Featuring personal photos of the Lake Minnetonka Area and things of interest to the author.
Monday, November 30, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Thanksgiving Turkey - Extreme Cooking @ 39 cents a pound.
For the novice, cooking Thanksgiving Dinner may seem a daunting task. This need not be the case. One simply must shed some of the treadworn myths that have grown around this colonial feast. The following are some of my simple tips for the not-so-traditional Thanksgiving bird:
1. Install a brand new First Alert® Smoke alarm just above the stove. This will reassure your guests, and also function as your default “timer”. Make sure the batteries are fresh.
2. Thawing the turkey: This is an unnecessary and overrated step. Many traditional chefs will recommend that you to place your frozen bird in the refrigerator for up to 3 days allowing it to gently thaw, and not damage the flesh. Ignore this "goody-2-drumsticks" advice. YOU will be cooking this bird at 550 degrees, and believe me, it will thaw.
3. Remove the plastic mesh and plastic wrapping from the turkey before cooking. This is a necessary step. Many of today's yute think that turkeys actually wear this webbing on the farm, and thus leaving it on makes for a naturally prepared bird. Not so! This plastic covering has been added by the manufacturer so they do not have to print their logo and other information directly onto the bird's skin. The plastic should be taken off just before cooking. Do not omit this step!
4. Remove the neck and giblets from the cavity, they have been hidden there long enough. This is an optional step. Leaving the paper wrapped neck, liver, and gizzard in the cavity may provide structural support and flavor during the cooking process.
5. Basting the bird: Unnecessary. Turkeys are naturally quite moist since they spend a good deal of their lives standing in the rain with their mouths open. This makes for a very moist and tender bird. The manufacturer also injects the turkey with extra liquids to insure maximum body weight and "juiciosity". Water, salt and fluoride usually comprise this mixture. The recent addition of fluoride has been suggested by the FDHA, since most people drink bottled water and are short on this vital ingredient.
6. Check messages on cell phone. This is to make sure phone has not been left in the cavity.
7. Place turkey in pre-heated oven and wait. Wait at least one half hour for each pound of turkey, taking care to listen for the alarm.
8. Finally: Presentation: Serve on a large platter with parsley, canned yams and “goblets” of Ocean Spray Cranberry juice.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
A Special Thanksgiving Announcement!
Minnetonkascenes will be publishing a second special annual "Extreme Thanksgiving Cooking" edition next week. In this special edition Minnetonkascenes gives advice to the culinary novice on cooking a Thanksgiving meal, with features such as "How to use a smoke detector to your advantage", "Gravy and it's many manifestations" and of course a glossary of terms.
Please stay tuned for this "Very special Minnetonkascenes"
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
At the 318
My wife and I strolled into the 318 Cafe in Excelsior the other day to check it out. On the wall, and decorating the corners of the room, were acoustic guitars. One was decorated in mosiac-like purple and silver glass.
They have live music in the evenings -but it was afternoon. I looked around for a piano, but saw none.
The main room was filled with customers... perhaps 30 or 35. Waitresses waitressed. Pastry chefs pastried. I looked around the room and suddenly became aware that I was the only male in the room - and I was reading a 1942 Good Housekeeping Cook Book I had just bought at Leopold's down the street. We had been brousing antiques. I thought to myself “Is this what I have become?”
I ordered a salad.
Note: I actually ordered a very good stone baked pizza.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
November settles in
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
On St. Martin's Day - The Indian Summer comes to an end
Sunday, November 08, 2009
Mound Metalcraft and Tonka Toys
An original flyer pitching Mound Metalcrafting's first toy steam shovel. 1946. Retailers were told of its sturdy construction, ships fully assembled in master cartons of 4, and displays well in store windows with its own individual printed chip board box.
The Old Schoolhouse. Original homeof Mound Metalcraft.
Mound Fire Department - and an unknown Mound Metalcraft fire chief poses with a new toy. He took it home and hid it from his kids for days, so he could play with it first.
My youthful memories of Tonka toys were of kindergarden playtime. I was of dimintive size and always lost out in the pecking order for the "Tonka Dump Truck" during play time. It was 1959 at Washington Grade School (a name that would never fly now) and we had Kindergarden for 1/2 Day. When mid- morning playtime was declared the boys quickly "acquired" their toys from the toy chest. I usually ended up with a few odds and ends which I mentally transformed into P-38s or Atlas Rockets.
Thursday, November 05, 2009
Sunday, November 01, 2009
Mound's Lost Lake
Lost Lake in Mound was lost to the reeds and the cattails, after being a destination point for the Minnetonka steamers in the 1890s. In the 1990s efforts were made to rediscover Lost Lake, to clear lanes of travel by dredging the lake and by building docks, boardwalks, and greenways. As far I can see the process is ongoing. Cleaning out old waste materiala and building a public space. The photos I have taken aretaken during the bleak days of late October 09, and seem to reflect it.