Taking a Breather by the St Croix River

IMG_1917 (2)This morning my SU and I headed in to nearby Stillwater, MN to check out the town and our new bridge construction. I made a flask of tea and brought some of my Monster Cookies along and we headed in to sit by the river and take in the sights.

Stillwater on the St. Croix

Stillwater, MN is one of many things in my life that I am grateful for. It is one of the oldest cities in Minnesota with a rich history of logging and, of all the things to be proud of, prisons. the original prison burned down years ago but now instead of one we have the bragging rights of having two prisons. Both are high security prisons which hold the worst of the bad, if you know what I mean. One is mostly underground, an idea that seems somehow right for those who have total disregard for societal mores.

Prisons and history aside, Stillwater is my kind of town. It sits on the St. Croix River at a particularly wide spot in the river thus creating mostly still water (I have no idea of the origins of the name but the water is generally placid). As we sat at an outdoor table we looked to Wisconsin, our neighboring state, and trees that will soon be getting out their autumn wardrobe and entertaining us with a kaleidoscope of color. Today, the trees were mostly still clad in summer green except for a loner behind us which was already alive with reds, oranges and yellows (a Northern maple I suspect).

A lift bridge crosses it

We also looked on the lift bridge which remained stubbornly in place the entire time we enjoyed our tea. Our lift bridge was built in 1931 and is soon to replaced by a grand new design just down river from the current bridge. Today, on the lift bridge, a bride and groom were being photographed in all their grandeur standing on the bridge with one of the ever-present river boats in the back drop. I was kind mesmerized by the photographer who was standing in what appeared to be harm’s way to get a shot of the bride’s veil blowing behind her like some voluminous sail. Eons from now when the grands and great grands look at GG and GGF, I pondered aloud, what will they think and will this artsy photo mean anymore than a pleasant shot of them standing in front of the church? You know you are among the older generation when you question the new ways but so be it.

One more thing before we leave

Before we left downtown I made a stop at River Market, a frequent stop for me. River Market is a cooperative venture and, yes, I own a bit of the store. I like that they carry local produce, locally made lotions and potions even locally raised meat is sold within their walls. Today, I needed butter (and eggs) and even that was from Hope, MN rather than from Ireland or some other far off place.

There is a small farm across the border in Wisconsin called Living The Dream and every so often the intrepid farmer who owns and runs LTD brings her duck eggs in to town and sells them at Twin Cities co-ops. It was my lucky day, they were there and it looked like they had just been delivered. Duck egg mayonnaise is currently in the works at our house. Have you ever made mayonnaise? It is so simple, you will never buy mayo again once you try it and mayonnaise made with a duck egg is creamier and nicer than mayo made with chicken eggs hands down.

Here is a quick recipe (and here is another one made with coconut oil) and you can easily alter it to suit your tastes (for instance add a bit of sugar for more of a Hellman’s taste).

Duck Egg Mayonnaise

Ingredients:

  • 1 fresh Duck egg
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Celtic Sea Salt
  • freshly ground pepper if you please
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 cup oil of choice (I use olive oil, macadamia nut oil, even some coconut oil or a mixture of all three)

Get the blender out and in to the blender container plop your egg, lemon juice or vinegar, salt, pepper and mustard. If you like aioli add a peeled clove of garlic. If you want it to stay fresh longer you can add a bit of whey from your yogurt making or kefir (1 tablespoon) but I seldom do.

Now whiz it up thoroughly and as the machine is running slowly, very slowly, add your oil. I add it through the small aperture that is created by removing the inner cap of the top of the blender. Sometimes I don’t use all the oil because I watch it carefully and when it gets thick enough that the oil isn’t easily incorporated anymore I stop. Taste it at this point and add more seasoning if desired.

Voila! You have mayonnaise that will be fresh for about a week but honestly I have used it two weeks later with no ramifications.

Krisinsight

Sorry about the running travel dialog but I am still struggling with a sore foot and ribs. Standing at my computer is just that little bit more painful and bothersome, so I did some creative writing and shared a recipe rather than not post at all. I hope you all have a fabulous week of learning and growing. Stay tuned next week and let’s hope I can report an improvement in what feels like my slight decline since my fall in Scotland.

Santé,
Kris

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