Monday, September 23, 2013

Wisconsin Trips Conclusion

Narrative by Bonnie...."For many years I kept a little saying next to my computer.  It is an apt description of my philosophy of life.  'No day is wasted if you learn something new.'  Our trip to beautiful Wisconsin was more than quaint quilt shops - it also had a few learning experiences opportunities thrown in for variety.  Today we were both awed and impressed as we spent a delightful 2 hours at the Glacial Lake Cranberry March in Cranton.  Here, at a family owned farm, (or marsh) we were greeted by energetic owner, Mary, who gave us a brief history of the cranberry business, which has been in her family for 140+ years.  Among other things we learned that their 6,ooo acres (half of which is in marshland) produces many millions of pounds of those tart little berries per year.  We had the distinct opportunity to ride out onto the marshes, hear how they manage both fields and water resources, and get to see the plants ready to harvest soon.
The berries right off the low growing bushes seemed to taste much better than out of a bag at the grocery store.

Back at the warehouse we saw stacks of boxes of drying berries.  We even got to try our hand at the "bouncing" and sorting process  .We learned that they both float and bounce because they have hollow spaces inside. The prize was getting to taste fresh berries dipped in caramel.  We all agreed that we'll never take a drink of cranberry juice again, without thinking of our gracious hostess today.  And isn't it true with knowledge comes appreciation? 

In my quilters mind is an applique project - complete with the pink blossoms, and the mature red fruit.  Something to consider!
We also enjoyed a visit to the Bergstrom - Mahler Glass Museum in Neenah, and were instructed in how beautiful glass paper weights are made.  What talent it takes to turn molten glass into those works of art.  Another day we stopped at the History Museum at the Castle in Appleton where we has a hands - on turn at some of Houdini's tricks.  Wow!
Reading about the cranberry experience, I decided I needed to share my family's favorite cranberry salad.  We can not eat turkey or a roasted chicken dish without this salad.
Favorite Cranberry Salad
1 small package of cherry or raspberry Jello dissolved in 1 pint of hot water.  Add I cup of sugar while still hot.  Pour this over the following ingredients, which have been through the Cuisinart food processor.  1 package of cranberries 2 apples and a can of crushed pineapple..........When we make after Thanksgiving sandwiches, a layer of this salad, warmed leftover dressing and then the turkey goes on.  YUM