Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Driftless Wisconsin, Visiting Grandkids and a Parchment Medley

Last week we had a visit from two of our grandchildren from New Ulm, Minnesota. Since they were going to be with us for the week, we spent a day in Wausau, leaving here at 7:30 in the morning for the 2 1/2 hour drive there, so they could see the Wausau house, spend a little time in Wausau, and of course have time with their cousins. It's always fun seeing the cousins enjoying each other's company. And it's always great to spend time with our daughter.

The river water level has been lowered deliberately, 
so that work can be done on the bridges.

More photos and text sprinkled throughout today's Medley, which is brought to you by Terri, our host, who blogs at Your Friend From Florida. She writes the questions, we write the answers. Plug them into your own blog and join up at her blog!

Terri's questions are in black, my responses are in blue.

Can you believe it?
National Parchment Day,
Last Wednesday in June
1.  Who knew there was a day to celebrate parchment paper?!  Do you ever use parchment when you bake or cook? Tell us about your favorite way to use it, please.
 I rarely use parchment in baking unless my recipe says I must. 
 Toe and ankle dipping in the Wisconsin River
Toe dipping in the Red Cedar River
2.  When Terri thinks of parchment paper, she usually thinks about special writing or artist papers. She loves using specialty papers for creating cards or other art projects. Tell us about a creative way you have used parchment paper other than to bake with!
I don't think I've ever used parchment in any creative way whatsoever. I'm sorry, Terri. My creativity extends only to soapmaking and journaling, I'm afraid.

On our walk along the Wisconsin River, we encountered a pipes and fiddle duo who serenaded us. Fortunately, our granddaughter had the presence of mind to record them (see video below). Thanks, Elisabeth.  I was so mesmerized by their sound and skill that I only managed to think to take a couple photos. They were incredible, and it was such a fun mini concert. 

 Uilleann Pipes

Video courtesy of @elysadans

3.  Terri used to be in the cake business and has piped many borders and roses and leaves and letters, etc., etc.  You can make a pastry bag from parchment paper!  Have you ever tried decorating a cake with a pastry bag and specialty tips?  Do you have a picture to share?  Don't be shy, now!
I'm afraid I'm batting zero here. But I would highly recommend reading Terri's blog, for I bet she's had lots of experience working with parchment.

Happy kids hanging out at The Blue Goose

 Later in the week we drove to 'The Motherland,' as Mr. C. calls it, the Driftless area of Wisconsin in the SW part of the state. 

No fear of putting the cart before the horse here.

After stopping to visit an Amish friend we'd not seen since last summer, we went to '24 Valley Road' as he directed us, for ice cream and an interesting barn he knew we'd like.

Not this barn. This is The Blue Goose
with the most fabulous ice cream!

 Sunshine and shadows at The Blue Goose,
where all four of us got huge helpings of ice cream
for under $10 total. Mine was blueberry waffle cone.
I'm sure that I ordered a small dish, but no kidding, it was a veritable mountain.
So I ate only a few bites and threw the rest away.
(Yeah, right. LOLOLOLOL)
It's a good thing I don't have that kind of ice cream or any ice cream sitting in my freezer.
I know it wouldn't be there for long.

Here's that barn Sam said was a must-see.
Definitely close to the road!
4.  Tell us about something you baked or cooked in the past week or so that turned out great, parchment or no parchment.  Will you share the recipe?

 Blueberry scones. This one is cranberry, but the recipe made last week was made with fresh blueberries. Delicious!
The most recent thing which might have called for parchment paper, but which I baked on a sil-pat lined baking sheet was blueberry/lemon scones. They were delicious. I still have a few in the freezer which I'll pull out at some point in the near future and heat up in a 200 degree oven just to thaw and then crisp up the exterior.  I'm pretty sure the silicone sheets I have were ordered from Amazon. Click HERE to see them. I use them for scones and cookies.

HERE is the recipe for the blueberry scones in the blueberry/lavender version.

