Northwoods News and Veggie Slider Recipe

Northwoods News and Veggie Slider Recipe

I'm counting the days.   Mid June I'll be in Land O Lakes.  I'll be stopping in with my bride for, hmmmmmm.... maybe a # 16.  Ahhhhh... I'm getting excited.

With a little over a month to go, Great Fishing is not that far away.  I love it up there and to help me get through the wait, I enjoy reading the northwood update sent out by the Forest Lake Country Store.

Owner Mark Gostisha is a great guy and if you can catch him when he's not busy, he can point out a few good spots to go fishing while you enjoy a breakfast, lunch or dinner. I'll have my map book with me when I go up, as I always do.

Here's their May newsletter from Land O Lakes Wisconsin.

Forest Lake Country Store Great food and a whole lot more,,,
May 2012 News

We enjoyed our time off.  We spent a week in southern Illinois.  Carbondale to be exact.  We spent quality time with our daughter Stephanie and son-in-law Chad.  Of course the grand kids, Riley Grace and Jordan Reese were spoiled every waking moment.  When we returned to the area we enjoyed the gift of an early spring.

Spring is mostly here.  Hard to tell sometimes.  We occasionally wake to frost on the windshield.  If we were somewhere else it would be on the pumpkins, but up here the deer ate all of those!  The days have been glorious.  Most days the temps are up around 70 or so.  Breathtaking.

Check out the trees as you drive around the area.  It looks like every tree has buds the size of your finger tip, just busting to open up.  Deer are strolling around the yard like sheep.  They look in great shape after a somewhat mild winter.  No ribs pokin’ out.  The doe that frequents our yard looks heavy with a fawn or two.  Triplet last year so who knows!  Daffodils are huddled on the edges of yards and rock gardens.

Summer residents have been showing up since we re-opened.  It is a highlight of our day to have people stop in to say hello and see what is new in the store.  Seems we are part of the family when you take the time to check in at the Country Store.

Thanks for making us a part of your day whether you live here year round or just visit for a long weekend each year.

New in the Store

In the rice and grain area we have added many new items, look for:

Amaranth; The name Amaranth hails from the Greek for "never-fading flower." Amaranth was a staple in the diets of ancient Aztecs and Incas who believed it had supernatural powers. The colors of the seeds are golden cream with some occasional flecks of black colored seeds. Amaranth seed is high in protein and fiber; it also contains calcium, iron, potassium, phosphorus and Vitamins A and C.  The seeds are flavorful, mildly sweet and nutty with a corn like aroma and woodsy peppery taste.

Farro; also known as Emmers Wheat, is one of the first crops domesticated in the Near East. An ancient grain, Farro fed the Mediterranean and Near Eastern populations for years!  Farro is a medium length grain that has a firm chewy texture with a nutty sweet flavor.

Freekah; This 100 percent natural and highly nutritious grain is making its way onto menus as a super-food! Freekeh which means "rubbed one" in Ancient Aramaic, is a natural wheat that is harvested while soft, young and tender, then parched, roasted and dried.  Helpful in promoting a healthy digestive system, this grain has proven beneficial when managing diabetes.

We have also added Flax seed, Black Quinoa and 4 different wild rice blends.  There are also many gluten free grain options on the shelf.  You might be the first kid on the block using some of these new products!

The beer coolers and shelves have had a major expansion and will continue.  From Sprecher we have added 22 ounce bottles of Black IPA and from Leinenkugels Big Eddy Wee Irish Stout (this is very limited and hard to find).  New in the cooler from Milwaukee Brewing is Louie’s Demise a medium bodied amber, and Flaming Damsel.  Last year we had around 100 beers, this year we hope to have between 130 and 150 different beers by Memorial Day weekend!

On the wine rack we have added many new items from Palm Bay Imports.  Look for Citra, value wines from Italy available in Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir and Montepulciano.  Look for Terra da Vino Muscato.  Some US versions of the Muscato wines are very syrupy sweet.  This Italian alternative is lighter bodied, slightly effervescent and not as sweet as most Muscato wines.  This is a great wine to enjoy on a pontoon boat ride or on your deck.

