Sunday, September 26, 2010

Lutefisk and Lefse

After baking lefse and Scandinavian desserts yesterday, we were ready and eager for our Sons of Norway lodge's annual lutefisk supper this afternoon and evening!  During my morning reading (of on-line newspapers and blogs), I encountered these related tidbits:
  • The editor of the Dickinson Press wrote an editorial for today's paper in which he promoted our lodge's lutefisk supper even while making fun of lutefisk itself.
  • A columnist (whose writing appears in several ND newspapers) proclaimed this the start of "Norwegian Week" in the state due to some important Norske-themed events in Bismarck and Minot.
  • A blogger for the Sons of Norway wrote about an unusual event held in MN this weekend: lutefisk toss!
That put me in the right frame of mind for the day.  I chose to wear the Norwegian flag tie and Norwegian silver tie clip that I received for my last birthday; and whenever someone at church this morning would remark on my tie, I took the opportunity to promote the lutefisk supper and invite them to attend.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

All Hands on Deck for Scandinavian Cooking

Today was all about preparing Scandinavian food with our entire family involved in one project or another.  It was my turn to cook alone for our household's weekly Scandinavian Saturday supper.  Furthermore, we all helped to prepare for our Sons of Norway lodge's annual lutefisk supper, to be held tomorrow, by making lefse and treats to contribute to the dessert table for that meal.  And I've got lots of photos to share, so let's get started!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

We Decided to Czech It Out

This morning the girls had Sunday school at our church, and then Susan swiftly drove them to Medora so that they (and other children's choir members from our church) could sing for the church service there that precedes the annual fundraising dinner and auction for Badlands Ministries, which runs the summer Bible camp that the girls attend.  Then she zipped them back to Dickinson so that we could make it to our Sons of Norway lodge's monthly meeting, one of two interesting ethnic events from our day.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Movers (and, as a Result, Shakers!)

I AM SO WORN OUT!  Today I helped Susan's dad, Roger, move out of his apartment in town and into a house in Richardton, ND.  It was a long, chilly day that ended (for me) with a hot bath, despite which I cannot feel parts of my body--and those parts that I can feel are in pain!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Learning about Roosevelt

Today I participated in a Theodore Roosevelt symposium sponsored by the university (as I have done in past years, too).  In 1958, then-senator John F. Kennedy spoke on campus for a symposium that was part of a year-long celebration of Roosevelt's hundredth birthday.  In 2006, the university started hosting annual symposia dedicated to the study of Roosevelt (who lived for some time in this region, about which he once said, "I never would have been President if it had not been for my experiences in North Dakota").  I'm no Roosevelt scholar, but the symposium sessions are always very accessible to lay persons and quite interesting, so I was pleased to attend those that fit into my schedule today.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Chef Susan: Watery Wednesday and Thirsty Thursday

(First, refresh your memory here and here.)

Last night and tonight, Susan continued to consult Food Network Magazine for recipes to suit our family's nightly supper themes . . . with continued success!  (Just ask her dad, Roger, who was our guest for supper tonight.)  (Or just take my word for it.)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Chef Susan: Mediterranean Monday (on a Tuesday)

(First, refresh your memory.)

According to our supper themes throughout the week, tonight should have been Take-Out Tuesday.  However, we did not do Mediterranean Monday last night because of the leftovers that we had to eat from Ice Cream Sunday.  Therefore, we moved Mediterranean Monday to tonight and will eat our Take-Out Tuesday menu another time so as to get back on track with Watery Wednesday tomorrow.  (Got all that?)

Anyhoo, here's what we ate tonight:

Click the photo for enlarged beauty and temptation.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Chef Susan: Ice Cream Sunday

Faithful Reader, do recall how, a couple months ago, our family used the July/August issue of Food Network Magazine to try new recipes that suited our supper themes for all the nights of the week?  (If not, refresh your memory here and here.)  Well, we're doing it again with the September issue.  Susan worked her magic tonight by making horseradish-crusted beef with carrots, roasted potatoes and sweet potatoes, and vanilla poached pears.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Mobergs Had a Little Lamb, Little Lamb, Little Lamb

Time for another report on the Mobergs' weekly culinary adventures in ethnic cooking!  Susan was my assistant for tonight's Scandinavian Saturday supper, and we served up one delicious meal, if I do say so myself (and I do).  Susan was a good sport and allowed me to select a recipe featuring one of her non-favorite types of meat: lamb.  It turned out to be a great recipe that did marvelous things to the lamb (and, consequently, to our taste buds).  I'll tell you all about it . . . but, first, a tantalizing photo:

Good Neighbors

Our neighbors across the street, Roger and Audrey, are moving.  Roger accepted a job offer out of state, and he moved already, actually, after helping to get the house packed up and their belongings shipped off to their new home.  Audrey has remained behind to tend to the final "to do" items, including the closing on the house with the new owners.  Roger and Audrey have always been nice neighbors, friendly to us and to our daughters.  They even kept frozen treats in stock each summer in case the girls would stop over during a bike ride or on a break from playing outdoors.  And Audrey always prepared special treat bags on Halloween and set them aside especially for our girls when they would stop by to treat-or-treat.  Isn't that nice?  Well, Audrey had a final act of niceness in store for our girls this afternoon.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Milestone Swim Meet

Tonight's guest blogger is Suzanna, our seventh-grader who this fall started on the high school swim team.  (P.S. Faithful Reader, you should know that Dickinson co-ops with Williston for high school swimming.)

