What to Do in July When It’s March

This past week’s weather has been unseasonably warm–causing many of us to do and think about things we normally wouldn’t for several months. I cleaned and organized my garage, and celebrated my St. Patrick’s Day birthday watching the parade in my shorts and flip-flops. I lingered on WA Frost’s patio in St. Paul, sipping cocktails until near closing time, and got into an intensely MN-nice-style argument about climate change, causation, and if we really need the Florida pan-handle.

Based on observable evidence, summer, or at least a very hot spring, has begun, catching many of us unawares. My head has been spinning with things I’d like to do as the weather gets warmer.

My top five spring/summer to-do’s:

1. Visit a brewery in a pastoral setting. This week, I tasted a lager from Dave’s Brew Farm, located 30 miles outside of Hudson, and I immediately knew I’d have to make a pilgrimage. Great beer and a wind powered brewery? Sounds worth the trip. Check their site for visiting dates and hours. 2470 Wilson St., Wilson, WI 54027, 612-432-8130

2. Forage mushrooms, including morels, and not die. I love mushrooms. I love the outdoors. I don’t love eating poison. This year will be the year I take the plunge and go into the woods with somebody who knows what they’re doing. For starters, I found some basic about mushrooming in Minnesota at minnesotamushrooms.org. While I’m out there, I might grab a few other wild goodies, like ramps and wild greens.

3. Occupy a prime patio seat at soon-to-open Icehouse on Eat Street in Minneapolis. Full disclosure: The owners, who also brought us Be’wiched Deli, are friends of mine. I am excited about their new food and music venture, slated to open this spring, and plan to get one of the first available seats.

4. Master the “Michelada.” Those living in the southern hemisphere know good refreshing drinks and while the Michelada–an iced and spiced beer concoction–is my drink of choice in Mexico, I’ve never made one at home. This promises to be my season of the Michelada. Here’s a good description and base recipe from the New York Times.

5. Check out the Wise Acre Eatery Farm in Plato. Owners Scott Endres and Dean Engelmann took their passion for all things green and built a farm to support their South Minneapolis restaurant. The farm is open to the public and offers reservations for planned events. It will be offering a greenhouse tour at the end of this month, plus a mid-season farm dinner (announcement forthcoming). According to Mr. Endres, the farm hopes to offer a special dinner with Fulton Brewery this year. Check wiseacreeatery.com or call their gardening center, Tangletown Gardens, for info.

After living in St Paul for close to 20 years, I realize I’m still a transplant. If you know some other good ones, please send them along, and I’ll add them to my list.

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