Other items that are not new, but you need to see when you stop are

Up North Stories, a set of Children’s books that were written and illustrated by local resident Marilyn Annin.  A set of four separate books, packaged as a set in a unique binder.  This is a fundraiser for the Land O’ Lakes Artisans and the Land O’ Lakes Historical Society.  These will be a cherished family memory in the cabin or on the coffee table!

The Land O’ Lakes History picture books.   This is a pictorial history with expanded captions covering 100 years in Land O’ Lakes; the 1880’s to the 1980’s.  Written by Jon Helminiak, a Portage Lake resident, these were a hit last year and we have more books available

Events in the Store

May 9th Chateau Ste Michelle 5:30 PM at the Country Store

Al Clemmenson from Chateau Ste Michelle and Nina Martin from Badger Liquor will wow us with selections from Chateau Ste Michelle.  These guys are the leaders in wine production in Washington State and are becoming dominant in other World wine making regions as well.  Cost is $9 per person, stop at the store or phone with your credit card number to reserve your spot!

May 15th  9 AM – 5 PM Understanding Concealed Carry Laws in Wisconsin

The class is both interesting and enlightening.  We have hosted three of Dan Tomososki’s classes for Wisconsin Concealed Carry.  These are 7+ hour classes that not only cover handgun safety and equipment, but do an excellent job of detailing the complex concealed carry law.  An optional shooting exercise is included at no additional charge for class graduates.

The class fee is $150 for individuals or two for $250 if you sign with a friend.  Application forms are available at the store.  They must be completed and forwarded to the instructor.  You can also download forms at the instructor’s web site:   We are not collecting registration forms or payment at the store.

May Special;

For Every Class registration that is received and Prepaid during the Month of May, Gun Works Precision Shooting will donate 25.00 of the class fee to  The Ultimate Sacrifice in order to help Honor our Veterans who have paid the Ultimate price to buy our freedom.

In addition: To say thanks to all our current Veterans We will offer a reduced rate for all Veterans who would like to attend our Wisconsin License to Carry Class.

Veterans will save 25.00 off the cost of our Class plus we will also donate 25.00 of every Registration prepaid and received during the month of May.

Important to note you do note. Even if you Pre-registrer for a class in another month as long as your prepaid registration is received in May it will still apply to the fund raiser and the reduced cost for veterans.

Lunch will be a sandwich, chips, pickle and a cookie for $7.  If you care to bring your own lunch carry-ins are allowed for this class.

Kitchen Ideas from the Country Store


8oz Red Quinoa
8oz Farro
5 cups vegetable stock
3 cloves chopped garlic
½ cup fresh cilantro
3 Tbsp. chili powder
3 Tbsp. fresh ground cumin seed
as needed Panko bread crumbs
salt and fresh pepper to taste
Olive oil as needed
tomato slices
julienned red onion
14oz firm tofu

In a pot, bring 2 cups of vegetable stock to a boil. Rinse the quinoa and add to the stock, continue to cook until the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. In a separate pot, bring 3 cups of vegetable stock to a boil, reduce heat and cover, cook Farro until tender, approximately 25 to 35 minutes. Drain any remaining liquid and reserve.

In a food processor, puree 1 cup of the faro, just enough to leave some consistency. Place pureed Farro in a large bowl. Puree the tofu (this will yield 2cups when whipped) and place in bowl with pureed Farro. Add the remainder of the cooked Farro and quinoa, the reserved stock from the Farro, the garlic, cilantro, cumin and chili powder. Mix well and add just enough of the Panko bread crumbs to bind the mixture. Season to taste.

Portion into 3 oz. patties and coat with Panko bread crumbs. Pan-sear each patty in Olive oil for 3 minutes per side or until golden brown. Serve on small dinner rolls, English muffins or mini-burger buns. Top with a little red onion, tomato and some sprouts. I serve this topped with a roasted green chili sour cream, a red pepper aioli or cilantro pesto, or a chipotle mayo then, let ‘r buck! Crown with a pickle or your choice of garnish and enjoy! Yield 22 - 3oz burgers.

