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Photos: Candied crabapples by Alaska chef Kirsten Dixon

Kirsten Dixon makes candied crabapples, just in time for Halloween.
Tyrone Potgieter photo
Kirsten Dixon makes candied crabapples, just in time for Halloween.
Tyrone Potgieter photo
Kirsten Dixon makes candied crabapples, just in time for Halloween.
Tyrone Potgieter photo
Kirsten Dixon

When my children were little, we lived along the Yentna River in Southcentral Alaska and neighbors were few and far between. Sometimes, in the summer, a group of kids would wriggle into their lifejackets and an older one would drive a skiff upriver for a group visit. Or, in the winter, they would pile onto snowmachines and navigate the warren of trails winding from the river back into the woods and on to various homesteads. But, basically, it was more of a solitary lifestyle for my daughters growing up. That was never more evident than during holiday celebrations such as trying to trick-or-treat at a wilderness lodge.

For all the lack of pizazz Halloween held for my daughters growing up, they have embraced the holiday as adults living in Anchorage. They fuss over their own costumes, fuss more about their spouses', and every year either host or go to sometimes-elaborate costume parties. They basically make up for all the lonely and quiet Octobers of their childhood. It seems every week I am being asked by someone in my family for substantial donations of cooked food for entertaining guests or bringing to a party.

Luckily, in the backyard of our small Anchorage office, we have a formidable crabapple tree....

Recommended: Learn how to make Chef Dixon's candied crabapples.