Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Even though birding and bed and breakfasts go hand in hand, this migration is about my blog. I will now be posting through my website www.the-bohemian.com. Heavens, the site is like owning a virtual B&B, meaning I am cleaning house from the front door to the back. I find the discovery exciting. There isn't an element of work to be done here that I don't enjoy, but I do find there is not enough time to do it all, so any help is appreciated, in real life I find relief, when busy, with the college students now back in town. In this new virtual 'job' of keeping the website in best form, just like the gardens and the house, I have Corey Ganser through Mind Touch to offer me the best support, virtual staff! Which kinda makes up for me losing my dear Olivia to her first year of college. Olivia Augustin had been with me for four years, with nary a compliant battling my mishaps. Here she is in Mexico with her acute interest in bathrooms, thanks to her fine work at The Bohemian! I will miss her!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Ratatouille, Brazilian Beans and the Blues

Today marks the beginning of an event my household anticipates every year. RiverBlast. A wonderful weekend that highlights the attributes, and challenges, of our beloved Minnesota River. Run by the Coalition for a Clean River the festival is continually blessed with great weather and gets better and better every year. We are headed down with friends and family this afternoon. A perfect launch to my friend's new column 'Simply Food' for the New Ulm Journal. Wendy and her husband Claud are notorious entertainers, reigning from here and abroad, and since I've invited a few friends over to start the weekend, her Ratatouille seems like the perfect component. And of course since I made it the other day, it is readily available. Ditto those beans, we experimented with them yesterday (you can make them up to three days ahead!). I for one am not starting what is usually a quiet weekend around The Bohemian with a lot of work. But that certainly doesn't mean I don't wish to entertain friends. I'm not sure who decided the art of hospitality can't be fun, and easy. Shhh, maybe we shouldn't spill the beans? Recipe for Brazilian Black Ones: 3 med beets scrubbed and trimmed. 1 pound bag of dried black beans. salt and pepper. 2 garlic cloves. 2 tbls olive oil. 1 small onion chopped. 1/2 cup fresh cilantro chopped. cooked brown rice. lime wedges and shredded cheddar. Put beets and beans in stock pot with enough water to cover bringing to a boil and simmering for an hour. Remove beets and when cool enough peel and dice. Continuing cooking the beans about an hour more, till tender. Drain. Chop garlic and sprinkle with salt. Heat oil in skillet on med with garlic onion and cilantro. Saute for 2-4 minutes till the onion is soft, but don't burn that garlic cause it gets bitter. Stir mixture in the beans, cook over med heat for 5 minutes season with salt and pepper. Top with cheddar, lime and chopped beets alongside rice. The ratatouille will go with bread. I tried it over scrambled eggs this morning for guests, per Miss Wendy's suggestion. Now that is one way to 'stir it up' in the am!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Don't Cook Like I Do.

For years I have said I am going to have a cooking show and call it 'Don't Cook Like I Do'. After several attempts of burning down the kitchen and a variety of interesting saves, I pretended tonight was episode one. My Mother gives me these saucy little magazines called everyday food ('great food fast from Martha Stewart'). I actually read them occasionally along with another one she brings over called Cookie which is about children. Both rags are sufficiently filled with enough hints and things I should have to make me feel entirely inadequate. So with the page torn out for Mediterranean Chicken Packets from an inspiring Tennessee reader named Joanna Douglas, I added the ingredients to my never ending grocery list. We are sleep deprived here. Darling Savannah, now banned from chocolate, was up until, well, we lost track at 4:30 am. I simply did not notice I had not picked up olives, or artichoke hearts (being Abby's favorite they were on the list twice) until I began cooking tonight's meal. It was then that I saw it was parchment paper that was called for not phyllo dough, which I had remembered to take out of the freezer. Now one thing that happens around here is Charlie likes to grill, and it is slick when he does a bunch of everything cause then I use that the rest of the week. So I put the torn chicken on several phyllo sheets I had brushed with olive oil, added garden tomatoes and feta cheese, the one ingredient originally called for beside the chicken. And, feeling particularly inspired by my own self, simply because I no longer cared, I threw some asparagus on top and sprinkled it with salt, pepper, and a wee bit more olive oil. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes. These pockets even fit the Heart of New Ulm nutrition address at the ladies night out last week.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Making Al Franken Smile

