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Mrs. Sundberg's Recipe Collection - 12 tried-and-true--one for each month of the year--featuring an introduction and tips from Mrs. Sundberg herself

Comes with the Territory

January 10, 2014

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. Had been working much of the day to do work I didn't want to do in the blast of cold that settled in on Sunday -- some shoveling, some grocery shopping, a few errands and visits around town. Not that I mind the cold really, but if I have a choice I'd rather stay in when things turn brutal and they pretty much did. It was nice to not have to go outside for a good two days, and when I did at last venture out on Wednesday morning, it was still a good measure below zero, but the sun was out and the few degrees less cold that it was certainly made a difference.

I'm aware that people out there marvel at the people of the Midwest and their hardiness when it comes to the cold. I do know a few people who offer up regular complaints, but by and large the majority of people I encounter have a "comes with the territory" attitude, and many find the cold a source of humor and a reason to smile. For some (myself included) it's part of the charm of the place, one big reason I live here.

Thing is, wherever you are on the planet, in whatever climate, there's something to complain about. Typhoons, droughts, floods, avalanches, volcanic activity, desert heat, and on and on. Then you throw in all the other variables -- like population, pollution, cost of living, malaria, caves full of bats, shark threats, the belief systems of the people who inhabit a place -- and really, what place is perfect?

Our son says the cold isn't really a big deal because we're used to it. Maybe that's it. Maybe what other people contend with in other places is less than desirable simply because we aren't familiar. Perhaps the idea, then, is not to rage against the dropping temps and the driving snow and the paralyzing wind chill, but to get yourself some good long underwear and find a way to be productive in spite of it all and, eventually, you'll get used to it.

And when people far away call to see whether you're surviving, you can assure them all is well, and -- when they laugh and tell you how crazy you are -- quietly remind yourself of all the reasons you're glad you're not where they are. You're here, in Minnesota, and yes, it's cold. Those of us who aren't used to it yet will get there one day; those of us who are, well, we rather like the cold. Keeps us together, and that's a fine way to be.

Here's a light, tasty hors d'oeuvre for a January get-together. Add some stir-fried noodles and vegetables, and you've enough for a meal.

Baked Crab Rangoon

⅛ tsp garlic salt
⅛ tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 small green onion, chopped
3 oz cream cheese, softened
4 oz crab, or imitation crab
12-14 won ton wraps

Mix first four ingredients together; then gently stir in the crab. Spoon into won ton wraps, fold four corners together and twist, and place each little bundle into a lightly greased muffin tin. Bake at 425 °F for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.

Enjoy!

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