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Three Things to Eat: Sept. 19-25

After a shuddering incident with a whale-sized spider, Joy dives into her three favorite decadent Halloween treats


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Sea Change, Dark Chocolate Cake
Dark Chocolate Cake at Sea Change. Photo by Joy Summers.


It’s quite a thing to have your life flash before your eyes. One minute, I had a baby on my hip and was flailing in the direction of my seven year old trying to get them out the door. The next, I was faced with my own mortality and an unshakable sense of foreboding that will haunt me for at least another week: As I was reaching for the boy and his backpack, something caught my eye. It was roughly the size of a VW Beetle and hanging out ever so casually on a web stretching from the wall to my dining room table. There sat madam spider with all eight of her banded legs balancing upon a pillow she’d crafted of an enormous egg sack. A full-bodied shudder shook me from toe to curly red-haired tendril. It was huge, and ... pulsating and attached to my table where I eat my food! What was just an average, rushed weekday morning was suddenly an Ikea-decorated Thunderdome where only one could survive and my newly shorn tabby cat was playing the role of Tina Turner. When I’m saying this thing was big, I mean that Orca from Blackfish would take one look at this monstrosity and be like, I’ll take the long way around this one, pal. The very worst part of all? I had to kill it––because I am a mother and an adult.

Why did nobody warn me of the myriad of ways that being an adult is nowhere near as fun as living in a treehouse with mismatched socks, giant boots and pigtails that stick straight out of my head? It’s an endless cycle of bills and deadlines and sticky fingers and huge mother stuffing spiders!

This is why I am telling you far in advance of the Halloween month: we need to eat dessert first. Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed and eating chocolate for breakfast is one of the greatest decadences of adulthood. And postscript on the spider: with the help of my boy, I was able to squish it––audibly, but completely. And, I’ll understand when you make excuses for not coming over for dinner. I have to go burn my shoe now.

Dark Chocolate Cake at Sea Change
A perfect post show dessert after catching Sense and Sensibility at the Guthrie Theater is chef Ryan Cook’s deeply dark cake is closer to a brownie and served with just a hint of salt sprinkled on the top of a welcome scoop of ice cream. It’s divine and even better when shared with a friend. seachangempls.com

Affogato at Izzy’s and Kopplin’s
We’ve been blessed with some beautiful, lingering summer evenings and that means ice cream is still ideally enjoyed outside. Grab a scoop in a cup (with whatever your Izzy of choice) at the ice cream shop's original St. Paul location, and then amble on over to Kopplin’s Coffee Shop next door. Have them pour a velvety shot of espresso over that ice cream for a perky, sweet pick me up. izzysicecream.comkopplinscoffee.com

Apple Cinnamon Sugar Doughnuts at Aamodt’s Farm
Because it is fall and apple season is in full swing, it’s time to pack up the family and head out to the orchard. I love Aamodt’s, not just because of the tiny John Deere tractors the kids can roll around on, or the wine selection (although, hello lovah, St. Croix Vineyard’s tasting room on site) but most of all, I adore the crispy, crunchy doughnuts tossed in the perfect cinnamon sugar blend. Eat a couple a on site and grab a dozen to bring home later. aamodtsapplefarm.com

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Minnesota Monthly's Taste Blog answers your restaurant and dining questions, dishes on latest discoveries, reflects on breaking news, and generally brings the plate to the page with a skilled crew of experts: Learn more about the Taste bloggers.

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