Saturday, October 19, 2013

Little Free Library in Princeton Wisconsin

Little Free Library in Princeton, Wisconsin
On the news and on Facebook recently I heard and read about Little Free Libraries popping up in many towns.  The first one was placed in Hudson, Wisconsin in 2009.  It was in the shape of an old schoolhouse, and it was to honor a loved one who was a teacher who loved books.  The idea took off, and now there are little free libraries all around the United States and the world.  The purpose is to encourage people of all ages to read.  At anytime of the day or night, a person can lift the lid and borrow a book.  You can replace it with another book or return it later and take another.  The little libraries can be in any shape or size.  The news show I saw had one inside a coffee shop, and the proprietor said she didn't care if people returned them.  She just wanted to see people read. 

The NBC Nightly News aired this piece more than a year ago.

I was very surprised one day when I went to mail a letter at our local post office.  There standing right next to the mailbox was the Little Free Library shown.  It was stuffed full of books.  Our town is lucky enough to have a very nice public library, but some towns don't.  This is a happy little addition.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Zuzak's Divery of Ripon Wisconsin

Last weekend we found a new place to eat.  Anything besides Taco Bell is a welcome change for me.  We had to pick up a few groceries in a neighboring town, so I got my dad settled with lunch and a thermos of coffee.  A football game was on the radio so I knew he would be occupied for a couple hours.

It is always a good idea to eat before grocery shopping, so we ate first.  The place was called Zuzak's.

It says it is a divery.  I didn't know if that meant it was a dive or they misspelled delivery.  My daughter had eaten here so I knew it wasn't a dive.  It was very cute inside.

The menu was very interesting.  They had every kind of burger you could imagine.  Here are a few of many many choices.  They also have hot dogs, fries, gyros, ice cream and a number of other items.  I had the Veggie Burger with Sweet Potato Fries, and it was very good.

Beach Burger
Topped with avocado, tomato, red onion and special cream cheese spread.
The Duke
Topped with fried mushrooms, grilled onions and melted cheddar cheese.
Thank You Very Much Burger
Topped with peanut butter, bacon and bananas.
Chickie Burger
Topped with a fried egg and bacon.

It was a nice little outing.  We stopped for groceries, and we were home before the game was over.  

NOTE:  I am sorry to report, this place went out of business.  It is a shame.  We enjoyed going there.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Beautiful Wisconsin Cranberry Harvest

This time in October reminds me of some of the fun activities that we used to do with our grandkids.  It was a time to do corn mazes, visits to pumpkin farms and apple orchards and of course watching the Wisconsin Cranberry harvest.

My husband walking the corn maze with Melissa in 2004.

Melissa, Sam and Dylan from 9 years ago.

I found these photos recently.  They were from 2004.  Our oldest granddaughter will be 13 in a couple weeks.  Dylan is now 12 and the baby in the middle is Sam and he is now 9.  They are growing up and not very interested in going to these places anymore.

I don't know about the kids but my husband and I really enjoyed visiting the Cranberry harvest.  We haven't gone since Dylan was a baby which was twelve years ago.  Recently a relative of mine posted some pictures of her families cranberry harvest.  Her family has been in the cranberry business for a long time.  I believe my grandpa Jepsen's brother Chris started this family business.  It reminded me of how beautiful this is to see, and I have to make a point of going next year.

I don't know a lot about the technical aspects of the harvest, I know that cranberries grow on bushes.  Then when they are ripe, the growers flood the bog.  The berries are harvested by beaters that beat the cranberries off the bush and the loose cranberries float to the top.  Cranberries float because they have a hollow area in the center where the seeds are and so they float upwards even before they are beaten off.  They are floated to the conveyer which lifts them into the truck. These pictures are from the Jepson Cranberry Marsh in City Point Wisconsin.  I want to thank Dorene for letting me use her pictures.

Jepson Cranberry Marsh
City Point, Wisconsin 

Cranberries floating on the water.

They gather them up toward a conveyer.

Up the conveyer and into a truck.

Thousands of berries falling into the truck.

Close up of the cranberries.

Once in the truck the berries are off to Ocean Spray.

Wisconsin is a leading producer of cranberries.  Over half of the United States production are from Wisconsin.  Central Wisconsin has many cranberry bogs.  Some of them give tours throughout the harvesting season.  If you have never seen this process, I would highly recommend it.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Apple Crisp, Gluten Free and Regular

On Sunday we went to our oldest daughter's house for brunch.  We celebrated all the October birthdays.  My daughter, her husband Mike and my other son-in-law Bret all turned 42 within twelve days of each other.  On top of that Mike's mother also had a birthday on the same day as her son.  There were 15 of us.

I brought three packages of little smokies.  That has become a tradition ever since all the grandchildren were little.  My mom always had them, and now we have them every time we have a family brunch.  I also made a Sunday Breakfast Casserole with O'brien hash browns, sausage, eggs and cheese.  I also scrambled a dozen eggs and made a pan of overnight french toast.  We had fruit and muffins plus apple cake and gluten free apple crisp that my other daughter made.  We had lots and lots of food.

The apple crisp was delicious and because I have apples to use up, I decided to make a pan for desert tonight.  Thank goodness for apple peelers.  It shouldn't surprise anyone that I have one.  I'm the gadget girl.  I like gadgets but only if they make the job easier and are easy to store.  The apple peeler, corer and slicer does that for sure.

Put the apple on the peeler.

Turn the crank to peel the apple.

Remove the core and cut the apple rings to desired size.

Apple Crisp

10 cups apples that have been peeled, cored and sliced
1   cup sugar
1 tablespoon flour (gluten free use King Arthur flour)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place the sliced apples in a 9 x 13 pan.  Mix the white sugar, 1 T. flour and cinnamon together and sprinkle over the apples.  Pour water evenly over all the apples.

1 cup quick cooking oats
1 cup flour (gluten free use King Arthur flour)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter, melted

Combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and melted butter together. 

Crumble evenly over the apple mixture.  Bake at 350 degrees F  for about 45 minutes.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Sandhill Cranes are Gathering For Their Migration

Today was a great day for the eight young Whooping Cranes  and everyone involved with training them for their journey.  After a pretty rough start to their migration to Florida, all eight were able to fly to the second stop on the route.  They flew 14 miles today.  Hopefully this is the beginning of a great trip for them.  You can follow their adventure from the website.

I think the sandhill cranes got the migration memo because today the sky was very busy and loud.  They were gathering out on our marsh as the sun was setting.  I estimate at least three groups of at least 50 in each group are spending the night.   I won't write much tonight but just share some of the awesome photos I took tonight of them circling and landing to rest.