Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Buying Into NoMi Presents Initial Difficulties

Post and photos by the Hawthorne Hawkman.

Some time ago, I made a pledge to become perhaps what could be described as a one-man north Minneapolis chamber of commerce.  I wanted a project, and thought that spending an entire year buying as much as possible within or connected to NoMi would allow me to do that and find creative ways to support my community.

I decided to start the day after the last Polars' football game of the season, which was Thursday of last week.  So until 10/21/11, I'll be blogging about this effort on a regular basis.  The first two challenges are shown above, and let me emphasize that they are COMPLETELY SEPARATE from each other.  Either that, or I'm going to show some kids the Pixar movie Ratatouille right before Halloween and then I'll have the perfect way to just scare the snot out of the little buggers.  Take your pick.

Ok, what's REALLY going on in these two pictures above... on one night I realized I was missing a certain kind of kitchen implement, and then tonight a mouse breached Helm's Deep and proper revenge needed to be taken.  Let's tackle the kitchen item first.

I was in the mood to expand my horizons in the kitchen and wanted to try something new (to me).  Well, I've never been too good at making homemade sauce, so I thought I'd try my hand at some bowtie pasta, beef and veggies, and my own BĂ©arnaise sauce.  Thing is, I had no double boiler.  And I went to Cub on Broadway and couldn't find one there either.  I was faced with the prospect of either taking the easy way out and going to Target in Northeast (since we don't have a Target over here thanks in part to shoplifters), or trying to imitate MacGyver in the kitchen.

Granted, it's not on the same level as, say, making a bomb out of some chalk, a hockey puck, and the innards of a walkie-talkie, but it served its purpose.  Still, if people know of places in NoMi or owned by NoMi residents where I can pick up kitchen supplies, keep me posted.  And the sauce tasted wonderful - the texture still needs work, but I didn't expect to emulsify the dish perfectly on my first try.

Now on to the less appetizing challenge - how to deal with mice.  Irving Inquisition already recommended glue traps.  But tonight when I came home from work, hardware stores were already closed and little Feivel was zipping around my place.  Mice don't make me jumpy, but there's only one mouse I'll tolerate because at least Mickey wears pants.  Cub was out of the glue traps and so I was left with several choices:  A rather expensive gadget that kills ONE MOUSE and costs a bundle, poison, or live traps that can be used repeatedly.

Well, I didn't like the idea of using all that plastic to kill one mouse and then not being able to recycle it (the plastic), nor being sure whether I had more than one mouse.  Yes, I want to find the most earth-friendly way to get rid of vermin.  So I split the difference and picked up a few live traps and a box of poison.  Fill the traps with the poison and wa-lah.  If the mouse isn't dead by the time I check the trap, then it's only a matter of time.

A final note:  I still have not decided on what I might do about money spent outside of NoMi during this year.  I'm open to suggestions.


  1. 1. Get a cat.

    2. Knor makes a great instant Hollandaise Sauce that can be dressed up to a first class BĂ©arnaise by adding a couple of egg yolks, some white wine and tarragon. (Available at Cub)

  2. Anon 12:03, I wouldn't mind getting a cat if I had a bigger place. And I've used the Knor packets before. But I'm trying to perfect the art of making the perfect sauces from scratch.

    @ General Disarray, I did indeed temper the eggs. Since this was my first attempt and since I was not cooking in the presence of anyone who knew what they were doing, I'm not 100% I did it RIGHT, mind you.

  3. Sometimes if you don't remove it from the heat once in a while it can over heat and curdle. Did you add the wine last?

  4. I don't think double boilers actually exist. I think someone put an illustration in my 1968 Betty Ctocker Cookbook to start a culinary snipe hunt.


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