Day Eight ~ Raspberries, Flour, and The Big Cheat

Today I cheated. I don't feel too bad about it - I take this challenge more seriously than most people, and it's supposed to be fun anyway. More on that later- first, let me tell you about the beginning of my day.

Sunday is a day off work for me, so I had to make the best of it. In the morning, the ladies of the family (Meg, Erica, Mom, and I) headed to Blue Skies Raspberry Farm south of town to do some U-picking. As was predictable on a beautiful Sunday, there were a lot of other pickers, and not a ton of ripe berries left when we got there. We stayed for about two hours and picked a flat and a half between us.

I wasn't intending to get a ton of berries anyhow, so I was happy to go home with three pints. I will be back next weekend on a Monday to do a bigger pick for freezing. I just love the atmosphere of a U-pick like this - it's far enough in the country that a quiet peaceful tranquility pervades, punctuated by the sounds of pickers' conversations and giggling children. What a wonderful way to spend a Sunday morning!

I also purchased this honeycomb from Blue Skies - there's something so fun about eating honey with a spoon and then chewing on the wax..... it's like chewy honey fudge.

I got a lead from another blogger who's taking the challenge that it's possible to purchased fresh ground flour at The Old Feed Mill in Mazomanie. I have wheat berries that I purchased at the Washington Island Coffee House, but no good way to grind them, and I'm not excited about purchasing an expensive grain mill,. so in Stanley and I took a beautiful Sunday afternoon drive through the Wisconsin countryside to Mazomanie.

Here's what we got! 10lb of beautiful freshly ground flour. They have a large grain mill where they grind the wheat on-demand right in front of you. Apparently they've been doing this for a long time, but they recently started sourcing their wheat locally from someone who grows on the grounds of Taliesin near Spring Green. This flour looks beautiful! I put most of it in the freezer, only keeping enough out for immediate use.

OK, now to the cheating. Let me start by saying that Stanley usually works on Sunday nights, but he had tonight off. We didn't have Elwood, and we wanted to do something special and romantic. Also, Stanley had been wanting to take me out for my birthday, something which we hadn't found the opportunity to do since my birthday back in June..... so..... given that we may not have this opportunity again anytime soon, I decided to cheat. The only rule I made was that we had to go somewhere that featured local food in their menu.

After much deliberation, we decided on Lombardinos, an Italian restaurant in town that has a ton of local ingredients. Since I was cheating anyhow, I had to go all out.

I started off with a martini of Death's Door vodka (made with Washington Island wheat) and house made blood orangecello. Our appetizer was bruschetta with wood grilled Fraboni's sweet fennel sausage, local peppers and onions in a wonderful thick tomato sauce, then a small Caesar salad, followed by an amazing dish of grilled Jordenal Farms chicken with grilled lemon and Spanish olive oil over a bed of escarole. We were so full at this point, that we took dessert to-go, but not until after I enjoyed a beautifully frothy cappuccino. I'm over the caffeine withdrawal, so I figured one small cup wouldn't do any harm.

At home we enjoyed a sampler of mini-portions of panna cotta with blueberry sauce and polenta crumbles, chocolate chestnut torte with salted caramel ice cream, and tiramisu. It lacked a bit of the presentation since they had packed it up to go, but it was still delicious.

An amazing meal full of local ingredients. I don't feel one bit guilty!

share on: Facebook


  1. I am the source of the wheat grown at Taliesin. The estate land is farmed by Otter Creek Organic Farms. We grew 8 acres of a hard red winter wheat that had an excellent yield. We also grew a 6 acre trial of hard red spring wheat that is still drying.

    The grain is in the bin and warehouse of River Valley Seed and Grain in Lone Rock (6 mi west of Spring Green). More will be available later this week. The flour was distributed by Jane Hauser of The Culinary Connection. For further information, call Gilbert at 608-574-6656.

  2. Wow - thanks for writing! I've got bread made with your wheat in the oven baking right now. I can't wait to try it!!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.