Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Meth Lab??? Not in MY backyard!!

Ole's on the volunteer fire department, you know. They've had a pretty quiet summer, which is good. But now as the weather starts to get colder and folks are using their heating systems, and the weather starts to lay down an icy coating on the roads and highways, they are getting called out more frequently.

Yesterday morning Ole and I were still sitting around in our jammies drinking coffee when his pager went off - "Small Town Fire Department, meth lab fire at the corner of County Road 17 and County Road 10!" Oh my gosh, not only is that extremely hazardous, but that location is only a couple of miles from where we live!! We've got meth heads THAT close? We live in a quiet neighborhood. That kind of stuff doesn't happen here, does it? Then the pager went off a second time, "Cancel that call, meth lab discovery, but no fire. Please investigate." Well, that's still hazardous, but not nearly as bad as a fire.

So Ole jumped into his jeans, donned his flannel shirt, I handed him a protein bar as he exited the door because he hadn't had breakfast yet, and he zoomed down the driveway and into the fire department where everybody geared up in haz mat stuff.

A local farmer had been out investigating his property where he planned to go deer hunting and came across what was left of a meth lab that had obviously been used very recently. It was right out in the tall grass next to a corn field along the river. He said he had been noticing a car parked along that area off and on for the last several months. But every time he would head out to investigate the car the person would return to the car and leave. Remember, we live in an area where everybody knows everybody and a strange car causes a lot of speculation.

Ole and I also run the dogs along that road on a fairly regular basis about the same time every day. We've also noticed a strange pickup parked in the same place off and on for the last several months, but didn't think anything of it. Just thought it was someone running a trap line. One time there was a female along, so we speculated that they were out on this lonely country road "bumping uglies" if you know what I mean (tee hee). Of course when we're running the dogs, they're out in the ditches and sniffing on every gopher mound and dirt lump, so our truck is just crawling along at a snail's pace. But every time we would get within a quarter of a mile of this truck, someone would get in and take off.

So they dismantled the equipment and the sheriff picked it all up.

So there you have the latest breaking news - exciting, isn't it?

Now yesterday I was talking about traditional holiday ScandiHOOvian food, namely that smelly, gelatinous, white stuff called lutefisk. Today I have something much more delicious to talk about. Ever heard of lingonberries? Mmmm, good.

They're little tiny red berries, juicy ones are about the size of a garden pea, that grow on a bush very low to the ground in what's called the boreal forest. See, you're getting an education today. What's a boreal forest? Well, that's what we have in Minnesota - where we have permafrost all year long - way up in far northern Minnesota.

Well, truly the ground doesn't stay frozen all year long up there, but the lingonberries require cool soil that's very acidic and heavily forested because they like shade. When they're ripe all the silly Swedes get down on their hands and knees and pick those babies and they end up in my store where I can pay an arm and a leg for fresh berries. But they are soooo worth it. You can make them into jam or syrup, but here's my favorite recipe and I make it every year for Thanksgiving. It's so easy even I can do it!!

Fresh lingonberries
Equal parts of sugar and water - enough to just cover the lingonberries

Cook over medium heat until the berries begin to thicken. Remove from heat and cool.

Mix graham cracker crumbs with butter and sugar as if you were making a pie crust.

Layer lingonberries, cracker crumbs and heavily whipped cream in a clear glass bowl.

Makes for a pretty holiday dessert and tastes wonderful.

Love Lena


Washer Mom Val said...

Like your blog. The Meth thing is scary - we are foster parents and get children whose parents choose drugs over their kiddos. Sad world we live in!

John Bailey said...

We're very fond of lingonberry jam. The only place we can get it here is at IKEA so a half-dozen jars is added to every cart load... :-)

Meggie Lou said...

Very scary stuff, that meth. I don't get why anyone would actually buy it let alone put that poison into their bodies, but that' just me.

thekitchenlogic said...

Hate the meth. Love the lingonberries. Especially in jam form on a toasted sandwich with turkey slices and cream cheese.


Are you going to tell us about cloudberries? I love cloudberries!

And can you explain to me why I have a Norwegian cousing named Odd Kenneth. For real. "Odd Kenneth" and that's not funny. It's really his name. I do not kid. Does "Odd" have a different meaning in Norway?

Shear said...

Bet I'd love the lingonberries! I love all kinds of berries. We had boysenberries in California once. My dad thought my aunt offered him "poison berries". We still laugh about that one.

P.Shepard said...

MMMMM....lingonberries (she says mimicing the voice of Homer Simpson). I always get a good education from interesting. We had a 2 shootings Halloween night 8 blocks from here on a street lined with Victorian Mansions. Some mansions are rehabbed and beautiful and some are still crack houses...such is life in a small city...the rehabbers are brave souls but the city is becoming by house.

P.Shepard said...

P.S. the above comment is from me...Paula in Elgin IL...the new pen name is p.shepard.

boxx said...

I hope you're not on well water because the meth lab will contaminate the water and earth for miles around it.

Susan said...

Glad you are checking out my blog. My favorite, living in Eau Claire, WI, was lingonberries on pancakes topped with a dab of sour cream. Oh my, what a treat!!

holly said...

When I heard that on the news, I thought it was awfully close to your place, you'd be suprised how many meth heads are around here, its everywhere. Glad they found it and got rid of it, freaky..

capitolady said...

Hi Lena,

I'm kinda behind on my reading so you will see quiet a few entries being read today.

When I was growing up in NJ we lived next to a drug dealer that had all the cops as customers. Major reason why I don't live there anymore. Thank God neither does my family.

The Berries sound good.