Forest Lake Country Store December Newsletter

Forest Lake Country Store December Newsletter

I can't wait.

I had a trip scheduled to head to the Northwoods of Wisconsin for Dec 12.  Plans had to change and had to move the date to the day after Christmas.  I'm almost at a point now that I am anxious for the Holiday to be over so I can go ice fishing up in the Land O Lakes area and visit some friends like Mark and Kris.

The big plan is to tape an TV show for Illinois Outdoors.  So many Chicagoans go to the Northwoods during the winter months.  Snowmobiling, fishing, skiing and just enjoyed the peace and quite that comes with the area.  Mark tells us about it in his newsletter for December.

As usual, I made a fresh cup of coffee, sat back and enjoyed it while learning about what's happening up north.  Here's what Mark had to say.

Forest Lake Country Store - Great food and a whole lot more...
December 2011 Newsletter

The north woods are very different now.  The hunters have been gone for the better part of the week.  Most of the lakes are frozen over so even the diehard musky anglers are frozen out of the last few days of the open season.

The roads are quiet and so are the woods.  Take a walk in the woods and find a comfortable stump, rock or log,,, then sit.  Initially you will hear the scraping of a squirrel circling a tree, checking you out as an intruder in the bush.  You may hear a ruffed grouse looking for buds, or spot a couple deer on the next ridge leaving you alone.  Eventually the woods will settle down and become quiet.  Really quiet.  If you are lucky it is sooo quiet you will hear your own heartbeat.  There is nothing as quiet as the north woods in winter, before snowmobile season starts.

If you are looking to clear your mind and strengthen your soul a great prescription is a few hours sitting in the solitude of the north woods this time of year.  Come up and witness the solitude and serenity of the winter woods!

We are enjoying our time off.  We will be in Milwaukee visiting family early on our break.  Later our own kids will spend time in Land O’ Lakes.  Quiet time with our own kids and grand kids is the best Christmas gift a family can receive!

We also spend time assessing our business.  We use our sales histories, customer feedback and old fashion gut feel to figure out what works well, what needs to change and what needs to go away.  Hard decisions all of them.  The first thing we can announce is the return of our weekend breakfast specials.

Each Saturday and Sunday we will have one breakfast special that is very different from the regular menu.  Some of the things we have done in the past were stuffed French Toast, Crepe’s or Breakfast scrambles.  We are also looking at Eggs Benedict and a few other surprises to rotate thru on weekends.

Look for one unique Breakfast special every Saturday and Sunday starting when we re-open for Christmas.  We hope we can start you weekend mornings with a truly special breakfast!

New in the Store
We are closed and not much has been added, yet.  We will be spending some time in the store looking for new and unusual gastronomic opportunities.  Come and visit us after we re-open and see what we have found!

Special Wine Opportunity
Some of the more noteworthy wineries, both US and abroad, have been introducing some very fine wines at very reasonable prices.  One of these wineries is Duckhorn Winery.  Their Duckhorn label and sister Paraduxx are exceptional wines that fetch an exceptional price.  Their answer to compressed wine prices is to introduce new wines at reduced prices.  In the case of Duckhorn their offspring is Decoy.  They are producing 7 different varietals; Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Red Blend, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel.  All are spectacular.  The byline on their web site calls the wines “The everyday wines for the well informed” .  The appellations are as follows:  Chardonnay from Sonoma, Pinot Noir from Anderson Valley, Zinfandel, Red Blend, Cabernet and Merlot all from Napa.

News from the North Woods

This is for the anglers that live south of the border and split their fishing in Illinois and in Vilas County:

Don Dziedzina is the preeminent writer for Illinois fishing opportunities.  Until recently he was the Outdoor Editor for the Chicago Tribune.  The Trib has opted to downsize the Sports Section and the outdoor column is being removed from the publication.  The only way to enjoy Don’s very relevant fishing reports is to check them out on line at  This venture is still a work in progress, getting Don’s reports positioned for all communities, for now look in New Lenox.  Here is a sample of one of his latest reports.  Check it out today and return often to figure out where the best bite is south of the border!

For the snowmobile enthusiasts!
Vilas County has set a “target date” of 12noon on Monday December 12, 2011 for a county-wide opening of all Vilas County state funded snowmobile trails, conditions permitting. All trail work, inspections and gate openings shall be completed at this time.

This date was set at the November 16 meeting of the Vilas County Snowmobile Alliance and is a cooperative effort between the Alliance, Vilas County Forestry Department, and the Department of Natural Resources Northern Highland American Legion State Forest to enable the trails to be opened in a safe and timely manner after the deer seasons.

Until that time, gates remain closed. Early snow may be temping but riders are cautioned not to go behind gates. Please respect private landowners and other outdoor users.

Dale Mayo - Snowmobile Program Coordinator
Vilas County Forestry, Recreation & Land Dept.
330 Court Street, Eagle River, WI 54521

Please do not forget the efforts of the Headwaters Food Pantry.  The volunteer group opens the pantry twice a month to distribute food.  Normally 25 or 30 families would pick up food.  On Holiday week’s participation might jump to 60 families or so coming in for food.

This year has been different.  The volunteers are helping 60 families nearly every week and are fearful what the Holiday season may bring.  The larger than expected draw is depleting their resources of food.  Some of the things they need the most are flour, sugar, cereal and soups.

