Northeast - Vol 1, 1,No Vol No2.2
Floating Fields Minnesota Cranberry Co.
North House Folk School Weaving the Fabric of Community
Northeast Instagram Contest
Promoting a vibrant, localized economy! VOL 1, NO. 2 - 2015 a
www.makeitmn.com/subscribe We create a magazine that shares the stories of makers and innovators spanning our great northern state. Our stories highlight places, people, and communities, as well as the makers, growers, and businesses within each region across the state. We aim to strengthen and promote sustainable, beautiful, altruistic, unique, innovative, and inspiring communities. b MAKE IT MINNESOTA
The path that we follow never seems to go where we expect and yet takes us where we are meant to be. I feel as though I’m standing on the edge, looking out over a valley and can just barely see through the morning mist hanging in the low places, and then I plunge down into the unknown, into beauty and adventure. Make it Minnesota continues to lead us down unexpected paths and has brought us to another issue. In the pages that follow we explore the Northeast and what an adventure that is. Every time I head North, the trip is filled with the unexpected, the mysterious, and sometimes the heroing. So when we set our sights on the North Eastern part of this great state I thought I was prepared for anything. Turns out I was only half right. I’ve seen the northern lights in the north woods, I’ve seen the stars in that moonless sky, I’ve explored Duluth by night and day, I’ve walked the north shore in the summer and cut trail in virgin powder at 20 below, and yet I was surprised by what this issue found: Natural beauty and poetry, commerce and creativity, the fun, the fanciful, and especially beers all around. Let me just say, something’s brewing in the North Woods. Enjoy this issue.
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Contributors Editor Benjamin Matzke Editorial Coordinator Kara Larson Production Manager Leah Matzke Contributors Diana & Emy Crane Kara Larson Leah Matzke Sean McSteen John Schroder Lindsey Steinwachs Lindsay Strong Tootie & Dotes Emily Vikre Cover Photo Emily Falkenberg, 2015 Northeast Instagram contest winner
Back Cover Photo Ian Lundborg, 2015 Northeast Instagram contest runner up. Copyright All images contained in Make It Minnesota are subject to copyright of the artist, illustrator or photographers as named, but not limited to. Reproduction of any part of this magazine without prior permission is prohibited.
SPRUCE MPLS – DIANA CRANE AND EMY CRANE Diana and Emy felt like little nomads from a very young age—from Arizona, to Arkansas, to Idaho, it seemed they were always on the move with their families. Now settled in Minneapolis, they’re still figuring out how to put down roots, and claim this spot as their own. Spruce is storytelling, it’s learning, it’s growth—it’s their attempt to weave themselves into this city, and to feel truly at home. KARA LARSON Kara may be a South Dakota transplant, but today, she considers herself a Minnesotan—through and through. She dreams of a life full of encountering new perspectives, uncovering hidden stories, engaging in different kinds of communities, and riding horses.
LEAH MATZKE Since she can remember Leah has been drawn to the North. Growing up in Southern Minnesta, Northeast Minnesota (espeically Duluth) was her family’s favorite vacation destination and the source of inspiration for many of her current aspirations, such as sailing with her husband and one day running the Beargrease.
SEAN MCSTEEN Born and raised in a St. Paul suburb, Sean grew up being exposed to and participating in the rich and diverse culture of the Twin Cities. His passions range from playing cello, filmmaking, Gonzo journalism (on the weekends), and traveling to any new place around the world, near or far.
JOHN SCHROEDER After being raised in a log cabin in the woods of northern Minnesota, John ran away with the circus. He has since returned to his home town and rejoined his family business in the log home supply business while dabbling in theatre and arts after hours.
LINDSEY STEINWACHS Lindsey is a wetland biologist by week, ramblin’ explorer by weekend. East Coast-raised, she now calls herself a Midwesterner after years of living throughout the Great Lakes states. She is most frequently found swimming in bogs, baking biscotti at midnight or sipping on craft beer and coffee at brunch.
Copyright 2015. All rights reserved. Disclaimer The views and comments expressed by the writers are not always that of Make It Minnesota. While every effort has been made to ensure accuracy of the information in this publication, Make It Minnesota accepts no responsibility or liability for any errors, omissions or resultant consequences, including any loss or damage arising from reliance on information in this publication. Published by Seeking Stories LLC & Matzke Media House LLC 2 MAKE IT MINNESOTA
LINDSAY STRONG Lindsay is a brand new Minnesotan who has quickly adopted the North as home. She teaches yoga, photographs pretty things for fun, and hangs out with teenagers for work. She also dreams of creating a memoir worthy life filled with love, art, and friendship.
EMILY VIKRE Emily is a native Duluthian who holds a PhD in food policy and behavioral theory from Tufts University and is a nationally recognized food and drinks writer. She once accidentally won a wine-tasting contest in France. She’s the palate of the Vikre Distillery operation and resident mad scientist.
TOOTIE & DOTES CLAIRE CAMPBELL & OLIVIA DROPPS Claire and Olivia are the granddaughters of Tootie & Dotes. Their site, lovingly titled with the names of their grandmothers, is written for anyone looking to deepen their connection with the wisdom of the land and the wisdom of our collective grandmothers. They are northern womenfolk, cultivating strength and nourishment as they write about the slow and steady lives of midwest farmers and producers.
Contents 04 Featured Communities 5 Winter Camping In The North 8 Porters & Poetry 10 North House Folk School 14 Out & About 14 Design Duluth: A Quest For Visual Identity 16 Duluth Pop-Down 18 Coming Home To Castle Danger 22 Behind The Creative 22 Farm Story: Minnesota Cranberry Co. 26 VOICE Enterprise 27 Northeast Instagram Contest
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Iconic Northeast Photos Winners Announced!
30 Minnesota Style:
Thoughts From Musher Amanda Vogel
32 Minnesota Kitchen:
Potatoe Lefse & Griddling Punch
36 Share Your Story With Us Online Creative Profiles
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F E AT U R E D C O M M U N I T I E S In Indroduction from Emily Falkenberg Illustration by Rachel Rolseth
Calm. Solitude. Oneness. Living at the pace of nature. All of this is what Northern Minnesota is to me. It is an escape from everyday life in “The Cities”. A way to feel and experience the kind of quiet we all crave and the sense of peace I always seem to want more of. Being on the North Shore is an experience that is difficult to convey in words, it is so much more than words. It is wind in tall pines, it is sun on my face, it is endless shores, rugged trails and mud on my boots. It is water so inviting that I can’t help but be summoned in to explore! I can only imagine, only dream, of what it may be like to be immersed in this beauty permanently so instead, I visit. I visit as often as I can. I soak up all the goodness of “Up North”—the smells, the sounds, the vistas, the views, the wildlife, the water (The Water!!) with each trip that I take. Being able to freeze the feeling I get, just a tiny bit, in a snapshot is the best. A visual memory of a feeling that can only be felt in the northern woods and on the endless shores of NE Minnesota. How lucky are we to have this National Treasure just a short car ride away? I do what I can to make it a part of me, what I can to bring it back with me when each visit has come to its end. A few snaps on my iPhone from the calm of the lakes. The canoe paddle connecting me to it all, providing the force to move me through the water—the ultimate way to be at one with my surroundings. This is the life! This is peace. This is happiness and hope all at once. This is Northern Minnesota to me.
