Wisconsin State Fair and other important dates
The Wisconsin State Fair starts its annual 10 day run on August 4th. Cream puffs, cheese curds, ice cream, brats, corn on the cobb and lots of food on a stick are all here. Judging of cattle, horses, pigs and feathered friends can be enjoyed each day.
Wisconsin State Fair Cream Puffs
The Wisconsin State Fair certainly has a reputation for unique and unusual foods, which is why they created an Annual Food Competition, The Sporkies. Each year eight finalists are selected from several dozen entries, and a panel of celebrity judges chooses the recipients of three Golden Spork Awards
The first Friday in August, this year it is the 5th, is International Beer Day. In Wisconsin it is not yet a state holiday but is celebrated with gusto reflecting our German heritage and long brewing history. Wisconsin’s largest brewers are Miller in Milwaukee, Minhas in Monroe, New Glarus Brewing and Stevens Point Brewing. However the craft beer industry is growing and Wisconsin is now home to 70 members of the Wisconsin Brewers Guild.
August 6th is National Mustard Day and will be celebrated in downtown Middleton, Wisconsin at the National Mustard Museum.
August 10th is National S’mores Day celebrating that wonderful creation enjoyed around campfires all across Wisconsin.
Oshkosh, Wisconsin has just completed the annual Experimental Aircraft Association show that draws hundreds of thousands of people and hundreds of airplanes. Aircraft enthusiasts love the opportunity to experience the aviation marvels. The EAA grounds also are the location of an aircraft museum.
Edible Antics is traveling this week to Sheboygan and Taylor counties in Wisconsin and the Wisconsin State Fair. We are finding the special Supper Clubs, bakeries, meat markets, breweries, bike trails, wineries, bed and breakfasts, parks, attractions and anything we think you might enjoy in each county we visit. We’ll post for you our Edible Antics recommended stops for each county.
Valentine’s Day is a fun holiday because it’s for everyone! Love comes in all shapes and sizes — and that means Valentine’s Day isn’t just for adults. Here are a few Valentine’s Day gifts for your children, nieces, and nephews!
The Spritz Cookie Valentine Hearts Gift Box is an assortment of homemade spritz almond cookies by Cookies from Scratch. Enjoy 4 dozen delicious, heart-shaped spritz cookies in a variety of bright colors. Cookies are packaged in an attractive gift box with a clear lid to peek at all the cookies. A perfect gift for Valentine’s Day!
This Green Bay Packers Love Dress for preschool girls has Packers Love and the Packers logo screen printed on the front. The green drop waist dress has gold stitched trim, a gold bow, single button and loop closure at the back, and cap style sleeves. The Packers Love Dress is available in preschool sizes.
The Chocolate Smooch Candy Gift Bag from Wisconsin Dairyland Fudge is a great gift for an anniversary, birthday, Valentine’s Day or other special occasion. Give that special someone a real “chocolate kiss” with these lip-sized smooches. Choose from all milk chocolate, all white chocolate, all dark chocolate, or an assortment of all three varieties. The one pound Chocolate Smooch Candy Gift Bag includes 21 pieces of gourmet chocolate candy, each individually wrapped and all 21 attractively packaged in a see-through bag tied with a festive bow.
Halloween treats appear before Halloween. Delivered by ghosts!
This week, children in my neighborhood will gather Halloween treats into tiny, homemade gift baskets. They’ll deliver these Halloween treats to neighbor-friends’ houses in the dark of night (meaning parents are either accompanying them on foot or driving them). The children will creep up their neighbor’s stoop, lay the Halloween treats at the door, ring the bell, then race as fast as they can to the cover of trees or the running car that will whisk them to the next friend’s house.
This Halloween gift-giving practice is called “Ghosting”.
Yes, it’s similar to May Day giving, but with a hitch. Attached to the Halloween treats is a poem on a piece of paper shaped like a ghost. The ghost poem explains the curse that will befall the recipient of the Halloween treats should he or she fail to fulfill the ghost’s demands. Keep reading to see the ghost’s poem.
Thank you gifts for teachers – a preemptive strike!
