Dr. Boswell’s Day Off

Last Saturday was my husband’s day off. He works 6 days on, one day off, and most days are 12 hour shifts. The old guard of docs would shake their heads if they read this: “that’s nothing! Why when I was a whippersnapper intern we worked 120 hour shifts…”

And that was terrible, and this is better, but still rough! He deserved a real day off. So we slept in and went to Red Lobster for endless shrimp. I got a strawberry mojito and it was delicious. Lime, strawberries and mint… I’ve never enjoyed a regular mojito as they are too savory, but this was a delicious echo of the frozen mango mojito I enjoyed at the Grand Wailea in Maui. Sweet and herbilicious.

But I digress. After endless shrimp, we were full and needed a turn in the fresh air. Where better than Silver Lake,
Rochwster’s Central Park? We were thrilled to find the boating place open and we got a paddle boat and went for a spin.

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The view from the boat!

The paddleboat has a little motor so we didnt have to do ALL the work. The breeze on the lake was pleasant. We rented for a half hour but once we were out we couldn’t turn back until we had navigated the canals all the way to Mayo park. There is something fun about seeing the city from another angle and of course we caught a glimpse of this mysterious symbol on one of the bridge buttresses.

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After a rest we went over to a friend’s house for dinner, Sequence and our first taste of Chocowine. Note: Chocowine is wine-flavored Bailey’s.

All in all, Saturday was a great day off for both of us. Aaaand back to the grind!!

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Spamtastic!

I heard about the Spam museum soon after we moved to Rochester, but I never could get anyone to visit with me. It doesn’t help that most of my amazing friends are fabulously healthy and wouldn’t stoop to eating “mystery meat in a can.” (Some wouldn’t eat meat at all!)

But last week, my grandparents came and they thought the Spam museum sounded like fun. So we made the 45 minute trek to Austin, MN to Hormel’s free and very interactive SPAM museum. We walked into the fabulous blue and yellow building and found… a great museum! A wall of SPAM cans, a movie about the history and marketing of the product (it really is pork and ham!), a cooking corner with chefs from around the world preparing the product, a place to try on the heavy metal mesh gloves that factory workers wear… Pretty fun! Plus it pulled up some great memories. My grandparents reminisced about eating fried spam during the war days when the meat was rationed and my grandmother recalled her mother heating up Dinty Moore stew.

For me the most intriguing part was a video about the Hormel Girls, an all-girl band/singing/dance troupe that did publicity for Hormel in the early 50’s. This article tells the story. I can imagine how interesting that must have been. The travel! The music! The drama! (Can you imagine the PMS?!)

By the end of the museum, after looking at pictures and movies of food, we were ravenous. But there are no free samples at this museum. So we took a picture:

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Then we headed across the street to Olivia’s. While it doesn’t say so on their menu, you can substitute spam for any meat. (Spam burger… Spam ‘n eggs.. Spam, spam, spam and potatoes… )

I really enjoyed this visit. Whether you love it or loathe it, spam is part of our American food ways. So don’t be a judger. Put on your cultural relativism hat and give it a try!

Note: they do have lite, reduced sodium and turkey spam for those of you who want to be a little healthier. For the gourmands there are garlic, black pepper, jalapeño, bacon and probably many more.

Coming soon: will Ariel master her new musubi maker? Stay tuned to find out…