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IN THE NORTH By Lindsey Steinwachs On the days where many cozy up in front of the fire with a hot toddy or snuggle in bed all day watching the snow gather peacefully on their windowpanes, there are cold weather adventurers with other plans. They don’t shy from the blistering chill—they meet it by pulling on layers upon layers of thermals and zipping their down coats up to their chins to hike out into the wilderness. Although Minnesotans have learned to appreciate the (seemingly endless) nine months of winter, many of us stick to the traditional outdoor activities we were introduced to as children. We may have braved the bitter cold in order to trade in stir-craze for the excitement of skiing down steep slopes in fresh powder or snowshoeing across vast frozen lakes, there is more adventure to be had. To break out of that winter rut that consumes many of us, it’s time to bundle up and pitch a tent in the snow!
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In the height of the winter, I stepped off down a trail with my snowshoes and backpack to seek out the adventures of winter camping. With the invitation of a friend came the opportunity to learn firsthand what made up the joys and hardships of winter camping; I wanted to understand how and why people become such diehard campers in subzero weather! With no better way to learn than to delve right in, a trip was planned up the northern shore of Lake Superior. As an avid outdoorswoman, packing for summer camping trips was down to a science, but with temperatures dipping into the negative double digits all that I had known about camping was flipped upside down. Normally, backpacking is all about packing the lightest possible to avoid breaking your back while out on the trail, but with a solid snow pack, a sled would allow us to pack what we needed (and more!) without breaking our backs. Our tent resembled one that a furbearer might have used in the early days of America’s colonization. Made of thick canvas, our wall tent was outfitted with heat resistant gusset for stovepipe, so that a small wood stove could heat our tiny new abode. With the sled packed to the brim, we rigged up some straps to pull it as we went, with a friend in the rear to help push up steep slopes. Being out on the trail was about all about efficiency. It was about learning how to layer so that you wouldn’t ever over heat
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or freeze at any exact moment. It was about knowing that cold air sinks, so finding the highest point in the area would keep you warmest throughout the night. It was about accepting that this isn’t easy, but it was the challenge that made it worthwhile. With intentions of hiking into remote campsites, we needed to pick locations that would provide us with an ample supply of wood to survive the night. Securing a campsite near large stands
of hardwoods allowed us to find dead and down that would burn slow through the night. After exhausting the forest of its tinder, I was drawn to the setting sun on the shore to try my luck with driftwood. I’d come back to camp with weathered logs dragging on either side of me; I had succeeded and we would be warm tonight. My friend threw off his gloves and swung the hatchet in a fury haze until at least we both rested up against a pile of firewood. Chasing the dwindling daylight, the short winter days left us barely enough time to set up camp. In the summer months, there’s time to explore the beaches, skip stones and drink whiskey aside a fire, which was now consumed by collecting wood, pitching a tent, and starting a fire. My hands would freeze within seconds after taking off my gloves in many attempts to tie a knot, as temperatures plummeted without the sun. In many moments, I became frustrated with the limitations of my body in the cold, but pushed through for the simple promise of warmth ahead. With the sun far gone, head lamps on, we bid Lake Superior sweet dreams and zipped into our canvas tent for a long night. As the fire blazed, we kicked off our shoes and shed all of our layers. Our stove not only heated our little house, but would cook our dinner and I felt so grateful for the simplest things at
this moment. If it weren’t for fire, we would have frozen into icicles, nights of -20 degrees are not for the faint of heart. Each hour the fire dwindled down and we would throw several more branches in, feeding our need for heat. Through the night, the reality of the harsh winter proved strong as winds changed and blew smoke down our smokestack and into our tent. We awoke to tearing eyes and coughs; we would scramble up to rip open the vents in a fight for fresh air. Hours would pass and the fire would turn to smolders until we would awake from the cold seeping through all our layers and deep into our bones. The simple necessities of life were clear out there in the wilderness as warmth, food, and shelter solely consumed my thoughts throughout the day, and that felt good. To only focus on the trail in front of us, the bed of sleeping bags we would build and the chili we would cook in our cast iron seemed like enough, just enough to be happy and get us through. Trekking back to the car with the fly-aways from my ponytail icing over from condensation in my breath, I felt tired, but had learned what I had come out here for. The diehard Minnesotans that seek to spend nights out amongst the snow are people that find peace in the simplicity of nature. We all find it in different parts of our lives. But from now on if you need to find me, I’ll be out amongst the snow-covered pines.
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By John Schroeder
Living in Itasca County is a blessing with its idyllic crossroads of Minnesota’s nature and growing rural arts scene. A number of us juggle daytime professions with after-hour passions, and we do a small part to augment our community with unique, cultural experiences. This spring such an event sprung with a Friday night in April dubbed ‘Porters & Poetry.’ The experience was born from a love of written language, performance arts, and craft brews. The setting in MacRostie Art Center, with local creations gilding the white walls, was inspiring. Featured poets punctuated opportunities of open mic, and all was enhanced by a round or two of libations. We had roughly 80 in the crowd, which we figured wasn’t too shabby for a poetry reading in the north woods of Minnesota. Having gone well, thanks to support from area organizations and individuals, we wrote in a second round for October. Instead of featured poets punctuating the open mic, we tried to change it up with competitions for original limericks and haiku.
A sweet surprise this morning: The crispy browns of November have been dusted with powdered sugar.
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Why limericks? They’re just fun, and you can’t argue with that. Why haiku? Haiku, is Japanese micro-poetry, traditionally being an artistic observation and enjoyment of nature. In the midst of a gorgeous Minnesota autumn with the changing colors at their peak, inspiration from nature was abounding in October. Art reflects nature, and nature is an artistic creation of its own; so one cannot live in the beauty of the north woods without being inspired by every breath of clean, pine-scented air.
wind swirling tall pines: The gravel is carpeted in fresh, amber shag. Whether hiking far north of Grand Rapids on the trails of Suomi Hills, or in the heart of downtown on the banks of the infant Mississippi, an artist is inspired by the tremble of every aspen and the chastising from every squirrel. Not that one needs an excuse to get outside and enjoy nature, but the haiku challenge of our latest Porters & Poetry gave great reason to do so. Apparently it is customary for Japanese to go on a nature walk for the sole purpose of seeking an inspiring moment in time and nature, from which to write haiku. I found it difficult to set a poetry quota of one when the inspirations of nature are countless; from towering pines to trumpeter swans to vibrant rose hips...
those wild crimson lips kiss the shrubs where roses grew, bid farewell to green But all good nature walks must come to an end, and in time one has to come inside and go to a poetry reading to share it with others. If a pint of Minnesota’s finest brew or a glass of red wine are to accompany the eloquence of spoken word—so much the better. And best of all, proceeds from Porters & Poetry went to Grand Rapids Players community theatre, so essentially an artistic event helped to raise funds for other artistic experiences. That’s collaborative sustainability in Minnesota’s nature; and creating arts in Minnesota is almost as good as going into the woods to find inspiration.
