Category Archives: Food

George Washington Liked Ice cream

Today is the anniversary of the first commercially produced Ice cream in the US in New York City in 1783.

Ice cream had been sold in ice cream parlors in New York since 1776. George Washington is said to have spent $200 on ice cream  ($4500 in current money) in the summer of 1790.  That was a lot of ice cream! Thomas Jefferson had an 18 step recipe for an ice cream dessert  similar to a baked Alaska. By 1800, insulated ice houses were invented, so that ice cream could be stored and sold to the masses. In 1945, the Navy provided a barge in the western Pacific that produced 5400 gallons of ice cream an hour for sailors.

I love ice cream.  We don’t make our own, although we have an electric ice cream churn. I see that our strawberry bed is flourishing, and perhaps there is some strawberry ice cream, or at least strawberries to put on top of ice cream, by the end of the month.

What is your favorite ice cream treat? Tell about ice cream from your childhood.  (Gelato, Froyo, and Sherbet count here, too).

I Wish I Could Be Sadder About It…..

Thanks to YA’s boyfriend being sick, I had a near-perfect week!

Based on the minimal information YA was sharing (or was given most probably), Boyfriend had strep but waited until late Saturday to go to the MinuteClinic and was in no mood for company or companionship the entire weekend. And this is the first Saturday of YA’s summer work schedule, which means her Saturday morning is clear.  She was up early and rarin’ to go!

We made a quick stop at the library, a stop at the hardware store (where there was a dog to pet), time at the gym, some shopping at the co-op. While we were shopping she decided she wanted to make a particular recipe so we bought her ingredients as well.  She said she wanted to do cooking first before yardwork, so we spent a nice hour in the kitchen.  I made corn chowder in my instant pot and a fried halloumi salad; she made a black bean, corn, mango salsa in lettuce cups.  Then yardwork – some together but some separate – me in the front, her in the back.  She even made a little fire in the fire pit which we enjoyed for a bit.  Then we walked up to dinner at The Malt Shop, during which she actually put her phone away.

Then on Sunday, she did some homework while I had time in my studio, then we spent a few hours doing the Open Streets on Lyndale festival. She suggested we walk instead of bike so we could pet dogs more easily.  This was a great suggestion – we lost count of how many dogs we had petted around the 50 mark!  Mini donuts, animal petting zoo, shave ice and some of the prettiest dark purple miniature irises I’ve ever seen.  She had more homework so I spent a little more time in my studio.

Really the only semi-rough patch in the whole weekend was when I had to not be negative when she died her hair purple on Saturday night! And even then, it wasn’t nearly as bad as I had imagined it would be.

When was the last time you benefited from someone else’s bad times?

 

 

Decade on the Trail – Pictorial

Today’s post is Part Two from Barbara in Rivertown

Today we have a pictorial history to go with Tuesday’s written one. Thanks to all baboons who sent me photos – I’ve used only those that have two or more baboons in them.

I think this is the earliest one in my collection – taken with Dale Connelly at the MPR booth at the State Fair (in 2009? 2010?) Not all in it became baboons, but I do see Sherrilee, Beth-Anne, and Linda in the middle row, and Jim and thigh (that guy in the hat) in the back.
The above is a smaller group in the Seed Art room, maybe 2011
Below was taken at our first meeting, at a picnic table in Wabun Park, by Minnehaha Falls in S. Mpls. BiR, Jacque, and Anna in the background. Also present were Sherrilee, Linda, and Steve.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don’t know whose idea it was to start going to museums – the first one I attended was, I think, the Russian Art Museum in S. Mpls – Anna, tim, Joanne, BiR, VS
Then there was the Swedish Museum circa 2012… extra points if you can remember what the exhibit was. VS, tim, Linda, Lisa, BiR, PJ
There have been gardening adventures – at PJ’s yard.  The group shows Bill, Robin, Lisa, Krista, PJ in back; ljb (Edith), BiR, Linda, VS

 

…. and in PJ’s kitchen, where Lisa modeled her prom dress
At Steve’s – well, at Steve’s we took down a tree limb in the back yard of his darling bungalow.
Chain Saw Gan – madislandgirl and S&H(son & heir), Lisa, tim, YA (VS’ young adult), Bill, Robin, BiR, Linda, Michael, and Ben!

