Kelly had the opportunity to spend 10 days in Whitehorse earlier this month, so I took the opportunity to have him bring home some authentic Klondike sourdough starter.
It came in a jam jar, well wrapped in plastic and carefully stowed in his suitcase. Good thing, too, because it had started to grow on it’s journey, and had overflowed the jar and into the wrappings when it arrived. I fed it and transferred it into a new jar.
The cool thing about this starter is that it has a very venerable genealogy! It was carried over the Chilkoot Trail in the late 1800s by a member of the Honorable Ione Christiansen‘s family on her mother’s side. Ione Christiansen was the first woman to be named as Justice of the Peace for the Yukon Territorial Government, the first woman to be elected Mayor of the City of Whitehorse and the first female Commissioner of the Yukon.
It is in the nature of sourdough starter to be shared, and a long time ago Ione Christiansen’s family member shared her starter with Charlie Taylor, of the Taylor and Drury family of merchants.
And Millie shared some with me! Millie Jones is a long-time Yukoner and is the mother of my friend Heather, who carried the jar of starter from Millie and delivered it to Kelly last week. Below is a pic of Heather creating some beautiful art (check out her website)
It’s sort of like a sacred trust, you know?
I had some left over, so I split it (saving half for future use) and we had breakfast for supper last night: sourdough pancakes made with Betty Taylor’s dad’s sourdough pancake recipe.
Afterwards, I fed the starter again and then split it into two. Half went back into the jar and into the fridge, and half went into a bowl to grow overnight so that I can bake another loaf of bread today. And maybe some muffins.
I lived in the Yukon for 26 years, so…
no matter where I go,
I will always be
And now I can eat some, too!