Rows of red fingers interlock in rev’rent grace. sumac radiance See more at #portersandpoetry or www.uncommonloons.com
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WEAVING THE FABRIC OF COMMUNITY
Through Craft and Tradition By Sean McSteen In Minnesotaâ€™s Northeast community, hand-crafted goods and practices are being passed on, person by person, through the lessons and teachings of those who are masters of their craft. Canoe building, meat curing, shoemaking and much, much more. Every person has a different interest and a different reason or intention behind learning to use their hands to build amazing and durable things. North House Folk School is one such outlet for people of all ages to come and learn a craft; many of which have been passed down for generations upon generations. Nestled in the Grand Marais Harbor, the North House campus presents itself as a haven for those who prefer to understand the technique and beauty that goes into building something that may otherwise be overlooked. For instance, when was the last time you looked at a wooden spoon and were able to imagine every single step that turned a simple block of wood into a well-crafted and elegant utensil?
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If anything, North House, I hope, encourages and inspires this community to make time; to create; and to make time to build and grow together.” ~ Greg Wright Or, are you able to fathom just how much technical work and time goes into building a canoe with only your hands and some basic tools? At North House Folk School, they offer people of all ages and backgrounds the opportunity to not only learn and appreciate the art and skill that it takes to create something beautiful out of nothing, but to also create their own piece of work. In the words of North House’s executive director, Greg Wright, “It’s about fueling curiosity, and kind of a hunger to learn through life; to learn and use your hands to create beauty. And it’s about, as you do that, discovering that, actually the people around you have stories and skills to share.” It is the stories and the skills that make the school great. Students and teachers alike come from all over to teach and learn techniques and crafts that have all but vanished in our modern, bustling culture. Though, seeing the enthusiasm and passion each person has towards what they are learning or teaching makes it very clear that traditional northern crafts and building methods will live on far into the future. North House Folk School in Grand Marais was created through the efforts of volunteers; both those who lived locally and those who heard about the school and came to help however they could. The school was officially founded in January 1997 and has grown at a steady pace since its creation.
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Though the school has faced some setbacks over the years, it has always powered through and flourished once more with the help of the committed staff and volunteers as well as the community around them. When the school’s boat building shop was damaged by a fire in 2001, the community rallied around the school to help with a speedy recovery. Or when a semi-truck lost its brakes and crashed into the school’s historic fishing building in 2004, it was rebuilt with a few improvements just over two years later with the help of the local community. North House’s relationship with the community and natural environment that surrounds both the physical school and the ideals it promotes is representative of the larger Northeast Minnesota community. North House weaves themselves into the fabric of the North Shore through the courses and art forms it teaches, but also through community engagement with yearround events like film festivals, concerts, boat shows and much more. Speaking to the goals and larger intentions of the school, Wright says, “If anything, North House, I hope, encourages and inspires this community to make time; to create; and to make time to build and grow together.” One of the most important aspects of North House Folk School is the idea of inter-generational learning. Creating durable and well-crafted goods does not have an age cap or requirement, and often the differences in age and skill set make
the learning experience all the more valuable. It is, as Wright puts it, “That simple joy of remembering how important it is to sit down next to somebody; and it could be your neighbor, or it could be your grandchild.” Being amongst all types of people who are there for a common goal allows both student and teacher to see things from new angles and simultaneously grow as individuals. Too often, we find ourselves closed off and comfortable with not stepping beyond the lines of what we already know and who we already know. But, at North House, the format of classes are specifically designed to promote intergenerational communication and learning; allowing those who come to learn to build something special with their hands while learning and growing from those around them. Each student brings with them the ability and yearning to learn something that may be a very old practice, but is new and foreign to them. This idea of learning a skill that has been passed through the generations is what the Folk School is all about. But, make no mistake; just because the practices and skills being taught at North House Folk School are from the past does not mean the school as a whole is not looking to the future. As executive director Wright describes the school’s relationship with the past, present and future, he says, “North House is not an institution about going back. We’re about bringing the past forward into the present and into the future. Because we believe our lives will be richer; because we believe there are skills there that are valuable; and because I think it brings perspective to the journey called life.” Perspective is one of, if not the most, quintessential element of North House Folk School. Everyone has doubts and concerns about their own strengths and weaknesses and what the folk school does is give students the insight that they have a wealth of untapped potential and new abilities to be learned. It is impossible to know if you have a unique ability to carve wood, or that you can make an expertly crafted shoe by hand unless
you allow yourself the opportunity to try it. “What does this world teach us? If you can’t do it well, don’t do it at all. That’s no way for people to discover new joys in their lives,” says Wright, “That isn’t a door open to the future, that’s a door closed. That’s what North House is here for, to open doors with hopes of sparking a passion for life.” Walking through the gorgeous North House Folk School campus and seeing the things they are doing to promote and pass on the skills of hand-built craft, it is easy to take in the true character and life that runs through the school. Every person—whether they were felting woolen slippers; learning to cure meats; carving utensils out of a block of wood; or making their very own shoes—was there to better themselves in some way. And the betterment was and is not limited to the specific skill they set out to learn. It is the deep sense of community and camaraderie that flows through North House Folk School, teaching incredible skills and crafts from the past while instilling and promoting an authentic and compassionate outlook to the future. VOL 1, NO. 2 - 2015 13
Out & About
DESIGN DULUTH: A QUEST FOR VISUAL IDENTITY By Kara Larson It’s 2015 and we’re exploring. Living in a hyper-aware and socially connected cross-section of history, we’re exploring new concepts like personal branding, the factors that shape who we are, where we’re heading as individuals and as a society, who we who yesterday and where we’re going tomorrow. However, these questions don’t necessarily exclusively apply to humans and the quest for personal identity. In the same capacity that we ask these questions of ourselves, we also ask them of our geographical entities. In the series of six discussions called Design Duluth, Duluth Art Institute asks a span of questions about Duluth’s visual identity. Is this city, as not-so recently suggested, the “Zenith City of the Unsalted Seas”? What visual factors define the city? What role does Lake Superior play? How is Duluth home? For Annie Dugan, DAI Executive and Artistic Director, Duluth is visually special and a unique artistic design force. In many cases, innovation begins here—on the shores of
Lake Superior, as we watch the iconic Aerial Lift Bridge, in the midst of a Northern blizzard—this innovation is something she hopes to uncover and highlight through Design Duluth. “One thing that is hard about Minnesota culture is that we aren’t very good at tooting our own horn. This is a way to showcase some of the world-class design that is happening in our region. Every Cirrus plane that leaves the facility carries a plaque that says Duluth—we should be proud of that. Every house designed by David Salmela that goes on to be seen in Dwell magazine was sketched out in front of Lake Superior.” World-class innovation in our Northern backyard deserves recognition. And in Dugan’s eyes, the local makers and entrepreneurs involved in the discussions bring a lot to the table. “I think the unique thing that local entrepreneurs bring is the combination of creativity and problem solving—which is what good design is all about. You have to have a grounding in the real world and an understanding of how real people operate, but you also have to be a larger, visionary
“I think the unique thing that local entrepreneurs bring is the combination of creativity and problem solving—
which is what good design is all about. - Annie Dugan
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thinker. I think that perfect blend is what we’re trying to achieve with this whole series.” The format of the open panel discussion also makes the voices and perspectives of local makers and entrepreneurs incredibly accessible to the public. Dugan hopes to inspire a discussion that remains as inclusive as possible. “If we’re talking about how we represent Duluth in a visual identity—the community has to have a voice in that. One of the things I love about Duluth and the Design taking place in this city is all the interconnections. When we set up the list of panelists we started to realize all these crossovers between them: Loll Designs makes Bent Paddle Beer’s taps; David Salmela designs Loll furniture pieces; Duluth Barrel Co uses Vikre’s barrels…that kind of community intersection is something that we think should expand.” This improbable connectedness of local businesses presenting at Design Duluth shines a spotlight on the range of design work coming from Duluth in an oh-so Minnesotan way. This community already shares a bond, so the topics of discussion have the ability to further bridge designers, innovators, and change-makers so they are problem solving together. Dugan anticipates the series, filled with local innovators, will do big things for Duluth’s visual identity and the quest for solutions to various design problems. The
Annie Dugan, DAI Executive and Artistic Director
problem solving is facilitated through sharing design work as well as engaging with varying question prompts each discussion. The prompt from their most recent discussion on November 19th focused on the Aerial Lift Bridge and its impact as an icon for Duluth. Dugan says, “This was sort of a fun one, as the lift bridge is part of almost everyone’s logo here. Matt Olin, a professor of graphic design at UMD, compiled all of the lift bridge logos that he could find and erased the lift bridge. We hosted the discussion on the top floor of the DeWitt Seitz building which is directly next to the bridge—we’re hoping it didn’t hear us talking behind its back!”
