January News from the Northwoods

 It's a few days early, but I'll never turn away a Forest Lake Country Store Newsletter. It's great to hear about what's going on in the Land o Lakes area.  So once again, I enjoy a warm cup of coffee while reading what my friend Mark Gostisha shares with us from the Northwoods of Wisconsin....

Forest Lake Country Store

Great food and a whole lot more,,,

January 2011 News

Store Hours
Thursday thru Saturday 7 AM - 8 PM
Sunday thru Wednesday 7 AM - 3 PM

Special Holiday Hours
Christmas Eve and New Years Eve 7 AM - 2 PM
Closed Christmas Day
December 27th - December 30th 7 AM - 8 PM (Monday thru Thursday)
After New Years we will close on Tuesdays.  Enjoying a little time off, we have realized that four years, of 7 day work weeks, have taken a toll on us.  The 3 PM closure days are nice, but we still work about 9 hours on these "short days".  Thru the balance of winter we will be closed on Tuesdays.  After Memorial Day we will return to our 7 day schedule.

So, just how do you spell Deep Freeze?  Following three days of snow and howling wind, now it is minus 24 while we write the January newsletter.  We are still closed, fire crackling in the front room, warm cup of coffee next to the lap top.  The hard snow followed by bitter cold makes for an interesting scenario in the yard and the woods.  First there are drifts.  Like large dunes in the desert, behind every tree line or high hill, the snow drifts stretch out and taper into flat ground.  For the first day, the snow stays smooth and flat.  Little "devils" of whirling snow dance across flat spots, pushed by the high winds.  Finally the wind subsides.  The first disturbance on the fresh crushed crystal surface is deer tracks.  You can see where they wandered thru the yard last night. They came from the lake, wandered up the drive and into the yard, pawing thru the snow in hopes of some green grass.  Later you see tracks where a squirrel ventured out from its snug hide, and jumped from a tree, punctuating the ede of the yard with tracks.  Dirt on the snow from digging around by the base of a tree, with hopes of finding one of the treasured acorns buried last fall.  Later you see the light tracks of chickadees hopping outside the window sill.  And then in the morning you spot the wandering tracks of a fox.  He came from the road, poked his nose in the wood shed with hopes of a mouse.  Then he wandered around the edge of the yard, checked what the deer were digging up, then he strayed out of sight into the pines.  Never saw the animals, but the tracks don't lie.  The next snow will wipe the slate clean, and a new story will unfold on fresh white canvas.  My bet is the first tracks will be from the deer again,,

New in the Store

First of all we are happy to report that we spent a day in the Sysco kitchens while we were closed.  We are challenged to find unique dishes that we can make in our limited kitchen space.  We have learned a few that we will slowly integrate into our food choices.  The first item we will have for Christmas.  It is an Apple Crisp, served warm with our great Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream.  Watch for other new items as we add a little new equipment and make space in the kitchen!

We reopen on December 22nd.  If you are scrambling around looking for a few last minute gifts here are a few ideas.  Aprons, in adult and children sizes, proudly state "Just shut up and eat it".  The aprons also feature the grizzled face of the Porcupine Press porcupine. 

We have added a Sherpa lined hooded sweatshirt to our Forest Lake Country Store garments as well as long sleeved, ribbed long sleeve T shirts.   

Kurt Krueger's book of wild life photographs has been a huge success.  These images will look great on the coffee table of your north woods home or cabin.  If you live elsewhere the fabulous images will give you an "up north fix" with a few moments enjoying the wildlife.

Of course a nice package of wild rice, dry soups, salsa or jam, or cheese and crackers would all make great gifts for family or a hostess gift for a house party!

Last, we have a wine special, available until just this Saturday.  This is the Two Vines wine from Columbia Crest.

Two Vines Rosé (limited quantities available) 95% Syrah 5% Viognier
Tasting Notes
"Aromas of light red fruits, including fresh cherries, strawberries and a hint of watermelon open this Rosé. On the palate, lively acidity accentuates the bright flavors of berries and cherries and lead into a crisp and refreshing finish."

Two Vines White Blend  40% Chardonnay, 34% Sauvignon Blanc, 11% Semillion, 15% assorted aromatic varietals
Tasting Notes
"This medium-bodied white wine showcases intense aromas fresh sliced peaches and fresh cut grass. Upfront flavors of peach and melons give way to a juicy and refreshing finish."

Two Vines Red Blend  Syrah, Cinsault, Viognier, Mouvedre
Tasting Notes
"Aromas of strawberry and spice introduce this fruit-forward wine, the softly textured palate displays flavors of ripe plum and blackberries that are balanced by a silky finish."

Two Vines Cabernet/Merlot Blend  51% Merlot, 43% Cabernet Franc, 6% Cabernet Sauvignon
Tasting Notes
"Aromatics of lovely red berries lead to the velvety and supple palate.  This well-balanced blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc offers pleasant Two Vines Red Blend

Syrah, Cinsault, Viognier, Mouvedre
Tasting Notes
"Aromas of strawberry and spice introduce this fruit-forward wine, the softly textured palate displays flavors of ripe plum and blackberries that are balanced by a silky finish."acidity and a soft finish."

