Forest Lake Country Store June Update..... And Photos

My trip to the Land O Lakes area is coming to a quick close.  I had a blast up here doing some tv shows for the Angler’s Isle Resort (  I did get a couple of nice shows taped and they’ll be on the air in early July.

Well on my last evening up here my bride and I along with my Niece, her husband and two kids decided we wanted to say good bye to Mark and Kris.  Actually, the kids just wanted to have some ice cream.  Mark has a good selection at the Forest Lake Country Store so off we went.  From the crowd inside we leared that we were not the only ones wanting ice cream or dinner.  We had pizza there last night and it was great.

Anyhow, I’ll let you get to Mark’s June Forest Lake Country Store Newsletter. I took a few photos while there as I thought you’d like to see what Mark’s country Store looks like inside.  Enjoy the photos and enjoy the June Newsletter update.

Forest Lake Country Store – Great food and a whole lot more,,,

June 2011, Addendum

This is a quick, mid month update with some events since the first June newsletter.

Summer arrived in fashion after a really slow spring.  The tree buds stayed small and tight until Memorial Day weekend.  Spring weather finally gave way to some summer heat and summer rains.  The water and heat burst the buds open and the leaves jumped out!  The north woods is what you expect, with ferns climbing up from the forest floor, tree limbs sagging under the new weight of full foliage, and the color green hiding the grey and black tree trunks and limbs.    

Like the new foliage we have a lot of new staff this year.  We still have Carolyn and Olivia, Becca and Ben working here.  Now that high school is out you will see Sam and Jenna, Cameron and Clay working here this summer.  Sam and Jenna are local ladies and already have a couple weeks working at the store.  Clay and Cameron are coming to spend summer with family and will be on the schedule soon.   Please say hello to the new staff, and let them know how we can make your store visits more enjoyable.  

New in the Store

Brian’s Baby Butt Soft Soaps,,,, I guess the name pretty much says it all.  There are three different scents; Lavendearly Mint, Eucalyptus and Sage, and Honey and Oatmeal Almondine.  All soaps feature naturally occurring Vitamin E and glycerin, food quality vegetable oils.  Each bar is hand poured.   They contain NO animal product or artificial colors.

From Furbulous Dog, foaming Flea and Tick dog shampoo.  This is the all organic shampoo we have pitched for a couple years now.  Safe to wash your dog in the lake!  It is hypoallergenic for all dogs!  Check it out with the other great Furbulous dog products, and give your pet protection from the summer pests.

Unique grains and rice’s

If you have company coming for summer and want to impress them with unique dishes, check out our rice and grain selection.  We have added three new grains to our selection.  Here are some descriptions of the products, and later in the letter we have included a recipe for each grain.  
Tri Colored Israeli Couscous

There is so much to be said about this versatile pasta!  Cooked it can add a creamy texture to your dish or when made as a salad or bedding it plumps up several sizes with a soft smooth mouth feel that will make any dish shine.  Know by many names including Middle Eastern Couscous and Israeli Couscous, this pasta is made from wheat flour and is toasted or “puffed”.  About the size of a Peppercorn, Israel Couscous will expand when cooked and take on the flavor of surrounding ingredients. This tri-colored couscous is perfect as a light and colorful side, salad or soup.

Couscous originated in the Moroccan area of Northern Africa. African cooks, made Couscous from scratch, by moistening flour with a small amount of water and salt, then rolling between the palms of their hands to form small grains. The grains are sorted by size, and then steamed. Once cooked, the grains are separated. For immediate use it’s sprinkled with cold water to allow it to swell and get fluffy. If for later use it’s spread on a cloth and dried in the sun.

Speckled Sushi Rice
If you are looking for something that has a striking plate presentation then this blend of short grain white rice (sushi rice) and black quinoa will do the trick.  Sushi Rice is a small, round, ivory colored grain with a mildly sweet flavor and is delicious when paired with our protein packed black quinoa which adds a delicate nutty flavor with a slightly crunchy texture.

Asian Rice Blend
Asian Rice Blend combines the dazzling jade colored Bamboo Rice with our amber hued Himalayan Red Rice and our sweet and sticky Sushi Rice. With a texture that is both fluffy and firm and flavor that is sweet and nutty, our Asian Rice Blend is a great choice for meals showcasing rice.