JOIN THE CONVERSATION JANUARY 8, 2016
How Do We Embrace The Cold?
FEBRUARY 18, 2016
How Is Duluth Home?
MARCH 24, 2016
The Lake Effect: What is Lake Superior’s Role In Our Design?
APRIL 21, 2016
Minnesota Nice: Good, Bad, Nice?
Design: Dulth Exhibition
MAY 12, 2016
This program is FREE and open to the public, but seating is limited. RSVPs are required. To RSVP, email email@example.com with the session titl
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- 2ND ANNUAL -
DULUTH POP-DOWN By Lindsay Strong Outside, the weather reminded attendees of Askov Finlayson’s secondannual Duluth Pop-Down that winter was indeed on its way. Inside, the warm, inviting, and flannel-ridden ambience spoke to the true atmosphere of the North; one that invokes a locally-grown happiness that staves off the cold rain and fills the soul with toasty warmness, a true Minnesota original. Until I moved to Minneapolis a few short months ago, my idea of the Minnesotan friendliness had rested entirely on long o’s and hilarious offers of tapioca and ludefisk. What I’ve come to find is a community of individuals who thrive on neighborly kindness, locally driven commerce, and a (super nice) rally cry for community. Local cool-kids poured into the warmth to experience the very best that the North has to offer in celebration of Duluth. Mayor extraordinaire of Duluth, Don Ness, brought his new book, Hillsider, his charming smile, and his love for local community and spoke to the importance of locality in the creation of home. For me, this idea of home translates into being a home away from home. Minnesota is a place that has spoken to me long before I moved here, a place that has invited me in, given me a seat at the table, and offered me much more than a comedic offering of tapioca (thus far, I’m still hoping). What quickly became clear to me in a way that I hadn’t yet experienced was the raw, unfiltered passion for sharing in the creation of an entity all its own, a North that fosters the creative spirit of those who live here and is always ready, table placement set and pristine, for newcomers. This is the spark that brought me here to Minnesota and will be the spark that keeps me here for a long, long time. This creativity that so underscores life as a Minnesotan was loud and proud, echoing from the lovely walls of Askov Finlayson. Don Ness stood at the ready, excited to share his story and his clear love of Duluth. Teague Alexy brought his book, The New Folklore: Lyrical Tales for Dreamers & Thinkers, and his superb musical skills to remind us all of the kind of magic that is born, grown, and cultivated in the North. Local Duluth makers, Frost River Trading Company, brought along their “reliable softgoods” and were on site monogramming and finishing small tote bags made just for the event. And to enhance the already beautiful experience, Bent Paddle Brewing Co. and Vikre Distillery provided beautifully crafted brews and beverages all inspired by the nature-filled and spirit-nurturing North.
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To be surrounded by passionate creativity and to chat with some of the individuals and to have the privilege to listen and learn was beyond lovely. Before Minnesota, I’d never really appreciated the high value of solid community, one that supports, uplifts, and inspires. I left the lovely Duluth Pop-Down with a newfound appreciation for makers and doers, people who create beautiful things with expertise and craftsmanship that can only be found in things that are made with passion. Now, I’ve become much more cognizant of whose hands have created the things I buy and wear. And I fully expect to stop by Askov Finlayson often. If not to just generally shoot the breeze, I’ll purchase a little passionately crafted item to gift to whomever invites me to a genuine Minnesotan tapioca and hot dish dinner party. Which, as a wayward Utahn, I can only imagine happen on a pretty regular basis.
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C O M I N G H O M E TO
Castle Danger Words by Diana Crane, Photos by Diana Crane
Next time you’re winding East towards that Great Lake on Highway 61, keep an eye out for a lighthouse jutting into Agate Bay. Technically, that 19th Century brick beauty guides ships, but if you ask a local, you’ll find it’s also pretty good at directing weary travelers to their next pint. After a few years of peddling home brewed kegs and growlers out of a garage near their family’s resort, Castle Haven Cabins, husband and wife team, Clint and Jamie MacFarlane opened Castle Danger Brewery in 2014. With the help of Jamie’s cousin Mandy, and her husband Lon, the brewery is on its way to joining Fitger’s and Bent Paddle as a Northern Minnesota mainstay. The bar lies just a quick walk away from what is now the historic Lighthouse Bed & Breakfast. Minnesota Native? Fond of the nostalgic feeling that accompanies the phrase, “Up North?” You get it. Sweeping views of the harbor coupled with small batch, craft beer really seem to tug Minnesotans out and up—tourists and locals alike. Currently featuring 8 original brews, from the Wimpy Lager to the Mosaic Fresh Hop IPA, the MacFarlanes serve up big time flavor with warm, small town heart. “Our brewery has become a little bit of an attraction… we’re 12 miles from Gooseberry falls, twenty miles from Split Rock…we make really great beer, and there’re tourists all year long,” Jamie says as she reflects on the taproom’s success. Take a quick weekend trip to the North Shore, and it’s easy to understand the excitement that surrounds this homespun watering hole. Once a booming logging town in the early 1900s, today, Two Harbors’ main street feels a little tired, a little wind-worn. After a long afternoon of hiking, or canoeing, Castle Danger reestablishes the town as a perfectly situated rest-stop— get out, wind down, warm up with a brew. Revitalizing the city’s downtown area and giving back to their neighbors is one of the MacFarlane’s biggest priorities. “Clint and I are both from Two Harbors … our parents are from Two Harbors, our grandparents grew up in Two Harbors … we built this brewery because we wanted to reinvest in the city that is home to us and our families,” Jamie says of her ties to the area. In keeping with this spirit of community, the MacFarlanes encourage patrons to order in food from nearby restaurants, and invite local musicians to showcase their talents.
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Out & About
“You’re here, you’re playing games, you’re talking to each other … beer is casual … it’s a hangin’ out kind of beverage.”