News from the Northwoods

From the Land O’ Lakes Community Garden Committee:

This is the first year we didn’t have to advertise plots for rent. We had little turnover and have only five new gardeners. One ground plot and three raised beds are still available for this season. If you know someone who wants one—or if you’d like a second one—contact our treasurer Rhonda Christenson at, 715-547-6196. New gardeners will receive a packet of information by email.

The Community Garden is located behind the Land O’ Lakes VFW post.  There is a watering system and it is completely fenced to keep the critters out.

Events in the North Woods

From Jensen-Akins in Conover  Opportunity Days May 4th – May 12th

The popular Opportunity Days will be held in May.  There are in store specials all week long.  They also have special events planned each day thru the week.  Here is the list of events:

May 4......Oil-less Deep frying made easy (Demo by Roger Jensen)-
May 5......Easy No Knead Artisan Bread Making (demo by Sharon Favorite) 10:00
May 5…Plant-A-Can/Composting (demo by Peri Tennikait) 2:00
May 7.....Wisconsin Focus on Energy (info with Connie Casey) 10-2
May 8......Wine and Cheese Tasting (demo by Mark & Kris Gostisha--Forest Lake County Store) 6:00
May 9.....Cooking Demo with Chef Lanny Studdard (Lanny's Fireside) 5:30
May 10...Paint and decorating with Mary Zachman 1:00-4:00

Grill Demo with Pam Litt 5:00-7:00
May 12...Mothers day preview....Moss flower baskets with Kathy Schuh (Forget-me-Not Floral) 10:00

BOULDER JUNCTION, WI - The Boulder Junction Town Wide Rummage Sale will be held over Memorial Day Weekend, Friday, May 25 thru Sunday, May 27, 2012. We invite all Boulder Junction area residents and businesses to participate. Please contact the Chamber office if you are planning to have a sale that weekend. We would be happy to put your sale listing on our map, which will be available to shoppers and visitors the week of the Town Wide Rummage Sale both in print and on All participants will be required to submit your name, address, phone number, dates & times of your sale and a brief description of the items you will have available. Cost to participate is $5.00 per listing. Deadline for participation is Monday, May 21, 2012 at 12noon. For more information please stop by our office or call 715-385-2400.

From the Land O’ Lakes Historical Society
Open June 28th through Labor Day 2012, Thursday, Friday & Saturday.  2012 - "Guides Exhibit"
Land O’Lakes Historical Society Northern Waters Museum invites you to experience yet again, another one of our ever changing exhibits.  This year we are expanding on the popular Historic Resorts, Guides and
Hunting in the North Woods exhibits.  Last year a typical Resort Bar Room/Den of the “early 40’s and 50’s was added. It featured card playing and “story telling” about the one that got away” or “how I had to track that 14 point buck for miles”.  The tales got bigger as the drinks flowed and the evening got later.  Antique fishing gear, clothing and boat motors are featured.  Come see what’s new in this lively glimpse of the past!

Land O’ Lakes Library News

The library will offer Bridge lessons in the month of May.  For information call the library at 715 547 6006
The Land O' Lakes if offering a program, Gardening in the Northwoods on Saturday, May 19 at 10:30 a.m. Mary Stys, the University of Wisconsin Extension Summer Horticulture Educator for Vilas and Iron County, will speak about growing vegeatables in our northern climate. She'll cover specific varieties that grow well here and talk about ways to extend our short growing season (such as hoop gardens and greenhouses) and the special challenges of community gardens including cross-contamination and weed control. Mary will also provide hand-outs on several topics and will be sure to leave plenty of time for questions. This should be an informative program and we thank the library for offering it.

Land O’ Lakes Artisans /Artistree Events


The last in a series of drawing classes taught by artist Shirley Battin.
This class is designed for beginners and experienced drawers alike. The concept stressed in this lesson will be value. Value is how dark or light something is. We will discuss the value scale and how to show the changes in light striking an object. You will do a finished drawing of an all white still life with a light source. You will have a choice of doing your drawing in either pencil or conte crayon.    Supplies needed for this class:  Small hand held pencil sharpener.
All other supplies will be provided!  DEADLINE FOR PAYMENT/REGISTRATION IS MAY 19
TO REGISTER: CALL WENDY @ 715-547-3950  Adults $20.00, Kids 12+ $10.00  All classes must be pre-paid prior to deadline. No refunds will be given for cancellations after class deadline. Starting Tuesday May 15 and going all Summer Long! Tuesday Mornings 10:00 - 12:00  Held @ St. Albert's Catholic Church in Downtown Land O' Lakes

LOLA is pleased to have Gloria Andersen back teaching line dance and grateful to St. Albert's for use of the space.  Gloria has been a busy little dancer all winter, learning new steps and dances. She reported seeing many other north woods friends and students in Arizona this winter. Glad everyone has happy feet!