You can deliver it directly to the Pantry on the days they are open or at one of the many drop boxes in Phelps, Conover and Land O’ Lakes.  There are drop boxes at the LOL Chamber of Commerce, Headwaters Bank in Land O’ Lakes, at the bank in Phelps, Jensen-Akins in Conover and here at the Forest Lake Country Store.  If getting dry goods to one of the drop boxes is difficult for you, donations are another great option.

If you care to make monetary contribution, checks can be mailed to:

Land O’ Lakes Food Pantry
PO Box 561
Land O Lakes WI 54540

Events in the North Woods

Mark your calendars now for our 2nd Square Dance Nite at the State Line Restaurant in downtown Land O Lakes on Dec. 3rd. Steve Kickert will be our caller and the fun starts at 7:30 p.m. Everyone had so much fun the last time, so let's welcome winter in style, by kickin up our heels and dancing around the floor to some fun music. Even if you've never square danced before, Steve will teach us all. Plenty of tables to sit at and chat with friends when you need a rest or a drink/snack. Hope to see you there. Bring a friend or two - the more the merrier.

From Theresa at the Boulder Junction Chamber of Commerce
Thursday, December 29, 2011, from 4:00-6:30pm, at the Winter Park.  Winter enthusiasts are invited to attend Boulder Junction’s (Between the Holidays) Winter Celebration Festivities begin at 4pm with open ice-skating, sledding, bonfire and music by Barb Boston. At 6pm prepare to be dazzled with a fireworks display sponsored by the Town of Boulder Junction. 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.

The public is welcomed and encouraged to attend this special event on Thursday, December 29th. For more information, please contact the Boulder Junction Chamber of Commerce at 715-385-2400.

December 11, 4 PM UCC Church Eagle River  Northwoods singers Christmas concert “Yuletide Carols”, a concert reflecting the many meanings of Christmas throughout the years, will be presented by the Northwood’s Singers and the Northwood’s Youth Choir Sunday, Dec. 11, at 4 p.m. at the United Congregational Church of Christ in Eagle River.

From familiar holiday presentations, such as Carol of the Bells” and “The Hallelujah Chorus,” to a roof-lifting version of “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” to three deeply thoughtful John Rutter poems in song, to lively toe-tapping numbers such as “Riu Riu Chiu,” and “Ding-A- Ding-A-Ding”, this year’s holiday concert is a kaleidoscope of  deeply held Christmas sentiments.

The Northwood’s Singers is a not for profit 501c3 community choral group conducted by Dr. Pamalyn Lee, of Land O’ Lakes.  Singers come from throughout the Northwood’s, including Eagle River, St. Germain, Sayner, Minocqua, Conover, Arbor Vitae, Land O’ Lakes, and Watersmeet and Iron River, MI.
Accompanying the Singers this holiday season will be acclaimed pianist, Linda Brainard, with Emilie Robbins, Eagle River, violinist and Harriet Ribbens, Watersmeet MI, organist.

The Singers sponsor scholarships to the Northwood’s Youth Choir which is also open to high school age students throughout the area. The Singers and the youth group also present two concerts in the spring.  In addition, the Singers hold several “sing-outs” each season, appearing before local civic groups.

The Sunday, Dec. 11, concert is free—a goodwill offering will be asked. Refreshments will be served following the concert.  For more information please contact Barbara Nehring at (715) 547-3333.

People around Land O’ Lakes
December 1 is a shared birthday for Mery Lee LaChance and Dale Sharpee
December 2 is Dan Stetters birthday
December 3rd is the birthday for RD Akins
December 4th is a shared birthday for Bonnie Heinig and Jacki Guinn
December 11th Dan Benson and Lyle Clayton share their birthday
December 12th Sharon Nye celebrates her birthday
December 13th is a shared birthday for Bonnie Clarke, Wes Geib and our daughter Stephanie Cain
December 14th is Kay MacDonald’s birthday
December 15th is Painless Pete Schindelholz’s Bday
December 16th is Mary Lomastro’s Birthday
December 17th Tom Allman celebrates his birthday
December 19th Marilyn and John Annin celebrate their anniversary and Jennifer Anderson has her birthday
December 20th is Ed Saad’s birthday.  Stop at the Red Man and buy him a birthday drink with an umbrella in it!
December 21 is Karen and Bob Turnquist’s anniversary and John Andrules celebrates his birthday!
December 22nd is Deb Jablonski’s birthday
December 24th is Matt Chayer’s birthday
December 25th  is the birthday for our Savior Jesus Christ
December 28th is Donna Dow’s birthday
December 30 is Bill Welisek’s birthday

We wish everyone a wonderful Christmas Season.  Enjoy time with your family and eat too much food.  (Remember it is New Years when you make the resolution to lose weight!)  We all need to try to remember the “Christ” part of Christmas.  The gifts we receive from family are great, but none are as great as the gift we receive each December 25th!

The best of the Christmas Season to all,

Kris and Mark Gostisha and Girls
Forest Lake Country Store - Serving great food and a whole lot more,,,

6256 County Road B
Land O’ Lakes WI 54540
715 547 8222

Store Hours
We will re-open on December 21
Special Hours for the Christmas week as follows:
Dec 26 – Dec 31.  7 AM – 8 PM.
We close at 2 PM on Christmas Eve and New Years Day.
Closed Christmas Day. Regular Hours
Friday and Saturday 7 AM – 8 PM
Sun, Mon, Wed and Thu 7 AM – 2 PM  Closed on Tuesdays

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