Food, music, beer— Castle Danger pulls in patrons from all walks of life with this classic trifecta. Saturday afternoons find the bar crowded by as many older couples and flannel-clad townies as youthful day-trippers. Jamie seems a little puzzled, but pleased by the brewery’s broad appeal. “We really just wanted it to be a nice place to hang out,” Jamie says, “You’re here, you’re playing games, you’re talking to each other … beer is casual … it’s a hangin’ out kind of beverage.” While everything about Castle Danger’s wood floors and warm space feels small-town friendly, the operation itself continues to reach beyond its roots. The MacFarlanes currently work with a 30 barrel brewing system, and distribute to over 200 different restaurants and liquor stores across Minnesota. “We have room to add more fermentation and finishing tanks in our current space, and we’re looking forward to rolling out our first 16 ounce cans this Spring,” Jamie reflects on the work that lies ahead. “There’s definitely more growth in store for us.” When the MacFarlanes aren’t busy building up their brand, they find time to relax with their two young sons, Cale and Brody. “We love taking the boys out hiking, exploring Gooseberry or Split Rock… We’re so happy to live in this area… to live on the same property my grandparents homesteaded back in 1902. Two Harbors is home.” For more stories from Diana and Emy Crane please visit Spruce Minneapolis at www.sprucempls.com 20 MAKE IT MINNESOTA
VOL 1, NO. 2 - 2015 21
Behind The Creative
22 MAKE IT MINNESOTA
Cranberry Co. Words and Photos by Tootie & Dotes
ranberries have been a part of Thanksgiving for as long as I can remember, and every year around this time I can’t help but think of them and of that heated debate at Grandma Betty’s table about canned vs. fresh. Admittedly as a kid I preferred canned, but now as a (somewhat) adult, I’ve grown to know that there’s only one real option, fresh! We had the opportunity recently to tag along with the crew at Lakes & Legends brewery on a trip to the only operating cranberry farm in all of MN. Lakes & Legends has made sourcing local ingredients a priority in their brews, and these MN cranberries will star in their Cranberry Saison this holiday season (available exclusively in their new Loring Park taproom). The Forster family in Aitkin, MN– Randy, Billie, Amanda, Samantha, Shannon and Nathan, welcomed us and the Lakes & Legends crew one beautiful weekend as we arrived just before the sunset. We found fields of floating cranberries waiting to be harvested as far as the eye could see, it was a beautiful sight indeed. The Minnesota Cranberry Co. doesn’t just harvest cranberries, they also produce delicious wild rice which we were lucky enough to sample for lunch the next day. We weren’t the only ones who showed up for the harvest that beautiful weekend. Friends, neighbors and even the local school principle came to watch the harvest unfold. It was certainly a family affair and we couldn’t have been happier to be a part of it.
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Q&A Occupation & Growing Focus: Randy owns Minnesota Cranberry Co. and Randy Forster Construction. Billie Forster helps in the farm and is the owner of Aitkin Quilts and Fabrics and Specialty Embroidery.
berry on it. We do it because it is our livelihood and makes us smile. The risk, challenge and rewards are somewhat of a high.
Choice of unwinding beverage after a full day in the field? We both like good wine and flavored beer.
What is the scale of this operation? 1,800 acres rice consumes about 500 acres, beans 200 oats 100 and cranberries 44 and the rest grows beautiful children, memories and happiness.
How did you become involved with this work and why do you do it? Randy has always farmed but started cranberry farming when we were lucky enough to purchase a farm with this delectable
What’s one thing you think people would be surprised to know about cranberry production? That cranberry’s are only 1 of 3 native berries to the United States.
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On the day we visited, the Forster family was harvesting more than 30,000 pounds of cranberries from just a one of two floating fields, each about four acres. Most of this cranberry harvest will be frozen and sent to a major juice maker, but plenty will still go to surrounding local markets, friends and families, not to mention Lakes and Legends where it will be turned into a specialty cranberry brew. What’s the best part of being a cranberry & wild rice farmer? We definitely like growing food and the versatility that farming offers.
Whatâ€™s the worst or most challenging part? The weather, the soft markets and the long days. What are you most proud of this year? The effort our children have put forth on our farm and the strides we have made in the cranberry fields. What is it like to be a family owned & operated farm on this scale? You definitely get a sense of teamwork. With the family always together and their strengths, there are always lots of ideas.
Are your children interested in pursuing a career in farming? Amanda says she is interested in the family farm but not as manager. She is very, very active in FFA (Future Farmers of America). Shannon and Samantha say it will always play a part in their lives because it is part of them. Nathan says he wouldnâ€™t have it any other way. What are your sources of strength & nourishment? I would say my strength and what keeps me interested in farming is my husband and his will to make it always work. Randy thrives on knowing what he is building.
Do you come from a farming background? We both have some farming background but not at this scale. What qualities do you think it takes to be a farmer? It takes a person that doesnâ€™t have to live by structure. Everything changes all the time.
For more pictures and stories visit www.tootieanddotes.com VOL 1, NO. 2 - 2015 25
Behind The Creative
THE VOICE ENTERPRISE
BUILDING A CONSCIOUS MARKETPLACE By Kara Larson When Mitch Reaume decided to begin building VOICE, it occurred through a series of events—little things along the way that allowed him to see both the positive and negative impact businesses have in our lives. As he chipped away at the invisible wall that exists between businesses and people, he realized a few important things. The moment he decided to fulfill his vision occurred on an ordinary October night, just over a year ago. Sitting in the kitchen and pondering the great, mundane list of spending habits between he and his wife, Mitch was trying to get a feel for the story their money was telling—the impact of their dollars spent. “I started looking at the pie chart of our spending—the everyday businesses of life that we have to pay for, our rent and our food and our clothing. And then I started imagining… what if 7% of everything I was spending was going to a non-profit of my choice? What if there were businesses stepping up in all these other areas of life and they had a heart for something else too—something more than just profit? What if I knew where all of those businesses were? And I knew that if something like that existed, I would give those businesses my business in a heartbeat.” Something clicked, and as an admittedly impatient person, Mitch could either wait for someone in the world to have a similar idea and launch it—or he could build it himself. As you might have guessed, he chose the latter. So, today we have the realization of Mitch’s vision: VOICE Enterprise. Mitch assures, “We’re giving voice back to peoples’ dollars. We’re building a marketplace around the voice and heartbeat of our customer, so we’re involving businesses and non-profits chosen by our customers. It’s really important for us to be a customer-driven marketplace.” As it turns out, Mitch wasn’t the only one fed up with the current disconnected marketplace setup. “I wouldn’t have started Voice if I thought I was the only person who was feeling that tension. Our mission resonates especially for a lot of young adults in the 18-34 age range who are in the same boat— wanting to see more socially-driven businesses.” He adds, “So once I built it and actually saw those people getting excited about it and believing in it, it was so rewarding for me.” In building the VOICE marketplace, Mitch may have been acutely aware of the feelings of his potential customers; however, it was another vital component, the businesses who would be donating 7% of their profit to a non-profit in the community, that still needed to be added into the mix. As luck would have it, Mitch found himself surprised with the social consciousness of many Minnesota companies. He shares, “I thought it would be harder at times than it was, but there are a 26 MAKE IT MINNESOTA
