Forest Lake Country Store Newsletter for March

Forest Lake Country Store Newsletter for March

Although I just returned from an ice fishing trip in Minnesota, it was only a matter of a couple day before my mind began to wander.  Today with 50 degree weather I can feel that spring is coming.  With that is some of the best fishing of the year.

One thing that I enjoy is fishing in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.  My last trip there was between the Christmas and New Year holidays.  It was gourgeous up there.

When Mark from the Forest Lake Country Store in Land O Lakes sends me his monthly newsletter, I can’t help but share it with my readers.  But before I do, I sit back and relax in my office reading it and anticipate my next visit up north.

I have plans to go north in June.  I go for about a week with Dan Stefanich of Dan Stef Outdoors.  We’ll be taping a TV show  then return home.  A few days later my wife Judy will jump into the truck with me and we’re off for Vilas County again for a full week.  Fishing will be good.  Bass, walleye, maybe even a muskie or two will find their way to my boat.  Can’t wait.

I’ll be stopping out at the FLCS for a cup of coffee or two and maybe one of his home made rolls.  I saw him frosting donuts and long johns once.  It reminded me of when I use to work in a bakery. That was over 40 years ago.  That morning I had to have one.

Here’s Mark’s newsletter.

Forest Lake Country Store March 2012 Newsletter

Great food and a whole lot more…

The days are stretching out!  Sunlight is pushing into the morning gray a minute or two earlier every day.  Then the sunlight stays a little longer each afternoon.  Like a good friend it is reluctant to depart, but is eventually gone.  Signs of the suns extended stay each day is icicles gripping to roof edges or overflowing gutters.  It has to be warm to make the snow melt and the sun is warming up the daylight hours in the north woods!

Winter is not over yet.  Snowmobilers still cross the countryside.  The weather gurus on TV tell us that tonight we are getting 10 – 14 inches of snow.  Let’s hope these guys are correct!  The groomers from the Frosty Club and many other snowmobile clubs are working hard to make the trails More snow will give the groomers some material to work with and let the north woods businesses enjoy good traffic for the next few weeks.  After so many winters of less than average snow, we are grateful for a good winter.

Ice anglers are also doing well.  The fish are biting and should do nothing but get better from now thru ice out.  Get up and jig or set a few tip-ups.  You can make your own Friday fish fry with any luck at all!

Last the silent sport enthusiasts are also enjoying the better snow.  The Fish and Game Club trail is receiving high marks from so many that are enjoying the trails.  The trails are groomed for both in-line or skating with your skis. Stop at the store, we have maps available for these trails.

With any luck the snow we are receiving will help the lakes after spring thaw this year.  A little more water in every lake would be welcome by all!

New in the Store

Look in the wooden Jam racks!  We have two new jams that are very interesting; Raspberry Jalapeno and Hot Pepper Jam.  Both are very unique flavors with just enough heat to let you know it is there.  Spread it on your toast in the morning and you will jump start your morning.

We are back in stock on the Red Tomato jam.  This is very popular but hard to get.  Right now we are back in stock and hope we can stay that way!

In the beer cooler we have a couple great brews.  Look for HopSlam from Bells Brewing.  This seasonal beer is impeccable.  A huge IPA that is so smooth and mellow after the first sip.  Some think that this is the best beer brewed in the world.  We will not pass judgment on this claim but will say it is incredible and always in short supply.  Come and get some HopSlam while you can.


From Minhas Brewing we have added their Swiss Amber and the 1845 Pilsner.  This Wisconsin craft brewer makes incredible beers.  These are packed in 8-packs, a throwback to the brewing days of yesteryear.

If you are making plans for St. Patrick’s day we also have these Irish inspired beers as well; Sprecher Irish Stout or Abbey Triple, Guinness Draught, McSorleys Irish Pale Ale and McSorleys Irish Black Ale.

Calia Malbec  Malbec is the fastest growing red wine variety in the US.  Most come from Argentina and these are as well.  Not as big as a Cabernet and not as fruity as most merlot, Malbec is a real treat.  Try this one with a slight chill on the wine.

