November 19, 2012 § 14 Comments
*to borrow a lovely phrase from Herriott Grace.
Well dear friends, in spite of promises to myself and others that I would take plenty of pictures on this trip, my camera has yet to be dragged out of my backpack. Sometimes a camera feels like an extension of my eyes, honing in my gaze, but at other times I feel like it gets in the way of experiencing. This time has felt like the latter. But thank goodness for camera phones and spontaneous little snapshots! I have a handful of those, so I thought I’d share a bit of what we’ve been doing, seeing, and of course, eating…
We flew into Spokane, Washington where we were welcomed by snow and Joel’s parents. We hung out there for a bit, paying visits to family, friends, and also Dry Fly Distillery, a pioneer of microdistilling in Washington state.
From there we made the long drive to Portland, Oregon where mind-blowing comfort food and craft distilling are as easy to come by as a teacup at a ladies’ luncheon. Finally, finally, I got to eat lefse wraps (mine was filled with homemade sausage, cabbage, and plum chutney, wow) at Viking Soul Food. Our friend Griff has been sending me pictures of this food cart for the past two years to make me jealous. « Read the rest of this entry »
September 25, 2012 § 26 Comments
My mother, it appears, is on a mission to get Joel – and me as well, really – thoroughly acquainted with the many wonderful places, resources, and activities available in our new stomping grounds. We are accepting this mission with enthusiasm. Two thumbs up for exploring the area! Especially when it means, as it did this last weekend, going on a tour of some local farmer’s markets, farms, and the charming little town of Bayfield, Wisconsin.
My mom picked us up early Saturday morning in her zippy silver Honda. It wasn’t exactly still dark, but it was early for most people’s version of a Saturday morning, and there was a frigid nip in the air. We donned hats, and mittens, and puffy coats and piled into the car with Squid in tow. We met up with a couple of friends at the bottom of the hill (have I mentioned Duluth is built on a hill? – like San Francisco in extra-miniature), and off we went! « Read the rest of this entry »
August 23, 2012 § 10 Comments
Hello friends! Hello from the land formerly known as our apartment and now known as Cardboard Boxopolis. In other words, hello from here:
Ever since last weekend, the transition has been happening bit by bit. Newspaper crumple by newspaper crumple, all of our belongings have been wrapped and sorted into boxes and bins. Joel is disassembling the furniture pieces he has built to make them more transportable. I’m carefully wrapping all the art in multiple protective layers because I’m anal about that.
Squid is watching the whole process with skepticism and trepidation. You can just see the questions in her eyes as she watches us from the couch. “Um, what’s going on here guys? What are all these weird cuboidal creatures invading our house? Why are you paying attention to them instead of rubbing my belly?”
By about 3pm each day, the whole thing makes her too nervous and she vacates her position on the couch and goes and curls up unhappily in her crate in our room. We keep reassuring her that we’re not leaving her behind, and soon she’ll live next to real woods. (Real woods!) But, she doesn’t seem to understand all those words as well as she understands “treat” or “walk.”
Because my concept of spatial relationships and packing are not exactly the most effective or efficient, while on the other had I am extremely good at generating avoidance tactics that appear to the outside world as still being productive, I decided that I should take a whole evening off of packing yesterday to make food for the road trip. « Read the rest of this entry »
July 14, 2012 § 17 Comments
We’re back! And more than a little bit woozy in the head with jet lag, one moment feeling perfectly energetic but practically cross-eyed the next. We’re very happy to be reunited with our darling little bundle of fur who, quite adorably, almost went into shock upon seeing us again and spent at least half an hour doing nothing but pressing up against us to lick our hands and knees while making tiny, excited whining noises.
But, otherwise it’s a little hard to be back from such a lovely vacation. While we were in Norway, most evenings we found ourselves bundling up in parkas to stay warm in the late night sun. Back in Boston, we practically can’t go outside until the sun has gone down and the stifling heat begins to dissipate. I have to admit, I prefer the arctic circle version of summer. Here it does smell of sticky, muggy, blossom-filled memories of summer camp nights, though, which I kind of like.
There’s a lot to catch up on. But, I’m reframing my long to-do list as a record of all the neat things I get to do rather than have to do, and by golly, I think it’s actually working to help to keep the no-more-vacation-slump at bay.
A slump that would be easy to slip into, that one, as our trip was quite filled with happy days and nights spent with family and friends. There was plenty of rain but also several endlessly sunny days. There was the ever gorgeous scenery, and of course I got to fill up on all my favorite foods: hotdogs with lefse, skolebrod, boller, waffles, and enough ice cream, berries, and smoked salmon to sate even the most ravenous troll (if only trolls would prefer such things to goats and hapless humans!).
