Would You Like Some Lutefisk With Your Loincloth?

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic
The third installment in the "Road Trip"series. This author arrives in the state of 10,000 lakes....and few mudpuddles..

Submitted: September 17, 2006

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Submitted: September 17, 2006

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For those of you who may have been wondering, this little duck is still alive and kicking (her husband mainly, when he takes the wrong turn.)

Seriously though, we survived Wisconsin without succumbing to the bright (almost fluoro-colored) orange cheese, and we made it through Michigan without Ray Charles taking a pot shot at us.

We are now taking on the state of Minnesota, and when I say that, I really mean, “Ooooh yah, vir going to see vat Minnesoota is all about, eh? Have zum Lutefisk, ja?”

The first thing you notice when you get into the heartland of Minnesota, is that it appears that you have not just changed state, but have arrived somewhere akin to northern Europe. I was literally expecting to run into hordes of Nords and pseudo-fjords when I crossed the border.
The local phone book gives you your first clue, with pages and pages of "Johannsens," "Erikssons," "Hendricksdotters," and "Svauffmauffwussensens."
(OK, I made that last one up, but I am sure there is someone named that here, and they probably hail from the central Minnesotan town of "Embarrass.")

The Swedish emigration to the United States came roughly eighteen years after the pilgrims on the Mayflower. However, history has it, that instead of joining the groovy puritans for the feast of Thanksgiving (and subsequent slaughtering of the indigenous), they chose to set up their own strudel shops in some of the Midwest states.

Minnesota is proudly called the “State of 10,000” Lakes." It rained pretty much 24/7 during our trip, so I would think it is now called the “State of 10,000 Lakes and probably a few thousand mud puddles as well.”

There are many intriguing and exciting things to see and do in Minnesota. First thing on our list was to seek out the famous “Great Ball of Twine,” situated in the quaint township of Darwin. An inventive lad named Francis Johnson, decided one day, that it might be a novel idea to wrap twine into a ball, so that’s exactly what he did. He wrapped twine four hours a day, for thirty-nine years.

I would suggest that Mr. Johnson must have been smiling on his deathbed, knowing that he had led a very full and productive life.

At any rate, we did manage to find this oversized cat’s toy. It was positioned near the center of the town, in a very stylish gazebo. (‘Stylish’ in Darwin, means that it isn’t falling down.) Stationed next to it, was a large sign alerting us to the fact that in honor of the ball, there is a festival every year called "Twine Ball Days."
This annual event includes lots of dancing, drinking and good food. All of this, to pay tribute to one local man, who simply did not have anything close to resembling a life.

On closer inspection, I happened to note that the “S” on the word “Days” had been physically scratched off, with what looked like a person’s fingernails. I asked a passerby why this was so. She regarded me seriously, and went on to explain that whilst “Twine Ball Days” was a Darwin institution, they were having trouble getting the numbers to warrant a two day affair. Hence, the local groundskeeper was asked to amend it.
It seems that whilst Darwin has an abundance of string, they need to possibly reorder some paint.

Ah well (or I should say Ooooh ja), Minnesota is still a nest of wonder upon wonders.
I was surprised to learn that my Great Aunt Vera had been labeled one of the State’s mascots – The common Loon.
The fact that the good people of Minnesota voted in a 300 pound WorldWide Wrestling champion as Governor, also gave me adequate pause.
Mr. Ventura no longer holds this position, but he is using his experience to further his community services. I have it on good authority, that he now referees local “dwarf throwing” competitions in the booming northern town of “Kum N Go.” (Yes, that is the name of the town.)

The State’s official plant is the “morel mushroom.” Being the avid foodie that I am, I raced out to see if I could find a Minnesota cookbook that showcased these famous fungi. I found the very thing in a local bookstore, near Big Bog National Park.

Curiously titled “Taste of Bog,” I flipped through the hardback and found plenty of recipes using these State-sanctioned spores.
One recipe (given 5 stars by local resident, Mary Svensson) told me to: “Soak mushrooms for 15-30 minutes in hot water. Strain, and then add, along with their soaking liquid, to the pot. Morels give a superb feral essence of loincloth to sauces and stews.”

Hmmmm…

Given the fact that I had no plans on recreating the essence of loincloth, or any other articles of clothing, to flavour a gourmet dinner in the near future, I decided that I could probably do without a little “Taste of Bog.”

If you do happen to visit Minnesota in the future, you have the option of passing on the loincloth, in favour of "Lutefisk."
Lutefisk is, in short, something you should only offer your guests, if you REALLY do not like them. It consists of dried fish, caustic soda, and possibly something that you could only find at the bottom of your vegetable crisper - after you have been on vacation for three months.

Minnesota is also known for breeding some of the most notable inventors in the country. Masking tape, Wheaties, Green Giant vegetables (as opposed to brown midget vegetables, I suppose), and HMOs, were developed and patented here by some very innovative locals.

I was keen to find this fellow who came up with the idea for HMOs.
Luckily for him, I was not successful, as I was fully armed with masking tape, Wheaties, various Green Giant vegetables, and a plan in mind to show him just how grateful I was for his ingenious idea.

Well, that’s all for now folks. My husband and I have to keep motoring on. Our next stop will certainly be a stimulating experience. I have heard that the local motto is “We are Happy. Always!” This could be very apt indeed, considering that the town’s name is “Climax.”


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