Where to Find Wild Rice in Duluth

My parents are up in town this weekend and wanted to know where to get good wild rice. They indicated they wanted cracked broken pieces and whole grain. I am by no means a wild rice expert. Can anyone help?

Moving Back to Duluth. Need Input.

I have finally convinced my wife to come back to Duluth after years of trying to persuade her. Her biggest concerns are education for our children, cultural diversity, organic selection for food and a good doctor of osteopathic medicine that has a family practice. I turn to PDD because my personal circle of influence in town stays with the norm of not researching these subjects and she needs a good place to start. We do not need to live in Duluth proper, but would like to be close enough that Grandma can reach us in a short amount of time to babysit.

Oh, and on a side note, I wanted to post this link that I just found while cleaning my bookmarks out. It is the best thing I have found on PDD to date!


The Bridge in Winter

Aerial Lift Bridge photos by Rick Mickelson.

Places to refill Co2 tanks in Duluth

I just moved to Duluth and I’m a homebrewer. I was wondering if there is any local places to refill Co2 tanks for kegerators?  I have my own tank.

Hearts of Gold

Today, at Super One Foods in Lakeside, there was an older guy wearing a Marines cap, so I asked him where he served. He said sixty years ago on this day in Korea, December of ’51, they had been in their bunker, which was warmed by an oil stove. Someone mistakenly threw gas on it, and everything went up in a blaze, his Christmas presents under his cot, his camera, some guys died. Another “even got a silver heart.” Probably for running back into the fire to save people.

So when I walk by these modest, quiet homes, and wonder who lives there, I’ll know many of them are old-time Duluthians who served their country in wars people easily forgot. And while I may be angered by the hypocrisy, failure of diplomacy, fear or greed that may cause them, I am equally amazed and humbled by the courage and selflessness of those who serve. Sometimes they just want their stories to be heard.

Homemade Duluth Music

A couple days back, when I asked for get-me-up-to-speed-on-Duluth book recommendations, I was regaled with the collected consciousness of PDDers — I’ve bought a couple to read pre-arrival and will buy more when I arrive (Book Store at Fitger’s, right?).

Next question — music by artists from Duluth. What should I listen to as I prepare? Any/all genres. Contemporary, classic, anything in between. Also, if there are lists/resources that collect this information already, please point me in those directions too. Thanks!


I am contemplating joining the technologically advanced, putting down the dusty library book and purchasing an e-reader. Does anyone have any opinions about the pros and cons of the Kindle versus the Nook? I don’t necessarily need the tablet aspect of it, primarily I would use it for reading, probably listen to Pandora while reading, but that’s about it. I’m not big on games so I can live without that feature.

I heard a good question I have not been able to find the answer to yet. Is the Nook limited to only Barnes and Noble books or can you get books from Amazon too? Is one easier to use than the other? If you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear them.

Temporarily retired songwriter looking for broken or malfunctioning iPhones

Okay, maybe this is plain wrong, but … I  need about 30 broken or malfunctioning iPhones to conduct an informal experiment in survival here on your planet. I’ll even pay for some if necessary, but if yours got ran over by a herd of drunken yaks, or did the backstroke in the tub, or just plain ain’t acting right anymore, and you’re thinking of disposing of it either properly or improperly, how about allowing me to intercept that shattered, twisted, all-too-quiet device for my experiment?

Please contact me at iduntaken @ yahoo.com if you’ve got one of these broken-down digital talking machines.

Leather-working materials in Duluth?

We have been trying to get a hold of some leather rivets and other tools for working leather to no avail.  Obviously the internet will have plenty of what we are trying to find, but the internet is for wussies.

I’ve tried Michael’s, Hancock Fabrics, Menards, Kmart, Target and Harbor Freight ToolsThatSmellBad.  While we were able to find a leather punch tool, nobody has any rivets for joining pieces of leather together.

There has to be someone around town that specializes in this kind of work, other than some place like Duluth Pack which doesn’t actually sell the stuff.

Extra points for a place with a variety of supplies.

Ten Minutes with Local Steampunk Artist Eric Horn

I just posted a fascinating look at the artist behind Chronicle: The Graphic Novel, which premiered at Friends of Industry last summer, at Ennyman’s Territory.

Homemade Tom & Jerry Batter

OK gang, due to the volume of discussion and frustration regarding Connelly’s vs. Mrs Bowen’s vs. Flaherty’s, I’ve taken it upon myself to root out a decent recipe for homemade Tom & Jerry batter. Here’s the result of my research and experimentation (it should be noted that I pilfered 95 percent of this from an online recipe):

12 eggs, separated
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound butter, room temperature
3 pounds powdered sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground allspice

Beat egg whites and salt in a large glass or metal mixing bowl until stiff peaks form (when you lift your beater straight up the egg whites should form a sharp peak that holds its shape).

Beat the egg yolks to soft peaks in a separate bowl. Beat the butter and powdered sugar in another large bowl until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks and vanilla to the butter mixture; mix. Stir in the cloves, allspice, and the egg whites; beat until well blended. Batter can be frozen or kept in refrigerator for several weeks.

To make a Tom and Jerry, put one jigger of dark rum and one jigger of brandy in a coffee cup, add a heaping tablespoon of batter, fill the cup with boiling water and garnish with a little ground nutmeg (most aficionados consider it a sacrilege to stir the batter, but I have one friend who won’t have it any other way).

Heaven!! A true PDD (Perfect Duluth Dram). And it only took me a half hour or so to whip up (plus this recipe makes a lot — several weeks worth for our household and a rotating cast of holiday guests). Reviews have been overwhelmingly positive. My wife, upon hearing the recipe, remarked, “That’s cake frosting! No wonder people love it!”

One final caveat: use pasteurized eggs, available at Cub Foods, but — curiously — not at Mount Royal, last time I looked.

Cheers, and happy holidays!

Duluth Chicken Photo Shoot

Rolf’s Chicken Photo Shoot — another reason why I love this town.

Wii Repair

So, about 15 seconds after I bought my daughter a new Wii game for Christmas, the console died. I’ve been looking all over Google for anyone in town who can fix it, so that I don’t have to send it to Nintendo’s repair center in CA.

I found one place in MSP that I can ship it to, but I’d much rather go local. Best Buy, etc, can’t do it. Anybody know someone who can?

Getting Ready for Duluth, in Three Books

So, I’m definitely going to be doing the parachute/suitcase project I mentioned on PDD last week (thanks for all the feedback by the way!). I have slightly more than a couple weeks before plunging into 31 days of Duluth, and I figure I’ll have time to read a few books before arriving. Any suggestions on books that might help me prepare? Non-fiction, fiction, collections of essays, or anything that will help me get my head wrapped around the city. (Also, ideally the book will be available on Amazon.)

Tree Free vs. Free Tree

The benefits of cutting your own — a seasonal question.

Although it’s not for everyone, one thing I love about the cut-your-own experience up north is that in theory it is available to anyone. We own our own land, which simplifies things. But the Superior National Forest offers tree cutting permits ($5 apiece) and anyone is free to go cut one for personal use.* Be sure to follow theirFollow this link for more musings and photos.