lot of really cool Minnesota companies out there looking to be more socially-minded companies, they just didn’t know exactly how to do it. I was surprised and excited to see how quickly they got on board and how they naturally shared in our vision.” With businesses and customers on board, only the third component of the marketplace remained—the non-profits. In each term, or every three months, VOICE invests in three causes. Building off the words in their mission that emphasize the voice of the individual matters, the people also have a say in which causes are chosen each term. For Mitch, this is the crux of VOICE—giving individuals the choice to better the world through the marketplace. He shares, “In my eyes, non-profits are the ones doing the most meaningful work. When I look at the economy and how spending happens, I believe that the for-profit sector is meant to invest in non-profits. However, the numbers show that’s not really the case. Being a part of that change is exciting—we hope to inspire businesses to invest back in non-profits.” With all three components accounted for, VOICE set out to create a balance between the people, the for-profit businesses, and the non-profits—but there’s more to it than that. Being cognizant of how these mechanisms of the marketplace function inspires one to realize the connectedness of our communities— the benefits of supporting those building a better world close to home. “The more socially connected the world has become, the more disconnected we have become in our own communities,” begins Mitch. “And I think something happens when we shop local for local non-profits—we’re reminded when we come back to local that these are real people and real faces and real stories that we’re interacting with. It’s not an impersonal corporation; it’s a real person. It reminds us that we have neighbors.” VOICE is about connecting people in a conscious, socially-minded way to the story their dollars spent are telling. From Mitch’s perspective, spending is inevitable, so why not feel good about it? He hopes that someday, this marketplace can become a one-stop shop for all expenses—a place where people can buy food, clothing, and gifts in a really personal, altruistic way. Mitch offers, “No one likes an impersonal marketplace, and yet, we’re really far from having one that’s relationally driven—I think it feels daunting to step into. But that’s really what matters to us. We’re bringing it back to relationships and things that matter and that mission to build a better world through the marketplace drive us in everything that we do. We all sense that it’s how things should be.” Support Voice and shop online at www.thevoicecommunity.com
Northeast Instagram Contest
proudly sponsored by
Iconic Northeastern Minnesota Photo Winners #MakeItMN_Northeast
WINNING IMAGE @THEGOODWITHIN – EMILY FALKENBERG AND MIKE FALKENBERG (@MMMFALK) RUNNER UP @MESTEK.MN – IAN LUNDBORG
With over 1000 entries, the Northeast Instagram Contest contest blew us away. We asked our followers to submit their Northeast Minnesota photos with the tag #MakeItMN_Northeast—and we’re so glad we did! The photography submitted was remarkable; we extend a huge thank you to the photographers who shared their beautiful work with us. This contest was graciously sponsored by Duluth Art Institute and the winning entry, a collaborative photo by Emily and Mike Falkenberg, will be exhibited at the dAi during their annual member exhibition, Jan. 21- Feb. 21—one of their biggest events of the year! Beyond this incredible honor, the winners will also receive a household membership to the Institute and a “North” T-shirt! We hope you enjoy this peaceful winning shot and the remaining 19 as much as we do. This was a contest full of skilled photographers and we’re so pleased to feature their picturesque photos of the Northeastern Minnesota terrain in the upcoming pages.
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1. @vanessagrausam – Vanessa Grausam 2. @ben_r_cooper – Ben Cooper 3. @erikfremstad – Erik Fremstad 28 MAKE IT MINNESOTA
4. @cofl_44 – Chuck Nields 5. @seven_elefante - Nicholas Kieffer 6. @eckjam – James Eckman
7. @clint_jee_ – Clint Nickolauson 8. @dan_anderson_me – Dan Anderson 9. @eddieuuu071 – Ed Lee
10. @janelhjohnson – Janel Johnson
13. @j_rushlow – Joe Rushlow
16. @mamacita.rita – Rita Farmer
11. @jenhalbs – Jennifer Halbs 12. @bhoyne – Brian Hoyne
14. @susan.smith521 – Susan Smith 15. @greigeanchor – Katie Nordstrom
17. @allisonherreid – Allison Herreid 18. @yvette_schneider_little – Yvette Schneider-Little
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Thoughts From Musher Amanda Vogel By Leah Matzke
and took hold. “Dog sledding was so much fun! And the dogs loved it. It all ‘snowballed’ from there...” Amanda loves Minnesota for training her dogs because of the many old logging trails that can be kept up and connected for use training dogs. “Literally, I could run the dogs from here on the border of Northwest Ontario to the Twin Cities if I wanted to!” she exclaims. When asked how she determines what to wear to a race Amanda explains, “Two things really, warmth and function. You need both. You need to take care of yourself so you can take care of your team. That means protecting yourself from cold, wind, frostbite, and being able to still be agile and move. Clothes have to fit well and allow range of motion, while keeping you warm.” What is her absolute favorite brand to get the job done? Duluth Trading Company. “Their products are tested by folks like me who really put them to the test. They listen to feedback from customers to make sure their gear works as hard as the people who wear them, and they stand behind their gear. Year round I live and work in their products at the Snomad Ranch and in the outdoors.”
s we voyage into the Northeast region of Minnesota for this edition of Make It Minnesota, we look to avid musher and Duluth Trading Company Real Woman model, Amanda Vogel, for her take on Minnesota style in the North. Enticed by Minnesota’s north woods, the miles of trails and the way it snows here, Michigan native Amanda now enjoys a naturedriven Minnesota life. Living in the middle of access to Rainy Lake, Lake Kabetogama, and Ash River, which all connect to Namakan, Sand Point, and Crane Lakes, Amanda reflects, “It’s quiet. We joke that there are more sled dogs in our ‘town’ than humans, but it’s true! If you love and appreciate the beauty and serenity of the outdoors, this is the place to be.” Growing up, Amanda was never allowed to have a dog; however, about fifteen years ago, after graduate school and buying her own home, she welcomed in a Malamute and German Shepherd. Looking for ways to make sure these large working breeds were well exercised, healthy, and happy, she became active with them in dog sledding, search and rescue, as well as showing. It was dog sledding that captured her heart 30 MAKE IT MINNESOTA
Amanda laughs as she defines the type of style embraced by those living in Northern Minnesota: “Our style is definitely built around our outdoor lives. What works, what fits, and what makes us look good.” So for a woman of the North, is form or function more important? “Because I need to look professional and presentable in my workwear, and because if you can’t move, you can’t work, I appreciate that Duluth Trading Company provides products that are both functional and fashionable. I don’t have to wear menswear or children’s gear anymore to try to find something that fits and functions. It was a losing battle. Duluth Trading doesn’t just ‘shrink it and pink it’. Their products are made for tough women who appreciate not having to dress like a man to get their jobs done. Whether I’m grooming or clearing trails, training or racing dogs, doing daily chores, maintaining ranch equipment, or even turning critters into dog food, their gear lets me do all of my jobs year round.” Amanda’s personal style is fit and function, preferring fashion over frumpiness.
“I appreciate that Duluth Trading Company provides products that are both functional and fashionable. I don’t have to wear menswear or children’s gear anymore to try to find something that fits and functions.” - Amanda Vogel
Amanda with Team Snomad wearing her Shoreline Fleece Coat
Amanda’s Winter Favorites
1. Shoreline Fleece Coat: I use/live in this year round, in all kinds of weather, either as a layer or outerwear. The windblocking is amazing, makes all the difference...my favorite! 2. DuluthFlex Fire Hose Fleece Lined Pants: They’re like wearing your pjs to ‘work’. Warm, rugged, comfy, and they take a beating!! 3. The Manorak Anorak Jacket: Based on the input of the male Snomad teammates, I had to mention the DTC Manorak. They LOVE it. They even require it in their negotiations! It’s packed with 650 fill power down, not even the dogs nails nor being drug down a gravel roads by the dogs can snag it...and it’s windproof and warm!