July 9, 2012 § 27 Comments
Hei from Norway! We’re still here for a few more days, but I wanted to pop by here and say hello and show you a little bit of where we are.
I don’t know how many people this is true for, but I know for myself, I rarely feel completely at home in my own skin. Often, I get too busy trying to read others and to be what I think they may want me to be. Or I get too caught up in worrying about the various “why’s” of my existence, especially the big one. Why am I here it all? Ah, the life of the questioner.
June 18, 2012 § 26 Comments
We stole away to New York City for the weekend. Just a day and a half. A hiccup of a trip lengthwise, but packed full enough to have been a long happy sigh.
Two of our dear, dear Boston friends are natives of the place – well, one is a true native, but the other did live there for a long enough sojourn to have gone native – and basically ever since we’ve known them we’ve been trying to plan a time for this jaunt.
It became an imperative to fit it in this weekend, though, before we must part ways. At least for now.
The two of them are as excited about sharing beautiful, delicious, made-with-care food as we are, so our day and a half was structured almost entirely around that.
We visited as many of their favorite places and tasted as many of their favorite foods as could be squeezed into our packed agenda. We ranged around every corner of Manhattan and tried a little of Brooklyn on for size as well. « Read the rest of this entry »
June 5, 2012 § 57 Comments
I held my belated Norwegian Independence Day party almost a week and a half ago now, and I have to admit, I’ve yet to come down off of the high that that was. It was so much fun! And so totally epic. I finally have my thoughts halfway in order and my photos fully in order, so I can show you a little bit of what we did!
The meal was 17 courses. Yup. Seriously. 17. 17 plated courses at that. Back in February I got it into my head that this year for Syttende Mai, I wanted to try to explore some elements of the fundamentals of Nordic cuisine and how traditional cuisines evolve by creating a meal in which I would attempt to fuse the traditional Norwegian foods we eat on the 17th of May with the style and principles of the food at Noma. You know, that little ole’ Danish restaurant that has revolutionized cuisine, particularly Nordic cuisine, and is merely one of the best, most famous restaurants in the world right now.
A totally reasonable project for me to work on in my spare time, right? Ok, not at all really. But, boy was it a kick!
April 15, 2012 § 16 Comments
Yesterday we traveled up along Massachusetts’ North Shore brimming with purpose. Brimming also with coffee because that is a central element of a Saturday morning in this household. We were on our way to visit Turkey Shore Distillery, to learn more about the distilling process and to pick the owner’s brain of everything he knows.
But first came a requisite stop along the beach for a walk and a picnic. We wiggled our toes in the sand, waded brashly into the water (followed by an expeditious exit back onto the shore), and enthusiastically dug holes. Well, some of us dug holes. Some of us stayed on the sidelines and cheered.
December 28, 2011 § Leave a comment
I’m slightly green. And not, unfortunately, the trendy, socially desirable, eco-conscious kind (though I do try to be that). I’m afraid I’m the unpleasant green of jealous envy, though I think it is at least a pastel, non-menacing sort of a shade.
It’s a friendly jealousy, you know, like teasing can be friendly.
October 18, 2011 § 13 Comments
We’re ensconced back in Boston now, back amidst the crowded three-home Victorian buildings, the fall leaves grown burnished golden and sparse, and a distinct lack of cappuccinos everywhere you turn. All it took was a 30 hour day, the heavily-accented services of AirFrance (who, by the way, offer Champagne as an aperitif, for free, in coach. I think I need to fly with them more often, though Charles DeGaule is a catastrophe of an airport), and a wonderful and generous friend to pick us up at the airport. Air travel still amazes me.
We slept hard and woke up early yesterday morning with piles of work and places to be already tapping us persistently on the shoulders. But, it’s nice to be home.
However, I feel as if I would be remiss in my duty of being that random person who overshares about her life, and what she eats, if I didn’t at least tell you a little bit about our visit to Florence. Florence, is a wondrous and inspiring place to visit because it has the best gelato in all of Italy. Oh, and a little thing called the Renaissance started there.
Like many of the great old cities, Florence has an energetic, and slightly incongruous feeling, way of weaving together ancient history with hustley bustley, cell phone pervaded modern living. People don’t necessarily live differently there because there are still buildings that are from the middle ages or statues and paintings that were the first to, oh say, rediscover perspective (I’m in awe every time I think about that. Have been since European history with Mr. Jensen in the 11th grade).
And yet, having some of the very deepest foundations of the way we live now visible to you on every street corner must make some difference.