Line dancing is a popular form of dance that anyone can do! Gloria will teach the dances using many different rhythms, such as: polka, tango, rumba, cha cha, swing and country western. She has some new steps to try out on those of you who have been dancing and she will spend some time working with the first-time student as well. So join in, learn something new, meet new friends, feel good, laugh a lot and LINE DANCE!
Class fee: $5.00 each session. Cash or checks made out to LOLA.  Payable on day of class.
Wear loose fitting clothing & comfortable shoes. NOT GYM SHOES PLEASE.

Kathy Schuh, owner of Forget-Me-Not Floral in Land O' Lakes is sponsoring a t-shirt design contest.
Kathy would like to feature art work from a local artist on a t-shirt in her shop.
LOLA will display the designs and you will help Kathy by voting on your favorite!
Designs will be displayed over Memorial Day Weekend at:

LOLA Center for the Arts Friday & Saturday, May 25-26, 10-4 p.m. and Sunday, May 27, 10-2 p.m.  The winner will be announced on Sunday, May 27 at noon.  So come on in and see what designs our local talent has come up with and select your favorite!  LOLA is located downtown Land O' Lakes at 4262 County Road B.  For information call Wendy @ 715-547-3950 or 715-493-5361.

Recurring Events in the North Woods

Land O’ Lakes Farmers Market.  First session is June 21st and is held every Thursday from 9 AM – 12 PM until August 30th.

Land O’ Lakes Family Bingo starts on Wednesday July 18th until August 15th.  This is family style Bingo.  Starts at 7 PM, in the basement of St. Albert’s Church.  Refreshments are available.

People around Land O’ Lakes

May 2 Bruce Becker celebrates his Birthday
May 3 Carol Becker has her Birthday
May 5th is Ralph and Jeannie Sitzbergers anniversary, and Karen Turnquist’s birthday.
May 8 is also Tom and Jerry Olk’s birthday.
May 11 Rhonda Christenson celebrates her birthday
May 12 Painless Pete and Diane celebrate their wedding anniversary
May 13th is Mothers Day.  Hug your mum, or say a silent thank you for all the things she told you, and you found out they were true!
May 14th is Patricia Juday’s birthday and is shared by our son-in-law Chad Cain,
May 15th  Mike Christiansen’s celebrates his birthday
May 16 is Cele Otterpohl’s birthday
May 17 is Tom Otto’s birthday
May 19th Linda Wheeler celebrates her birthday
May 20th is Myrtle Sharka’s birthday
May 25th Barb Benson enjoys her birthday
May 27th is a birthday trifecta Brian Achuff and his twin sister Tina celebrate their birthdays.  Tom Wheeler also celebrates his birthday!

Thanks for taking the time to read our newsletter.  We look forward to your next stop at the Forest Lake Country Store!

Kris and Mark Gostisha and Girls

Forest Lake Country Store
6256 County Road B
Land O’ Lakes WI 54540
715 547 8222

Store Hours
Friday and Saturday 7 AM – 8 PM, Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday 7 AM – 2 PM, Closed on Tuesday’s
We will start our summer hours on the first weekend in June! We will be closed on Thursday May 10 to attend a refresher course for our kitchen licensing.  We need to keep the State happy with proper licenses!


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  • I was assuming that one didn't go into the woods to shoot a farro or tofu.

  • Northwoods farro and tofu are the best. Not as hard to find as one would think. No, you don't go into the woods to find it, You go into the Forest....Forest Lake Country Store. I'm amazed of what they have on the shelves. Some pretty neat stuff. Whoa! FYI I got some wild rice from there last summer. UN BEE LEE VA BULL. Great tasting. Didn't last long on our pantry shelf.

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