Read, Drink, Discover: July 2018

This book may be the perfect fit.

In Helen Russell’s The Year of Living Danishly: Uncovering the Secrets of the World’s Happiest Country, she writes of when her husband is offered his dream job working at the Lego company in Denmark. The English couple uproots from its urban London lifestyle and embarks on a hilarious year of culture shock, while immersing in “the happiest country on Earth.” Helen, a freelance journalist, devotes each chapter to a month and a cultural topic, educating and entertaining the reader as she attempts to get to the bottom of just what makes Danes so happy. Having lived in another Scandinavian country for a year in my youth, many of the topics were familiar, causing me to reminisce fondly about my own experiences. I can’t help but contrast Danish society and culture with the consumerism-driven culture of my home, yearning for something a bit more simple and meaningful. —Contributed by Julia Sjoberg of the Eden Prairie Library.

Cool down with a cucumber fizz.

2 oz. fresh cucumber, peeled and chopped
2 oz. Elation Poire liqueur
½ oz. St-Germain
elderflower liqueur
½ oz. lemon juice
½ oz. simple syrup
Mint, cucumber slices and lemon zest for garnish

Muddle the cucumber in a shaker. Add the Elation Poire, St-Germain, lemon juice and simple syrup, and fill with ice. Shake vigorously, and strain into a highball glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with mint, cucumber slices and lemon zest, and top with lemonade.
—Contributed by Dan Keyport, Dolce
Vita Wine Shop, Chaska

Picnic the old-fashioned way.

Where is your favorite picnic spot?  Chances are that your choice would be at a park or maybe even in your own backyard. How about at a cemetery? Not a place most people would immediately think of as a favorite picnic spot, but about 100 years ago, a cemetery was a favorite venue for many people. If you think like a person from the Victorian era, spending time with a departed loved one in a peaceful, beautiful location makes a little bit of sense. Many cemeteries were and are located in beautiful locations, overlooking a lake or close to a church, and some tombstones look more like pieces of artwork. —Contributed by Wendy Petersen Biorn, executive director, Carver County Historical Society