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Alice in Dairyland Travel Journal by Teyanna Loether

Alice in Dairyland Travel Journal by
Teyanna Loether

2811 Agriculture Dr. PO Box 8911
Madison WI 53708-8911
Phone (608) 224-5115

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WI Christmas Tree Producers Association
Nov. 27, 2015

Thanksgiving has now passed, which means many families are looking forward to the next holiday tradition: cutting the evergreen tree that will symbolize the beginning of the Christmas season.

Some of my fondest memories of the holidays surround the Christmas tree. We’d go out as a whole family to the same local tree farm each year. My dad would always pick the biggest, most beautiful fraser fir, and my mom would always stand back, smile, and say, “That’s never going to fit in the living room!” Our tree was trimmed with old fashioned bubble lights and vintage glass ornaments from my great grandma as Nat King Cole, Bing Crosby, and Burl Ives crooned in the background.

The Christmas tree brings families together through traditions, and here in Wisconsin we have more than 800 tree farms that provide choose-your-own and pre-cut trees, wreaths, swags, and more. We rank 6th in the nation for the production of Christmas trees, and the annual sales of more than 600,000 trees each year generates a $12.5 million impact on the economy. The Christmas Tree Producers Association provides a wonderful resource for learning more about Wisconsin Christmas trees, and educates us on how to Go Green by choosing a real tree this year.

Choosing a real tree is sustainable, for two to three trees are planted by farmers for each one harvested during the holidays. Real trees are recycled into material that can be reused, such as mulch and ground cover. Tree farms also provide a habitat for wildlife, supporting deer, foxes, rabbits, turkeys, bees, and butterflies, just to name a few.

Deck your halls this year with Christmas from Wisconsin, whether as swags, wreaths, or a tree aglow through the window. Log on to the Wisconsin Christmas Tree Producers Association website here to find a tree farm near you!

Recipes from Alice: Thanksgiving Stuffing
Nov. 25, 2015

Wisconsin's state fruit, the cranberry, takes center stage during this Thanksgiving season. It's predicted that in 2015, Wisconsin growers harvested more than 8 million barrels of cranberries! When you think about Wisconsin cranberries and Thanksgiving dinner, typically cranberry sauce comes to mind. But have you ever thought about other creative places it might fit in to the holiday dinner? One of my favorite ways to enjoy it: in Grandpa's Top Secret Stuffing.

While the turkey is typically the centerpiece of the table at Thanksgiving, the stuffing is important for imparting flavor and juiciness. While cranberries and apples tend to be my favorite in this stuffing, you can incorporate any number of Wisconsin ingredients as you so choose. This is one of those recipes that my family passes down with directions that say, "a little of this, a little of that" until it looks, feels, and smells the way you want it to. So, this recipe comes with a caveat: add amounts of the ingredients to your liking, and get creative. The Thanksgiving stuffing base is your blank canvas to add some unique flavors!

•2 large onions, diced
•3-4 celery stalks, chopped
•Wisconsin Cranberries, fresh or frozen and thawed
•Honeycrisp apples, cubed
•Turkey giblets, if desired, finely chopped
•1 lb. Italian sausage (The secret to this recipe for imparting loads of flavor. Find your local meat market, where they usually make it with their own unique spice mix for extra local flavor!)
•Salt and pepper to taste

•12-14 cups of bread cubes, already baked and seasoned (Two bags of Brownberry Stuffing bread is what my family typically uses. They're a Wisconsin company with their largest bakery located in Oconomowoc! You can find a local bakery near you, or make your own bread cubes.)
•4 eggs, beaten
•Chicken stock to moisten (approx. 50 oz. or one large can)

1) Sauté onions, celery, cranberries, and apples in a tablespoon or two of butter. Set aside once onions are translucent and cranberries have begun to pop open.
2) In a large skillet, cook giblets and Italian sausage until no longer pink. Combine with cranberry mixture and heat through. Salt and pepper to taste.
3) Combine cooked ingredients with bread stuffing and eggs. Slowly add chicken stock, adding more or less than 50 oz. until stuffing is to desired consistency and moisture.
4) Stuff into bird prior to cooking, and bake any remaining stuffing in a separate oven safe dish alongside the turkey, or at 350 F for 45-60 minutes, until top is golden brown.

Jones Dairy Farm
Nov. 25, 2015

Have you ever contemplated the beginning of the breakfast sausage?

Jones Dairy Farm began business in 1889 with Milo Jones’ breakfast sausage recipe, inspired by his mother’s homemade version. Starting in 1903, its famous “Little Pig Sausage” ad campaign was featured in popular magazines, including Saturday Evening Post, Literary Digest and Good Housekeeping, which made Jones Dairy Farm a leader in national advertising. In 1920, they became the first meat packing company to quick-freeze breakfast sausage, locking in freshness and flavor.

Fast-forward 126 years from the beginning of the story, and while technology has advanced production and processing, the family still uses the very same original, homemade recipe. All Jones products are certified gluten free, and in addition to their classic breakfast sausage, they now offer hickory smoked ham, dry aged bacon and Canadian bacon, and braunschweiger. Their Country Style Scrapple, a savory dish in which cornmeal, flour and spices are simmered with pork and then formed into a hearty loaf, is #1 in the nation. For a small dinner for two or a few, their dainty ham is perfect!

From breakfast to lunch to dinner, and everything in between, Jones Dairy Farm offers specialty meat products for any holiday family gathering. Search for a retail location near you at!

Sconnie Foods
Nov. 24, 2015

Here in Wisconsin, we love our sauerkraut. Except when it’s in a messy, open container with a cumbersome fork while at tailgating events. Sconnie Foods has developed a genius squeezable sauerkraut bottle to help solve that problem, making your beloved sauerkraut portable and always delicious!

