By Foffee | 0 comments
My favorite childhood stories were not about far-away castles, gourds being transformed into carriages and glass slippers, but rather about a kingdom NOT so very far away – the homeland of my father and his Norwegian immigrant family, and the center of the universe for cheese curds and beer – the glorious world of Wisconsin. Though my family would make the 45-minute jaunt from Illinois to this nearby kingdom nearly every other weekend, I could never get enough of it and implored my parents to tell me more stories about this wonderful State to the north. My favorite is about contraband margarine in the 1960’s. As a non-dairy product, margarine was banned for a period in The Dairy State and nothing makes something more coveted than a ban, especially to crazy Scandinavians. My relatives were fascinated by this mysterious elixir that looked like butter (especially when you mixed in the special “butter dye pack” that was supplied with each tub), but was NOT butter. My newlywed mom was quickly initiated into the illicit goings-on of her new husband* who directed her to daintily sit upon boxes of margarine tubs hidden beneath the bucket seats of his Austin-Healey convertible and to “just act natural” when they got to the Illinois-Wisconsin border. Being a law-abiding Catholic schoolgirl, I can only imagine the terror that she felt. Thankfully, my relatives’ margarine curiosity eventually wore off, and we returned to being treated to the best that Wisconsin has to offer each time we visited – beer-soaked butter burgers on local rye bread, filled with cheddar curds from our family’s farm, coarse-grained mustards, horseradish and braised onions, accompanied by heaping spoonfuls of sweet-tart Norwegian lingonberry jam. It was enough to make you yell “Uff-da!” (roughly translated from Wisconsin-Norwegian as “sensory overload”). It is the best of the State on a bun, and every bite takes me back there. Enjoy! *Later, my siblings and I would be treated to being pawns in such contraband; primarily, the reverse smuggling of illegal fireworks from Wisconsin into Illinois in order to fairly compete with our neighbors on explosives-friendly holidays.
By gscottn | 0 comments
Jalapeno Poppers on the BGE
By BayouEgger | 0 comments
Crawfish pizza on rosemary focaccia bread.