Now here is the best part of the deal,,, These wines are generally sold for about $7.99 - $8.99 per bottle.  We are rolling up our sleeves to help our customers have a great holiday season, without breaking the bank!  Our price on this offering is just $6.99 per bottle!  You can buy a bottle or three or five at this price.  It gets even better, if you Mix & Match 12 bottles the price is just $5.99 per bottle!  Of course you can buy a solid case of the wine of your choice for $5.99 as well.  These are crowd pleasing wines from quality wine producer. Orders need to be placed by Saturday December 18th.  Goods will be in the store and ready to go on Thursday December 23rd.  We are closed, so orders need to be placed via Email only!

News from the North Woods

The Project Snowflake ice skating rink opened for the season.  The rink is located in between the Town Hall and the elementary school.  A great family arena, there is a warming shed to change into your skates and to warm up any little ones. 

When you are around town for the Holidays it is important to make a trip into town after dark.  Check out the lighted display in front of Painless Pete's office.  (His office is on Highway B, next to the VFW post)  This display started as a couple reindeer, then a year later became a full team of reindeer.  Not life size, about 4X life size.  This year a sleigh was added.  Again about a 4X and lit up in a very tasteful manner.   

There is a new numbering system set in place for all intersections on every snowmobile trail in Vilas County.  Whether you sled or not this is important information.  If you are broke down, help can find you.  If there is an accident, the numbering system will allow medical service to get to the scene much faster.  You may want a copy of this information in your car or on a snowmobile to have handy in case of an emergency.  Click on this link for information on how the numbering system works:  Important safety information

As long as we are discussing snowmobiling have you ever considered joining the Frosty Snowmobile Club.  Attached is a release from Frosty and the functions they perform, not just in winter but all year round.  Membership is inexpensive and rewarding.  Please consider membership for yourself or a gift for an enthusiast. 

Here is some more interesting info.  We attended a Sysco food show in early November.  We met some folks who have purchased The Flowage Restaurant near Bond Falls.  This place is iconic to the north woods.  The new owner's names are Cheryl and Randy Goode.  They are motivated to return the place to the quality and unique atmosphere that put it on the map.  Their hopes were to be open shortly after New Years.  They are still working with the State of Michigan getting permits/licenses lined up.  Phone number is 906 852 3773.  Check in with them if you are taking a snowmobile trip or just driving around taking in some winter scenery. 

The Headwaters Food Pantry continues to serve over 60 families weekly.  Sign of the times I guess, but the last two years has seen a dramatic increase in demand for the Pantry.  Here is some information for helping:

The Headwaters Food Pantry serves residents in need from the Phelps, Conover and Land O' Lakes communities.  Donations of canned and dry goods are always appreciated.  There are drop off points at the bank in Phelps, the Chamber of Commerce in Land O' Lakes, Jensen-Akins in Conover and at the Forest Lake Country Store.  There is also a cash deposit box on our in-store crate or donations can be sent to Headwater's Food Pantry PO Box 561 Land O Lakes WI 54540 (identify them as food pantry donations.

Here's a great offer from our friends at Jabberwocky in Eagle River.  They have a huge selection of books, magazines, movies and more.  Recently they switched locations in the mall.  (You know, the mall by the big Pick N' Save store)  They are now closer to the Pick N' Save entrance.  They are offering our newsletter recipients a 15% discount on any books relative to cheese or wine!  Just bring in a copy of the newsletter and you will receive the discount.  Now all good things must come to an end, and so does this offer.  This is good only until January 15, 2011. 

Events in the North Woods

December 29th and 30th  Snowmobile Safety Class Land O' Lakes Town Hall
TIME:  9 A.M.-4 P.M., 12/29 and 12/30

The FROSTY SNOWMOBILE CLUB, INC. of Land O Lakes will conduct its eleventh annual Snowmobile Safety Class December 29 and 30, 2010. Classes will be taught by Mike Keintz, and Malcolm Wayne, DNR Certified Snowmobile Safety Instructors and assisted by several Club Members.
ALL STUDENTS ARE REQUIRED TO HAVE A WDNR CUSOMER ID NUMBER, WHICH MAY BE OBTAINED BY CALLING WDNR CUSTOMER SERVICE, 7 AM TO 10 PM, AT 1-888-936-7463. Students must be at least 12 years old, and will receive their Safety Certificate from the WDNR by mail, after successfully completing the course. There is no maximum age, parents and adults are encouraged to enroll and participate as well.