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had Steve’s surprise birthday party, also at Wabun Park – tim managed to get him there after some ball game, I think. VS, Steve, tim
There have been several trips to Rock Bend Folk Festival. Here’s City Mouse, with the Morning Show’s producer Mike Pengra on the drums.
It’s a dirty job but somebody’s gotta do it… And admission is still FREE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Linda, BiR, Krista, and I think Holly, at Rock Bend – not sure which year…?

There have been a number of events that didn’t get photographed: PJ organized a Guthrie outing for, was it? H.M.S. Pinafore? There have been game nights at tim’s, a painting party at Steve’s before he moved, Pi Day at Sherrilee’s.

But we do have one of a Solstice Parties at Sherrilee’s – Steve, Linda, tim
A few made a weekend trip to Steve’s cabin, up by Cornucopia, WI: Linda, Steve, tim, Krista, Jacque

 

 

 

 

 

 

and a few went south to Donna’s cabin at Spirit Lake, IA – but no photo!

North Dakota Renee made it to a BBC at tim’s when she was in town, of which we have no photo. But Steve provided one of her and husband Chris, taken when they were visiting near Steve’s place in Portland.

There have also been sad times… not only the ending of The Late Great Morning Show, but also the memorial after

Jim Ed Poole’s (aka Tom Keith) death in 2011. This proves that you can get baboons to smile for anything: TGith?, PJ, tim, Joanne, Anna, mig’s S&H in back; Linda, VS, madislandgirl.
A quick meet-up of Barbara and Joanne of Big Lake after the 100-Mile Garage Sale.

 

 

 

 

 

 

And I didn’t have my camera back in April when I met another baboon Linda at baboon Chris’ book signing at the lovely Fair Trade Books in Red Wing. But here’s a photo taken at another of Chris’ signings:
And here is from Chris’ FIRST book signing!

And we even had a congratulations gathering when Beth Ann won the Kemps State Fair Ice Cream contest

No baboons in this shot, but here are the fixins!

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s been your favorite Baboon gathering or outing? What/who got left out here? (I’m sure I’ve left out some baboons…)

What field trip shall we do next??

A Decade on the Trail

This is Part 1 of a two part trip down memory lane from Barbara in River Town.

We’ve been blogging here for (are you ready?) 10 years. For anyone new to the Trail, this group started when we were still listening to a beloved (Minnesota Public Radio) Morning Show that aired from 6 – 9 a.m. in the 80s, 90s and aughts (2000s). It was an eclectic music extravaganza peppered with cleaver (see Glossary above) ads, zany characters and radio plays put together by Dale Connelly (a master of parody and verse) and Jim Ed Pool (aka Tom Keith, the super sound effects guy for Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Companion). When Jim Ed retired at end of 2008, Dale stayed on, and the program morphed into an online streaming station called Radio Heartland https://www.thecurrent.org/heartland/ . Dale also created a blog in early 2009 called the Trial Balloon, in which he’d write an introductory piece about anything under the sun, talk about it on the radio, and ask a question at the end to get an online conversation going.

Dale, our Alpha Baboon, hung in there posting 6 days a week for most of the next 5 years. By the time he decided it was time for a sabbatical, he had written 1,166 of the 1,397 posts (231 of them being guest posts provided by the Baboon Congress when he was away). Here is his June 3, 2015 entry:   https://trailbaboon.com/2015/06/03/five-year-plan/  at the end of that phase.

The Baboons rose to the challenge, and kept the blog going with a wide-ranging collection of guest posts for the next 18 months or so, with Dale chiming in from time to time with a post. In early 2017, Dale “cut the umbilical cord”, and we got our own url: www.trailbaboon.com/ , with Verily Sherrilee and Renee in North Dakota taking the reins of the blog, on alternating months. (This statement doesn’t begin to cover the work and commitment involved – I don’t even know how to describe it – and how grateful we are that they’ve taken this on.) Other baboons provide guest posts that we send to them by email (though not as often as we should).