Color: Deep purple
Aroma: Notes of spices and red fruits (cherries and plums)
Taste: Good structure, fresh and elegant mouth-feel, well-balanced with a long intense finish

Calia Torrontes  Torrontes is a truly unique wine variety.  Many are very floral, almost over the top.  This wine is a harmonious and balanced treat.
Color: Bright yellow with greenish tints
Aroma: A delicate aroma with floral notes of roses and orange trees
Taste: Exotic and well-balanced in the mouth; very fresh, with balanced acidity

Events in the Store

April 25th Palm Bay Imports  5:30 PM at the Country Store
Greg Zens from Palm Bay Imports will join Nina Martin from Badger Liquor to present a fine selection of wines from this incredible portfolio.  Greg has incredible knowledge and a friendly style to educate us on their great products.  His wine events fill fast.  Stop at the store soon or call with your credit card number to reserve your seats.  $9 per person.

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 regions as well.  Cost is $9 per person, stop at the store or phone with your credit card number to reserve your spot!

Kitchen Ideas from the Country Store

One of the rice and grain products we have added recently is Lemon Garlic Orzo.  Here is a great recipe to try after enjoying a cold winter day:

Lemon Garlic Orzo Stew

3# boneless chicken breasts
Olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Fresh thyme (about 10-12 sprigs)
2 quarts chicken broth
3 Tbsp. vegetarian seasoning
4 large carrots, cut into rounds roughly ¼-inch thick
3 medium leeks, halved and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 cup lemon garlic orzo
1 Parmigianino Reggiano rind, roughly 2 inches square

Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Place chicken breasts in a single layer in a baking dish. Rub with olive oil, then season with salt, pepper, and 1/3 of the sprigs of thyme. Roast until chicken is tender but not dry. Shred the chicken in large pieces when cool enough to handle.

While chicken is cooking, place the chicken broth in a Dutch oven. Add the carrots, leeks, cheese rind and a dash of salt. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for approximately 25 minutes until the vegetables are tender, adding several of the sprigs of thyme during the last 5 minutes of cooking.

Add the lemon garlic orzo and the shredded chicken to the pan and return to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until orzo is tender yet firm. Remove cheese rind, ladle into bowls, and serve with crackers or wild rice baguette.

News from the Northwoods

Want another great way to stay in touch with the north woods?  The Border Bulletin can be mailed to you.  With a subscription, you can have the printed version delivered right to your mailbox anywhere in America. It’s also free to pick up at many locations around Land O’ Lakes, Phelps, Conover, Eagle River, and Watersmeet. Read past issues online, get a subscription, place an ad or classified…all at

Events in the North Woods
If your group has an event that you would like included in the newsletter, please send it to us about 45 days prior to the event.  We will work to include it in the newsletter.

March 3rd and 4th Eagle RiverWIKlondike Days
This event is a great family event in the winter north woods.  Come up and turn on the lights in your cabin for this weekend.  Here is the information from their website:  Winter family festival, Native American exhibits, Snow Sculptures, Cut, Stack, & Split contest, Dog Sled weight pulls, Horse pulls, Ice Sculpture, Arts & Crafts, Amish Quilt Show & Sale, and much, much more. Held at the Northland Pines High School and the Rocking W Stables (1800 Pleasure Island Road.) from 9 am – 4 p.m. For more information contact 715-477-2810

St. Albert’s Fish Fry APRIL 13TH 5:00–7:00 PM
St. Albert’s Catholic Church in Land O’ Lakes will host a delicious fish fry buffet  benefiting the Headwaters Food Pantry on Friday, April 13th from 5:00 to 7:00 pm. Cost is $12 per person, with children ages 6 to 12 eating for $6 and those under age 6 eating for free. Catholic Order of Foresters “Feeding God’s Children” will donate an additional $2 for each person that purchases a meal. Special thanks to local agent Dave Schmitz for helping us help the Headwaters Food Pantry!  We hope you can join us for great food and company!

Land O’ Lakes Library News
Each summer the Library holds their used book sale.  Some of the books are used or shopworn from the library.  Most of the books sold in the auction come as donations from Land O’ Lakes residents or visitors.  If you are doing some Spring cleaning and have a couple stray books or a couple boxes of books, consider donating them to the library.  Your donations of books or DVD’s will help make the Book Sale even better!

