Dragons, Buddhas and a Swedish Christmas

The weather outside was frightful this weekend, but that didn’t keep us indoors. I like to think that us Minnesotans are of hardy stock, or else we just know how to dress for the elements. Not only do I have flannel-lined jeans but I’ve got a fantastic pair of llama socks that I knit with some of my own handspun. In temperatures hovering around zero, that’s how I roll. And let’s not go into winter jackets. As we bundled up after dinner Saturday night, I could hear “A Christmas Story” in my head. It indeed felt like we were preparing for extended deep-sea diving.

Where was dinner, you ask? The Husband and I finally made it to George and the Dragon. The food was good, but I was especially excited by the Crabbie’s Ginger Beer that I discovered. So refreshing, though I confess I was wishing for a hot toddy:

The Husband does share my zest for cold weather which meant it was time to call in the cavalry for the real fun this weekend. That’s where The Best-Good Friend came in. Outfitted in her own deep-sea diving gear (and long johns), she braved the elements with me and we started Sunday with the Eat Street Buddha, which was so good. Such a creative menu, our “East Meets West Brunch” was a delight.

We started with tea, coffee and the Buddha Belly Cranberry Wontons:

Whipped cream cheese, cranberry, red curry, green onion and sweet thai chili sauce

I was enamored with the name “Egg Fu Yumelette,” so that’s what I had and it was tasty. I asked for the hollandaise on the side and it was really good:

Bean sprouts, pea pods, green onion, glass noodles, shredded carrot, thai chili hollandaise, toasted 7-grain with yellow curry hash browns (vegetarian version)

The Best-Good Friend LOVED her Korean Beef Benedict:

eggs benedict
Poached eggs, homemade kimchi, korean marinated beef tenderloin, grilled english muffin, bulgogi hollandaise sauce with yellow curry hash browns

We bundled up and headed to the American Swedish Institute. According to their website, ASI, founded in 1929, serves as a gathering place for people to share stories and experiences around universal themes of tradition, migration, craft and the arts, all informed by enduring ties to Sweden. I’m not Swedish (that I know of*) but had been tipped off by The Mother that they were having a Julmarknad. Inspired by wintertime markets across Europe, ASI’s Julmarknad included an outdoor Handcraft Fair (thankfully in a tent with heaters), musical performances and the opportunity to tour the Turnblad Mansion.

Musicians set the mood in the mansion’s main entry:

Can you believe this stained glass?

They had several room decorated to feature other countries like Iceland, Norway, and more:

It was fun seeing all of the trees – I especially loved the ones with the little tomtes:

But my favorite thing at the American Swedish Institute? The mechanical Swedish horse:

mechanicl swedish horse

There were purchases made, but I can’t share pictures because recipients might be reading.

Julmarknad had put us in the shopping spirit, so we made one more stop. Who wouldn’t feel cheered going to a store called “I Like You”? And just to make sure you didn’t forget, they make sure to remind you:

The last of the weekend adventures might also be the most experimental. I tried to remember the sewing lesson The Mother gave me when I was a kid. This Squeaky Green Machine wants a new dress and I was inspired by The Perfect Dress to try making one of my own. It’s not done, but when I pinned the pieces to the dress form, it appeared that things were moving forward according to plan. I’m cautiously optimistic:

* Post Update: The Mother emailed after reading this post to alert me that I do in fact have some Swedish in me! It appears that my great-grandmother on my mother’s side came over from Sweden. No wonder I loved all the tomtes, I’m 1/4 Swedish. 🙂

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