Sconnie Foods’ innovative, squeezable sauerkraut comes in three varieties: good ol’ Original, Spicy Mustard with horseradish, and traditional Bavarian with caraway seeds. Sauerkraut is packed with probiotics, vitamins, and minerals, making it a healthy choice as well. Whether you want to squeeze a little, or cover your entire Wisconsin brat with kraut, there’s a flavor for everyone in this convenient container. No utensils needed.

While Sconnie Foods is based in Eau Claire, they sell their kraut in nearly 50 locations. Log on to their website to learn more and find a squeezable bottle near you!

FillMyRecipe Flavor Temptations
Nov. 23, 2015

As you know from my Recipes from Alice, I love being creative in the kitchen. Preparing Indian cuisine can be complex, involving many spices in exact quantities to be added in a specific sequence. Recipe kits from Flavor Temptations take the mystery out of concocting delicious spice mixes for the perfect Indian dish such as:
•Curried Cauliflower and Carrots
•Curried Potatoes
•Black Beans Masala
•Chickpeas Masala

Each Flavor Temptations recipe kit includes a traditional Indian recipe, pre-measured spices, and cooking directions, making it easy and convenient for you to prepare Indian dishes. While their business is headquartered in Wisconsin, the recipes available through Flavor Temptations were created in the owner’s family home in India by generations of women who have tasted, tweaked, and tailored the recipes to perfection. Using the recipe kits, you will taste perfection every time and won’t have to store or waste any expensive, exotic ingredients.

Once you have your recipe kit, all you need is fresh produce. Flavor Temptations recipe kits provide a great reason to incorporate locally grown produce, supporting your local farmers as well. For just a few dollars per kit, Flavor Temptations recipes make excellent stocking stuffers for the lover of all things Indian cuisine on your list. Order your recipe kit here!

Baxter's Hollow Blends
Nov. 20, 2015

Baxter’s Hollow Blends is a family owned and operated business located in the heart of Sauk County. Donna and Ed Ziegler have been dairy farmers all their lives, and their son Dan and his wife Missy along with their three children have continued the legacy of the family farm. Because of their deep ties to the land and nature, they’ve developed bird seed blends to allow you to enjoy a slice of paradise in your own backyard.

Their high-quality seeds and blends will give outdoor enthusiasts hours of bird, deer, and other wildlife viewing enjoyment. While your wildlife will be happily munching away, you can also feel proud to support Baxter’s Hollow Blends, for a percentage of every purchase is donated to children’s hospitals. Donna and Ed’s youngest daughter was diagnosed with cancer at the age of ten, and she and their family successfully overcame the battle through the help of children’s hospitals. So, their two-fold mission is close to the heart: commitment to providing a quality product, and making charitable donations.

Baxter’s Hollow Blends offers five different varieties of bird seed: Cardinal Blend, Finch Favorites, No-Waste Blend, Prime Blend, and Season’s Blend. The Prime Blend is great for inviting a wide variety of birds all-around. The No-Waste Blend is perfect for urban areas, as the seeds in this particular blend are loved by many birds and little is left behind underneath the feeder.

Baxter’s Hollow Blends offers their products at more than 50 locations statewide. To find a location near you, visit their website!

Nueske's Applewood Smoked Meats
Nov. 19, 2015

With Thanksgiving just one week away, there may be one thing on many minds: a delicious turkey or ham, at the centerpiece of the holiday table. Nueske’s Applewood Smoked meats offers both of these options in their whole smoked turkey or spiral-sliced ham, as well as many other mouthwatering meats.

Made with glowing embers of Applewood, Nueske’s is renowned for their signature smoked flavor that has a whole lot of heart behind it. In 1933, Grandpa R. C. Nueske took his passion for smoked meats made with his family’s top secret spicing and curing recipes to the road, selling “fancy meats” from his truck. Now with a state-of-the-art modern processing plant with custom built smokehouses, they still carry on Grandpa Nueske’s tradition. Instead of statistical random sampling of products to ensure quality, each batch is taste-tested individually throughout the process. The quality of Nueske’s smoked bacon, ham, Canadian bacon, poultry, and sausage comes from the flavor, not the numbers.

Can’t decide which mouthwatering meat to try first? Nueske’s offers a wide array of gift baskets that take the tough choice out of the equation. You can find their meats in a wide range of grocery stores with the Something Special from Wisconsin™ logo proudly displayed, or order right from their website!

Copper Kettle Garlic Farm
Nov. 18, 2015

As you might know from my Recipes from Alice, I have a passion for cooking with local ingredients—especially with garlic. Lots of garlic. Straight from their farm to the table, the Kosmeder family of Copper Kettle Garlic Farm provides a great gift for the chef in your family. Located in Colgate, Wisconsin, their farm originally began as a horse farm, until they became producers exclusively of garlic in 2011.

Copper Kettle Farm is a small, sustainable farm that produces an annual crop of fresh Wisconsin gourmet garlic. While their garlic can be found fresh at farmer’s markets near the Milwaukee area, they also make a limited supply of gourmet garlic powder. The powder is available in a single ounce sampler jar, the ever-popular 3 ounce jar, or in larger bulk quantities.

The gourmet garlic powder is here just in time for the holiday gift giving season. Visit Copper Kettle's website to order some for a food enthusiast you know—hurry while supplies last!

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Contact the Alice In Dairyland Program at:
2811 Agriculture Dr. PO Box 8911
Madison WI 53708-8911
Phone (608) 224-5115

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