Please do not forget the Headwaters Food Pantry.  The volunteer group opens the pantry twice a month to distribute food.  Participation has grown from 20 – 30 families to nearly 70 families every time the pantry is open.

Some of the things they need the most are dish soap, flour, and any canned goods.  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, cash 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

Land O’ LakesArtisans /Artistree Events

Land O Lakes Artists Artisans, Inc. is excited to announce the opening of their new Art Resource Center. Many art books and DVDs are available for check out.  Current hours are Wednesday thru Saturday from 10AM – 4PM.  Plan to visit LOLA at 4262 County Road B in Land O Lakes to see the mural, “Party Animals”, painted by student artists Gracie Stevens, Alex Gengler and Hunter Indermuehle.  The mural shows animals dressed in party attire and dancing to the boom box tunes of an owl DJ under the Northern Lights.  LOLA thanks these young artists for brightening up the LOLA office and Art Resource Center.

Recently over 60 people enjoyed Fred Lippert’s performance as Billy Brown in the one-man monologue, “He Knew Lincoln”.  There was not a dry eye in the audience when Billy recalled the feeling of the community in Springfield when news came to them that Lincoln had been assassinated.  LOLA thanks Fred and hopes he will join us again for another entertaining evening.

In addition twenty art lovers had Lunch with the Impressionists.  An informative program about the history of the work and lives of Van Gogh, Gauguin, and Toulouse-Lautrec was followed by discussion and a chili lunch.  The program was so well received that future “Lunches” are being planned.

Coming soon as part of Youth Art Month, LOLA and the Land O Lakes Library will host artists, Wendy Powalisz and Cassandra Nass of Artistree Gallery.  On March 12th and 13th Cassandra will talk with students from Land O Lakes Elementary School about her fiber art made from mohair which comes from the goats she raises and  Wendy will teach the children to create their own fiber art project.

Create Share and Repeat. That is the goal here at LOLA. We thank you all for being part of this vision with your continued support. For further information on LOLA or to volunteer, please contact Wendy at 715-547-3950.

People around Land O’ Lakes

If you have a birthday, or want to snitch on a friend’s birthday, for inclusion in our newsletter, send them in to us and we will try hard to get it into the appropriate letter.

  • March 1 Boo Loader celebrates her birthday
  • March 3rd is a shared birthday for Mimi Allman, Patricia Stopczynski and Jerry Fassbender
  • March 4th is Kristin Sarama’s birthday
  • March 6th is a shared birthday for Ralph Sitzberger and John Fassbender
  • March 7th Joy Craig (Meyer Insurance) has her birthday.
  • March 9th is Maryellen Otterpohl’s birthday
  • March 10th Dennis Wasielewski’s birthday
  • March 11th is Ned Morris’s birthday and also Maryellen and Sam Otterpohl’s anniversary!
  • March 17th Pete Lavris celebrates his birthday
  • March 19th Judy Dziedzina’s Birthday  (Mrs. Illinois Outdoors)
  • March 20th Dennis Snyder and Tom McDermott share their birthday.
  • March 21st is Noah Millers birthday
  • March 28th is a shared birthday for Glenda Boniface and Suzanne Clayton
  • March 29th is Carolyn Rohlen’s birthday
  • March 31st is Mary Olk’s birthday

As always your friendship and business is enjoyed and appreciated by our Country Store family.  Both our family and staff enjoy the time you spend in our store.

Look forward to some modest changes for summer.  We will enjoy our time off in April and will continue to find new items to intrigue you on your visits to the Forest Lake Country Store.  Serving great food and a whole lot more…

Kris and Mark Gostisha and girls

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

Email –

Store Hours

Friday and Saturday 7 AM – 8 PM
Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday 7 AM – 2 PM
Closed on Tuesdays
The store will be closed on Wednesday March 7th so we can attend a food show.
Winter Closure will start on March 26th and we will re-open on Wednesday April 25th.


The Forest Lake Country Store is not an sponsor of Illinois Outdoors.

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