Asian Rice Blend helps chefs save time by offering a convenient mix that is easy to prepare with consistent results. The contrasting color of Asian Rice Blend lends itself to a variety of dishes. Use this flavorful blend in spring rolls, sushi, as bedding for fish, seafood, pork or chicken.
Here is a hot wine special!  If you need to load up for entertaining on the July 4th weekend or just have room in the basement for a little wine check out these two great California wines.  Both are great on the deck, dock or pontoon boat.

Trinity Oaks 2009 Pinot Grigio A crisp and fresh wine, with plenty of juicy melon, citrus and pear flavors. Light notes of mineral and refreshing acidity make this wine a perfect pairing with a summer green salad or smoked chicken.

Trinity Oaks 2009 Pinot Noir  Bright strawberry and black cherry flavors with hints of green tea and mint. A smooth silky texture and mild tannins make this wine a savory pairing with salmon or roasted chicken.

Special pricing is just $6.99 per bottle, or $83.88 per case.  Let us know if you want a case or three by June 19th and we will have it shipped in on our June 22nd delivery.  Act fast to get this hot deal.  We can give you a full case, or spilt a case with 6 of each.  Send us an email to reserve your wines.

Events in the Store

June 18th 10 AM – 12 Noon  Jon Helminiak Book Signing Land O’ Lakes Book

These books have arrived at the store.  Check out Jon’s web page.  Jon had travelled the world, but he is still enamored with the beauty and unique heritage of Land O’ Lakes.  Jon worked with the cooperation of the Land O’ Lakes Historical Society and many long time residents to create a pictorial book on the history of Land O’ Lakes.  Jon will be here to present his book, then sign copies of this book.  The Forest Lake Country Store will donate all profits from the book signing to the Land O’ Lakes Historical Society.  Everyone needs at least one copy for the cabin, one for each member of the family living elsewhere and then buy one as a very thoughtful Father’s Day gift (the day after the book signing).  

We can also ship you books.  If you want an autographed copy but can’t be here for the event call us.  We will run the book on your credit card and for an extra $5 we can ship it to you via express mail!  Call before the 18th to reserve your autographed copy!

August 13th  Ride with Leinie  Fundraiser for the WLT Bike Trail

There are two rides planned.  One will depart from the Forest Lake Country Store and traverse the entire 38 mile loop of the planned WLT trail.  The second shorter ride will depart Land O’ Lakes at 1 PM and travel directly to the Country Store.  This ride will be led by Dick and Jean Leinenkugel.  Upon their arrival at the store a Leinie tasting and Brat fry will follow.  Cost is $20 per person, and includes the beer tasting (7 varieties), a brat and a chance at a 16′ Leininkugel canoe.  Non riding participants are welcome.   Tasting and Brat fry will start at 2 PM and last until 4 PM. 

The canoe is hanging in our store now.  Raffle tickets are available for $5 each and available for sale now.  Dick Leinenkugel will draw the canoe winner on the day of the event. (Editor’s Note:  I have my ticket… how about you?)

There will be special prices on all Leininkugel beer during the weekend.  A truckload of beer will be on hand for the event! 

All proceeds go to the WLT bike trail development.  Check out their website.

Kitchen Ideas from the Country Store

Savory Couscous and Vegetables

·         4 cups cooked Tri Colored Israeli Couscous
·         1 cup diced Portabella mushrooms
·         1 red bell pepper, diced
·         ½ cup shallots, chopped fine
·         1 small zucchini, diced small
·         1 cup tart cherries, cranberries or gold raisins
·         ½ cup roasted sunflower seeds
·         Thyme, to taste
·         Turmeric, to taste
·         Italian seasoning, to taste
·         ½ cup flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
·         Salt and pepper to taste
·         8 oz feta cheese
·         Mint leaves for garnish

Cook couscous and keep warm.  In sauté pan add olive oil and sauté red bell peppers, portabella mushrooms, shallots and zucchini until tender.  Add to warm couscous then add Italian seasoning, dried fruit, sunflower seeds, turmeric, feta cheese, chopped parsley, thyme and salt and pepper to taste.  Toss lightly until well mixed, garnish with mint and serve.

