Thursday, August 3, 2017

08.07.17 On Wisconsin!

Photo credit:

Greetings readers!  I told you I had lots of plans this summer - and I recently spent a week of it in America's Dairyland.

My college roommate and her husband have a lovely home (and a beautiful garden) just outside Madison, WI (which, for purposes of this trip, is not too far from Iowa - certainly not as far away as Texas).

This matters because our husbands thought it would be great fun to get on their bikes and ride upwards of 400 miles across Iowa in a they signed up for RAGBRAI (the Des Moines Register's Great Bike Ride Across Iowa).

Kerry's garden
Kerry and I had absolutely no interest in the ride, and thought it would be much more fun to spend some time together catching up and doing touristy things - so that's exactly what we did.  We went on an art and pie filled tour of south central Wisconsin.

I had always planned to write a blog post about the trip - but turns out - it's going to take two. So, here's Wisconsin - part 1.

One of many pie updates -
apple and cherry
With her quick wit and mad baking skills, Kerry was the inspiration behind my Cherry Pi pendant, which I took to her as a hostess gift.

In return, she saw to it that I was appropriately "pie'd" during my visit (as were the guys, who sent regular updates with photos of the slices they ate along their route).  It's important to understand that pie and cheese are to Wisconsin as barbecue and tacos are to Texas...and people have very strong feelings about them.

Our pies - apple walnut caramel and chocolate silk

Our pie tour started in Madison, at the Hubbard Avenue Diner, where we went after taking a glass fusing class (details about that in the next post).  Words and photos don't do these slices justice - the apples and walnuts were still crisp (a must, as I have learned - the fruit should still be recognizable, and not mush), the crust was flaky, and I ate every bite.

On our way home, we made a stop at Carr Valley Cheese.  I told you - these people take their cheese very, very seriously.
That's a whole lotta cheese!

From there, we went home and enjoyed wine, cheese and the gorgeous weather (which was a wonderful respite from the 100s we'd been having in Austin).

The following day, Kerry made our next pie, which was probably my favorite all week...perhaps because it was made by request, and contained some of my favorite flavors - tomato, basil and cheese.

That's right, not all pies are sweet, there are lots of recipes for savory pies...and this one took the cake (so to speak)!

I kept eating this one - for lunch and dinner - all week!

Kerry makes baking pie look deceptively easy - as does any artist who is a master at their craft.  She puts flour, butter, salt, water and some magic into her food processor; plops the dough out onto her floured counter, pulls out her rolling pin and - voilà - pie crust.

The next day we took a short road trip to Baraboo, the home of the Ringling Brothers, to visit the Circus World Museum and dine at the Log Cabin Restaurant where we had (you guessed it) more pie.

Peanut butter cream for Kerry, caramel apple for me

You can order pie as a side item (instead of french fries or a vegetable) and Kerry told me in advance that was the way to go.  I was glad she did, because even with just a turkey sandwich for lunch - I couldn't finish my dessert.

You'd think by now I might be pie'd out - but I wasn't.  There were two more fruit pies in my future...peach and mixed berry...the last of which Kerry sent home with us, and I polished off before diving into almost two weeks of ignored emails and held snail mail.

We didn't JUST eat pie - we had some great Italian food (including cannoli for dessert) and saw some wonderful sights. But the pie was so good, it deserved it's own post.

More about the trip next time...

No comments:

Post a Comment