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Port of Call: Discovering Anchorage
Each month at Saber Healthcare, our Life Enrichment departments at participating communities offer our residents a different cultural experience as part of our Port of Call program. Our residents will get to participate in fun activities and enjoy the flavorful cuisine of a different country or city. This month, we will be (metaphorically) packing our bags and taking a trip to Anchorage, Alaska!
Anchorage is located on Cook Inlet in the south-central part of Alaska and has over 291,000 people, making it the largest populated city in the state.1,2 Known as the “The City of Lights and Flowers,” Anchorage is home to the Dena’ina Athabascan Indigenous people.3,4,5
It is not uncommon for residents to see moose, bears, or other wildlife roaming the vast 1,961 square miles of the city.2 Just beyond the city center, the Chugach Mountains outline the sky and make a beautiful backdrop.
Things to Do in Anchorage
Anchorage has plenty of attractions and activities for everyone in the whole family. Explore Anchorage’s beautiful scenery by taking one of the many scenic tours. Hop on a bus, ATV, or motorcycle and learn from expert tour guides. Your family can also experience Anchorage’s gorgeous landscape by boarding one of the many raft, boat, or even helicopter rides!6
If museums interest you, you can learn about Alaska’s native cultures at the Alaska Native Heritage Center. You can also experience a famous presentation of the northern lights at Sydney Laurence Theater, or learn about sled dog racing at Anchorage Mushing District Inc.7
The most popular attraction in Anchorage is the Wilderness Wildlife Glacier Experience. This six-hour tour makes seven different stops along Alaska’s beautiful landscape. Visitors will start at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, and then take a trip to the Chugach National Forest. After that, they will visit the Beluga Point, the Portage Glacier, the Chugach State Park, Cook Inlet, and finally, Girdwood. At each stop, the expert tour guide will point out aspects of the scenery and offer the history of the landmark. Also included in this experience are snacks and tickets to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center and Chugach National Forest.8
One of Anchorage’s most popular attractions is the Alaska Railroad. Available all year round, the Alaska Railroad has five types of tours for visitors to enjoy. The Coastal Classic Train offers guests a scenic view of Kenai Fjords National Park. Next, the Denali Star Train provides riders with views of Denali Mountain. Third, the Glacier Discovery Train gives guests views of the Spencer Glacier. Fourth, the Hurricane Turn Train ride offers “views of the Denali, the Indian River Valley, and Hurricane Gulch.”9 Lastly, the Aurora Winter Train provides riders with winter views of the Alaskan countryside.9 The Alaska Railroad has trains and tours perfect for your next trip to Anchorage!
Anchorage’s climate is very different from the other forty-nine states. July is Anchorage’s warmest month, with an average high of sixty-five and a low of fifty-two degrees. The average daily sunlight for the month of July is only eight hours. January is Anchorage’s coldest month with an average high of twenty-three and a low of eleven degrees.10
In comparison, Virginia Beach, Virginia has an average high of eighty-seven and a low of seventy-two degrees, and the average amount of sunlight is fourteen hours for the month of July. January is also their coldest month with an average of forty-nine degrees and a low of thirty-four degrees.10
History of Food in Anchorage:
One of Anchorage’s first restaurants, Garden of Eatin’, opened in June 1951. Owners Hans and Gerry Kirchner operated the restaurant out of their home and took pride in the traditional American and Alaskan cuisine that they served to their customers.11 Tourists flocked to Garden of Eatin’ for their crab imperial, pork medallions, and prime ribs.12 After forty-plus years of operation, Garden of Eatin’ closed in the 1990s.11
In 1977, Anchorage’s first sushi restaurant, Kioi, opened. The owners, Misa and Toshi Nishimura, hired chef Nobuyuki Matsushia because they wanted to make sure Kioi served authentic sushi. Matsushia’s talent in the kitchen ensured Kioi’s success for years to come. Eventually, Matsushia moved to Los Angeles and opened his first restaurant, Nobu.11
Seafood is an Alaskan food staple. Alaska is known for a variety of types of salmon including wild Alaska, chinook, sockeye, and pink salmon.13 In Addition to salmon, Alaskans enjoy halibut, king crab, Kachemak Bay oysters, and rockfish.14
Alaskans eat reindeer sausage and reindeer dogs like how many eat beef sausage and hot dogs. You can smoke, grill or fry reindeer sausage and add it to pizza, omelets, stir fries, and chili. There is even a food stand in Anchorage that specializes in Reindeer sausage called Red Umbrella Reindeer.13
Port of Call at Saber Healthcare
The dietary department created a menu for our Port of Call. Here’s the menu for Anchorage Alaska as well as the recipes for each dish. Each of our recipes is tailored to feed approximately 10 people, but you can always adjust the size of the recipe to fit your needs!