Thank you summer camp counselors, thank you swim coaches and craft wizards, thank you gymnastics and dance teachers, – you did a marvelous job caring for our children over the summer. Now the children return to their teachers. It’s time to deploy thank you gifts for my children’s teachers.
Thank you gifts already, – in September? you question. Teacher appreciation week isn’t until May. True, but I saw the 2nd-grade class list posted on the school front door. Well, actually I heard about it; one neighbor emailed me and another called me about it. Their sons will be in my son’s class, as will be three other seven-year-old boys that live on our street. The shock wave reverberates through our neighborhood. Our general alarm cry is, “What were they thinking?! Don’t the teachers know what they’re getting into? They told us they’d sworn off this combo of kids after kindergarten!”
We mothers are shockingly honest about our boys. They are terrors when put together, – all summer we’ve corralled, contained, wrestled, cajoled, and chased them. We haven’t just lived with our merry band of creative pranksters, we’ve survived them! And now they’ll be confined in one room for nine months.
Will that under-paid teacher-woman survive? Will her battle come down to “them or me”? Time for this mother’s preemptive strike to stave off the unsuspecting teacher’s potential ill-will toward my darling. Time for the first of a series of thank you gifts. Keep reading to learn how I know this strategy works!
Unusual birthday gifts for children and mom. Find gifts of fun, food, and sanity. The first are for the kids, the latter for mom. Where?
At the most unusual birthday party you’ll ever enjoy. Why? For sanity’s sake.
Two months in and the idyllic care-free dream of summer is turning nightmarish. The kids are so bored that squabbling is their chief amusement.
Increasingly I banish the children to the back yard to duke it out on their own. But within minutes they come back inside. They whine, “There’s nothing to do outside.” Excuse me? Uh, large play-set? Sports equipment studding driveway? Water hose even? I’ve learned not to argue with them. I don’t win. So where’s relief? What to do?
Throw a party. That’s always my answer; parties solve everything. What kind of party? Doesn’t matter, kids like all sorts of parties. They particularly like birthday parties. Can’t think of anyone who’s having a birthday? Still doesn’t matter. That’s when I throw an Un- birthday party.
I explain that Mr. and Mrs Un and the two Un-children are coming. What makes this family unusual is that they all have the same birthday. I tell the kids we’re throwing an unusual birthday party for the Un-family.
Sounds weird? If you try it will your children look at you strangely? Of course, but if you haven’t gotten used to those incredulous stares by now, you’ve lost the upper hand. Better keep reading to find out how to waste a perfectly good summer day having family fun with unusual birthday gifts, cakes and food.
Normally my cooking acrobatics revolve around getting my picky-eater children to eat the nutritious dinners I serve them. Yes, I’ve molded meatloaf into animal shapes, concealed vegetables under pasta and potatoes, or doused everything with a hearty helping of melted cheese. But sometimes the tables turn, usually when I’m cooking pork.
You see, when it comes to pork, I’m the picky-eater. There’s something about cooked pork, maybe the dense texture, likely the flavor, that I just don’t enjoy. To me pork is tasty when I can’t taste it. That means it’s been baked or barbecued for hours beneath a barbecue sauce and all I’m really tasting is the sauce. The one baked pork chop recipe I really like is the result of my own picky-eater ingestion-inducing tactic; I bake pork chops smothered in cream of mushroom soup and French-style green beans. My mother came up with that pork chop recipe and now I bake it for my kids. Why? -because I’m doomed to have kids who like pork. And pork, compared to other meat, is highly affordable. So when the grocer had pork chops on sale for $1.99/lb, into the basket they went. But what to do with them?
I tried a new recipe that I thought I might like. The pork chops are baked in a sweetened tomato sauce spiked with beer. This pork recipe I figured I could stomach. Keep reading for this kid-friendly, easy baked pork chop recipe.
Tonight the president delivers his annual state of the union address. Following in suit, I will deliver the first annual state of This Wisconsin Kitchen address. I look around This Wisconsin Kitchen and see disarray. But as our president is skilled at gleaning hope from ruins, so am I. Beyond the dirty dishes over-flowing the counter, I see clean ones in the dish drainer, ready to enter the cupboard. True, the rate at which this Wisconsin family dirties them exceeds the rate at which they clean them. But despite this deficit washing, their is still continued flow into the cupboard.