"I had my first high school swim meet today.  I got out of school at 10:30 A.M., and my friend Leah's mom had brought Subway sandwiches for us for dinner, and she gave us a ride to the West River Community Center.  Then we got into the van that took us to Williston.  It held our Dickinson coach, the eight girls on our swim team, and the driver, who was one of the swimmer's dad.  We left at 10:45 and got to Williston at 3:30 P.M. their time (we took a bathroom break along the way).

Monday, September 06, 2010

Name Game

Our girls like to play games, but they don't always play them according to the rules that come with the games.  I found this set up on the table in the family room.  This, apparently, is a tribute to my side of the family.  (You may need to click on the photo to enlarge it and read the writing on the slips of paper.)

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Labor Day Weekend, Day 3: Fort Mandan

(See also Days 1-2: Jerrett's Birthday | Day 2: Audubon Nat'l Wildlife Refuge | Day 2: Garrison Dam and Power Plant | Day 2: Downstream Campground Rec. Area | Day 2: Garrison Dam Nat'l Fish Hatchery | Day 2: Spillway Pond Day-Use Area | Day 2: Riverdale High Lodge | Day 3: Lake Sakakawea State Park | Day 3: Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center)

The entrance fee for the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center grants a person admission to Fort Mandan, too, located just a couple miles north of the center.  It's a reconstruction of Fort Mandan, actually, because the original burnt down, and its remains are believed to be in the Missouri River, which over time has come to cover the land on which Lewis and Clark first built the fort.  Shortly after starting to build Fort Mandan, Lewis and Clark met Sakakawea, who joined their expedition as a guide and interpreter.  We arrived at the site just in time to catch a guided tour of the fort replica and to play in the children's area inside the visitor center before closing.

Labor Day Weekend, Day 3: Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center

(See also Days 1-2: Jerrett's Birthday | Day 2: Audubon Nat'l Wildlife Refuge | Day 2: Garrison Dam and Power Plant | Day 2: Downstream Campground Rec. Area | Day 2: Garrison Dam Nat'l Fish Hatchery | Day 2: Spillway Pond Day-Use Area | Day 2: Riverdale High Lodge | Day 3: Lake Sakakawea State Park)

On Hwy 83 between Bismarck and Minot lies the town of Washburn, ND.  We have stopped there often to use the modern, clean rest area just off the highway (for example).  It's part of a large building that is the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, but we seem never to arrive during business hours, so we had not been able to look around . . . until today.  I planned our departure from Lake Sakakawea State Park to allow us a few hours to explore the interpretive center in Washburn.

Labor Day Weekend, Day 3: Lake Sakakawea State Park

(See also Days 1-2: Jerrett's Birthday | Day 2: Audubon Nat'l Wildlife Refuge | Day 2: Garrison Dam and Power Plant | Day 2: Downstream Campground Rec. Area | Day 2: Garrison Dam Nat'l Fish Hatchery | Day 2: Spillway Pond Day-Use Area | Day 2: Riverdale High Lodge)

We slept very well last night at Riverdale High Lodge, sleeping to a reasonable hour and then getting ready for the day and heading back to the Knights Bar and Grill for breakfast.  We sampled each other's dishes and thoroughly enjoyed everything: the pancakes, the French toast, the overstuffed omelet, the crispy breakfast potatoes, the meaty bacon . . . another fantastic meal.  Then we went back to our room for some quiet reading time before checking out, loading our belongings back into the vehicle, and driving off to the next destination on my agenda:
Lake Sakakawea State Park at Pick City at the west end of the Garrison Dam (just a couple miles west of Riverdale).

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Labor Day Weekend, Day 2: Riverdale High Lodge

(See also Days 1-2: Jerrett's Birthday | Day 2: Audubon Nat'l Wildlife Refuge | Day 2: Garrison Dam and Power Plant | Day 2: Downstream Campground Rec. Area | Day 2: Garrison Dam Nat'l Fish Hatchery | Day 2: Spillway Pond Day-Use Area)

After a day full of hiking and sightseeing and exploring, the troupe was still smiling from the non-stop surprises but looking a little weary, so I figured it was time for the big surprise: driving them to the Riverdale High Lodge to check in for the night.  Food Network Magazine had told me how cleverly the owners had transformed the old high school building into a hotel--and its cafeteria into Knights Bar and Grill (Riverdale High School's mascot used to be the knight)--but I had never been there to confirm, and I was hoping it would turn out to be a fun overnight adventure.  We drove on the road up the south side of the dam into the town of Riverdale and went up and down a few streets until the distinctive building came into view.

