A Much-Kneaded Getaway

The Talkeetna Roadhouse offers a pie making class on weekends throughout the winter, and if you are looking for an easy Alaskan weekend getaway then definitely put this on your list. It’s a fun event for book clubs, couples, girlfriends, or (in our case) mother-daughter excursions.

Our group consisted of six: three moms and three teenage girls. We unanimously voted for a weekend getaway in Talkeetna, but only four of us opted to take the pie class. The class is capped at four, so it worked out perfectly.

My car busted out of Anchorage early, just ahead of the season’s first snowfall. Roads were sketchy in places, but we enjoyed long stretches of dry pavement. Nancy and her daughter followed a few hours later and weren’t so lucky. They faced significant patches of ice and near-zero visibility. The Alaska Railroad package for the Talkeetna Pie Class is a tempting, albeit more expensive, option that would eliminate any highway stress.

Fortunately our carload of pie makers rolled into Talkeetna with plenty of time to grab a quick cup of soup from the Roadhouse kitchen before strapping on our aprons. We spent the next two hours scooping into giant vats of flour, rolling massive amounts of dough, and prepping our award winning pies for the oven. We each made enough dough for five pies!

Maggie made an apple pie, and the rest of us prepared some variety of mixed berry. Crusts were created by hand, crumbling cold butter between our fingers and playing in flour like toddlers in a sandbox. It took two hours of hard work to assemble our pies, but the bakery cooked them for us and cleaned up our giant mess. That might have been the best part! We were free to explore Talkeetna!

What a fun little town, even in the winter! A few local shops were open, the brewery was hopping (in more ways than one), the river was racing, and the Roadhouse was smack dab in the middle of it all.

Honestly, I’d go back to Talkeetna even if the Roadhouse was the only game in town. It’s a quaint little place that has everything you need: top-notch food, friendly service, cozy bunkbeds, complimentary cocoa, a piano, stocked bookshelves, and a wood stove. We spent the evening relaxing in front of the fire with games, mostly Catchphrase.

Twenty years ago I started palling around with these two ladies, and what a blessing that all these years later we have teenage daughters who are willing to play by our sides. What a relaxing and cathartic weekend!

The next morning we picked up our pies and headed back to Anchorage with some important lessons:

  1. You should never, ever knead pie dough.
  2. You will always, always need your girlfriends.
  3. Teach this to your daughters.
  4. Repeat.

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