I don’t normally buy cookbooks, but during a recent trip to Alaska, I picked up the delightful cookbook “My Tiny Alaskan Oven” by LaDonna Rose Gunderson. LaDonna is married to a Norwegian fisherman and she and her husband, Ole, live for five months out of the year on their 32-foot commercial fishing vessel in Ketchikan.
When she’s not fishing for king salmon or crab, LaDonna is whipping up divine meals in her tiny 4×7 foot galley kitchen on the boat named after her. Her diesel oil fueled oven and stove is only 18×21 inches, but she can cook up dishes like Bacon Wrapped Halibut, Pumpkin Doughnuts and a giant Apple Stuffed Pancake that overflows that tiny oven. Other dishes include Crab Croquettes, Chicken Pot Pie and Coffee Spice-Rubbed Spareribs. The book’s 107 recipes are accompanied by amazing photos of Alaska taken by Ole.
LaDonna has some comical stories of how fellow fishermen told her to forget the oven and use a microwave instead, and how difficult it can be to light her little oven and keep it lit during Alaska’s unpredictable weather. She also chats about the various towns they visit on their way up and down the coast, how she cooks while en route in rough seas and having to share her kitchen with a mechanically minded boat captain.
If you are wondering how you can cook amazing meals in your own tiny (and stationary) house, check out LaDonna’s book for some great ideas.
Photos courtesy of LaDonna Rose