Labor Day Weekend, Day 2: Spillway Pond Day-Use Area

(See also Days 1-2: Jerrett's Birthday | Day 2: Audubon Nat'l Wildlife Refuge | Day 2: Garrison Dam and Power Plant | Day 2: Downstream Campground Rec. Area | Day 2: Garrison Dam Nat'l Fish Hatchery)

At the east end of Garrison Dam, the earthen structure has a concrete portion called the spillway.  Under normal circumstances, the water in Lake Sakakawea remains in the lake except for that which is piped through the base of the dam to the power plant to generate hydroelectricity.  However, were the lake level to rise too high too quickly (i.e., more quickly than the power plant's pipes draw it out for their use), it could spill over the top of the dam . . . and water pouring over the top of an earthen dam would erode it and likely cause a disaster.  The spillway contains 28 enormous gates that could be opened in the case of an emergency to release water from the lake and protect the integrity of the dam itself.

At the base of the spillway is a "pond"--actually, quite a large body of water--on the west bank of which is an area for boating, swimming, picnicking, and playing outdoor games such as horseshoes and volleyball.  This Spillway Pond Day-Use Area is just a short drive away from the fish hatchery, so we went to check it out.

Labor Day Weekend, Day 2: Garrison Dam Nat'l Fish Hatchery

(See also Days 1-2: Jerrett's Birthday | Day 2: Audubon Nat'l Wildlife Refuge | Day 2: Garrison Dam and Power Plant | Day 2: Downstream Campground Rec. Area)

Located between the power plant and the recreation area is the Garrison Dam National Fish Hatchery.  The same extended family group that attended the power plant tour with us showed up to tour the hatchery, too, at the same time that we were there!  However, the nature of the fish facility is such that too big a crowd would be unwieldy, so one tour guide took their huge group in one direction, and the five of us got a tour guide all to ourselves!

Labor Day Weekend, Day 2: Downstream Campground Rec. Area

(See also Days 1-2: Jerrett's Birthday | Day 2: Audubon Nat'l Wildlife Refuge | Day 2: Garrison Dam and Power Plant)

Just a short drive south of the power plant is the Downstream Campground Recreation Area, which I thought would be a good place to spend some time in between the end of the power plant tour and the start of the next item on my itinerary.  Not that I wanted to set up a tent and camp for 45 minutes or something like that!  I just knew (thanks to the InterWebs) that the recreation area has an interpretive trail for hiking, so I planned a little more outdoors time for us.

Labor Day Weekend, Day 2: Garrison Dam and Power Plant

(See also Days 1-2: Jerrett's Birthday | Day 2: Audubon Nat'l Wildlife Refuge)

It was a 15- or 20-minute drive from Coleharbor to the Garrison Dam and Power Plant facility located between Riverdale and Pick City, ND.  The highway that passes through both those towns is actually laid atop the dam itself!  We have traveled it numerous times, and, as we drive, we always enjoy looking out across Lake Sakakawea to the north and down into the Missouri River valley to the south.  We often pull off the road at the scenic view spots on either end of the dam to take a closer look and get some photos.  From those locations, we have looked down at the buildings and structures on the dry side of the dam and wondered what's inside them.  Well, today we found out!

Labor Day Weekend, Day 2: Audubon Nat'l Wildlife Refuge

(See also Days 1-2: Jerrett's Birthday)

We got gas for the vehicle and fuel for our bellies (thank you, McDonald's) in Bismarck, ND and then drove north on Hwy 83 to Coleharbor, ND.  Just north of town is the Audubon National Wildlife Refuge on the south shore of Lake Audubon (the part of Lake Sakakawea that is cut off from the main reservoir by Hwy 83).  We had never been there, but the InterWebs told me that the Refuge offers both an automobile tour route and a hiking trail, and I thought it would be fun to get some fresh air and exercise, take in the sights of the terrain and the lake, and maybe spot some wildlife while we were at it.

Labor Day Weekend, Days 1-2: Jerrett's Birthday

We're out of town for a little vacation over Labor Day weekend, and it all started with an article in Food Network Magazine.  It recently had a feature on old schools that have been refurbished and re-purposed as restaurants, and one of those places is in Riverdale, ND!  We have driven through Riverdale several times on the way to and from Minot, ND, but we didn't know that such a quaint treasure existed there.  I decided that we ought to check it out!  And rather than just drive to Riverdale, look around the old school, and then come back home, I planned a weekend's worth of frolicking for the family to justify our travels to Riverdale.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010