Monday, February 4, 2013

Cold Times, but Good Times

It has continued to feel as it should in Minnesota in the winter: cold with a variety of frozen things falling from the sky.  On this particular day, it was freezing rain pellets.

It is ok, though.  We have been doing a great job of making the most of the season by getting a lot of inside house projects done (cleaning, purging, organizing, repairs, improvements etc).

We have been eating lots of soup, including this Coconut Curry Squash Soup.  I used buttercup squash, as I am still reaping the benefits of my dad's squash harvest and the buttercup is at its prime.

I've found a better place in our house to store squash this year.  Last year a lot of the harvest ended up rotting because the root cellar got too cold.  This year, they are living in what I now call the "squash closet".  The squash closet is an oddly shaped closet located under an angled (and uninsulated) part of our roof and above a flight of stairs. The closet is of very little use for hanging things due to the lack of lighting and the tiny entrance.  I had a strong suspicion that the range of temps in that space in the winter would be optimal for storing squash.  I stuck a thermometer in there that measures the range of temperatures and found that the range is perfect! Voila!  A squash closet!  Some friends got a kick out of this closet when I invited them up to pick out some squash.  My friend Jill thinks this is good fodder for a Portlandia episode and I can't really argue.

Tempeh Cutlets Provencal, Tangled Carrot Salad and Brussels Sprouts
We also hosted a little dinner party for friends Jason and Elise.  Excuse me, I mean Jason and Artist of the Year (page 6).  We had thought about only referring to Elise as Artist of the Year throughout the evening but decided to play it cool and just call her Elise.  Although, not officially deigned with the title, Jason is Director of the Year at our house.  In the past few months alone, we have seen 3 shows he has directed and/or performed in, including Back Home with Kevin Kling and Mason Jennings, The Cat in the Hat at the Children's Theater Company and Jason's own  Firsty Thursday show by Four Humors.

We also celebrated the wedding of our friends Tuyen and Sarah at the gorgeous Minnesota History Center.  The night was just the right combo of classy and fun.  Their first dance was set with a lovely backdrop of the capitol building and spazzy children :)

One more random tidbit, if you have a chance to see Charlie Parr perform live, you should!  I saw his show over the weekend and he is phenomenal.  When teamed up with Mikkel Beckmen and Dave Hundreiser, their energy is infectious.  I have never seen anyone rock out with a washboard like Mikkel did. Dave's harmonica playing was soulful and masterful.  Charlie's music and stage presence made for a memorable and authentic show.  Opening for Charlie was The Murder of Crows.  Their music includes haunting violin and engaging lyrics that held the audience's attention with ease.  Concert reviews are not my forte, so I will stop there.  If you are looking for new music and dig violin in a non-classical setting, check out The Murder of Crows.  If you love old school roots/folk/blues, you should certainly be listening to Charlie Parr.

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