Picking up some fresh roadside produce from a local farm I discovered that sassy strawberries are about as desirable as a surly teenager. That sqeeck they make, simply unnatural. Just as we accept the imperfections of our developing offspring we should the strawberry. A little misshapen and not evenly red make for the juciest and tasty slices over that bagel french toast I tried.
I”ve used this stolen line about one other artist, the darling lad Jack Ingram. Tonight you can see another singer I have the same sentiment about at The Grand Kabaret: Brandon Sampson. Jack has done me proud by living up to something I told him 10 plus years ago. Brandon is on his way. I am just a music patron. I love music but the closest I ever got to helping foster anyone besides buying an album was while living in Klamath Falls, Oregon and working at The Ross Ragland Theater. Working with professional musicians you recoginize one thing that can seperate them from everyone else trying to make it. Nice, and I don’t say that just cause I am from Minnesota. Working with folks from Dave Brubeck to Garth Brooks and a favorite in between, Bela Fleck, everybody that ever toured that venue was nice. It is true what you hear about quirky things in contracts, but when you black those lines out and feed them a homecooked meal we are all the same. Man, it was a great and memorable gig and no artist performing there was anything but gracious. I think it taught me alot about the art of hospitality, and a wee bit about talent and who might make it big. Three hours to come see someone who will. Brandon Sampson, tonight at 8. 210 North Minnesota, right here in New Ulm.
Why is it that the guests always have the best ideas? Besides being smart and savvy, they know a good day when they see it! And they can also feel a breeze. So breakfast on the porch it was with Stuffed Caramel French Toast which, you know me, isn’t mentioned to make anyone feel bad for not whipping up any themselves this morning. Rather, for some reason the caramel stuck mostly to the bottom and since appreciating the Julia Child spirit of simply sucking it up and serving it anyway. I put two sections together with cream cheese and a wonderful strawberry jam from Louisiana. Nothing was burned and it was still delightfully golden and pretty, just worried most of the flavor was at the bottom of that pan and these thoughts resulted in another offspring of the frequent occurrence around here called the mother of invention. It was delish, albeit a bit to big, but that generally doesn’t generate any complaints. Thus I was also reacquainted with that Cochon Butcher jam, another guest best thing in the form of a gift. And a sweet reminder of our upcoming trip to New Orleans in September. Where we are staying at The Bohemian Armadillo no less. All the while more happening here, floors sanded and the three rooms getting totally rethought. Input willkommen!
I swear, I exist solely to connect others. My whole entry was to express my commitment to our Bed and Breakfast’s ‘green stamp’, as what else is one to think about while removing the dandelions from the yard with a butter knife. (Charlie thought the least I could do was not use a good one from the drawer). When I goggled ‘dandelion images’, look what popped up! Dandelions Unlimited a site dedicated to cracking thru the concrete toward sustainability. There must be something for somebody here, I know I’m enjoying looking. But now back out to digging (and nearly finishing the last of the ‘outdoor’ beds) and relayering the wonderful free totally sustainable mulch from my own community spring clean up and debris at the local compost site!
One of the ‘guest best things’ of being an innkeeper is what we call in the trade ‘repeats’. Even visiting with my good friend Shannon from Bingham Hall, down at The Grand Kabaret last night, all we have to say when briefly touching on business is, ‘oh good week, repeats’ and we know just what we mean. Repeats are guests who visit an inn or area over and over again. These guests are a best thing for a variety of reasons, the most fun being that they arrive again as good friends and are terrific at visiting! This Easter weekend I rejoice in entertaining a dear repeat family from California (although original MN area transplants) and find myself once again basking in that serendipitous glow that so delights me. This week I came upon a recipe from the Make it Minnesota Cookbook, which unlike Julie Powell I will not successfully be completing during any given time frame, although I have thought about it, with several cookbooks and tributes to master chefs, like we all have. When I discovered Yelena’s Stroganoff while looking for something noodle-y for the family, little did I know I would have guests on the weekend from The Gunflint Trail neighborhood to go along with my California friends. Over breakfast, which did not serve up the stroganoff, a lot of other common interests came up for the guests, sharing favorite sites and future plans. Just one of those mornings were I love innkeeping!
And each year seems to bring a more heavily ‘rendezvous’ influence. The fur and trapping costumes are becoming quite accomplished and in addition to the beer, worth the price of admission. Inventive to say the least! So for those interested, this weekend, March 11-13 brings the always intriguing ‘History and Trade Show’ at Turner Hall. Much fun for children and adults alike. You just might discover your attire for next year’s bockfest or fashing event!
It’s official, and someone else idea! Another bohemian hootenanny! This one offers fondue on the side. Chocolate, cheese and meat because who needs to decide? Kind of like the music, bring whatever strikes a chord for you. So much for the weather and ridiculous predictions! This little fest may just be for the locals, and anyone else who might like to suspend their disbelief of any other discouraging factors bringing in the New Year!
one word. ok, two. Stag Series.
If there had never been any music in New Ulm before, and none since, this event would be enough. Americana Showcase. Don’t miss it if it comes to your town. Pretty impressive, but since we are New Ulm, rooted in music, perhaps a mute point. But this show was that good.