Shoulder Season and Year Round Weather Tips

Here we are in March, with the bulk of winter behind us and the hope of an early spring ahead!

Next week, we change the clocks to gain an extra hour of light after the work day. This should make it easier to get outside for some exercise.

I love outdoor activities, including cross country skiing, hiking, mountain biking in the summer, and fat biking in the winter. Of course, all of these things depend on the weather. Having the proper gear to deal with the climate is essential.

The heart of the winter and the heart of the summer are pretty easy to gear up for to enjoy a seasonal activity. You can usually adjust your clothing and gear for any condition.

It's the shoulder seasons that make outdoor fun a challenge or even limit your choices completely. Late fall and early spring are included.

During shoulder seasons you deal with mud, rain, sleet, ice, wind, and lack of snow, all of which can make any activity outside either unpleasant or downright impossible.

Here in Minnesota, it h…

Typecasting, Branding, and Branching Out!

I really enjoy the hit  TV series "Curb Your Enthusiasm".

During Season 2, Episode 2,  entitled Thor , a well known actor is battling with finding work after starring in another series, Seinfeld.

Jason Alexander has been typecast as George Castanza, the bumbling character who never seems to get a break. In the Curb Your Enthusiasm episode, Larry David pitches a new show idea to Alexander about an actor who has been typecast (starring, of course, Alexander).

While the episode is a spoof, it highlights the very real problem actors face when a character they play very well starts to define them. Actors who are typecast can find it very difficult to find roles varied from their past performances.

Alexander became known as "George" despite being a gifted actor who is capable of many different types of roles. Unfortunately, his "brand" became "George".

Businesses, much like creatives like actors, painters, and writers, work hard to build a brand.


To Cater

to provide food, service, etc., as for a party or wedding: to cater for a wedding.
We like to add "excellent" after the word "provide" in the definition!
There are lots of types of events we cater....we categorize them as eitherindividual events or business/organizationalevents.
Individual events include "life" events, such as:
Weddings Groom's Dinners Birthdays Anniversaries Showers Graduations Housewarmings Funerals (Life Celebrations)
Business/organizational events include corporate catering, school catering, church catering, such as:
Customer Appreciations Sales Goal Meetings Fellowship Gatherings Business Anniversaries Safety Meetings Tenant Appreciations Seminars Sports Banquets Awards Banquets Trade Shows Groundbreakings Fundraisers Union Events School Functions Holiday Celebrations
The possibilities are endless!
While we are well known as a pig roast caterer, specializing in barbecue catering, we offer a pretty wide variety of menus f…


There is an excellent article in the Star Tribune today about sweet potatoes:

Sweet Potatoes - A Winter Staple

Over our 36 years, regular potatoes have been a big part of our menu.  For decades, we have offered such favorites as Potato Salad, Au Gratin Potatoes, Scalloped Potatoes, and Mashed Potatoes.

These are fantastically popular, delicious side dishes that have been signature items for us. We are the first to acknowledge the effect butter and cheese, when added to any potato, have on our taste buds!
Cheesy potatoes are the ultimate comfort food. We  also know firsthand the love folks have for our dynamite Potato Salad!

We also acknowledge the recent rise in popularity, as mentioned in the above article, of sweet potatoes. So a few years back, we added them as a stand alone dish, the simple and tasty Mashed Sweet Potato, and combined them with regular potatoes and yukon gold potatoes to create what we call the Golden Harvest Medley. Both of these menu items also employ butter, sal…


Enjoying the outdoors and doing a great job catering a special event have something in common....both benefit from a systems approach.

The other day we got over a foot of fresh, powdery snow here in the Twin Cities.

Some of my favorite skiing is right after such a storm, and before the ski trails are groomed.

The day after the blizzard, I looked over my gear, and grabbed my skis, boots, poles, and gaiters, got dressed, and headed for Murphy Hanrehan Park in Savage/Prior Lake.

Murphy is a top pick for me whenever we get snow, as it is in thick woods, features a few lakes and many swamps, and is the hilliest system in the metro. You get it all at Murphy-challenge, scenery, seclusion- all of my favorite elements that combine for a great day on skis. As a bonus, Murphy also offers a lot of opportunity for wildlife viewing, or at the very least an abundance of tracks to test your scouting skills in the fresh snow.

I own what some describe as a "quiver" of skis. This means a set …


A huge focus right now is on....Pigskin!

Here in Minnesota, with the Vikings in the chase and with Minneapolis hosting the Super Bowl, Pigskin is a huge topic.

Have you ever wondered:

Are NFL footballs really actually made of Pigskin? According to the Wilson Sporting goods website....

"Made from 100% exclusive Horween leather; The Wilson trademark "W" is pressed into every panel ofWilson NFL leather used to make official NFL game balls."

Further, Wilson says....

"Every throw, every kick, every touchdown and every point in every NFL game has been with a Wilson football. Some of the greatest moments in football history have been told through the amazing feats of the players - and Wilson has been in their hands."

That's a lot of punts, passes and kicks over the years, and it sounds like none of them has involved pigskin! From what I can surmise, there was a time when footballs were formed from pig bladders back in the formative days of the game.

 So if you want …

Over the Years

In 1982, my partner and I started a catering company, Divine Swine Catering.

We wanted to have a fun and rewarding business, and pig roasting was something we had been around enough to understand that it was both.

A lot has changed in the world, in our business, and with us personally, but the fun and rewarding part of our business (as it has evolved) is essentially unchanged.

The fun lies in the challenges, the excitement of having a large crowd expecting a great meal, and in seeing our staff and event attendees enjoying the serving and service respectively.

The rewarding part has a few pieces - seeing folks enjoy a great meal, watching employees mature and grow, making money, meeting people years after an event who are still raving about the food.

We have learned so much about so many things! Event Planning, developing and implementing systems, customer service, branding, and human nature itself. The list seems endless.

This blog utilizes my almost 4 decades in this business to share what…