Sushi Rice Salad

·         3 tbsp rice vinegar
·         1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
·         1 tbsp sugar
·         1 tsp wasabi paste
·         3 to 4 cups of cooked Speckled Sushi Rice
·         3/4 cup cucumber (halved seeded and sliced into half moons)
·         3/4 cup edamame (shelled thawed)
·         1/4 cup scallion (sliced)
·         Salt
·         ¼ cup toasted almonds

In a small bowl, blend together the first 4 ingredients; set aside.  In a large bowl, toss the rice, cucumber, edamame, scallions and vinegar mixture together. Season to taste with salt and pepper and top with toasted almonds.

Asian Rolls

Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 medium avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced into 1/4-inch thick pieces
4 sheets Nori
2 to 3 cups cooked Asian Rice Blend
1/3 cup sesame seeds, toasted
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into matchstick-size pieces
4 crabsticks, torn into pieces
Pickled ginger, for serving
Wasabi, for serving
Soy sauce, for serving

Squeeze the lemon juice over the avocado to prevent browning.  Cover a bamboo rolling mat with plastic wrap. Cut Nori sheets in half crosswise. Lay 1 sheet of Nori, shiny side down, on the plastic covered mat. Wet your fingers with water and spread about 1/2 cup of the rice evenly onto the Nori. Sprinkle the rice with sesame seeds. Turn the sheet of Nori over so that the rice side is down. Place 1/8 of the cucumber, avocado and crab sticks in the center of the sheet. Grab the edge of the mat closest to you, keeping the fillings in place with your fingers, and roll it into a tight cylinder, using the mat to shape the cylinder. Pull away the mat and set aside. Cover with a damp cloth. Repeat until all of the rice has been used. Cut each roll into 6 pieces. Serve with pickled ginger, wasabi and soy sauce.

News from the Northwoods

Have you checked out the Border Bulletin on-line?  You can keep up with all the news of the north woods anywhere you have an internet connection.  Recently they gave it a nice facelift.   Check it out at

The Birds Nest Thrift Shop has reopened for the season in Land O’ Lakes!  It is located at 6338 Little Portage Lake Road.  This is about 200 yards south of Country Highway B.  They have a large assortment of items for sale.  Their hours are 10AM – 3 PM Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Don Dziedzina from Illinois Outdoors is on vacation.  What does he do on vacation?  He goes fishing.  The best part is he is fishing in Land O’ Lakes.  Like so many others he enjoys any time spent in Vilas County.  Land O’ Lakes and Boulder Junction are both God’s Country for him. Check his blog as he spends some time up here.  Here is a hot link to his information.

Events in the North Woods

June 18th Art in the Yard  10AM – 5 PM Fir Tree Cottage
There are potters,  quilters, woodcraft, fiber arts, photography, watercolors and beaded jewelry.  This is on Highway B across from the post office. 

June 19th  Bent’s Camp CCROA Fathers Day Pancake Breakfast  8 – 11AM
Bent’s Camp hosts this great event annually.  All proceeds go to Invasive Species Control in the Cisco Chain.  This is a treat for Dad, and helps the local waters.  There will be a 50/50 raffle and you can meet the milfoil queen!  Please thank Bents for their hospitality, and raising funds to protect local waters!

June 20 – 22nd Vacation Bible School Ely Church Highway B Land O’ Lakes
This is a cooperative effort by Ely and St. Alberts churches to give the kids a chance to have some fun and games, snacks and music while on their summer break.  This is for residents or kids in the area on vacation.  Any children entering kindergarten up to 6th grade are welcome to attend.  Sign up in the lobby of either church, go to or call 715 547 3890 to register your children, grandchildren or other friends and family that may be with you this summer.

From Shelly Knaack at LOLA:
LOLA Sponsoring Summer Dance Program
Land O’ Lakes Area Artisans, Inc. (LOLA) is pleased to announce two three week dance workshops planned for this summer.  Classes will be taught by Kelly Kachelski, a dancer and choreographer currently attending UW Whitewater.  Kelly will be mentored by Barb Grubel, Associate Professor in the Theatre and Dance Department at UW Whitewater.

There will be two three week sessions with six classes total in each program.  The first three week session begins on June 27 and ends July 14, with the July 4th class being rescheduled.  The second three week session begins July 18 and ends August 4.  Classes will be held at the Elementary School Gym  in Land O’ Lakes.

