Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving With NoMi Friends And Neighbors...

Photos by John Hoff

Dave and Amy Haddy of the Jordan Neighborhood were having Thanksgiving dinner, and generously opened their home to some of us single and divorced folks. While we sat around the lavishly-arrayed table, saying what we were grateful for (I was profoundly grateful Don Samuels got re-elected) Dave mentioned that before he moved to North Minneapolis, he never really got to know his neighbors. There was never any pressing need to do so.

But here in NoMi, those of us who are active in our neighborhood association KNOW our neighbors, as you would know your buddies in an army platoon. So this Thanksgiving was not merely a meal or a gathering of friendly people, but an opportunity to celebrate the bonds between residents in a place where we work, we struggle, we may even have setbacks, but ultimately our neighborhood is improving by leaps and bounds largely because of these strong friendships and common goals.

I will always remember this Thanksgiving as being marked by the quirky, fun personalities of the Haddy family, and their home full of interesting hobbies...

Dave Haddy is Lebanese, and so one traditional dish served at their house is hashwi, which includes rice, ground beef, and pine nuts. Pictured below, Hawthorne's Housing Director Jeff Skrenes poses with the hashwi.

Jeff himself contributed a fruit salad that was something of a show-stealer. All the food was good--including a labor intensive seven-layer salad by Megan Goodmundson--but Jeff's fruit salad was simply ADDICTIVE. More amazing yet, the salad was incredibly simple: flavored yogurt mixed with Cool Whip, and tossed on four kinds of fresh berries. Jeff humbly noted it was a family recipe. He also mentioned that when he was told the "secret ingredient" in his mother's family recipes was "love," he felt "ripped off."

Here's a photo of Megan's seven-layer salad, made from a family recipe. However, Megan didn't follow the recipe precisely, because instead of strictly separating the seven layers, Megan mixed all the layers together. According to Megan, her mother would have never approved of not following the recipe, but still would have been glad the salad was a success.

But back to the Haddy family. Dave and Amy are both self-proclaimed geeks, who actually met at an anime convention. Their geeky hobbies fill their residence in a delightful way.

Dave Haddy knows a lot about comic books and their history, and amazed me with facts about a North Minneapolis connection to the creation of Captain Marvel and "Whiz Bang Days" in Robbinsdale. I told Haddy that he needs to write this stuff down for me, in detail, so I can publish it on Johnny Northside Dot Com. Stay tuned for that!

Toward the end of the night, we went out in the garage to check out Dave's 1964 Imperial which had such unusual features as a push-button transmission and no center posts between the front and back doors. I asked Dave, "What happens if the car rolls over?" and Dave said, "Well, I guess you just die."

Right AFTER dinner with the Haddy family and right BEFORE going to the Fourth Precinct, I made a brief stop at the home of Don and Sondra Samuels. I'd never been inside their home before, and I was pleased to see how well the historical character of the house had been preserved.

There at the house of Don Samuels, a number of residents were talking and laughing but also discussing serious neighborhood topics. Even on Thanksgiving, active and involved NoMi residents were figuring out ways to improve their surroundings. We have much to be thankful for...

But we also have a long way to go.


Anonymous said...

Nope, none of the photos are contributed, they're all yours.


The Hawthorne Hawkman said...

Four kinds of berries.

And Megan, that seven-layer salad was the best I've ever tasted, so whatever you did that deviated from the recipe (maybe neglecting to add love), keep on doing it.

Anonymous said...

BTW,Mr. Slummy is up to his usual holiday and weekend activity- working on his slum at 2519 N. 3rd St.. Haven't seem him do any actual construction yet, but his pickup is backed up to the front door.


Johnny Northside said...

Correcting the number of berries from three to four, and changing the photo credit to reflect all the photos are mine, none contributed. Thanks for the helpful corrections.

MeganG. said...

@Jeff - I added plenty of 'love' - it's a labor intensive salad but it's worth it.

The deviation came about because, the salad is best served in a clear glass dish for the visual presentation, and the only clear glass dish I had to use was shallow and wider. So the actually seperate layering effect wasn't going to be as feasable. I just mixed all the chopped veggies together and laid them down as one layer.

Still tasted great - thanks Mom, for giving me the recipe TWICE, when I left the first note at my office.

MikeT said...

While we are on the subject of pine nuts; does anybody know why the U of M hasn't taken down the awful Karamu sign on the newly-remodeled building at Plymouth & Penn? Are they mocking us with a reminder of the dismal failure of NRRC? Twisting the knife, as it were, by displaying that failed flag?

veg*nation said...

@mike t: i've been wondering the same thing! i hope it's just because they're waiting for some future sign, and not out of some misguided notion that the neighborhood has any nostalgia about this plywood monstrosity.

but if they're collecting mementos of nrrc failures, they might as well pry the "how many more years, don" board off of the nrrc duplex down the street and display it, too. it was hilarious when north news ran a story about problem propertes, and the photo they ran beside it was the NRRC DUPLEX!

MeganG. said...

I vote to keep the 'how many more years don' sign up on that duplex, and we can just update it to add "Four more years, Don!!!! WOOOO!"