As the dog days of summer well and truly descend upon us here in the Upper Midwest, there’s only one way to beat the heat: with ice cream, of course! There’s a reason July is National Ice Cream Month. This time of year, it seems like everywhere I go I see ice cream shops with lines out the door. There’s nothing quite like trying a delicious new flavor for the first time after a long day in the sweltering summer heat.
Cool off this summer with some of our delicious Wisconsinmade ice cream products.
The University of Wisconsin has been making and selling highly acclaimed gourmet ice cream for over 90 years on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Why not try a few of the most popular flavors and see why Babcock Ice Cream has frequently been voted Best of Madison by Madison Magazine. You can now have delivered to your door fond memories of the Union Terrace and your favorite Babcock Ice Cream.
Check out a Midwestern favorite – Blue Moon Ice Cream. The Blue Moon Ice Cream is a blue, fruity flavored ice cream. Enjoy 8 pints of the Blue Moon flavor from two of Wisconsin’s most popular ice cream makers. Depending on availability, your order will be filled with Blue Moon Ice Cream from the following Wisconsin brands – Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream and Door County Ice Cream Factory. On occasion, if one of the ice cream brands is temporarily unavailable, only one brand will be shipped. A fun treat and a special gift for a birthday or any occasion.
Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream is a family-owned business established in 1962. Located in Madison, Wisconsin, the Chocolate Shoppe prides itself in manufacturing super premium ice cream. It’s super premium because it’s made with rich Wisconsin cream (with a high butterfat content), delicious natural ingredients, and no BGH additives. In addition to ice cream, the company produces sorbet, sherbet, non-fat yogurt, and no sugar added ice cream. All products offer exceptional quality and unbeatable value. A wide variety of flavors include many Wisconsin State Fair Award Winners. According to the Chocolate Shoppe, their ice cream is “not low-fat, low-calorie, or low-anything, and that’s why everyone loves it.”
Wisconsin cheesemakers have been hard at work in America’s Dairyland for over 160 years, so there are more than a few fun facts and stories about how they make their cheese. Here are five of my favorites!
1. Holland’s Family Cheese – The cheesemakers at Holland’s Family Cheese insist that their cows sleep on soft bedding and get cooled off with fans in the summer. The more pampered the cow, the better the cheese! They must be on to something because 6-9 month aged gouda from Holland’s Family Cheese won Grand Champion at the 2013 World Championship Cheese Contest.
2. Cedar Grove Cheese- Cedar Grove takes special care to ensure that the cheesemaking process doesn’t harm the environment, so they created what they call a “Living Machine”. It’s a greenhouse that uses microbes and plants to cleanse the water used in cheesemaking so it can be safely released back into the ecosystem.
3. Carr Valley Cheese– Master Cheesemaker Sid Cook comes up with new cheese creations for Carr Valley Cheese. On busy work days he sometimes puts a chocolate bar on his Swiss cheese sandwich. This crazy lunch inspired him to create Cocoa Cardona cheese– a creamy white cheese dusted with cocoa powder.
4. Babcock Hall Dairy- The Babcock Hall Dairy plant at the University of Wisconsin-Madison was built in 1951, which makes it the oldest university dairy building in the United States.
5. Hook’s Cheese – When you think of cheese, you probably don’t think of romance, unless you are Tony and Julie Hook of Hook’s Cheese Company. They were college sweethearts and have been making world famous aged cheddar together since 1976.
You can shop for all of the gourmet cheeses mentioned here online at Wisconsinmade.com. Some of them aren’t available for shipping during the summer months, but with so many cheeses and cheese assortments to choose from, you are sure to find the perfect cheese gift.
Personalized gifts – Turning the ordinary into the unique. How to please both parent and pre-teen:
Personalized gifts are the answer for a segment of the adult population with a particular problem, – those of us with pre-teen children. Sure, folks in other demographics prefer personalized gifts to the mass-produced. Personalized gifts communicate special thoughtfulness. And they tend to be of higher quality and value.
But what to do when you want to give a unique gift, and your recipient wants the mass-produced? Sound strange?, not to some of us.
The other day my pre-teen daughter told me that she feels different from everyone else. She doesn’t fit in she told me.
I said, “Get used to it…Just like your body is changing, so is your mind. Do you know how those adolescent puppies don’t fit their paws and they stumble around, bounding into walls? Well, that’s the pre-teen, in body … AND mind. Your idea of who you are doesn’t fit into your idea of your surroundings. And it won’t for about four more years. So get used to it. But don’t believe it. Everyone else thinks you fit in just fine. In fact, you’d be surprised how many of your friends, busy thinking they don’t fit in, think that you do. So it’s a mind-game you can’t win. Try not to play.”
Did she listen? No. For her 11th birthday cake she requested an ice cream cake from Dairy Queen. She craves the ordinary, -the cake that in no way will stand out as unique.
“Ugh,” I groaned. I had anticipated her refusal of the plastic zoo animals I always put on the children’s cakes after I frost them. I’d been willing to leave those off my homemade, created with TLC, cake. But Dairy Queen? Keep reading for how we compromised, – the personalized gift trick.