This week’s fabulous dinner guest was none other than my fellow blogger Stephen, who was down in the Lower 48 for a fast family visit. Stephen came ready with a few excuses for his recent radio silence, like how busy it’s been in the newsroom since America’s best dressed governor went big time. Well, there is that, and we were hanging all over his inside scoop. But what he really wanted to talk about were gardens, greenhouses, and coops. His wife got into baking bread, he told us, and his daughters are out collecting new eggs even with temps in the single digits — a high of eight degrees the day they left. They’re all set for the long winter, their freezer stocked with a summer’s salmon catch and a big slab of buffalo on its way.

And they’ll eat their share of local carrots, the only vegetable to reliably survive a winter in their northern Valley. Fittingly his contribution to our dinner was a lovely, dense carrot cake — recipe to follow.

Me, I’m hoping Stephen finds himself with all sorts of time to burn after next week’s election. You can guess my reasons, which include just how much I enjoy the latest from points north.