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Cut flowers, greenery and seedpods soak up water in buckets in Suzanne Kunze's basement workroom. Hosta leaves and cedar boughs are submerged in water.
Summer salads are an important part of the menu at Grandma's Restaurants and the man behind those salads is corporate executive chef Steve Zacher. His creations are inspired by the flavors of the ingredients. "I'm looking for many different flavors, not necessarily one flavor to dominate," Zacher said. "It's like composing a symphony of flavors." But don't go beyond five or seven flavors pulled from as many ingredients, he said. "Like a painting, you can have too many flavors, make it too complex." Zacher strives to use seasonal ingredients and fresh ingredients.
Big touring companies have been performing "Cats" since the powerhouse musical conquered Broadway in the early 1980s, swept the Tony Awards and cat-a-pulted its composer Andrew Lloyd Webber into megahit musicals. But a community theater doing "Cats"? The demanding musical requires talented actors who can sing and dance well, too. "It's a real triple threat show," said Christine Seitz, executive director of the Duluth Playhouse, which opens a three-week run of "Cats" tonight at the Depot.
The cozy two-story farmhouse on West Arrowhead Road is the only home that Roger Johnson has ever known. One of the 84 Jackson Project homes built in Hermantown during the Great Depression, the home and its accompanying 10 acres gave his parents a new start in the late 1930s. His mother kept a large vegetable garden to help feed their family of five, and they had a cow, pigs and chickens. The compact homes with their distinctive brick veneers dot Arrowhead, Stebner and Lavaque roads.
For Judy and Dick Goar, a perfect day is gardening from sunup to sundown. Their passion for gardening shows in their eye-fetching yard in Duluth's Kenwood neighborhood. Nearly an acre is dotted with gardens, containers brimming with colorful annuals and winding paths with surprises along the way. Old buckets and washtubs serve as flowerpots; an old push mower and bird cage are garden art. Large boulders and rocks unearthed during the home's construction nine years ago form retaining walls on the sloping front yard and define garden spaces.
Six weeks after hail pummeled parts of Duluth, Pike Lake and Twig, roofers are still busy, checking for damage and writing estimates. "There's a lot of jobs out there," said Dominic Jakubek, owner of GCS Construction in Duluth. "I'm still doing four to five bids a day, mostly in the Woodland neighborhood and in Duluth Heights." Damage from the May 14 storm was sporadic in those neighborhoods, says Edward Shanblott, president of Home Beautifier in Duluth. "Certain blocks got it, certain ones didn't." With hail as big as baseballs in some spots, a lot of roofs are being replaced.
Dan Stocke is proud to say he's never owned a lawn mower or snowblower. And he's not about to start now. Stocke and his wife will soon move from their Harbor Center apartment in downtown Duluth -- their home for eight years -- to one of the new luxury condominiums atop the Sheraton Hotel. The 40-year-old Duluth native had spent the previous 15 years in apartments in New York City and other urban hubs where he didn't have to worry about mowing grass and shoveling snow.
Run-down and unsightly, the three-story brick building at the corner of Lake and Superior didn't appear to be salvageable a decade ago. Then developer Jim Jarocki and his partner Bruce Von Riedel decided to renovate the 1892 brick building at 1 W. Superior St. while preserving its original architectural style. They replaced the building's crumbling fa?ade, updated the first-floor retail space and turned the second and third floors into luxury condominiums. In the process, they gutted the building and replaced the entire front section, joists, girders and floors.
Every day, Randy Van Horn proves low-sodium dishes can be tasty. "It doesn't have to be bland," says the 41-year-old Duluthian. "If you use spices, you can get the same or better taste than loading it with salt." A genetic heart condition makes a low-sodium diet a necessity for Van Horn, who is waiting for a heart transplant. Too much sodium causes him to retain fluid, which puts pressure on his heart and lungs and causes chest pain and difficulty breathing. Unchecked, it can lead to congestive heart failure. Van Horn has made the best of his diet limitations.
Jane Juten loves to be in her vegetable garden, getting her hands dirty. "It's good therapy. It's a great place to be," says the 44-year-old Gnesen Township woman. Juten remains in awe that one little seed can produce a bounty of tomatoes and that a row of peas can be ready for picking overnight. She also loves the taste of homegrown fruits and vegetables. "It's just amazing to harvest my own food," Juten said with enthusiasm. She wants her sons, Jonathan, 6, and Peter, 8, to experience that awe and to feel that the garden belongs to them.