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!

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