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Touring Wisconsin Food

Tag: company

Bosses Day

Bosses Day – Who are the best bosses who inspire their employees to throw them a party on Bosses Day? What makes a great boss?

Bosses Day is coming up and yesterday a woman called Wisconsinmade.com to order gourmet food for her bosses. She had just ordered on-line a large party basket and a large gift box of elk and buffalo summer sausage. Now she called back to add organic crackers to her order. I didn’t know all this party food was going to her bosses until we were finishing her order and she dictated her gift message, “To Shannon and Mark, You’re The Best!” from “Your Employees”.

So this is sweet, I cynically mused. This office is throwing an office party under the ruse of Bosses Day. How could any boss refuse a company party when the boss is the guest of honor? Crafty employees. I anticipated typing in the company’s credit card number to pay for all this gourmet food.

But I didn’t get a company credit card number. The credit card was a personal one. Then I realized that the woman ordering the gifts was 1000 miles away from the bosses. If the bosses threw a party for bosses day, she wasn’t going to be there. Were these other appreciative employees also 1000 miles away?

I began to wonder, who are Shannon and Mark, – these best bosses? They must be incredible people to inspire such warm feelings in the people who work for them. What makes these people the best bosses on Bosses Day? Keep reading.

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Wild Rice and Barley Pilaf – Will This Colorful Autumn Sidedish Make It To The Thanksgiving Table?

Some people select side-dishes to serve at Thanksgiving based on taste and tradition. I have more stringent criteria. I’ll caste tradition aside if a vegetable side-dish meets the following standards:

  1. delicious flavor
  2. relatively simple to make
  3.  won’t deteriorate in appearance or taste if it must wait for the rest of the food and family to be ready to eat

Additional criteria which improve a side-dish’s chances of being chosen, but won’t disqualify it if not met are:

  1. Uses colorful ingredients reminiscent of an autumn landscape
  2. Can be prepared ahead of time

With these criteria in mind, I prepared Wild Rice and Barley Pilaf in a test run for the Thanksgiving table. I found the recipe in the cookbook: Recipes for Sweetened Dried Cranberries.

I was looking for a rice dish because I wanted an alternative to Thanksgiving mashed potatoes. I know the kids love them, but I can’t help associating them with ready-mix concrete. I shovel them into my mouth. They plop down my throat. They land in my stomach and proceed to harden into a single, heavy-weighted mass. A belly full of mashed potatoes is like wearing concrete shoes on the inside. Don’t get me wrong – their flavor is terrific, but there must be something just as tasty but lighter in effect. That’s why I was looking to rice.

I knew that the mix of russet cranberries, brown raisins, charcoal-gray wild rice and cream-colored barley would give this side-dish an interesting and autumn-colored appearance. The pilaf would provide appealing contrast to white turkey.

Preparing the pilaf was extremely simple, – my kind of cooking. No, I didn’t simply open cans and combine their contents as I’ve written about in past posts. For this recipe, I opened packages. Here are the ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup uncooked wild rice
  • 3 cups chicken broth (I got Swanson’s chicken broth in the box)
  • 1/2 cup pearl barley (I used medium grain)
  • 1/4 cup sweetened dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Then I followed the instructions:

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Easter Dinner: Whether Ham or Lamb, Make it Easy and Elegant and Stop Worrying About the Bunny!

Easter is now less than two weeks away and it has occurred to me that the 2 feet of snow in my backyard may not be melted in 13 days. So how am I going to make my size 7 1/2 boot tracks in the snow resemble those of a small rabbit’s? Even if I hopped, the tracks would look like Godzilla-bunny’s. And the children would have new nightmares for Easter. Can I hide the eggs and not leave any tracks? I doubt it. Should I just run around my yard willy-nilly leaving tracks everywhere the day before? Then the tracks would not appear out of place, nor lead to specific locations of the eggs. Ugh – the effort.

spiral sliced ham

I think I’ll switch to thinking about food and planning the Easter menu. Usually I serve a spiral ham. Nothing’s easier than a pre-glazed, pre-cut ham. And it’s really good, everybody in our house likes it. It looks elegant for company, and the left-overs are versatile enough to be used in sandwiches, casseroles, or soups.

But this year, I want something different. I remember a few years ago my mom served a crowned lamb. It had such a commanding presence on the table, was fabulously delicious and, most importantly to my mom, was very easy to prepare. We still talk about this meal. So my thoughts this Easter are heading in the lamb direction.

I’ve been looking through some gourmet cookbooks and found two lamb recipes that look awesome. The recipe for Rosemary Baked Rack of Lamb sounds relatively easy. The Leg of Lamb in Herb Sauce looks scrumptious, but would take a little more time in the kitchen. I’m going to give both recipes here, and continue vacillating over which to prepare.

For me, musing about food is easier than imitating wildlife. Who knows, I may get lucky, -it’ll rain instead of snow, and so we’ll let the Easter bunny come inside to hide the eggs. 

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