Advance reservations are required, as space is limited. STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS MUST CONTACT THE INSTRUCTOR AT LEAST TWO WEEKS IN ADVANCE OF THE COURSE TO REQUEST SPECIAL ACCOMMODATIONS. The course fee is $10.00, which covers all necessary materials. A parent or guardian must attend the class registration: 8:00-9:00 A.M. Wednesday, 12/29/10 to sign enrollment forms for all minors. Additionally, a parent or guardian must be available to pick up each minor student not later than 4 P. M. each day.
QUESTIONS or RESERVATIONS: Mike Keintz 715-547-8307 or

December 30th Celebrate the Activities of Winter at Boulder Junction's Winter Park

Boulder Junction, WI -Winter enthusiasts of the Lakeland area, including ice skaters, cross-country skiers and snowshoers are invited to attend Boulder Junction's Winter Celebration on Thursday, December 30, 2010, from 4:00-6:30pm, at the Winter Park (located east on Old Highway K past Coontail Corner, past the churches and before the transfer site).
Festivities begin at 4:00pm with a brief instruction and guided cross-country ski, led by Camp Manito-wish YMCA.  Bring your skis along or if you don't have equipment, some will be available to borrow (compliments of the Minocqua Winter Park) and enjoy Boulder Junction Winter Park's 9/10-mile trail.  Open skating and sledding with music by Barb Boston will take place from 4:00pm to 6:00pm. And 6:00pm the Town of Boulder Junction will dazzle us with a fireworks display.  Complimentary chili and hot cocoa will be served throughout the event. Weather permitting; wagon rides will also be available. 

Located just ¼ mile east of downtown Boulder Junction, on Old Highway K, Boulder Junction's Winter Park facility hosts a regulation sized, fully lighted and maintained ice skating rink.  The warming hut and nearby-lighted shelter has electricity and countertops for appliances and serving food, group seating, and a bon fire area to warm your toes.  The park's walking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trail is 9/10 of a mile in length, is cleared and groomed, and is suitable for beginners, enthusiasts, and outdoor-loving families.  A sledding hill is as an added attraction for the youngsters.
For Further Information Contact: Theresa Smith, Boulder Junction Chamber of Commerce, (715) 385-2400 or

From Artistree/LOLA

To register for all classes and supply lists, call Wendy @ 715-493-5361

10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Hollie Pierce - Instructor
Cost for this class is $20.00.


1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Shirley Battin - Instructor
Fee for all three days is $10.00.

January 12, 19, & 26 WATERCOLOR WEDNESDAY'S:
Learn a new Technique-A-Week
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Wendy Powalisz - Instructor

Jan. 12:  The basics of watercolor.
Jan. 19:  Creating textures.
Jan. 26:  Using resists.
Cost for each of these classes is $10.00.

January 12, 19, & 26 Open Painting
1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Wendy Powalisz - Facilitator

The public is invited to use the art room to paint, create and work on unfinished projects.  These sessions are free and open to the public.

Every Tuesday & Thursday Morning in January BEGINNING LINE DANCING
9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Gloria Andersen - Instructor
The cost for each of these sessions is $5.00.

This next one is all the way in February, but needs to be marked down in your calendar now. 
February 5th and 6th  Three Bear Dog Sled Races
Featuring one of the largest purses in northern Wisconsin, the Three Bear race attracts mushers from all over the Midwest and Canada.  Where else can you sit and watch anywhere from two dogs to maybe 20 dogs tethered to a sled and pulling a musher.  Some races are as short as 4 miles; the unlimited class is a 14 mile course.  There is food and beverages on site.  Other events include a dog fashion show, mutt race, Bark-O-Lounger races and more.  This is the biggest family event of the winter in Land O' Lakes.  Check their web site at

February 5th Craft Fair at Northland Pines Elementary School-Land O' Lakes
Sponsored by the Land O' Lakes Chamber of Commerce, the craft fair is an interesting event held in conjunction with the Three Bear Dog Sled Races.  If you have questions on visiting or showing at the craft fair contact Sandy at the Chamber of Commerce 715 547 3432. 
People around Land O' Lakes
January 1 Joe Garvin has his Birthday.
January 2 Kay Gierl celebrates her Birthday. 
January 5th is a shared birthday for Carol Schemmer and Beth Vos
January 6th is another shared birthday for Jeany Cuttell and Tug Juday
January 11th is also a shared birthday for Stacy Adams and Krissy Van Boglen
January 13th  Karen Sattler celebrates her  Birthday
January 14th Doreen Steele toasts her birthday.  Stop at the Bear Trap and give her your birthday wishes!
January 17th Phyliss Gottmann has her birthday
January 18th is Russ Jablonski's birthday.
January 20th is Don and Judy Dziedzina's 43rd wedding anniversary
January 22nd Barb Renc celebrates another birthday
January 24th is Dan Balog's birthday
January 26th is a shared birthday for Mark Fassbender and Chuck Gierl
January 28th is a triple header shared birthday for Diane Hemauer, our daughter Lauren and the first birthday for our grand-daughter Jordan Reese
January 31 is Chuck Battin's birthday!

We wish the best of the Christmas season and a Happy New Year to you and yours. 

As always we thank you for the support that you give to the Forest Lake Country Store.  We continue to evolve and try to offer the products and services that our customers want and need.  Please stop in and look at what we have done now.

Kris and Mark Gostisha and girls
Forest Lake Country Store
6256 County Road B    
Land O' Lakes WI 54540    
715 547 8222


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