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Recipes for a reason

Send in your best Alaskan recipe

Posted: February 5, 2012 - 1:12am

Calling all chefs, cooks and supporters of U.S. troops. A Juneau woman wants your recipes for a cookbook so that the proceeds can benefit injured Alaskan service members and their families.

Local massage therapist and a former volunteer cooking instructor Kristen Josserand says she is penning a cookbook featuring Alaskan recipes to benefit the Fisher House of Alaska. The Fisher House is a nonprofit that provides housing for service members, veterans and their families as they are receiving medical care at the joint Department of Defense/Veterans Affairs hospital on Elmendorf Air Force Base.

“This cook book will be from all Alaskans to our servicemen and women, and I’ve titled

‘Tried and True: Alaskan Recipes,’” Josserand said. “It’s dedicated to our servicemen and women, and it’s inspired by SSgt. Thomas McRae.”

McRae, 29, a U.S. Marine Corps Explosive Ordnance Disposal technician, was wounded in action last month when an improvised explosive device was detonated under him in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan. Both of his legs and his left arm were amputated, and he suffered brain damage and injuries to his eyes.

Josserand says she’s never met McRae, but was moved by his story and wanted to help military families in any way she could.

“When I heard about SSgt. Thomas McRae and how he was injured, it really hit home for me, and I thought I’d like to do something to help,” Josserand said.

She got in touch with the Alaska Department of Veterans Affairs, who recommended she connect with the Fisher House. There are more than 40 Fisher Houses across the country, including the one in Anchorage.

All sales of the cookbook will go the Fisher House of Alaska, and proceeds will help buy pillows and blankets, and provide housing for families.

So far, Josserand has about 50 of her own recipes to use in the book, including her award-winning Juneau Jambalaya recipe, which won second place in a recipe contest a few years ago.

Other mouth-watering recipes include smoked salmon dip, blackened halibut, deviled crab and prawn bake, salmon cakes and halibut burritos.

But the 48-year-old masseuse, who used to teach cooking classes at St. Anne’s Hospital, would prefer the community to submit their own original Alaskan recipes for the project.

“I am eager to hear from anybody who would like to offer wonderful recipes that I could incorporate into this cookbook,” she said. “I really want it to be from everybody and not just from myself. I want it to be from all Alaskans.”

She has already found a local print shop interested in the project, and she has received 42 verbal commitments from people who want to buy the book.

For more information about the Fisher House of Alaska, visit www.akfisherhouse.org.

To submit a recipe to Josserand, email her at kljsmith@alaska.net.

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