Bumped into Minnesota's State Senator last night at a very well attended Women's Night Out Expo sponsored by Frandson Bank highlighting the Heart of New Ulm agenda. Just as I'm thinking, we've turned another corner, I did, and felt like I had, literally, run into an old friend. You know that feeling when you see a familiar face. "Hey, Hi!" oh, like that was Al Franken, oh, and he's chuckling. But really, Ramona and I had a great table sharing what the New Ulm Bed and Breakfasts have to offer, yes, *even* for locals. We are always driving our efforts to turn that corner. So, costume therapy works again, we were in our jammies cause we go the extra mile!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Bobbi's Most Curious Minnesota

Well, I finally made an escape from The Bohemian Bed and Breakfast, besides to the farmers market or sausage shop and I had my copy of Minnesota Curiosities in hand! Abby began her 2 week immersion into German Culture at Concordia Language Villages and Charlie and I relinqueshed the baby to siblings and cousins for a couple day's jaunt to the North Woods. There were loons and rides on Lake Beltrami and wonderful sculptures in Bemidji but the quest was seeing all the 'quirky characters, roadside oddities and other offbeat stuff' touted by Russ Ringsak and Denise Remick in their delightfully written book. Nobody can sass it better than those two so I am just going to list what fun can be had on the road from New Ulm to Bemidji and back, more in order of the book, rather than our travels. World's Largest Ball of Twine, Darwin. Glockenspiel and Hermann the German, New Ulm (starting point counts!). W.W. Mayo House, Le Sueur. Paul Bunyan AND Fabulous Bob the voodoo priest, Akeley. Don't forget a stop at the silo for ice cream, I don't know how this was missed! Treasure City, Royalton. Which by far was my least favorite, and feeling it missed the boat even if boasting a pirate and oodles of seashells is odd in Minnesota. The eelpout festival is in Feb but at least I've driven through Walker and heard some tales causing me to become quite certain that the eelpout is exactly what a lakemaid is on any day but the summer soltise, which explains why she is so elusive.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Lore of the Lakemaid

The summer soltise has come and gone. Alas no Lakemaids arrived at The Bohemian this nicht. But where ever the anglers gathered, stories of past sightings were shared. Long ago the fresh water maids found their way inland from the oceans, and up the Mississippi to discover the cool pure waters of the North Country. Rewarding those anglers who have kept their waters clean, the Lakemaids offer ice cold beer, brewed in New Ulm, Mn by the August Schell Brewing Company. No sightings, but we still have a few cold ones here. Next year, I think I'm gonna wear a dirndl with scales.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

German Ancestry, Beer & Baseball

Patrick Reusse shares great wit and wisdom on why 'New Ulm remains Minnesota's Baseball Capitol'. His words are below. I don't begin to understand baseball but I understand hometown pride and talent. Mr. Reusse captures it all and how we locals feel about both! When your baby's big brother is CA's toughest surfer dude/wrestling coach Pete Zangl, a MN state wrestling champ, shared with only 2 other New Ulm title holders, one being Jamie's Dad Rich, who you went to high school with, along with classmate Terry Steinbach, it just doesn't get any better . Doc Hamann's 'kid' is staying a night this summer too. Some days, my job, and hearing others tout New Ulm just doesn't get any more fun! So, batter up!

German ancestry. Beer. Baseball
There’s no town in Minnesota where those qualities come together more dramatically than in New Ulm.
The German heritage is not quite as dominant as was the case a few decades back, although the 2000 census did not confirm this: New Ulm remains the most-German locale in the country among cities with a population of over 5,000.
The number was 66 percent in 2000. The population now is roughly 13,500, and the upcoming census could reveal a few more percentage points of diversity.
What’s puzzling is that way back in 1935 the town’s new ballpark was named in honor of a Swede – Fred Johnson, a long-time parks and recreation director in New Ulm. Johnson Park was the first baseball field in Minnesota to have lights.

