Welcome to A Tranquil Nook Blog

We welcome you to follow along on our crafty adventures. Frank is a farmer by day, jewelry and hand braided cord-maker by night. Jane simply fiddles with fabric and fiber any time she can. We share things about what we make, how we make it, where you can get it.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Winter Market at Old Burger King Bldg

Last Saturday was the beginning of Winter Market for Bemidji's Natural Choice Farmers Market.  Not so many fresh vegetables in a winter market in northern Minnesota.  Still lots of good things from the garden and woods have been preserved as pickles, sauces, jams, syrups.  Wonderful Honey and honey related products too. 

Baking is big, Art is awesome, Craft is creative.

This week Frank has baked a few Gluten Free treats.

Almond Pound Cake 


Birch Ginger Snap Cookies

You see them here cooling on racks.  The cake will be get a light drizzle of frosting.  Both made with eggs from our hens.  The birch cookies have birch syrup.

What, what that, you say.  Birch syrup?  Ah Yep.  After the sap run is over for Maple trees, the birch sap run begins.  So every few years, Frank taps a few birch trees and boils up some birch syrup.  It is not a sweet eating syrup, it is more of a black strap molassas type syrup.  He uses it much like molassas in gingerbread and other baked goods. 

We really enjoy using the birch syrup and the zip it gives to cookies and cakes.

If you are in Bemidji tomorrow, stop into Winter Market in the Old Burger King Building (Paul Bunyan Drive and 2nd St).  We always have a few for sampling as well as more for sale.  11am to 3p. Sat Nov 26, 2011

Market will continue on Saturdays through Dec 17, 2011.  However this is the last week Frank will be doing Gluten Free Baking for this year.  He keeps a strict wheat free kitchen when doing Gluten free baking.  After this week he is putting away the Gluten Free flours and utensils and pulling out the wheat flour and wheat utensils, getting ready to bake up his favorite traditional holiday treats. Stollen, sugar cookies and more.  Gluten Free goods will return in the spring of 2012.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

High Tunnel Time

Extending the growing season in northern climates.  A good thing we think.  High Tunnels are one way to go.   A way we are embracing.  We really enjoyed produce found at farmers market this summer that came early and hung on late into the growing season. So this fall Frank went to a tour and workshop about high tunnels and hey there, hi there, hoe there, studied up, found the funds and ordered one.  The lure of gardening in early spring through late fall has the man in a strong grip.

Thanks to help from many wonderful friends A High Tunnel now stands on our garden spot.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

My stops on November's First Friday Art Walk in Bemidji

First Fridays in Bemidji, a time of art show openings and receptions.  So many to choose from to enjoy a gawk and graze about town.  Most of the receptions offer not only visual inspiration but tasty food treats as well.  For me the challenge is to map out a visit plan, about 4 openings is the max for me.  More than that and I go on brain and social overload.  This time, I though to try more and scheduled 7 stops.  Hit my limit at 5 and came on home.  Hope to get to the other two shows on the list later this month, alas will miss the artists though will be able to see their shows.

Let me Tell You a Story
Image used with permission

The highlight for me this month was the show at Rail River Folk School, "Let Me Tell You a Story: Interconnected Art Exhibit" by Wesley May. Powerful and thought provoking, read the artist statement and about the show.  A visual look into people, beliefs, relationships.


On the lighter side was Shannon Lucas-Westrum's show as November Artist of the Month at the Cabin Coffee House.  Vera really brought out a big smile.

At the Wild Hare another fun and interesting exhibit by Alice Blessing a cool juxtaposition of cats and birds in Alice's unique and interesting style.

It was also lovely to take in a beautifully framed show of reprints of original work by Jane Freeman along with 3 small original oils.  The light, the detail the artistry in Jane's work delights one's soul.
 image used with permission