Chrissy and her Dad John with hot cider, a welcome creature comfort in those temps!
The weather forcast was somewhat sunny, so good for the photography The fact that we had single digits forecast as a high did not really register with me, so it could have been bad for the photographer, if Chrissy hadn't made me round up wooly socks, a thick muffler, sturdy boots and copious layers! (For my European friends, single digits means around -15 Celsius as the days high temperature or in short, it means brrr, serious brrr!)
Using the outhouse in hostile temperatures is all part of the Minnesota experience, right? Well, let's just say that I don't often have penis-envy, but that was one of those times...
Hurray! Charlie Brown found his tree! Well, since this is really John, we didn't really take that one. My sappy side was really touched, that the tree farmers leave this ugly treeling it's little peace of home, while my cynical side is wondering, whether they have a wager each year, whether someone is going to buy it :-)
But here it is already! I did not expect folks to settle on a tree so quickly after driving to the tree farm for an hour and a half. Me thinks that the number of trees people look at corresponds to the temperature in Fahrenheit. We had about 4-5F, so the fourth tree was just perfect or so our lobbyists the little blue toesies convinced us.
Doesn't Joan look just like the cop from the movie Fargo on her day off?
To show just HOW cold it is, Joan is showing the woolly gloves she's got underneath her furry mittens.
Enchanted beauty in the snow: Silk Weed, couldn't you just imagine this being a fairy transfigured into a delicate flower by the spell of the cruel Ice Queen?
Yep, it IS really cold. In fact I had to warm up my camera after every few shots, because the battery went on strike in those temps! A few minutes of body heat and it was ready for a few more, before I had to incubate it close to my skin again!
On the way home we hit a proper butcher's shop, where they make sausages and cure meat themselves. You can find things there you can't find anywhere else, like cajun smoked turkey breast filets, about a dozend different kinds of jerky, pork chops the size of a truck wheel and pinapple bratwurst. The latter seamed a little suspicous to me, but Markus had it in his shopping basket and assured me that they stock up for the winter and try new things every year and they have never been disappointed! A bought a few things. The Jalapeno Cheddar Beef Stick was yummie!
Another must make stop was at Keith's Kettle. Keith has been a friend of the family for decades and Chrissy told me, that's why every year they go to his restaurant, which is nothing special. Well, let me tell you about nothing special! The place was American diner atmosphere at it's best and the food was delicious! Keith was weaving his way in between the tables to make sure to let you know, that in between the apple, rhubarb and blueberry french toast the rhubarb was his favorite and to order the Mexican Omelette with chicken istead of the beef, because "it tastes great and is just a little more healthy." The rhubarb French toast with fresh eggs and Minnesota wild rice sausage links was American fare at its very best! All the while ample numbers of friendly wait staff are buzzing around bringing more hot chocolate and cream for our coffee.
But what made this lunch even more fun was meeting Joans two sisters Carolan and Penny, who arrived at Keith's doling out big bear hugs, whether you were family or not. I loved them already! Those Kelly women have a great sense of humor and we had a riot! Our lunch was wonderfully leisurely and nobody was in a hurry to part because this was company at its very very best!
We eventually parted with thanks to each other for this perfect day!
How often do I still have to wake up until it's Christmas Eve at Chrissy and Markus'?