I haven’t quit- and I’m not really on hiatus…I’m on a road trip! I left my parents in Missouri and headed up to Grand Marais Minnesota to take a hardanger class at North House Folk School and to visit different cultural centers in the Midwest.
I visited the Danish Heritage Museum in Elkhorn, Iowa and checked out the Windmill the community there brought over in pieces and re-assembled entirely on donations and volunteer work. It is around 170 years old and standing inside of it, looking at the old wood in the natural morning light was truly surreal. If you ever get a chance to visit, make sure and stop at Coffee Girl across the street and get one of the locally baked Kringle, and get it warm. You’ve had pastry before. But you have not had Elkhorn’s Kringle.
At the Danish Heritage museum I got to indulge my other passion: folk costume. It’s extremely difficult to find good quality examples of Danish folk costume, but in the basement of The Danish Heritage museum they have an AMAZING example of men’s folk costume.
Up in the North Woods of Grand Marais I took a hardanger class at North House with Lori Zimmerman and her awesome Mother, Kathy. If you’re in Wisconsin later this month, you can take a class with her at Folklore Village in Dodgeville.
Now… this is a food blog…SO, a note on food:
My kitchen on the road has been a cooler and a Coleman camp stove. Of course I brought a small cast iron. Here are some quick, on the road camping meals I’ve enjoyed….
Eggs. Eggs and cheese. Eggs, broccoli and cheese. With sauerkraut and sausage. My morning tea is usually black tea with reishii and chaga powders and a scoop of powdered milk. Convenient, comforting, minimal mess, and fuels you until evening; when on the road, I rarely need to stop for a snack.
Breadless sandwiches and a broccoli salad. The broccoli salad is super easy- throw dried fruit, cashews and broccoli flourettes into a big jar with a dash of oil and vinegar, some salt and pepper, and shake ‘er up! Bags of broccoli have been such an amazing thing to keep on hand while roadtripping. Filling and fresh and not as fragile as trying to keep a bag of greens around. They can go in eggs, become a salad or get sautéed in my cast iron with dinner. The breadless sandwich is a way to keep excess carbs out of the picture while maintaining satiety on long drives.
In the Midwest there are lots of places to get local sausages and cured meat. It’s kind of heaven. I like to keep a giant jar of sauerkraut in my cooler at all times and grab local goodies like this Gene’s Swedish Potato sausage made in Grand Marais, Minnesota. I sauté in a little butter until it’s almost cooked through and then add sauerkraut and a little of the kraut juice. Let it simmer for a bit until it’s hot and you can’t wait any longer. This is one of my absolute favorite camp meals, and while it doesn’t look like much, it is an efficient way to get comfort food while still enjoying local flavor.
I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to do my shopping at local shops and delis rather than relying on chains. It’s cheaper, and you can connect with local vibes a little better. In Minneapolis I got my re-up of Deli meat, cheese and pickles at Sikora’s Polish Deli, an amazing breath of fresh air to step into the familiarity of a European Deli. Sikora’s has $4 polish hot dogs to go, the spiciest mustard I’ve had in a while, and very friendly and engaging staff. I got bread this time too, since they had a really great Polish Rye with no extra garbage in it. It even specifically mentioned it was made with sourdough starter- And it’s so good! I also got a GIANT jar of bigos (polish hunter stew) (also with no weird additives) which will be a nice change for my Coleman campsite cookery. I may have to stop back and grab a few sausages to throw in before I leave the area.
Lots more to see and many more places to go…My next class is this afternoon at the Minneapolis Textile center. Reverse applique- should be fun!
What about everybody out there? What are you doing this summer? Any classes or trips?