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Updated: 2 hours 31 min ago

T’is the Season for Community

Wed, 12/03/2014 - 12:13pm

You know the old song, “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas?” Those lyrics certainly ring true on the Gunflint Trail. Something about already having snow on the ground for nearly a month makes things feel festive, regardless of which holiday you celebrate this time of year. Christmas lights are starting to pop up on Gunflint Trail homes and businesses and as the lakes continue to make more and more ice, our thoughts turn increasingly to the fun winter activities ahead.

If you need a little help getting in the holiday spirit, all are invited to the Gunflint Trail Volunteer Fire Department holiday party/open house at the Schaap Community Center on Saturday, December 6, from 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. The community center is located next to Poplar Lake Fire Hall #1, 7401 Gunflint Trail. Enjoy appetizers and desserts provided by GTVFD members and pizzas from Big Bear Lodge. No need to RSVP, just show up! While there’s no guarantee that there will be Santa hats or carol singing, there will most definitely be good food, good company, and lots of laughter.

You’re also invited to visit the Cook County Visitors Bureau and Grand Marais Information Center’s new digs on Wednesday, December 10. The open house will be held at the new office, located on the lake side of Highway 61 in downtown Grand Marais, right across from the history Gunflint Trail entrance signs.

And while we’re busy planning your social life, why not mark your calendars for June 12-14, 2015 too? That’s when the first ever Boundary Waters Expo will be held on the Gunflint Trail. The event will feature speakers, demos, hands on activities, and should be a great place for expert paddlers and novices alike to learn more about paddling the Gunflint Trail and Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. You won’t want to miss it.

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Kratt Chat – Being Thankful

Wed, 11/26/2014 - 11:12am

Kratt Chat – Being Thankful

A post from a friend on a Facebook reminded me of my first “on my own” turkey roasting event.  It seems growing up I had been in the kitchen cooking turkeys FOREVER.  Mom always got the pressure cooker out and cooked the giblets. They were my favorite.  She pulled that little bag out of the turkey’s tail, chopped the entire contents very fine and added it to the stuffing along with the sautéed celery and onion.  I swear the sound of the pressure cooker was my Thanksgiving Day alarm for years. The pressure cooker frightened me as I figured as some point it had to blow-up.  Nonetheless, mom’s stuffing was simply the best ever and I was stuffed long before the turkey every saw the stuffing.

Well, my first turkey roasting experience had a few highlights.  Certain memories surrounding this event are vivid.  We lived in our tiny house on 38th Avenue West in Duluth.  After unveiling the roaster I am sure we received for a wedding present and numerous calls to mom, the turkey came out of the oven looking like the front cover of Bon Appetite’. We set to work carving (something I never seem to master) and had the best dinner ever!  Now I am a soup maker and I’ll take the liberty of bragging this up.  My soup is good – really good.  I boil the turkey carcass and meat for a loooooong time. As I cleaned up the carcass and prepared to put everything in the stock pot, I found a familiar bag. The GIBLETS; tucked ever so tightly under the turkey tail. I’m sure this bag of goodies attributed to the fine turkey flavor.

As the holiday season begins, I want to remind you all to appreciate your families and the good food we share. I am cooking three turkeys this year as my three kids want a lot of leftovers and their own soup.

If you are in town on Friday evening, join me and other community members at the Oh Ole Night Christmas Parade and tree lighting ceremony in Grand Marais. Sing carols, wear festive sweaters, and share in the holiday spirit with your friends and neighbors. The parade is open to anyone who wants to participate, meet at the senior center parking lot at 4:45pm SHARP! The parade will begin promptly at 5pm.

And to really kick your holiday spirit into high gear, join us at Lutsen Mountains for the New Standards Holiday Show.  Now in its 8th year, this show has become a beloved yuletide institution in the Twin Cities and beyond. The show combines playful renditions of classic holiday tunes with a smattering of irreverence and a healthy sprinkling of spectacle. As an added bonus, all the special guests that join the trio with poems, stories, dancing, and comedy. It is an absolutely wonderful way to kick off the holiday season!

Looking for dining options for Thanksgiving? Check out our list of what is open for dining in Cook County MN. And don’t forget to do a little holiday shopping with our locally owned small businesses. Northwoods art, homemade edibles, norwegian sweaters, hardy outerwear and more!

Also, we are happy to announce that Ada Igoe is back writing the Gunflint Trail blog for the season. Check out her news from up the trail here.

One last thing, Grand Marais has been nominated for Budget Travel’s “Coolest Small Town” crowd sourced contest. A contest that our neighbor Ely has won a few years in a row. Our numbers are looking pretty good but I know we can do better!This weekend, between skiing, welcoming guests, and eating loads of good food – please help us to grow in number by sharing on your social media fans to be sure to vote, and vote again every 24-hrs. We have until December 2nd to get the most votes, so get the word out! VOTE for Grand Marais, MN “Coolest Small Town”!

Happy Thanksgivings to all and cook those giblets!

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