Regarding the state of the pantry, inventory is up thanks to a major investment in securing staple goods. Following this investment, employment producing nutritious meals is expected to rise. Additional funds were allocated to This Wisconsin Kitchen’s (F)EMA account in which specific goods such as frozen pizzas, veggie burgers, chicken nuggets, and Chinese dumplings are now stock-piled for emergencies.
Purchases of durable goods and investment in kitchen infrastructure are at zero levels and expected to remain so for the duration of 2010. The only investment of note was in the purchase of mouse trap. We congratulate the Wisconsin family for its compassion; the trap is a live trap and as such has caught no mice. But thanks go anyway to the kind children who selected it and thereby serve as conscience and future of this Wisconsin family. With these brave children setting the moral tone of This Wisconsin Kitchen we may all share in the promise of a happy hearth and home.
Click on “Continue reading…” for the commentary.
Last weekend as I waited for Kay to get her coat I chatted with her husband, Dan, who was busy prepping and testing his snow-blower.“That’s pretty wise,” I acknowledged. “Yep, winter is coming, no doubt we’ll all be blowing snow soon.” Dan was scurrying like the proverbial ant, getting his garage and vehicles set for winter. He waved, “Have a good time!” as Kay and I frolicked off to enjoy a holiday bazaar. This grasshopper knew I should be checking on my own snow-blower, but well, there was always tomorrow.
Tomorrow hit Wisconsin on Tuesday afternoon. The record-breaking blizzard blew in and dumped roughly a foot and a half of snow on us in 12 hours. On Wednesday, schools and businesses closed, even the University of Wisconsin – Madison closed. The Wisconsin state government offices closed. We were down for the count until we all dug or blew our way out.
And while digging, I mentally composed this post. And since there was so much snow, you might notice that this post is a bit longer than the others. Now let me say that I was fortunate in one sense; I had just enough gas in the snow-blower to clear a minimal swath down the driveway for the car to exit the garage. But at the base of the drive loomed a blockade of hip-high snow. Thanks to the snow plows, we would not be driving anywhere until all this snow moved five feet over. As I shoveled, I considered what I would feed us. We had some left-overs by the grace of luck rather than pre-meditated industry. But after that? What would we eat? This is when I realized that few foods specified in a recipe are written in stone. Substitutions are always acceptable, perhaps not flavorful, but none-the-less, acceptable. If you want to read about the tasty substitutions, read the introduction to the cookbook, Mom’s Updated Quick Meals Recipe Box: 250 family favorites in thirty minutes or less, written by nutritionist and chef, Donna L. Weihofen, R.D. If, for a lark, you want to read what I consider acceptable substitutions during a Wisconsin blizzard, click on “continue reading…”
I’m not much of a soup person. I’ve made chicken soup three times in my life; the first was inedible, similar in texture and smell to well-used dish water. The second was suggestive of chicken soup and obligatorily ingested on its initial appearance at the table. The third I actually liked. My dad said he recognized that it was homemade; not sure what he meant. But my kids ate it and said they liked it after I added left-over, double-noodle Campbell’s chicken noodle soup into it. You see, I can make Campbell’s soups now. Today I understand that you have to mix a can of water in with the broth. It’s not at all like cooking casseroles with Campbell’s soups which don’t demand such unintuitive diluting.
So given my soup-making history, my children were as surprised as I when I told them the bubbling, green liquid in the cauldron on the stove stop was split-pea soup. I’d never made split-pea soup before. And since I don’t often even eat soups, I was definitely acting strangely out of character. Furthermore, when my children peered into the black pot, they noticed the shreds of pink ham separating from that large ham bone. The striations in the ham made it look so realistically like flesh from a different species. Convinced that I’d added happy-orange carrots to deceive innocents of this “soup’s” wicked purposes, the children eyed my soup-stirring movements with suspicion. They conferred on the possibility that my brew was much more devious than “split-pea soup”. To me, however, they didn’t say much as they hung the Halloween decorations; they knew better.
But was it really split-pea soup? Click on “Continue reading…” and I’ll show you the recipe.