Classes taught will be :  Creative Movement for 3-4 year olds, Ballet/Tap for 5-12 year olds, Ballet for 12 years and older, Jazz/Hip-Hop for 12 years of age and older and Adult Modern for ages 15 and older. 
Fees for children are $4.50 per class or $21.50 for six classes.  Fees for adults are $5.50 per class or $27.50 for six classes. 
To register or for more information, contact Wendy at: 715-493-5361.  All classes must be pre-paid.  No refunds will be given for cancellations that are made within 5 days before class starts. The Summer Dance Program schedule is also listed on the LOLA website:

To Register for Classes or for more information, call Wendy @ 715-493-5361


June 25; 10 am-12:30 pm  Dream Catcher for Children 8+
Karen Lenhart & Wendy Powalisz, Instructors
Materials fee: $5.00  Class fee: $5.00
Total: $10.00
Deadline for payment/registration:  June 18

June 29; 12:30 pm-3:00 pm Acrylic “Cave” Painting-for Children 10+
Karen Lenhart & Wendy Powalisz, Instructors
Materials fee: $7.00  Class fee: $ 5.00
Total: $ 12.00
Deadline for payment/registration: June 22

From Julie Zelten at the Land O’ Lakes Public Library:

Summer Library Programs:

June 22nd at 10:00 a.m. Raptors at the Library

We are kicking off our summer program with a fantastic show from the Northwoods Wildlife Center.  They are presenting: Raptors to teach us about our local bird of prey.  This will include skulls, claws and rehabilitated birds.  Come join the fun on Wednesday, June 22 at 10:00 a.m.

June 29th at 10:00 a.m.  Tom Pease; Entertainer

Conserve School & the LOL Library invite you to come, laugh, listen, sing along & have fun with premier children’s entertainer Tom Pease.

June 23rd  8:00 a.m. Bird Walk with Peter Dring

The group size is limited so please call the library to sign-up; 715 547 6006
Meet at the Land O’ Lakes Public Library  Bring your binoculars!

During our May Bird Walk we identified 16 different species.  The most melodic was the Hermit Thrush.  I also enjoyed the Starling and the Great Blue Heron. The weather was great and our guide was inspiring and educational.        

Join us on Thursday, June 23rd to discover how to become a birder.

Recurring Events in the North Woods

Land O’ Lakes Farmers Market Every Thursday from 9 AM – Noon

Starting June 16th, stop at the Farmers Market in the middle of Downtown Land O’ Lakes.  Find fresh fruits, vegetables and flea market every Thursday thru summer.  All your neighbors are there, you should stop in too!

Land O’ Lakes Chamber of Commerce BINGO! at St. Albert’s Church

Starting June 22nd, every Wednesday night starting at 7 PM.  Family oriented Bingo at St. Albert’s.  Refreshments are available.  Note, new start date of Bingo.  The Chamber changed the start date since the last newsletter!

Sundays, all Summer Boulder Junction Free Fishing Seminars

Boulder Junction Chamber of Commerce has sponsored weekly seminars by their local guides.  From May thru early September guides will present seasonally appropriate seminars.  For more information check this

Thursday’s Boulder Junction 6:30 – 8:30 Music on Main Street

Every Thursday, starting on July 7th Downtown Boulder Junction hosts Music on Main Street.  Listen to bands like Big Road, Hip Pocket, Greg Thomas and many more.  Find more about Music on Main here!

Land O’ Lakes Open Mike Night at the Farmers Market Lot

7 PM weather permitting.  Held every Friday night in the middle of downtown, you can sing yourself or enjoy other local talent.  Bring a chair, blanket and a couple friends.  If you want to perform electric and speakers are provided.  Bring your own cords.   Call Dan or Mery at 906 544 2554 with any questions on Open Mike Night!

People in the North Woods

We will include July Birthdays in the July newsletter, sent in late June.  If you have any birthdays of friends or family send them in and we will include them in appropriate newsletters 

The three months of summer is like a family reunion.  All year long we are blessed with 900 people that call Land O’ Lakes home.  We also enjoy time spent with all of the seasonal residents.  Some stay all summer, others are only here for a week or two.  In the five years we have been here we have seen little girls and boys turn into young ladies and gentlemen.  We have seen birthdays and baptisms, skinned knees and sunburn, first fish and lost fish (fish stories) and more.  It has been a blessing to see the enjoyment of all that spend time in the north woods.  Thanks for making us part of your live with quality time spent in our 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
Monday – Saturday 7 AM – 8 PM
Sunday 7 AM – 3 PM

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