Alaskan Crab Salad
- 2 POUNDS Crabmeat Surimi Harbor Banks
- 1 CUP Celery Small Dice
- 1 CUP Mayonnaise Heavy
- 1 TEASP Dill Dried
- 2 TBSP Lemon Juice
- 1 TEASP Salt
- 1 TEASP Pepper Black Ground
- 1 CUP Red Onion Diced Small
- 1 TEASP Old Bay Spice
- In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients and fold well until they are all coated.
- Cover and refrigerate until needed for service.
Alaskan Salmon Burger on Brioche
- 10 Salmon Patty
- 10 Lettuce Green Leaves .25 Oz
- 20 Tomato Sliced
- 10 Tartar Sauce Ss Pouch
- 10 Brioche Bun 4"
- Lay salmon patties on the sheet pans oven parchment paper.
- Season, then bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees or above.
- 5 POUNDS Salmon Fresh Chopped
- ½ CUP Mayonnaise
- 1 TBSP Garlic Granulated
- 1 TEASP Salt
- 1 TEASP Pepper Black Ground
- 2 TBSP Lemon Juice
- 1 CUP Red Onion Minced
- 1 CUP Bread Crumb
- 2 Egg Whole Whipped
- Combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix well.
- Divide evenly (1 cup)
- Mix ingredients into 10 portions and form into a ball
- Gently press over to form a round flat salmon burger.
- Cover, wrap and refrigerate.
Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges
- 5 Sweet Potato Washed
- 1 TBSP Salt
- 1 TBSP Pepper Black Ground
- 3 TBSP Olive Oil
- 3 TBSP Parsley Fresh Minced
- 2 TBSP Paprika
- 3 TBSP Vinegar
- Cut each sweet potatoes into 8 wedges.
- Lay the wedges over parchment paper on a sheet pan.
- Spray with release and roast for 35 minutes in a 350 degrees oven or until crispy.
- Toss in a mixing bowl with all ingredients while hot and serve.
Alaskan Granola Chocolate Bar
- 4 CUPS Granola Bulk
- 1 BOX Brownie Chocolate Mix
- 1 JAR Chocolate Syrup
- Combine and mix chocolate brownie as per box recipe then fold in granola and mix well.
- Divide mix evenly in 4 hotel pan (2 " pan) over greased parchment paper.
- Bake at 350f for 30 to 40 minutes or until the middle of the brownie is set and cooked.
- Cool down on baking screen then cut 2" x 2" portions.
- Drizzle chocolate syrup over after plating.
Activity Plans for the Port of Call
For our Port of Call, our Life Enrichment Department creates activities for our residents that highlights the city’s culture. Here are some examples of the fun Anchorage themed activities that our communities are offering:
For this month’s Port of Call, Indian Lake will decorate our bulletin board and activity room with Alaska fun facts, pictures of bears, and more. Our Dietary Department will serve salmon burgers along with other side dishes. Indian Lake will also offer an activity of canvas painting of the Alaska Northern lights (Aurora borealis) and a craft as well. Also, the community will offer a Alaska Trivia game to stump the staff! (The residents are helping with this). For food, we are touring and tasting Alaska with delicious (baked Alaska pie) and bread making (sourdough). Of course, we will also watch some movies of grizzlies, polar bears, and other wonderful animals of Alaska.
Spruce Manor is doing an Alaskan stuffed hash brown tasting, trivia, education about Alaskan culture, and a virtual nature tour.