She prepares her dogs with the same care, explaining, “while I love Duluth Trading Company gear for myself, my canine athletes love Howling Dog Alaska for their harnesses and dog coats! Function, fashion, and protection from the elements is important to all members of Snomad Racing! I also need a well-designed fur ruff to protect my face from the wind, snow, and frostbite out there in the brutal elements. You simply cannot be out in 50 below in 50 mph
DuluthFlex Fire Hose Fleece Lined Pants
winds in the middle of a blizzard without fur protection. I have been extremely happy with my made to order custom ruff from Dog Head Designs.” Please check out and meet the dogs of Snomad Racing at www.snomadracing.com and cheer on her team at upcoming events, such as Minnesota’s John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon at the end of January, 2016. VOL 1, NO. 2 - 2015 31
Behind The Creative
POTATO LEFSE By Emily Vikre
My Tante (aunt) Vigdis stood, sleeves rolled up, apron powdered white with flour, and laughed (in Norwegian), “well I guess, Norwegians have to come to Minnesota to learn to be real Norwegians!” We, my family and some of our close neighbors, were teaching my visiting aunt and uncle how to make lefse. You see, in Norway nobody makes their own lefse anymore. It’s a lost art. They buy it in the grocery store, factory made, in a plastic pouch. In the way most people around here would buy tortillas. It’s fine when it’s store bought. But it isn’t really more than fine. It doesn’t beckon to you with a warm, fresh-baked scent of butter wrapped in carbohydrates, coaxing you to keep plucking up just one more piece, you know, while it’s still fresh, to savor in greedy bites as you balance it delicately in your hands. But that is what homemade lefse will do to you. Homemade lefse (particularly when fresh) is hands-down one of the best foods on the face of this earth. Truffles, caviar, foi gras, lobster, you’ve got nothin’ on lefse. It is an inordinately traditional Norwegian potato flatbread. Simple. Soft and supple, 32 MAKE IT MINNESOTA
a bit like a tortilla, but almost lacy thin and seductively buttery. Hot off the griddle, they are absolutely unbelievable. Our favorite – and the most traditional – ways of serving lefse are either wrapped around a hot dog and ketchup (don’t knock it until you’ve tried it! You’ll never look back.) or spread with butter and cinnamon-sugar (brown sugar is equally tempting and adds a lovely caramel accent). Really you could use them to wrap up just about anything, including, it turns out, the phenomenal combo of smoked salmon and scrambled eggs. For the earlier part of my childhood, I was unaware of how good lefse could be. My mother grew up in Norway, and worked on the assumption all lefse was store bought, and that was we always ate. At church basement functions, I assumed the plates of lefse were the same stale-ish packaged variety I was used to, and I didn’t try them. Our neighbors, knowing we were Norwegian, were entirely shocked when they discovered that we had no idea how to make it, but they instantly set to work remedying the situation. We quickly became old hands at the lefse process.
“Homemade lefse (particularly when fresh) is hands-down one of the best foods on the face of this earth. Truffles, caviar, foi gras, lobster, you’ve got nothin’ on lefse.” Lefse, with all the rolling and griddling it entails, is rather labor intensive, and doing it all yourself could get tedious. So – following in the time honored method of dealing with labor intensive foods like the assembling of tamales or folding of dumplings or stomping of grapes – we began to make a party out of it. And what a party it is! Lefse, we like to say, is best made in the company of friends and with a drink in one hand. Having lefse parties with our neighbors is one of the things I look forward to most in the entire year. I have the good luck of having grown up in a remarkable neighborhood in Duluth. Even as a child I could sense that it was unusually magical and idyllic. Sure, we all have our issues, disputes, quirks, neuroses, etc. We’re humans of the very human sort. But at the same time, our neighborhood is a collection of genuinely kind, thoughtful, interesting, wonky humans, all of whom worked with grace and intentionality to connect with each other and take care of each other. Growing up, you could be playing at anyone else’s house and be dependably fed, cared for, and scolded if needed. You could go to any of the adults in the neighborhood for a listening ear or good advice. You could tear around the neighborhood creating all manner of imaginary scenarios and always find playmates. Our parents would pop into each others’ houses, unannounced, for a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and a chat. We all did so many things together, teaching one another our traditions and hobbies. Playing, skiing, picnics, performing shows, camping, crafting, telling stories. It was like having a dozen moms and dads and a gaggle of brothers and sisters. Lefse making became one of the most special things we do together. With the drinks and laughter flowing, clouds of flour puffing into the air and onto our clothes, warm lights glowing, heat from the griddles radiating, stairs and chairs to perch on and share stories, an evening with a lefse party is like a Scandinavian immigrant version of a Norman Rockwell painting come to life. Three years ago, my husband and I moved back to Minnesota. We make lefse with the same neighbors I grew up with, neighbors who are now becoming the loving community of our son as he grows up. Last year at a lefse party, I plopped down to rest next to one of my neighbors, who at this point in my life is both a surrogate mother and friend to me. As we watched the flurry of action, she gave a sigh of perfect contentment and said, “This is the kind of family I always wanted when I was growing up. And now I have it!” That’s exactly it, I realized. That is the thing that makes lefse so special for me. It’s more than simply delicious. The gathering and the making of it is one of the things that took us all from being neighbors to being family. VOL 1, NO. 2 - 2015 33
(This is the recipe taught to us by our friend Beatrice Ojekangas, who has written a number of fabulous cookbooks on Scandinavian cooking) (makes enough lefse for about 10-15 people, in my estimation) Read all the directions before you begin. Usually I’m not a stickler for directions, but for good lefse, you really want to stick to the tried and true. 10 lbs. Russet potatoes – They must be Russets or it won’t work!!! (and that’s a funny story I’ll share another day) 1 lb. butter 2 cups heavy cream 3 Tbs. sugar 1 1/2 Tbs. salt 1 tsp. baking powder lots of all-purpose flour You also need special utensils (sorry!), but they are really awesome special utensils: a lefse grill; rolling pin and pastry “sock” for the rolling pin; a cloth covered pastry board; a lefse stick; and a potato ricer. And a bunch of ziplock freezer bags to store your finished product because lefse in the fridge is only good for a couple of days, but if you freeze it early, then you can thaw and warm it as needed it and it’s nearly as delicious as fresh. 1. Peel the potatoes, cut them into even chunks and boil them in a large pot of water until just tender when poked with a fork. You don’t want them to be mushy. Drain the potatoes, then press them through the ricer into a large bowl. Mash in the butter, cream, sugar, salt, and baking powder, making sure you get rid of any lumps. At this point you have the world’s most delicious mashed potatoes, you may wish to steal a little bite. Leave the potatoes uncovered to cool somewhere—in the fridge or a cold entryway—at least 7 hours, preferably overnight.
