This week we extend our Wisconsin county culinary tour to Forest and Grant Counties.  They are on opposite sides of Wisconsin – far northeast and far southwest.

559px-Map_of_Wisconsin_highlighting_Forest_County.svg

Map of Wisconsin highlighting Forest County by David Benbennick

Forest County

This county is named after the dense forest that shares the territory. 9,300 people live on the 1,014 square miles with Crandon as the county seat.  Other towns include

  • Argonne
  • Laona
  • Moll Lake
  • Newald
  • Wabeno

Much of the northern portion of Wisconsin is part of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest  and it includes most of Forest County.  The county also includes the home of the Forest County Potawatomi Indians, who are the Keeper of the Fire.  There are many lakes and wildlife areas in Forest County.

 Edible Antics Forest County recommendations include:

TRAILS Pow-wow Mole Lake in Crandon March 12 – March 13 features dancers, drummers with a feast provided both days plus Native American craft vendors.

The Lumberjack Steam Train Cowboy Reenactment in Laona July 16 steps back in time where you come take part in a Wild West train robbery the authentic Cowboy Reenactment and robbery of the Lumberjack Steam Train. You are invited to come and ride the train.  At other times the Lumberjack Steam Train takes you out to “Camp 5”, the site of an old logging camp. Later it became the site of the Lumber Company Farm. When you arrive, you find some of the old buildings which were a part of the Lumber Company Farm.

559px-Map_of_Wisconsin_highlighting_Grant_County.svg

Map of Wisconsin highlighting Grant County by David Benbennick

Grant County

This county in southwestern Wisconsin shares state boarders with both Illinois and Iowa.  The county seat is in Lancaster.  The county occupies 1,148 square miles and hosts 51,200 people.  Other cities in the county include:

  • Boscobel
  • Cuba City
  • Fennimore
  • Platteville

Villages include

  • Bagley
  • Bloomington
  • Blue River
  • Cassville
  • Dickeyville
  • Mount Hope
  • Patch Grove
  • Potosi
  • Tennyson
  • Woodman

Boscobel hosts the Boscobel Hotel  and Central House generally regarded as the home of the first Gideon Bible.

The lower portion of the Wisconsin River widens and joins the Mississippi River here.  Wyalusing State Park is high on a bluff overlooking the confluence of these two rivers.

Stonefield Village is a historic restoration of an early Wisconsin settlement near Cassville.

Wisconsinmade.com artisan partners in Grant County include:

Martha’s Hot Mustard is a honey mustard producer in rural Grant County that has developed a fan base for her sweet-hot mustard nation-wide.  It’s great on crackers and cheese, ham, turkey, hot dogs, hamburgers – even popcorn! Everyone who tastes Martha’s Hot Mustard is sure to love it!

Edible Antics Grant County recommendations include:

In Potosi The Potosi Brewery and National Brewery Museum offers visitors a tour of a restored regional brewery, the National Brewery Museum, fine locally produced adult beverages, a beautifully restored back bar, a restaurant with good pub food, outdoor seating in the summer and welcoming Wisconsin hospitality year round.

Weber Meats in Cuba City offers a wide variety of meat products for their customers in south western Wisconsin and north western Illinois.

The Dickeyville Grotto on Holy Ghost Parish grounds are the works of Father Mathias Wernerus, pastor from 1918 – 1931. His handiwork, built from 1925 – 1930, is dedicated to the unity of two American ideals-love of God and love of country. It is a creation in stone, mortar, and bright colored objects collected from all over the world

Meister Cheese Company in Muscoda makes specialty cheeses in the old world fashion but with modern technology.

The Fenway House Hotel in Fennimore was built in 1918 and offers endless old world charm from the creek that runs thru the dining room to the original terrazzo floors.

The Cream Pitcher bed and breakfast in Blue River blends modern amenities with old-fashioned quality and comfort. The home is embellished with a large collection of antiques, including pitchers from the 1930s, 40s, and 50s.

Here is the Burst O’ Lemon Muffin recipe from The Cream Pitcher B&B as listed in the Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast Cookbook:

Burst O’ Lemon Muffins (makes 1 dozen)

  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup lemon yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup butter or margarine melted
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup flaked coconut

TOPPING:

  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup flaked coconut, toasted

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda.  In a separate bowl beat together the yogurt, egg, butter, lemon peel and lemon juice until smooth.  Stir the mixture into the dry ingredients just until moistened.  Fold in the coconut and fill greased or lined muffin cups 2/3 full.  Bake 18-22 minutes or until golden brown and muffins test done.  Cool 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack.

For the topping:  I a saucepan combine the lemon juice and sugar.  Cook, stirring until the sugar dissolves.  Stir in the toasted coconut.  Using a toothpick poke 6-8 holes in each muffin.  Spoon the lemon coconut mixture over the muffins.  Serve warm or cool to room temperature.

More culinary treats next week as we visit Green County and Green Lake County in search of people, places and things that are Made With Pride and Passion in Wisconsin.