Dunmore Health Care Center
For this month’s Port of Call, Dunmore’s Dietary Department will make a berry cobbler, since Alaska harvests many different kinds of berries, and the salmon burger. Dunmore also has been trying to reach out to local native American tribes to see if they can give our residents some insight into what life would be in Alaska. We will show the residents what a pow wow is. Lastly, we are also trying to build an igloo tall enough to get residents in with milk jugs.
Autumn Care of Fayetteville
Autumn Care of Fayetteville will be making penguins with water bottles for our craft. Residents will be learning some of the languages of Eskimos and experiencing what type of food they eat. Our activity room will be decorated with ice burgs, polar bears, penguins, snow, the northern lights, and big snowflakes.
About Saber Healthcare
Saber Healthcare is proud to host a Port of Call each month. We hope the residents enjoy the activities and cuisine of Anchorage, Alaska!
Saber Healthcare is an organization dedicated to providing consultant services to long-term care providers. This article is for informational purposes and is not meant to be seen as professional advice. Please consult with a medical expert before relying on the information provided.
- “2020 Census Data For Redistricting.” Development of Labor and Workforce Development. Accessed 6 July 2023. Link: https://live.laborstats.alaska.gov/census-data/redistrict?value%5B0%5D=4620
- “About Anchorage.” Visit Anchorage Alaska. Accessed 6 July 2023. Link: https://www.anchorage.net/plan-your-trip/about-anchorage/
- “About Anchorage, AK.” Accessed 6 July 2023. Link: https://citylocalus.com/ak/anchorage
- “The Chugach Mountains.” Visit Anchorage Alaska. Accessed 6 July 2023. Link: https://www.anchorage.net/outdoors/the-chugach-mountains/
- “The Dena’ina People.” Visit Anchorage Alaska. Accessed 6 July 2023. Link: https://www.anchorage.net/plan-your-trip/about-anchorage/the-denaina-people/
- “Adventure & Eco Tours.” Visit Anchorage Alaska. Accessed 6 July 2023. Link: https://www.anchorage.net/things-to-do/adventure-and-eco-tours/
- “Museums & Culture in Anchorage.” Visit Anchorage Alaska. Accessed 6 July 2023. Link: https://www.anchorage.net/things-to-do/museums-and-culture/?view=grid&sort=qualityScore&bounds=false
- “Wilderness Wildlife Glacier Experience. Best Vacation Value.” Accessed 6 July 2023. Link: https://www.tripadvisor.com/AttractionProductReview-g60880-d15184453-Wilderness_Wildlife_Glacier_Experience_Best_Vacation_Value-Anchorage_Alaska.html
- “Our Trains.” Alaska Railroad. Accessed 6 July 2023. Link: https://www.alaskarailroad.com/ride-a-train/our-train
- “Climate Anchorage – Alaska.” U.S. Climate Data. Accessed 6 July 2023. Link: https://www.usclimatedata.com/climate/anchorage/alaska/united-states/usak0012
- Reamer, D. “From Clinkerdaggers to the Garden of Eatin’, here are the histories of some of Anchorage’s most unique restaurants.” Anchorage Daily News. Accessed 6 July 2023. Link: https://www.adn.com/alaska-life/2023/04/30/from-clinkerdaggers-to-the-garden-of-eatin-here-are-the-histories-of-some-of-anchorages-most-unique-restaurants/
- “1960s The Garden of Eatin' Restaurant Menu Anchorage Alaska AC2.” Everyday Ephemera. Accessed 6 July 2023. Link: https://everydayephemera.co/products/1960s-the-garden-of-eatin-restaurant-menu-anchorage-alaska-ac2
- “What Food Is Alaska Known For – 13 Foods To Try.” The Alaska Frontier. Accessed 6 July 2023. Link: https://thealaskafrontier.com/what-food-is-alaska-known-for/
- “Alaska in 8 Bites.” Visit Anchorage Alaska. Accessed 6 July 2023. Link: https://www.anchorage.net/blog/post/alaska-in-8-bites/