Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Take this snow and shove (shovel) it March 20, 2011

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ON THE FIRST DAY OF SPRING in Minnesota, my true love gave to me…chicken on the grill.

But, before he could cook the chicken, he shoveled 2 ½ feet of snow from the patio to access the Weber. That would be the grill which, until yesterday, lay tipped on its side, having toppled off a melting snow mountain.

After shoveling his way to the grill, he fired it up.

But, as anyone knows, even in winter-spring, a man cannot grill without beer. So my true love chiseled a bottle of Nordeast into an icy snow bank to reach icy perfection. By the time I photographed the chilling beer, the bottle was nearly empty.

Later he iced a bottle of Grain Belt Premium.

And so on the first day of spring in Minnesota, I did not get five golden rings or a partridge in a pear tree. Yes, I am well aware that I am referencing The Twelve Days of Christmas here. But with all the snow still remaining in our northern state, December 25 seems like yesterday.

Rather, on this fine spring day (if you call 40-plus degree temps, rain and thunder in the morning, and snow-blotched lawns and boulevards “fine”), I got chicken, and potatoes, on the grill.

© Copyright 2011 Audrey Kletscher Helbling