January 24, 2006

Minnesota Stoicism: Weather Wars

(this lifts heavily from my comments to Crazy Aunt Purl, who asked if Minnesotans love and discuss their regional cuisine in the tender yet obsessive manner that Southerners do)

Don't let Minnesotans fool you. We love our hot dishes, yes. Hot dishes are a regional specialty - the 'homier' (heavier) they are, the better we like 'em. When away from home we crave our lefse, and cheese curds, and whatever gawdawful thing we ate as kids. But it's NOT THE SAME as the way the Southerners love their regional foods.

We save that sort of intensity for our obsessive love/hate relationship with the weather. Temperature, humidity level, snowfall - we've got decades and decades of it stored up in our heads. Real Minnesotans remember snowstorms that occurred while they were still in the womb. I, personally, recall in micro-detail several weather occurances that were experienced by my grandmother in her youth, a century ago.

There is nothing more obnoxious than a Minnesotan in a weather pissing contest. You can't win. Relocated Minnesotans reminisce together over how deep the snow drifts were when they were kids, compare how close they've come to standing in the eye of a tornado, and count each other's fingers and toes. They pride themselves in an unbearably smug-yet-laconic manner on their unflappability in the face of the weather crises of their adopted states/countries.

"Oh, this bit of damp breeze is a *hurricane*? Huh. A bit inconvenient, I s'pose, but nothing to close the schools over..."

Our weather is *always* colder, hotter, more humid, more dry, more unreliable and more miserable than yours.

You can keep your Grits and your Pecan Pie. *I* ran out of candy during the Great Halloween Blizzard of '91...


11 Comments:

Blogger mrspao said...

I don't think anything beats England for dampness :)

2:16 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Heh, I think you're right, MrsPao! We don't get very many days of the sort of bonechilling damp I've heard so much about in England.

Eileen - I was at the U in '91. Oh, we were quite the picture, bundled up to our eyebrows, trudging through the snow with our sled to go get more beer...

5:20 AM  
Blogger mama_tulip said...

Eileen, you really crack me up.

It's really coming down outside right now...wanna top that? ;)

6:22 AM  
Blogger Tink said...

*Snort* It's um... cool enough for a jacket down here. Kind of windy too. So there. LOL. Grits, bleh. They're on the same list as Boiled Peanuts and Okra.

7:35 AM  
Blogger mE said...

Chris~ Even with the drifts piling up around their tiny waists and the cold, the little buggers were piling up at our door. By 6:30 we'd run out of our *3* bags of candy, and I was actually HIDING in my bedroom with the lights off, trying to keep out of sight so that I wouldn't have to tell those miniscule stalwarts that their efforts were wasted.

I am such a coward... but I was punished, because we had no food in the house and I wasted most of the evening trying to get hold of a place that would deliver a pizza, to no avail. I had to starve until the Pirate got home from work at midnight. :D

11:39 AM  
Blogger mE said...

Mama Tulip & Tink~ yah, I can beat it. It's unseasonably warm here at the moment, in the 30's... and this morning I saw a student walk by the house wearing shorts, a t-shirt, tennies, and his backpack. No jacket or sweater or vest.

Typical...

11:43 AM  
Blogger mE said...

Mrs. Pao~ I believe you are right in terms of *long term* dampness... we get bigger deluges, I think, and our humidity is similar in the summer... but in the winter we dry out, where in the UK it's often too damp all year long for things to dry out at all. We were more humid than you the year I visited, but I am told by a friend that I was there in a particularly pleasant and mild spring and summer. (I actually got sunburned at St. Andrews in early June!)

11:46 AM  
Blogger mama_tulip said...

It's unseasonably warm here, too -- it's been well above zero a lot lately. Kinda makes me nervous, actually.

3:13 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Heh - Eileen, even if you're not knitting anything piratical, you might just want to add this button to your page...

3:33 PM  
Blogger mrspao said...

btw, what are lefse and cheese curds?

1:03 PM  
Blogger mE said...

Chris~ I love it! It will be coming soon... thanks!

Mrs. Pao~ lefse is a Swedish sort of potato crepe sort of thing - it's not sweet. My family loves to spread it with cream cheese and basil leaves, roll it up into little pinwheeled logs, bake it just long enough to melt the cream cheese, and then cut it in bite-sized pieces. Yum!

Cheese curds are literally the curds of cheddar cheese. They look a bit like those twisty freeform styrofoam packing peanuts. You generally can only get them in areas that are near a cheesemaker/cheese factory, because they are not aged, they have to be eaten fairly fresh. They taste good, and fresh cheese curds have the weird but irresistable quality of *squeaking* on your teeth when you bite/chew them.

The Cheese Factory in Wisconsin makes Garlic Cheese Curds, and it's well worth traveling to Wisconsin just to try them. Although there are lots of other good reasons to go to Wisconsin. House On the Rock, for instance. It's well worth traveling to Wisconsin just to see House On the Rock. I can tell if a person is a Kindred Spirit just by whether or not they LOVE House On the Rock...

10:00 PM  

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