Remembering Dad through Food and Letters PART 1: Blueberry Muffins

My current research and writing project is a continuation of something started a number of years ago— transcribing letters Dad sent home to his family during WWII and capturing my own memories of summers spent in the Adirondack Mountains.

An aspect of this relates to food— snippets Dad wrote about and things I recall as favorites. These posts will carry the header— as noted above— and all the recipes will be included in their original form. Enjoy!

Blueberry Muffins

One of the traditions at North Lake (Adirondack Conservation area) was a frosty morning dip and a canoe trip to Blueberry Island to pick, of course, blueberries! These berries are the tiny, wild variety and the designated pail would be filled to the brim for pancake and muffin making.

Dad ready to pick berries, circa 1970’s
The blueberry pail that I kept- 50 years on
Mmmmmuffins
A photo taken by my Dad on an early morning canoe ride

Baking!

Baking is such fun! Thanksgiving was an opportunity to make Amish Dinner Rolls from the King Arthur Flour website.  Today I made Light Spice Holiday Cookies (also from King Arthur Flour recipes) and hunted down the Christmas cookie cutters…and a few other shapes 🙂

plate

In a recent conversation with my niece I shared some ideas for gifts for my great-nephews. She mentioned that the youngest is all about plush toys and that their oldest is really drawn to “spooky” stuff these days. The cookie cutter choices reflect this- as does the free form football for another great-nephew: a New England Patriots fan. (Have I mentioned how hard it is to live so far apart?!) I am not sure what cookie shapes my little great-niece prefers so I dedicate all the fancy trees, mittens and bears to her ♥♥.

 

Loring Park, Sculpture Garden, & Loring Kitchen & Bar: Minneapolis, MN October 2012

Revisiting the first blog post!

West Seventh Freelance

Playing tourist in one’s hometown can be an inexpensive and rewarding junket. On a recent October day, I decided to do just that!

My first destination was the Walker Art Center and Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.

Strolling through the garden, I checked out art I remembered and new installations of note. Perhaps most recognizable, and photographed, is Claes Oldenburg’s Spoon Bridge and Cherry. On this day I chose to photograph Spoonbridge from non-tourist angles!

Minneapolis Sculpture Garden: Spoonbridge and Cherry- a different perspective

Cherry reflecting: another perspective- Spoonbridge and Cherry

My favorite piece, an elaborate canopy of steel, bronze and ceramic, suspended on cast stone pillars, is entitled Prophecy of the Ancients (Brower Hatcher).  Standing beneath it, you are truly transported, from whatever angle you choose to view it.

Adjacent to the garden is Loring Park, easily reached by a walkers bridge that traverses Lyndale Avenue. This day the park…

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Special Post: Jacox Family Recipe Bulletin or How I Messed with the Ginger Jelly Cookie Recipe

photo bDateline: December 5, 2013, 15:04 Central Time/ Minnesota

I have, unwittingly, corrupted Grandma Ruby’s Ginger Jelly Cookie Recipe. Yes, I intended to cut them into tree shapes (!gasp!), but I did not intend to leave out a good portion of the ingredients. Lucky for me, Minnesota has been noted as one of the states now known for cursing and being not-so-nice, dontchaknow…(seriously? People are getting paid to compile these stats? I need a job!!!)

But, I digress. I thought I measured and mixed:    photo d photo c

But…oops! They are not quite as crispy ‘cause I left out 2 cups of the “dry, day-old, cake/ cookie, or in my case, home-made-cereal-gone-wrong crumbs

photo a

And yet…they taste pretty darn good. Please note! Dear Canadian family, I proudly fly the Canadian maple leaf atop the cookie pile! photo e_edited-1

Hazel’s Northeast: Breakfast and the Rest!

I met a friend for breakfast at Hazel’s Northeast in Minneapolis this morning.

I have been missing out!! Greeted by co-owner Andrew and waited on by the incomparable Lindsay, we enjoyed a luscious breakfast on a busy Friday. The biscuits and gravy was sublime; eggs over-easy… done to perfection.

Enjoy a few snap shots and a snippet from Hazel’s website:

Rooted in decades old recipes and tradition, Hazel’s Northeast serves American comfort food that is simply prepared, impeccably presented, and consistently delicious. To us, classic comfort food isn’t a trend or fad—it’s a legacy. And we’re happy to share our legacy with you at Hazel’s Northeast at the corner of Johnson Street and 29th Avenue in the Audubon Park neighborhood of Northeast Minneapolis.

Candy, corn, and more Minnesota

Today I drove to Mankato, MN, south and west of the Twin Cities. I was meeting up with a friend’s daughter and wanted to take in a few “landmarks” as well. They are, in no particular order: Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store in Jordan, MN (a whole table of REAL licorice); St. Peter, MN- home to Gustavus Adolphus College and the location of the annual, international Nobel Conference, and a big red barn that happened to catch my eye…

While in St. Peter, I bought fresh corn from Mallory, who was reading a best seller to pass the time. She also had hula hoops and was happy to demonstrate.

Another satisfying meander…

Fresh Grounds: Food and Community

Fresh Grounds Coffee Café on West 7th in St Paul, MN serves coffee, a variety of foods, AND dishes up a heartfelt mission. In partnership with the RS Eden Organization and Starbucks, which supports organizational efforts and supplies coffee at a super discount, Fresh Grounds seeks to help those who may need comfort, care and redirection. I am lucky to be part of the process, volunteering time and effort now and again. Oh, and I really like their take on oatmeal!!!!