Saturday, February 12, 2005

Minnesotan kidneys and friends

Earlier this week (which feels like months and months ago), I was in Minnesota for a conference related to my Indiana Historical Society gig. I may have been in the minority but fingers were crossed for a freak snow storm, a showcase of what Minnesota could do with winter. Except for a very few flurries one evening, we were chilly but snowless the whole time.

But other perks of the trip made up for the lack of magic snow. A delightful and surprisingly varied menu was offered by our endearing hosts - Thai one night, Vietnamese lunch the next day, and then a German finale at the Black Forest Inn. Yellow curry and pho were tasty and traditional, but I think meine vorfahren would have been happy with our order at the deutsch haus. For the first time, I tasted nieren, a hearty concoction of veal kidneys in a rich brown sauce served with spaetzel. Grandma, have you been holding out on us all this time? Then, again, it's a dish that requires a certain level of acquired appreciation. Grandma probably knew we weren't ready yet.

Another treat was an early breakfast with my dear friend Sharin'. While she's working toward a doctorate at the University of Minnesota, it's not often that we get to be in the same place at the same time. Nothing too adventurous in the hotel lobby's breakfast spread, but a good friend and a snack hit the spot. Great to have seen you, Sharin'!