Alaska’s eating local scene truly is feast-or-famine. During the height of the summer our farmers grow giant (as in world record sized) vegetables but by the middle of September potatoes and carrots are the only local crops available. Now, even on an unseasonably warm 37-degree night, our world is frozen. We won’t see new growth again until May and farmers and backyard gardeners alike usually don’t plant outdoors until after Memorial Day to protect their young plants from late frost.

But for all that my wife and I do have a freezer full of halibut, sport caught in Resurrection Bay, and king salmon, sport caught on the Deshka River, and this afternoon we took possession of 380 pounds of Palmer, Alaska farm-raised buffalo. We’re splitting it among five co-workers, so only 70 pounds will end up in our freezer, but that’s more than enough to test our culinary skills. Fortunately beef recipes translate well to buffalo.