Whew! Day 41 already? Today would be Hilary’s spring MYS concert, save for the COVID effect.
What’s new? I signed up for, and figured out how to use, the Volvo car sharing program called M (link). I don’t know why it’s called “M”. I think that is a dumb name. But, it is an excellent service. For what is about $20 a month, I can go check out a Volvo from any (large) number of stations all over the place. There’s a time and distance charge, but fuel and insurance is all included. So, if we don’t drive much (and with bikes and trains, we won’t) then this is a much cheaper way to have the use of a car without all the headache and cost of actually owning one. Anyway, I drove around the countryside for a bit. I have come to the conclusion that, aside from the sea and the odd castle, Skåne is a LOT like Minnesota. Flat. Farms. Patches of mixed deciduous and pine forests.
What else? I ate out yesterday at the hotel restaurant (finally – I have been here for 41 days!). It is pretty fancy and had a nice 3 course pris fixe menu. The dessert would have been Jen’s fave – lemon curd, with rhubarb sauce, Madelines, and merengue crumbles. All her favorite things! I made do … ;-).
Today is markedly different, as I am trying Tacopaj (pronounced “taco pie”) from the frozen cabinet at the ICA. Oh, I checked out the ICA Nära by the hotel. It’s a lot like the Widmers in Mac Groveland. Anyway, Tacopaj is about what you would expect from the freezer cabinet and cooked in your hotel microwave.
Also, the chef dude on the front looks like Neal Luschen.
I’ve had an itch in my brain for a long time. I’ve done a ridiculous amount of surfing on camping trailers, chuck boxes, overlanding, etc. So I decided to do something.
First thing I did was pick up a Space Trailer (shout-out Todd!). In case you don’t know, Space trailers are very nice, made in the US, and are all the things you’re thinking about when you buy a cheap Harbor Freight trailer, but don’t get.
Second thing I did was to build a camp kitchen to put in it. Here’s some snaps of the process. It was built entirely of scrap and re-purposed materials that I had lying around. Maybe I have too much (s)crap lying around … ? The design objectives were to be able to run a 2-burner camp stove and a propane grill off of a 20lb propane canister with some extra storage for camp gear. I did little drawing, but mostly designed as I went, with the inevitable re-work on some technical debt taken along the way.
Finally experienced High Tea at the St Paul Hotel! It was so nice to celebrate my birthday (belatedly-note- make a reservation well in advance to have tea at SPH) with Cobber friends! I’m a tea snob, so the fare at SPH did not meet my expectations, but the companionship elevated the entire experience, so I am not at all disappointed. We did resolve to explore other Tea options in future…more chances to get everyone together! Perhaps we can get Annie here for a Mary Kay tea party!? Cheers! We neglected to toast the new year but here’s our “selfie/ self-we”
Today I had leftover ingredients to use up, so I tried a couple new recipes. Our neighbor went fishing in Lake Superior and caught some huge trout on Saturday. He gave us a lot, maybe 5 pounds or more. So tonight we’re having Trout Dill Chowder, inspired by Ruth Cousineau’s salmon chowder in gourmet magazine.
And the kids decided they don’t like strawberries anymore, so with the 2 pints I had already purchased I made jam using an Ina Garten recipe with blueberries and apple for thickening. I ran out of sugar so used ginger syrup which added nice flavor as well.
Here’s the first carrot, harvested by Hillary, from our little garden. It was so cute that she insisted on a photo before we chopped it up for soup! It was very yummy, too. And here’s to Zaca, my Spanish friend and carrot farmer extraordinaire, who advised sandier soil. Cheers!
Lily’s been wanting to make pizzas from scratch (based on an episode of Caillou) so we used up some of out tomatoes and garden herbs and invited the neighbors. Hillary was at football game with a friend, so that night was a good opportunity for Lily to have something special to do. I don’t think we had the right pans and/or baking method, so they didn’t get very crispy, but they were tasty! We used lots of veggies and Lily’s whim was satisfied – mission accomplished! I used this make-ahead pizza dough, and it worked great!
We have lots of cucumbers and other veggies this year because of all the rain for our garden plus what we get from CSA
So we tried refrigerator pickles using cucumbers, onion, garlic, and radishes. The girls helped chop cucumbers and filled the jars with various combinations of the veggies- now we wait a few days before trying them. But they look nice, right?!
We went up nort’ to have some fun for 4th of July. Hillary and I did a wood-fired oven baking class at the North Woods Folk House.
We made 2 types of bread (flat bread, and focaccia) but I guess I didn’t get the camera out when we were working on the focaccia.
Hillary enjoyed playing the role of a 10 year old (the class was for ages 10 and up and she’s only 9) as much as she enjoyed the baking 🙂
It was really fun, and we hope to take more classes in the future. I’d like to take a birch bark or willow workshop and Bryant wants to do their canoe building course! The campus is beautiful and very inspiring. Lily and Bryant hiked around Grand Marais while Hillary and I were baking.