Monday, August 29, 2011

Paging Dr. Warner

For years, Wisconsin remained a state I hadn't visited. Finally, in 2008, I made it to Door County. Since then I've been back twice and every time I find more and more to like about the state. I love the lovely green landscape, the passionate Cheeseheads -- and their amazing headgear -- the cheese and so much more. And like so many places with impressive attractions, it also has some little, quirky treasures. I'd have to say the National Mustard Museum heads that list.

It's located in Middleton in the metropolitan Madison area. Barry Levenson is the founder and chief cheerleader. An attorney, he's a former assistant state's attorney general and an adjunct professor of food law at the University of Wisconsin. And he has a wild and wicked sense of humor.

The Mustard Museum features over 5000 mustards from every state in the union and more than 60 countries. The museum store carries mustards from many of these places -- and features a mustard tasting bar.

The museum itself is an exploration of mustard history and includes displays of antique mustard pots, advertsing and actual jars of the condiment. Guests can view a video in the Mustardpiece Theatre. It's also a seat of higher learning with school songs like "Roll Out the Mustard" and university fight songs. And I, myself, received a diploma from this institution.

As you can see, I am now a D.D.S. -- Doctor of Diddley Squat. And my alma mater -- Poupon U.

After receiving my credential, I headed for the school store for memorabilia. Here's one of my favorites.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Swiss Is More Than Just Cheese!

This is Chef Roland Furst at the New Glarus Hotel in New Glarus, Wisconsin, preparing cheese fondue. I'll put the printed recipe in this post -- but notice that he varied it by using several different kinds of cheese and he also added dill. In additiion, he had prepared an entire Swiss meal for us:

jaegerschnitzel, wienerschnitzel, geschnetzlets, roesti, spaetzli, salad, hot rolls, and, for dessert,

Napoleon topped with fresh strawberries. The meal was wonderful; the atmosphere authentic Swiss (the town was founded by 108 Swiss immigrants); and we ate to the accompaniment of yodeling and an alpenhorn.

Here's the New Glarus Hotel recipe for Cheese Fondue
1 clove garlic

1 1/2 cups dry white wine

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

1/2 pound Swiss cheese

1/2 pound Gruyere cheese

1 rounded Tbsp. flour

Pepper and nutmet to taste

2 loaves crusty Italian or French bread

Grate the cheeses and dredge with the flour. (You can do this in advance and keep refrigerated in a tightly closed plastic bag.) Cut bread in one-inch cubes. Each cube should have crust on one side.

Rub the inside of the fondue pot with the cut garlic clove. Heat wine in a the pot over medium heat until hot but not boiling. Add lemon juice. Add cheese by handfuls, stirring in pepper and nutmet to taste. Bring to a boil, then remove from the stove and place on a lighted fondue burner on the table.