Last weekend, Jamie Hoffman became the fourth native of New Ulm to play in the major leagues. The 24-year-old was called up by the Los Angeles Dodgers after a run of injuries in their outfield. Hoffman had a couple of at-bats on Friday and Saturday, then hit a three-run home run in the first at-bat of his first start. The audience at Dodger Stadium included his father, Rich, the Brown County Sheriff and a man in the midst of the drama surrounding the disappearance of Colleen Hauser with her son Daniel, a cancer patient.
The Hausers finally returned to Minnesota on Monday, and Sheriff Hoffman told reporters from L.A. that charges against the mother were dropped.
We had Todd Hoffman, Rich’s brother and Jamie’s uncle, on “Reusse and Company’’ early in the 6 o’clock hour to talk about this amazing few days in the lives of the Hoffman family.
That’s a large group by the way, with Rich and Todd growing up with seven siblings on the Hoffman’s family farm. I had talked to a couple of New Ulm oldtimers on Sunday night to track down someone to talk about the Hoffmans – Rich and Jamie.
The recommendation was to get ahold of “Clubby.’’ The interview was arranged. I had to ask Todd the source of his nickname. This proved once again that a radio host shouldn’t ask a question like that for the benefit of the audience unless he already knows the answer.
Todd responded, “It was because I was born with a club foot.’’ He added that there was hope his brothers might show understanding, but instead they gave him a nickname that he’s carried through life in New Ulm.

The interview also revealed that one of Todd’s first acts when his nephew was summoned to the Dodgers was to go down to the local Comcast office and order the baseball package.

There are three televisions (eat your heart out, Sooch) in Todd’s three-stall garage, in order to monitor conflicting sports events. “It was a zoo in there over the weekend,’’ Todd said.

And when Jamie hit the home run? “Every one went nuts,’’ Todd said.

The most-successful of the New Ulm big-leaguers was catcher Terry Steinbach, of course. He played 13 seasons in the American League for the Oakland A’s (10) and then the Twins. He played for the Gophers before being drafted by Oakland in 1983.
Brian Raabe also was another New Ulm and Gophers player who played s total of 17 games (13 for the Twins) in the big leagues.

The first major leaguer for New Ulm was Elmer (Doc) Hamann, a righthanded pitcher who appeared in his only game on Sept. 22, 1922. He faced seven batters, allowed three hits, walked three, hit one with a pitch and six of those runners scored. This gives Doc the distinction of facing more batters without getting an out than any big-league pitcher with an ERA of infinity.

There are baseball records suggesting that Fred Bruckbauer, another pitcher with an infinite ERA, can be credited to New Ulm. Bruckbauer, also a Gophers standout, pitched his one big-league game for the Twins on April 25, 1961, He faced four batters, allowed three hits, walked one and three of those runners scored.

Fact is, Bruckbauer merely was born in the New Ulm Hospital. He went home to Sleepy Eye in a baby blanket a few days later and grew up there.

Sleepy Eye is also the hometown of Daniel Hauser, the young man who occupied so much of the time of Brown County Sheriff Department’s time before mother Colleen brought him home on Monday.

One more note: Another pitcher, Dana Kiecker, spent his time with the Boston Red Sox before referred to as a Sleepy Eye native. Actually, he was born in the Sleepy Eye hospital, but comes from a farm outside Fairfax. And Dana actually had an ERA – 4.68 – in the 50 games in which he appeared for the Red Sox in 1990 and 1991

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

This past weekend marked the 7 year anniversary of The Bohemian. 7 seasons ago the doors were opened and with not all the wall paper hung, the first reservations coincided with the 2002 graduating class of Martin Luther College. It was a joyous moment with these very first guests running up with warm hugs like family! Never have 'I' had such a welcome! Again this 2009 weekend proved exciting, filled with a hope and promise mirrored in the eyes of the emerging adults and their families. I can not then allow the tragic news on Monday of the two young MLC students who died in an automobile accident go unmentioned. It brought me great sadness to learn of Zachary Moyle and Ryan Zweifel. As my guests were celebrating their future calls, these young men were accepting the final one on their journey home. Faith astonishes me and nowhere is that more apparent than in the medical ethics story building in New Ulm right now. Today, grateful I am not to be tested, for I know not what I would do.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Blind Eye Posting

