a victorious winter hunt

I switched addictions surprisingly fast once we ran out of chocolate, months ago.

I switched addictions surprisingly fast once we ran out of chocolate, months ago.

Within a matter of days and without me quite realizing it, my inner craving for a little something had driven me to test such unsatisfactory substitutes as bread with honey, freshly baked cinnamon buns, globs of peanut butter and spoonfuls of Nutella in quick succession.

It wasn’t until my hands were steered almost subconsciously towards the canned applesauce that I knew I was on to something. Or rather, once I added a dollop of evaporated milk and a dash of cinnamon to it with the unerring instinct of a chocolatory bereft looking for a new drug. A quick stir to mix it all up, and a few spoonfuls later an expression of pure bliss spread across my face.

Fortunately, our supply of applesauce was more than ample – because within no time, I had Sam hooked on the concoction, too. The milky applesauce and cinnamon extravaganza tided us over nicely until last weekend, when I killed the last jar while Sam went out, battling the snowdrifts in his role as provider: for the first time this winter, he drove to town on the snowmobile and went grocery shopping.

As usual, I had found it hard to come up with much of a shopping list for him, fresh veggies and fruit having long paled to the most dimly remembered textures and flavours in my mind. Once we run out of fresh food and are eating only canned and dried things (hard to call that stuff “food”), with a few rootcellared additions of assorted boring tubers and roots, I don’t even miss fresh food much anymore. Except for chocolate, of course.

Nevertheless, I was curious to see what kind of groceries Sam had bagged on his hunt for nutrition, chocolate and ice cream being the only two items I had felt a pressing need for when he left. With a flourish, he tore the lid of the three coolers. Multi-coloured and half-forgotten foods, such as bananas, sour cream, tomatoes, goat cheese, sausages, cucumbers, and peppers fogged up shyly in their plastic bags.

“And the ice cream?” I whispered hoarsely, trying hard to tear my eyes away from this almost indecent display of the planet’s bounty. Titillating memories of meals past began to stir. Triumphantly, Sam pulled out a trophy-sized bucket of vanilla ice cream. I swallowed hard to avoid spilling drool on these beauties. Although it was the middle of the afternoon and dinnertime still hours away, a sudden feeling of emptiness began to claw at my stomach.

“You must be hungry after all the snowmobiling,” I cunningly said to Sam while trying to think of a meal that would incorporate samples of everything he had brought in.

“I thought you only wanted ice cream and chocolate?” he asked, eyes innocently wide.

“Half of that stuff would go to waste if I wouldn’t pitch in eating it,” I pointed out, fondling the glossy, deep-red peppers. What a wonderful to sight to behold in our remote log cabin, beleaguered by snow drifted hip high. A salad and some sandwiches followed by ice cream would probably do for starters, I thought and licked my lips.

We unpacked the riches of California, the Okanagan and Quebec, finding spots for everything according to its temperature preference: in a box outside for the things that needed to stay frozen, in a draughty corner inside the cabin where everything would enjoy a refrigerator ambiance, and on shelves and in the root cellar for the rest. The gold-green wrapped chocolate twinkled coquettishly as I put it away, immune for once to its lure now that there was real food.

Since the days of Sam’s return, we have been occupied mostly with eating. We’ve added brunch to our schedule, of course not as a combination of breakfast and lunch, but as an extra meal in between. I shudder at the thought of a soupy bowl of applesauce with milk (of all things) and cinnamon, though no doubt its moment of fame will come again. The new glasses are sitting way back on the shelf, biding their time until my craving fingers will be inexorably drawn to them once more. But that will be a while yet. After all, there is new chocolate, too.

Lisa Hasselbring is a writer who lives at the headwaters of the Yukon River south of Whitehorse.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Team Togo member Katie Moen sits in a sled behind a snowmobile for the ride from the airport to Chief Zzeh Gittlit School. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Coming together: How Old Crow became one of the first communities in the world to be fully vaccinated

Team Togo and Team Balto assembled with a mission to not waste a single dose of vaccine

Main Street in Whitehorse on May 4. If council moves forward with bylaw changes, eating and drinking establishments could set up pop-up patios in on-street parking spaces. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Patios may be popping up in Whitehorse this summer

City considers program for downtown restaurants and bars

The Yukon Coroner's Service has confirmed the death of a skateboarder found injured on Hamilton Boulevard on May 2. Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News
Whitehorse man dies in skateboarding accident

Coroner urges the use of helmets, protective gear, while skateboarding.

The new Yukon Liberal caucus poses for a photo during the swearing-in ceremony held on May 3. (Yukon Government/Submitted)
Liberal cabinet sworn in at legislature before house resumes on May 11

Newly elected MLA Jeremy Harper has been nominated as speaker.

The Yukon Wildlife Preserve’s baby bison, born April 22, mingles with the herd on April 29. (John Tonin/Yukon News)
Yukon Wildlife Preserves welcomes two bison calves

A bison calf was the first 2021 baby born at the Yukon Wildlife Preserve

A map provided by the Yukon government shows the location of unpermitted logging leading to a $2,500 fine. (Courtesy/Yukon government)
Man fined $2,500 for felling trees near Beaver Creek

The incident was investigated by natural resource officers and brought to court.

The site of the Old Crow solar project photographed on Feb. 20. The Vuntut Gwitchin solar project was planned for completion last summer, but delays related to the COVID-19 pandemic pushed it back. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Old Crow is switching to solar

The first phase of the community’s solar array is already generating power.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
One new case of COVID-19 in the Yukon

Case number 82 is the territory’s only active case

Flood and fire risk and potential were discussed April 29. Yukoners were told to be prepared in the event of either a flood or a fire. Submitted Photo/B.C. Wildfire Service
Yukoners told to be prepared for floods and wildland fire season

Floods and fire personelle spoke to the current risks of both weather events in the coming months.

From left to right, Pascale Marceau and Eva Capozzola departed for Kluane National Park on April 12. The duo is the first all-woman expedition to summit Mt. Lucania. (Michael Schmidt/Icefield Discovery)
First all-woman team summits Mt. Lucania

“You have gifted us with a magical journey that we will forever treasure.”

Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)
City news, briefly

Whitehorse goings-on for the week of April 26

The Yukon Department of Education in Whitehorse on Dec. 22, 2020. The department has announced new dates for the 2021/2022 school year. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file)
Yukon school dates set for 2021/22

The schedule shows classes starting on Aug. 23, 2021 for all Whitehorse schools and in some communities.

Most Read