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2. The next day, when you are ready to griddle, prepare a place to stack the lefse rounds as they finish cooking. We put a large plastic bag, covered with a clean towel on the counter and stack the rounds on top of each other on top of this, and cover them with another towel and plastic bag. It seems unwieldy but it really works to keep them from drying out and losing their nice texture. Preheat your griddle—ungreased—to 450-500F. 3. Put 1/4 of the cold potato mixture in a bowl and use your hands to mix in 1 1/2 cups of flour. Keep the rest of the dough in the fridge as you work with this portion. Roll the floured dough into golfball sized balls and place these in a separate bowl. Flour the pastry board and the rolling pin (with the sock on it) well. You need to use a lot of flour to keep the lefse from sticking to things. Sticky spots are your enemy! They can cause disasters, and if you get one, scrape it up immediately and rub a whole bunch of flour into it. Place a dough ball onto the pastry board and gently roll it out until it is paper thin. We generally have the goal of rolling out large circles, but they often
wind up looking like various countries and continents. Carefully lift the rolled lefse by skooching your lefse stick all the way under it, right down the equator line of the lefse, so the tip of the stick pokes out on the other side. Lift and transfer to the griddle by laying one of the hanging sides of the lefse flat on the grill (the other side will be folded over it as if it were a quesadilla), then rolling the stick and unfurling the other half (the folded over half) so the entire thing is lying flat on the grill. When the lefse has bubbled up a bunch, lift an edge and peak to see if it has brown spots. When it does, gently use the stick to flip the lefse (in basically the same way as you transferred it to the grill) and cook the other side just until it has brown spots. Each side only takes 1-2 minutes. If they start to get crispy either you have cooked the lefse for too long or your griddle is on a bit too high. When the lefse is done, transfer it to your prepared space (with the towels and plastic bags). 4. Keep cooking the lefse until you have used all your dough. As you run out of prepared dough balls, take another quarter of the cold potato mixture, mix in another 1 1/2 cups of flour and roll more balls. You may need to set up a second towel-plastic bag receiving area as your stack gets tall. You should also be eating plenty of lefse fresh, as you cook it, smeared with butter and sugar, or wrapped around tasty treats. 5. When you’re all done, you can keep the stack of any lefse that’s left uneaten pile overnight to cool. Then, fold the lefse rounds into quarters (they look like fans), put 6 lefses into each ziplock bag. Refrigerate any lefse that will be eaten in the next couple of days and freeze the rest.
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WHAT TO DRINK WHILE MAKING LEFSE! My husband and I own Vikre Distillery here in Duluth, so we have become the default beverage captains for most of our social gatherings. Making lefse is a party, and of course you have to have some festive beverages for a party. Because lefse is so Norwegian, it makes sense to have some aquavit around. I like to have a bottle of our Voyageur Aquavit to serve on the rocks—because it’s cognac barrel aged, it drinks a bit like a fine Scotch. But, because it’s hard work to do all that rolling and griddling, it’s also nice to have something refreshing and sparkly. This punch, which I adapted from a punch from the bar Death & Co. in New York City, has become one of my favorites for any kind of gathering. It’s refreshing, and not too fruity, and seems to please absolutely everybody!
1/3 cup sugar 2-3 cups soda water, divided 9 oz. Vikre Boreal Juniper Gin ½ cup Aperol 3 oz. grapefruit juice 3 oz. lime juice 6 dashes Peychaud’s bitters Put the sugar in the bottom of the punch bowl and add a cup of the soda water. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Add the gin, Aperol, fruit juices, and bitters. Stir to combine and add a big chunk of ice to chill. Top up with soda water to taste, and serve immediately in little glasses! VOL 1, NO. 2 - 2015 35
Minnesota Creatives ... Recent Online Features Maggie Allen Hi Little One
“The local economy is an extremely important part of what makes Hi Little One what it is—we grew up in Minnesota and love and appreciate how people support each other and local companies. Our community in Minnesota has been huge in shaping how we design, style and produce our products. Minnesota is filled with so many wonderfully creative and smart individuals and companies and there is so much natural beauty in the lakes, the parks and the people. It is such a wonderful place to grow up and raise a family. Our MN Baby onesie is one of our top sellers! ...” Read full profile at http://makeitmn.com/da-bomb-bath-fizzers
Kerry Brooks Dock 6 Pottery
“Twenty-five years ago, a collective of four potters got together to share expenses and artistic inspiration. Today, Dock 6 Pottery has evolved into a sole proprietorship, employing 45 of the best people on the planet. They help me make high-quality, affordable, beautiful things out of clay, and we do it all by hand. I sell to hundreds of galleries, boutiques, and museum shops across the country, as well as several major national and international retailers....” Read full profile at http://makeitmn.com/kerry-brooks
Jennifer Trebisovsky Sally’s Syrup
“Sally’s Syrup is named after my late-grandmother, Sally. She passed away last summer and I took to gardening, one of her favorite hobbies. With more vegetables and herbs than I knew what to do with – I started making simple syrups. I’ve worked in hospitality since high school, and have always enjoyed creating and experimenting in the kitchen. I spent a lot of time cooking with my grandmother as well. When friends and family came over, we’d try making new cocktails with the syrups – some worked, some didn’t – but overall, everyone loved the idea and creating their own drinks. My friend Mikki suggested I sell them at the farmer’s market, and I thought – why not. I narrowed it down to six flavors and got to work....” Read full profile at http://makeitmn.com/jennifer-trebisovsky 36 MAKE IT MINNESOTA
Share Your Story With Us! Jake Nelson
Quixotic Coffee and Blackeye Roasting Co. “I think a lot of people have the impression that using the local economy is just the right thing to do, and that you’re doing local vendors a favor by using them… When in all honesty, I see it as just good business. The (typically) higher costs that you might pay are usually returned back in droves by the cross-promotions and word of mouth advertising that you wouldn’t get from a larger, more centralized (local or non-local) company. That being said, all the local vendors we use have been AMAZING and it has been an absolute honor to be able to work with such genuinely interesting and passionate business owners all over the Twin Cities—Bootstrap Coffee Roasters, Patisserie 46, Autumnwood Farms, Sally’s Simple Syrups, Golden Fig, Fox Glove Market and Sota Clothing—just to name a few!” Read full profile at http://makeitmn.com/jake-nelson
Cate Mezyk Wild Ruffle
“The business has evolved from the blog, to one day only Pop Up Shops, and eventually into a brick and mortar retail shop in downtown Prior Lake ...Most of the makers at our shop are fellow moms. We love being able to give them a space to have their own creative outlet, and to help them provide some extra income for their families. And at our Pop Up Shops, we’ve watched many of these artisans grow over the years, branching out and taking flight. We like to think we had a small part in encouraging that growth! In addition, we love being able to provide unique items to our customers. They’re not going to find our product mix anywhere else! ...” Read full profile at http://makeitmn.com/cate-mezyk
Jesse Ducommun Guarded Goods
“I come from a family of creative-minded people so it has always been in my blood to “make” ... They lived and breathed their craft. This mentality transferred to me at a young age. Being able to create a product with your hands and have someone like it enough to buy it and tell people about it is a very rewarding feeling. It is an even better feeling to have someone come back to buy a second wallet for someone else. At the end of the day, it wouldn’t really matter if I sold any wallets – that isn’t why I do it. It is the art and craft of creating it alone that is rewarding and fulfilling to me ...” Read full profile at http://makeitmn.com/jesse-ducommun
Join These Makers And Other Across The State - Submit Online At: www.makeitmn.com/creatives VOL 1, NO. 2 - 2015 37
It’s not far just follow me Down this path around that tree Up the hill and across the plain And now we go back down again It’s worth it, trust me, come along A little further, it won’t be long We’re here at last. Now do you see? The miles, the days, the long journey? All for this one little, magnificent, thing. The rythm pounding Can you hear it A heartbeat sounding Can you feel it The breath, the motion, the turmoil, the grace The wind, the rocks, the damp on your face Waves Crash against the shore.
38 MAKE IT MINNESOTA
Vol. 1 No. 2