We hope that you will all come out of your winter cocoon this Saturday night to hear some great classic folk music performed by Charlie Maguire.
Charlie Maguire, grew up in upstate New York, where a teen-age Charlie borrowed a guitar, paid $2.95 for a book entitled Play the Guitar in 30 Minutes,and unceremoniously commenced what would become his life's work. Very Bohemian By the mid-'60s, he was hanging around the folk centers in New York City and Boston, learning from pioneers of the folk music revival--people like Pete Seeger and Lee Hays--and from the new breed of folk performer--the likes of Arlo Guthrie and Holly Near.
Maguire moved to Minnesota, where a chance meeting with Garrison Keillor in the fall of 1974 led to 10 years of regular appearances on public radio's A Prairie Home Companion. During that time he wrote and performed some of his most-requested songs: "Goodnight Baby," "Play Us A Waltz," "I'm From Minnesota," "Talking Home Improvement" and "Getting in the Cows,"which is included on APHC's Tenth Anniversary Album. Hey, Wanda Gag right here in New Ulm, tonight Charlie Maguire at The Rhien River Art Center at 8, I am going to rack up all Minnesota's Favorite 150!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Turning Over A New Leaf?

We'll turn down the sheets. The Bohemian was designed green, all the way back in 1899 when houses were built smart to begin with. Amenities have been placed with gentle nature in mind since we opened our doors. With regional food and recipes, breakfasts are even easy on your heart 'cause we love our guests. So for Earth Day when you join us this month we will dig up some green in the heirloom hosta beds and in your pocket. Rooms are 39 dollars off, a buck for every year or so this great idea came into being.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


Some days are simply beautiful, and you can put all your eggs in one basket. Easter is like that. A day of Hope and Promise. Celebrating with newlyweds and enjoying a little baby running around crying out 'egg egg', on finally a nice spring day, it doesn't get much better. We started with "Orange Toast" from Grandma's 1940's cookbook: Orange peel zest with 1/4 cup sugar (let sit a bit) sprinkle over a German Rye slice of buttered toast, pop in oven to melt sugar. Very nice with grapefruit. Simple is Sweet. Always a good start.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

New Ulm Gives

Another example of New Ulm, not just Minnesota nice, nice. In partnership with the Governer's office and the Chamber of Commerce, The Bohemian Bed and Breakfast along with local business's giving back to the community are recognized for their support and efforts. Who says there is no such thing as a free lunch? Speaking of lunches, the Larkspur Market has reopened as Lola's Larkspur, An American Bistro. But what I'm really excited about is the Italian food. So with extended hours, new menu and ownership, it is worth a visit. If it weren't so damn far I would pack up as many of her baked goods that could fit in the PT and head up to Moorhead. That, my friends, must be where we get our hardiness. What is it about the Minnesota Midwest? Now there is some giving going on! This isn't forclosure, this is flooding and people are losing their homes with the only bailing being sandbags and escape routes. God be with them, and all who are helping. That is giving some 100 plus percent.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Gypsy Campfires

For being somewhat of a German Hamlet in New Ulm, the Bohemian soul has had quite a presence of late. Maritza played at the Rhein River Arts Center recently. Forlorn tunes of lost love played opposite the jaunty hopefulness of such is life. For me it is the music to describe the oft asked question of "What is 'Bohemian'?". Those Hungarian nomadic travelers of the late 18th century making their way through the European countryside entertaining with music, dance and common thievery. Ending in the underground streets of Paris, when asked from where they came: Bohemia, the now non existent country was the last place they passed through. Thus a direct and unromantic answer coined one of the most enchanting descriptors of artists we have today. Ah to be Bohemian, and you can be here cause I've been playing Maritza's CD over breakfast for days.

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Romans Are Coming

Mark your Fall calenders and witness how our Hermann on High helped with the fall of the Roman Empire. Even my pacifist blood finds the story, uh, captivating. "Give Me Back My Legions"

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

May the Bock Be With You

Today, and regarding Bockfest, no one says it better than Mr. Ted Marti, owner and originator of America's Best Outdoor Winter Party. Bockfest.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Pack Your Bags

This weekend I found myself in the Isles. Or should I say Bill and Kate Isles found their way into my heart. Singer songwriters from the shores of Duluth performed at our favorite venue here in New Ulm. Delivering stories and original music with a sweet candid sincerity that appealed to an appreciative crowd. As I sat there I thought they would be great on the porch some summer's eve. They do just that: house parties. Just in time for Valentine's Day and on the red high heels of New in Town, the Minne Sutra number was a hit! I'm watching you tube for this ice fishing lovefest fantasy. It doesn't take out of pocket to have an out of the ordinary Valentine's. Visit The Bohemian, help is here for out of the box date ideas in the budget of your dreams.

