Friday evening, on the spur of the moment, we threw a handful of clothes into bags and made a run over to Lanesboro, after a three month absence. Five minutes after we unlocked the front door there was a knock. It was our friends from next door, Marv and Carol Eggert. It is a very quiet neighborhood and they had heard the slamming of car-doors as we ferried our food, bags and dog to the house. We all sat in jackets as the house warmed up, sharing family news and catching up on local news.
Marv and Carol operate the Hillcrest Hide-Away
Bed & Breakfast next door. Let me take a moment here to recommend them. I haven't actually slept on their beds, but the rooms are charming, and Carol's cooking is first rate. If you are looking for quiet weekend you might consider giving them a call. And the neighbors are great!
The village is tucked into a bend in the Root River, so it is surrounded on two sides by high bluffs and on another by Church Hill. I think that helps give it it's cozy, protected feeling.
It was a beautiful day on Saturday, so we walked down the hill to the Pastry Shoppe for lunch. Brett hasn't missed a beat. It was wonderful. He really does amazing things with his sauces. The menu is rather limited (actually there is no menu), the decor a little rough, the tables all wobble and the old warped wood floors look perennially dirty. Some times as we sit in there savoring just amazing food, strangers will come in, slowly look around, whisper to each other and turn to leave. I always have the urge to block their retreat, grab and shake them, "Stop! What are you doing? I've eaten all over the U.S. This is just incredible food!" But I do not (sigh), they walk up the street to another cafe, have a nice meal, probably hamburgers with fries, and are happy with their decision.
|Blackened steak, spinach salad with dill sauce. |
|Creme puffs. It is a pastry shop after all. And scones to go.|
|Across the street to the grocery store. We're back in local cheese country! We bought a Brunost, a dark brown sweet Norwegian style cheese. Brutally expensive, but a little goes a long way|
We spent the afternoon cleaning the house, washing bedding and reading. Late in the afternoon Eric Thiss stopped by with a six of mixed craft beer. He had news, among other things, our friend John Pieper, owner of the Old Village Hall
, is the Democratic candidate for the Minnesota House of Representatives. After Eric left we went down to the Village Hall for dinner. We generally eat in the bar because it is less formal - a little more comfortable for one or two diners. To control both my intake and my pocketbook, I often eat appetizers as my main meal. And as we are "seniors", we eat off each other's plates.
"Cured salmon and sausage lefsa pinwheels with herbed cream cheese" - a nice Scandinavian take on hors d'oeuvres. Actually there was another, described as "shrimp and crimini Brie tart with a dill pesto", which I ate, compliments of chef Mike, who must have thought I needed more than I ordered. I ate it before I thought of my camera phone. Both were heavy on morels, the last of last year's gathering. When May comes, please pray for warm rain.
Berta selected a moderately priced wine for us and Lorna had a delicious baked cod which she shared with me. John stopped by to talk, shake our hands and assure us he will be an incorruptible politican.
Mike makes his own desserts, right down to making his own ice cream. You want to eat special? Tell the people who feed you and serve you when they do well. He did very well.
|Bread pudding with mixed berries, handmade|
maple syrup ice cream, etc. Two forks.
I obviously love good food and drink. Possibly to a fault. While I am certain there is good local food to be had in Texas, I'm really happy to be back home eating good food prepared by people I know.
Eat well, be well,