out how to add unique flavors that will impress everyone, help prepare a fancy chocolate tart with salted caramel, almond brittle with cardamom, and spicy caramel corn - just in time for the holidays!

CSB - Bread & Pastries Delivered to Willow & Anchorage!
We're working on, once again, delivering prepaid "bakery shares" of bread and pastries to Willow and Anchorage. If you're on our CSB list, you'll be hearing from us very soon! If you're interested in getting Squirrel goodness a little closer to your Anchorage or Willow home, please contact us with your e-mail address so we can include you! The basic deal is: you pay in advance (about $10 per delivery for bread and/or $14 per delivery for sweets) and every other week, you pick up your bag of fresh baked goodies at the designated time and place. Except for coming to Talkeetna, it doesn't get much better than that!

Staff Changes
Staffing is the biggest challenge in every restaurant. This summer was really pretty smooth with MANY thanks to Ryan, Skye, Sierra, Kaila, Mike, Mark, Alice, Anna, Kimmie, Dylan (and a working visit from Esther). Most of them are moving on to winter travels, new jobs, school, and, well if you haven't heard already there's one baby on the way! Truly, it's hard to come up with words to thank the employees that make all this possible. Sierra, Mark, myself and Skye will be the faces at the Squirrel much of the winter plus one or two yet to be hired new folks. Positive changes are evolving to ensure that the folks choosing to work here because they love the food, want to learn, or like the pace, can also stay for awhile because it's a great place to be employed. Stop in if you want to invest your working hours with us!

Only one art opening is coming up this fall, when photographer Frederick Norssell will show his work beginning October 10. This provides a much needed opportunity to patch and paint our walls in September. But if you or someone you know would like to hang work this winter please contact Anita at the Squirrel! November and December are great months to show artwork, as Talkeetna hosts many visitors from around Alaska and holiday gifts are on everyone's minds!

May your autumn be filled with delicious harvest foods, relaxing walks in the colorful woods, and long overdue visits with friends - that's what I'm hoping for myself! Continue reading »

Thursday, April 30, 2015

May to me means new faces, Mother's Day, bicycles, and the much anticipated change from a brown world to a colorful green world with flowers and growing things! Everyone seems to be smiling a little more these days - here are a few reasons to come into Flying Squirrel and share a smile or two...

Second Saturday Art Opening
Talkeetna folks that have been here awhile know Rose Jenne as the business owner of the old Three Rivers gas station, laundromat and convenience store. Retirement has enabled her to explore her creative side with beautiful and artistic mosaics. Join the artist on Saturday, May 9 from 3-5pm for the opening reception of her show entitled "Bits and Pieces". Rose's work will be on display through June 11. In June, young local Kaitlin McLure will hang paintings in her first solo show.

Mother's Day Brunch!
Treat yourself or one of the mother's in your life to a delicious and relaxing brunch at Flying Squirrel on Sunday, May 10 between 11am-3pm. Working on the brunch menu today, my mouth was watering - I'm the lucky one that gets to try everything!

As usual we'll feature Alaska Grown ingredients with entrees, desserts and fancy sparkling wine and fruit mimosas. Children's menu will be available and all mothers will receive the royal treatment they deserve and a special surprise. Reservations highly recommended, please call to reserve a table!

Talkeetna Baked, Talkeetna Grown: From Us to You...
Flying Squirrel tries to use as many Alaska and locally grown ingredients as possible. And, we want to spread the food love to you in any way we can! Anchorage and Willow folks can sign up any time for our prepaid bakery shares, delivered to 3 locations every other week.
Check out this link about bakery deliveries for more information or to sign up. Also, we hope Squirrel customers and fans will consider supporting our small Talkeetna family farm and partner Talkeetna Grown at Birch Creek Ranch! Prepaid vegetable shares (CSA) are available in 3 different sizes with weekly pick up next to Flying Squirrel starting in mid June, and farm produce is available at three different farm stand/market opportunities from July-September. Potatoes can be purchased over the counter at the Squirrel in 5 pound bags, usually into June! Please visit the farm's website to find out more about our family farm and how to put more local farm produce on your table and in your belly!