Monday, February 2, 2009

No Way, Yes Whey

Not tapioca, but Hoppel Poppel makes the news. WCCO visited my kitchen with a camera crew. Now I know this seems like a marketing coup, but I am a sensible woman from the Midwest. I know that I am perhaps the only potluck participant who doesn't live in CHAOS. That is flylady speak for 'can't have anybody over syndrome', and if THAT isn't a universal accent for all women, I don't know what is. But me, I have a bed and breakfast, having people over is what I do. So, when the day was done, New Ulm made big news, I got to fulfill a childhood dream of having my own cooking show, and the whole town had a blast.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

HOT DISH! Pass the Savings

New In Town opens this weekend.

Larkspur Building, 16 North Minnesota Street, New Ulm
6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Potluck Première· Walk the red carpet when you arrive where you’ll be greeted by some of New Ulm’s finest fire fighters
· Be one of the first 50 attendees to arrive with a potluck dish (enough to share) and get a free VIP movie pass to that night’s 8:15 p.m. movie showing of “New In Town”
· Tapioca Bar – sponsored by AMPI, one of the nation’s largest butter making-plants located right here in New Ulm; AMPI makes great tapioca, too!
· Experience “not just Minnesota Nice” with random prize drawings during the event including MOA shopping gift certificates with hotel accommodations. Our own “Prize Patrol” will be looking for best-dressed movie characters.
· Cash bar
You know The Bohemian will be bringing something potluck, but I will pass along some extra savings if you decide to join us for breakfast and that famous hopple popple!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

And sometimes, a million miles away is right here. Enjoying the Twin Cities Hot Club was so much a hoot, I didn't need to be anywhere else. This is often the case with events at the Rhein River Arts Center and Saturday night in New Ulm was no exception. The overflowing audience braved the cold, and the Band battled a bug of their own, missing a member, which opened the door to the delightful Simone Perrin. Her performance was a breath of pixie dust of the likes I've never heard. Not a crack or scratch to her voice but I felt like I had put on an old 78 record. Not for the vintage, but because she evoked a sound similar to that when music really mattered. Simone's far too few collaborations on Saturday left me with a contemporary sound I wanted more of and wasn't going to find readily on any ipod whimsy shuffle. I felt a wee bit guilty for bringing little baby Savy, who loves to dance. I just hadn't realized that now she is capable of singing along and seems to be smart enough at 19 months to know the real action takes place on stage. I vowed to leave her at The Bohemian from now on, but am reminded Miss Perrin did not aquire any of her musical talent and enchanting stage presense by being sent home!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Wishes Granted Ooh La La

I love the magic of everyday life! I love my new job this year at River Bend ALC! I love that I have enjoyed the mysteries of travel and I have of late been missing that. A lot. So in class, partnered up with a student and asked 'if you could be anywhere right now, where would it be?' I immediatly said 'PARIS'. I suppose the correct answer may have been 'right here right now', which would have been a good lesson, but my longing got the better of me and of course introducing the students to the adventure of travel is a good lesson too. When I got home I had an e-mail from Anne and John Makepeace peppering my in box with their weekend offering at The Rhein. Twin Cities Hot Club, a Parsian Style mix of romance, swing, Jazz and Gypsy. Well I'll be if that doesn't grant my wish, it might cover all of them, I've been a bit whiny in the romance department too! Based on the reviews I think these four guys can make us all feel a million miles away, and put a little Gypsy back in this Bohemian's soul. Hearing the magic, now that is the Spice of Life.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

New Years Baby Enters Life as Bohemian

Isn't that what we would call a home birth? "Unconventional"? It shouldn't be, but home birth is still considered as far flung from normal, especially in the Midwest, as one can get, so I was elated to read today's local headline! Abby my oldest was born at home in Oregon and number two would have been if Minnesota afforded the expertise of midwives any reign. Heck, I couldn't even reign one in within any reasonable distance. Which makes me wonder where the one mentioned springs from. Well, happy to hear of it, and in a terrific article and by golly if there wasn't a bit of a nod to breastfeeding right below. Advocacy for children? A swell start to the New Year. We are all about that at The Bohemian.