 I had to zoom in on this scene through the windshield as we were approaching one another, and have removed the heads (ouch!) to protect the privacy of the Amish. I know, it's not like they're going to be reading this blog or anything, but I've been told by a few Amish friends that they don't mind photos at all as long as their faces are not showing. So, there you are. But it was such a delightful scene! A team of beautiful horses and a wagonload of fresh hay topped by a young Amish boy, probably about 8-10 years old.

I think that meeting our friend Sam completely dispelled any preconceived notions our grandkids might have had (or that many people have) about the Amish. They are good businessmen and women, intelligent, skilled, and have a great sense of humor. They're hardworking and very community-minded people. By the way, our friend Sam is a skilled cabinet maker and makes cabinets for huge condos in Chicago and (multi-) million-dollar 'cabins' on lakes up north. When I asked Mr. C. about having Sam make book shelves for us for the Wausau house, he responded, 'We can't afford Sam.'  Oh.  Oh well. Sam does incredible work and is in high demand. And a really great guy. I would show you a picture of him, but...

5.  The last Wednesday in June!!  How can that be? Has your June flown by or have you been able to enjoy each day and make it slow down for you?
June has definitely flown by, and it's been a pretty chilly one, so I'm looking forward to July. 

 Two of the grandkids,
standing under the most famous street sign in Westby. :-)

 Visiting the ancestors

 Country Coon Prairie Lutheran Church

6.  Tell us something about your week so far, if you will.

So far this week, the weather seems to be trending toward warmish and I've been cleaning out and packing and donating (while listening to interesting YouTube interviews and lectures). Sound familiar? I also spent an afternoon working on my journal, although I have noticed that I'm not doing nearly as nice a job on journalling as I usually do. I think it comes from a sense of guilt - like that I should be cleaning out and packing and donating. Sigh.

I'm also missing Tommy & Smokey, and have heard nothing more about them. Poor little waif kitties. I pray that their new 'mommy' is treating them in the manner to which they had become accustomed. xo 

 One of the beautiful white and purple bearded iris
that originally came from my great grandmother's garden.
I will be moving some of these to the Wausau house.

I expect my HomemadeSoapnSuch shops
to be closed for the summer.
Lots of back-and-forth between
Dallas and Wausau.

Check out my natural, handcrafted vegan soap!
Buy any 5 or more, Get 1 FREE

The shops will be reopened when we're move into the Wausau house.

Thanks for the Medley, Terri, as poor as my responses were!
I'll try to do better next week. :-)

PS. Thank you, Lord, for letting me live in Wisconsin in the summertime and please forgive me for the complaining that I do all February and March.

Have a great Wednesday, everyone!
Join me on Instagram: @cranberrymorning



Jodi said...

That is a very cool barn!! And that Iris is gorgeous! Love reading your post and seeing all your fun pics! Have a great Wednesday!

Empty Nester said...

I can't believe she hasn't sent a single word about those precious kitties. I do hope all is well. You would think someone who traveled that far would be an amazing 'mom' to them, though. Fingers crossed. My favorite coffee shop here offers gluten-free blueberry lemon scones and they are delicious! If you don't get there by 8:00 or so you miss out because those are the first baked goods to sell out EVERY DAY. I've only had them twice. Time with grandkids is always wonderful, isn't it? Marcy has been over several times in the last couple weeks and we're going to see Roland tomorrow. I'm grateful they both live close enough for regular visits. Marcy lives right here in the Charleston area and Roland is only an hour away.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I love the barn by the road too! We used to drive by one in NC and it always seemed like we were surely going to hit it! lol Love the photos of the grands and hope you have a nice visit. I usually try to sketch or paint late in the day and now I think that's a mistake....I'm so tired by then! Enjoy your day! I know you are doing SO much to get ready!

