Photo by Joy Summers
Is everyone gearing up for National Night Out tonight? I’ve already baked off a blueberry, rhubarb cake and have a few more treats up my sleeves.
I adore my neighborhood. We stumbled into this address and discovered a wealth of new friends. Now, my kids are growing up with the kind of experiences I only thought possible in a suburb. They run in packs, from house to house, chins dripping with melted popsicle juice, knees scabbed and criss-crossed with Bandaids, screaming with the joys and injustice of youth well spent. From the other parents I’ve gotten hysterical anecdotes, powerful parental advice and extra hands and hugs for when my kids need them and I can’t be there.
Like everyone else in our community, we’ve felt the weight of recent events. Philando Castile’s school is a stone’s throw from our address. I’ve heard the helicopters flying overhead as protestors gathered and our community mourned this loss of life. I’ve honked in solidarity at the people gathered at the Governor’s Mansion, demanding to be heard; seen. I’ve thanked the police officers working hard and long hours to keep us safe as I walked past them to the Friday afternoon Farmer’s market with a gaggle of kids in tow. To those kids, the towheaded babies, the girls with braids and barrettes that clack joyfully as they ride their bikes, I try to explain in the broadest terms why they are safe; how much they are loved.
We’re all just doing the best we can with what we’ve got and we come together the best way that I know how. All colors, all incomes, all backgrounds, we pull from them our food and share it with each other. Tonight I’m embracing my community. I hope you have the chance to do so as well. (And if you need a place to go—you are welcome at ours!)
Blueberry Sage Lemonade
Because it’s berry season, I’m also spiking some store bought lemonade with a version of this syrup from my friend Erik Eastman of Easy & Oskey bitters. I add a bunch of sage swiped from my neighbors herb garden while boiling it down. The recipe is so simple and it’s also great in gin and tonics (just sayin’). Just pour a quarter cup of the syrup into a half gallon of lemonade. Serve with lemonade slices. Get the recipe here.
Black Coffee & Waffle Bar
Later this week, I’m heading over to the new Black Coffee & Waffle Bar on the corner of Cretin and Marshall Avenues. (That’s right—two avenues, one corner. Thank you, St. Paul.) This is the second outpost of the Como neighborhood cafe/coffee shop. There’s only one savory option on the menu (ham and melty cheese) while the rest are sweet combinations and the banana, cinnamon and whipped cream option has got my name on it. blackcoffeeandwaffle.com
Is there anywhere better to take a date than Restaurant Alma? The fabulous wine list, the stunning cuisine and the room that can occasionally have a few drawbacks. That’s why, as James Beard Award winning chef Alex Roberts works on remodeling the space next door into a cafe and the rooms above into a boutique hotel, he is also giving the restaurant a little refresh. Restaurant Alma 1.0 is coming to an end on August 12. That means there are just a few days left to grab the duck two ways in the room as it is now. restaurantalma.com