Summer Hours
In the middle of May we will transition to summer hours of operation. We'll still be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays until May 15. Summer hours after May 15 - open 7 days with three pizza nights:
SUNDAY: 8am-5pm
MONDAY: 7:30am-7pm
TUESDAY: 7:30am-7pm
WEDNESDAY: 7:30am-7pm
THURSDAY: 7:30am-9pm (Pizza Night: 4-9pm)
FRIDAY: 7:30am-9pm (Pizza Night: 4-9pm)
SATURDAY: 7:30am-9pm (Pizza Night: 4-9pm)

Enjoy the sunshine...and the rain...and the sunshine...and the rain!
Anita Continue reading »

Monday, April 6, 2015

Hello everyone! Well, apparently spring has sprung in Talkeetna and beyond! Let's hope it's not an April Fool's joke, because this is about the earliest any of us have seen it. Our parking lot is gradually draining and at this rate will be cleared of snow, slush, ice and water three weeks earlier than usual. Time to start thinking about riding bikes to the Squirrel for a refreshing rhubarb ade!

Here are a few other reasons you might want to stop by this month:

Spring/Summer Bakery Shares
Delivered to Anchorage and Willow

Anchorage and Willow Squirrel fans - this one's for you! Go to THIS LINK to find out more information or sign up for a prepaid bakery share, delivered every other week to the Willow Library or, in Anchorage: Open Space (E 64th) or Southcentral Foundation Wellness Center (Tudor Cir.).

Spring/Summer shares start next week and continue from April through July. If you are super excited to give this a try, but you will be away for a portion of the season, please contact me to make special arrangements and figure out the prorated cost. Options include bread, pastries and/or gluten free!

Second Saturday Art Opening
Two worlds collide in April's art show with photography by two locals that didn't even know each other before this exhibit came about! Heather Leba will show her macro nature photography and Mark Westman will hang some spectacular Alaska alpine photography. Join the artists for the Second Saturday art opening on April 11 from 3-5pm. The show, entitled Little Worlds will be on display through early May. The month of May will bring Talkeetna's well-loved matriarch Rose Jenne who will fill our walls with her wonderful mosaics!

Earth Day Excellence - The Squirrel will reward your efforts for the planet!
The Squirrel tries hard to have a positive impact on customer well-being and the planet's health with thoughtful business decisions. Earth Day is a great time to remind ourselves that there is always more we can all do! Find out what the Squirrel is doing to make a difference at THIS LINK. This year, Earth Day, April 22 is on a Wednesday and we will offer a double discount for anyone who arrives at the Squirrel by non-motorized means or brings in their own to-go packaging like a travel mug. Also, check out this extra, extra Earth Day bonus: bring in proof that you made a donation to the Talkeetna Recycling program fundraising effort and receive a free Eat.Real.Food sticker, plus 10% discount on all purchases (offer good from April 22-26).

Flying Squirrel is very hopeful that Talkeetna is taking important steps toward a sustainable, long term recycling program for our town. Finally! Consider supporting this effort by attending the evening fundraiser at the Hangar on Saturday, April 18 and the day time community Earth Day celebration on Saturday, April 25. See you there!

Baking with Whole Grains Cooking Class
Sunday, April 26, 1-4pm - Explore whole grains in the kitchen at Flying Squirrel Bakery Cafe! Can whole wheat flour be used instead of white flour in a cookie recipe? Why does homemade whole wheat bread come out so dense? What can be done with left over cooked quinoa? Owner Anita Golton will discuss baking techniques that work whole grains into your diet. In this class, participants will help convert a pancake recipe to include left over cooked whole grains, taste test Flying Squirrel’s new whole grain Alaska Grown barley hot cereal, and prepare the Squirrel’s recipe for Molasses Multigrain bread. An analysis of the nutritional content of two comparative recipes will be done if time allows. Cost: $36. Go here to register, or contact Alaska Folk School at 907-733-7111.

Summer Employment Opportunities
Skye, Nate, Mark, Kimmie and I will be joined in the kitchen and at the counter by some new, friendly and hard working folks over the next month. As we start transitioning to the busy summer season, please welcome (and have extra patience with) Sierra, Dylan, Ryan, Kaila, Steph and Mike. Though I can't imagine all these people working in the Squirrel's kitchen at the same time, there is room for a few more! We are still looking for someone to join the baking crew, ideally with 1-2 years experience as well as two part time barista/counter helper/dishwasher positions. Stop in or e-mail if you're interested. Photo thanks: Cleiri Quezada!

Not that I need to tell any mother to save the date for Mother's Day, but, save the date for Mother's Day Brunch at Flying Squirrel: Sunday, May 10, 11am-2pm, more info to come in the next newsletter!

Enjoy the longer days and incredible sunshine!
Anita Continue reading »