MadSnapper said...

my favorite foto today is the outdoor eating place at the Blue Goose, love that building and also that beautiful old barn. sounds like a fun few days with your family, and seeing your new home with them.... love the horses pulling the headless driver.. your life is always interesting to me. as for parchement paper, as far as i know i have never used it, and have no idea what it is... i do know i had waxed paper that i had for about 10 years, it ran out a few weeks ago and i bought waxed paper which is certainly NOT wax paper even though it says it. it looks like parchment but says waxed. i hate it. the only thing i use it for is rare occasion i roll out biscuits or to put things on when coming out of the toaster oven... what i bought just falls apart...

Nonnie said...

My goodness gracious!!! This blog today is just filled with so much good stuff! Love the pictures of the grandkids, especially by the river and on the bench. All your photos are beautiful. I have often wondered why settlers settled so far up north where the winters are so harsh, but I can see from the photos the summer makes up for it … I think. Haha! And you may have batted zero with parchment, but home run on everything else! Those scones are beautiful and I will be trying that recipe. I have never made scones. Yummy!

Elizabeth "Libby" Day said...

Oh the iris! Such a beauty and my favorite flower. I had to smile reading Nonnie's comments because I thought the very same thing. Parchment may not be your thing, but writing and photo taking certainly is. As you know from my own blog, grandkids are the chosen topic and subject, so I can appreciate your pictures and time you had with those cuties. A friend of mine who used to own and run a Tea Room, served the most delicious scones but I had to have lemon curd and cream with them. Your's look delectable. Enjoy the rest of your busy week.

Debby Ray said...

Always so many fabulous photos to ooh and aah over! The Blue Goose looks like my kind of place with my kind of ice cream! But since the barn is green, I wonder why they didn't call it the Green Goose? :D I love visiting Amish country and their places of business. Like you, I wouldn't be able to afford many of their wonderfully crafted pieces though...worth every penny, I'm sure. And I don't feel so left out now that I know I'm not the only one who doesn't use parchment paper! Great post, as always!

Lorrie said...

A fun post with lots of wonderful photos. The barn so close to the road looks as if one lane might go through the barn! Great times with grandchildren are always special.

Elizabethd said...

What a fascinating barn. I wonder what its history is. I guess it was built long before the road was so close.

Mrs.T said...

What a wonderful post, Judy! It was such fun to read. Love all the grandkid photos and more. Those scones!

That Blue Goose sure looks like our kind of ice cream place -- it may be the nicest one I have ever seen -- and the prices sure do sound reasonable. I wonder, like Debby, why they didn't name it the Green Goose.

Allstarme79 said...

I wish cleaning out and listening to podcasts sounded familiar but I am not yet at a time in my life where I can spend weekdays, at least, doing so!

Michelle said...

Ice cream at The Blue Goose sounds heavenly to me. The Amish and Mennonite population continues to grow here in KY. Wonderful people and great neighbors.

SImple and Serene Living said...

That barn is definitely perilously close to the road. I'm doing my best to enjoy every day of June. xo Laura

Terri D said...

I am thanking each of you who joined in today on the Medley. It was difficult and not very interesting. Bless you! I love all the back and forth and (of course) all the photos! The kids are growing up so fast!

Chatty Crone said...

Ha - when you say warm - what temp do you mean? lol
How I enjoyed the toes in the water - the mini concert - and clear days - looks so pretty there.
I tried to look up Amish here and we went, but it really is nothing like up north.
Ice cream sounds good!

Cheryl said...

It's always a good time to spend it with the grands! I am sure that they all enjoyed the cousin time too. A little time away from packing and sorting probably felt good!

I was hoping that Tommy and Smokey's new mom would be more communicative. Their first family and their fan club are waiting to hear!

Vee said...

You have heard nothing more about Tommy and Smokey? Words fail.

Once I found parchment paper, my silicon mats hit the road and I’ve never looked back. No comparison.

Happy packing, Judy.

podso said...

Is that street named for your family? How nice to have the grands visit for a week. Ours are getting to that age where you have a whole different kind of relationship. I'm looking forward to it all.


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