Tag Archive | Minneapolis

Jell-O Soup

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When I was a little kid, Mom used to take me to the Forum Cafeteria in downtown Minneapolis for lunch. Sometimes we would meet one of her friends or it would just be the two of us.

“Mom, I want a hamburger. What do they call it here?”  I would always ask, my nose barely reaching the counter while I pointed up at the tray of patties.

“Tell them you want ground beef,” Mom would say. It was a deliciously seasoned patty that came with mashed potatoes, gravy, and a vegetable.

“Make sure you order the Jell-O, too,” Mom would remind me. The Jell-O came in evenly cut squares, shaped like a brownie.  They put the Jello-O in its own separate bowl.  We carried our trays over to one of the little tables close to the cafeteria line and were able to see the front entrance.  The place was always abuzz with clanking dishes and echoing conversations.  It wasn’t only a good place to eat; it was a great place to visit to look at the Art Deco decor.  The floor was black and white checkers, the lights sparkled down towards us, and the decorative mirrors surrounded us.

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The Saxe Bros. of Milwaukee built the bulding in 1914. The Saxe Theater was intended to be the best theater in the country to watch motion pictures.  By 1916, the theater name changed to Strand.  Then by 1929, the Forum Cafeteria Co., of Kansas City, signed a lease and converted the space into a restaurant.  The Forum Cafeteria was in business from 1930 until 1975.  It re-opened under many different names after 1975, as a disco or other restaurants.  An article in the StarTribune gives a good history of the places that tried to make a go of it after the Forum Cafeteria closed.

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This photo was taken after a renovation.

Even though I appreciated the Art Deco at an early age, the best part of the experience was when Mom and I acted silly when we were eating lunch. It was the only place where we took mouthfuls of Jell-O squares and swished it around to make Jell-O soup.  Even though the giggles escaped while we swished, we kept all that Jell-O inside.

Mom and Me Picture

Little memories like that can make your day a happy one.

Mom, when thoughts of you are in our hearts, we are never far from home.
~Author Unknown

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America the Beautiful

Today is the last day of Macy’s annual flower show in downtown Minneapolis.  This year’s theme is America the Beautiful.  There are displays of flowers or plant life from every region of the United States.  As usual, the scenes were beautiful.

Bachman’s replaces some of the flowers, such as Daffodils, Hyacinths and Tulips, to keep the flowers looking fresh.  Each year, more than 65,000 people visit, and it’s always on my list of things to do in the spring.  Seeing the flowers gives us hope for our gardens as we wait for flowers to bloom.

Earth laughs in flowers.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Our “Fruits” of Summer!

It seems that Minnesotans try to cram as much fun as we can into the summer months. When our days are blessed with sun and greenery dotted with beautiful flowers of every color in the rainbow, sometimes we think back to the cold winter like it was some sort of nightmare. The changing seasons can be charming in their way, but we tend to act like little bees in our own gardens of life happily enjoying our “fruits” of summer.

Just a few things that were going on around the Twin Cities last weekend were the Art Fair in Uptown Minneapolis, the Irish Fair in St. Paul, and the Polish Festival in Minneapolis. My husband and I visited the Polish Festival around 3:30 in the afternoon on Saturday.  We were greeted by a group of very friendly people and a sign asking for donations so the Polish Festival could remain a free event. After giving our donation, we received a red sticker that said, “I Support the Polish Festival!”

The festival was set up between Old Main Street by St. Anthony Main and the Mississippi River. Tents bordered both sides and at each end there was a stage. All the tents were different.  One tent had information about a Polish school and another was filled with Polish sheep dogs.  Vendors sold decorative boxes, ornaments, honey, t-shirts, and trinkets. Food and beer could be purchased too.  Because it was a warm day, we decided to try a Polish beer – Zywiec – and sat on a bench by the river and watched people pass by.  There were visitors of all ages in attendance.

Polish food is delicious!  We shared a dinner of Polish sausage, pierogies (dumplings stuffed with potato filling), and potato pancakes, and we couldn’t pass up the gotobki (cabbage rolls) or the poczki (raspberry filled pastries).  We weren’t counting carbs that day.  🙂

Children performed a play in Polish on one stage and at the other, a polka band played under the bridge.  Dancers’ polka steps were varied and impressive, and I wondered who would earn the ribbon to win the contest.  We noticed that the vodka tasting was a big draw since it was sold out.  That was okay, because after eating that variety of food, one beer was enough for us.

As we left, more people entered, and we guessed it was because it was dinner time.  We enjoyed talking with some of the friendly folks, learning new things about the culture, the good food, and entertainment.  If you didn’t get to attend this event, you can always add it to your list of “fruits of summer” to enjoy next year!

Art in Bloom

The theme for the Macy’s Flower Show in downtown Minneapolis this year was Art in Bloom.  The last day of the Flower Show was yesterday.  As usual, I visited the display towards the last days of the show, and some of the flowers were looking a little tired but still beautiful.  I enjoyed seeing how the arrangements tied in with the artwork.  If you hover your mouse over the bottom of each picture below, you will see how I titled the photos.

The Modern Garden reminded me of Legos, and the flowers below mirrored the scene.  There were slide shows projected on different pieces of art.  For instance, on the David Statue, different geographical designs were displayed and changed.  Plus, many different paintings were projected onto the Bed of Flowers.

Bachman’s did a wonderful job, as usual.  Every year I think, this was my favorite display, and this year wasn’t any different!

 

I’m looking forward to seeing the earth come alive as spring blooms more each day here in Minnesota!  Happy Easter!

Our Lord has written the promise of the resurrection, not in books alone,
but in every leaf in spring-time.  ~Martin Luther