At some point early on, we started also gathering in the space-and-time realm… I believe the first book club meeting was in June of 2010. (Go to above left under Blogroll: Blevens’ Book Club – there are even minutes to the first meetings!) And we started doing “field trips” – anyone know what year the Russian Art Museum trip was?

Over the years various baboons have come and gone, and occasionally come back – life happens, and some months or years work better for blogging than others. A core group of us are still here, several of whom have been posting and commenting almost from the beginning. Old-timers check in occasionally, and we love it when they do. We’ve found we just enjoy connecting most mornings (and sometimes late in the evening) in this mysterious place in cyberspace, to exchange thoughts, experiences, recipes, songs, book/movie recommendations, health info, travel or garden tips, musings on the English language…

What’s the strangest group you’ve ever hung out with? (…besides this one)

Mashing It Up

When I am over my head at work, making lunch in the morning is not something I want to spend a lot of time on.  That’s why I try to cook on the weekends, so that there are leftovers that can be quickly scooped into containers for lunch.  Yesterday morning there wasn’t much to choose from but there were four different take-out containers from last week, each with a bit left: Vegetable Fried Rice, Sticky White Rice, Broccoli in Garlic Sauce, Egg Foo Yung.  I dumped all of them into one container, mostly thinking it was the best I could do and resigning myself to a lunch that would be mediocre at best.

But it was great.  I stirred it all together, warmed it up in the microwave and it was a big comfort at lunchtime.  Not quite macaroni & cheese, or pizza, but close!

Do you have a surprising mash-up in your life?

Smarty Pants

I don’t remember when I used to know everything, although I’m pretty sure I had a moment of that in my earlier life. I’m guessing about when I was 24? In the last week:

YA: What kind of flower is this?
VS: It’s a daisy.
YA: No it’s not.  It says “gerbera”.
VS: That’s a type of daisy.
YA: No it’s not.
VS: (while showing her a website) Yes, it is.
YA: (while walking away). I don’t think so.

*******

YA: Why are there 2 separate bags of chocolate chips.
VS: One is milk chocolate and one is semi-sweet
YA: Why would anybody want a semi-sweet chocolate chip
VS: Because most folks don’t want to overwhelm their dessert w/ sweetness.  They are the most popular of the chocolate chips
YA: That’s not true
VS: Yes, it is.
YA: How do you know?
VS: Because I’ve stood in the baking aisle a million times and seen five times more shelf space given to semi-sweet.  And I’ve seen a bzillion recipes that call for semi-sweet and not nearly as many calling for milk chocolate or white chocolate
YA: (under breath grumbling)

*******

VS: Did you want to put parchment down before you put the batter in?
YA: Why?
VS: It makes it easier to get the bars out and easier to clean up?  Cut it down so it just fits in the pan but doesn’t crumple up in the corners.
YA: Why?
VS: Because if it’s crumpled in the corners, the batter gets in there and bakes.
YA: Well, then you just pull the paper off.
VS: If the batter bakes in the crumples, it won’t pull off neatly.
YA: So?

When did you realize you didn’t actually know everything?

A Perfect Weekend

I try not to let my anticipation get the better of me. It’s been my habit to keep my expectations down so it was a little worrisome how much I was looking forward to this past weekend.  What if it wasn’t up to snuff?

I got up early on Saturday and went to Great Harvest Bakery for three-cheese bread and monster cookies. Gym and then coffee and some reading until it was time for a stamping workshop.  Then some serious yardwork, doing clean up all along the south side of the house and the front with YA.  Chinese take-out for dinner.

More sleeping in on Sunday, Brueggers for heart-shaped bagels, gym and then once home, made peanut butter cheesecake brownies while watching James Bond. Then more yard clean up and the planting of the bales and flower baskets.  More time with YA.  Then a funny card and cookbook from YA for Mother’s Day.

In between all this, some assorted chores also got done and now I’m reading while I wait for Colombo to come on at 7.   I can’t think of what could be added to make a more perfect weekend, although it would be nice to not have all scratches on my arms from cutting back the raspberry canes or the splinter in my finger that I haven’t been able to get at yet.

What would be your favorite weekend? (Two days only however money and physics are no object!)