Give a gift of Wisconsin this holiday
December 15, 2020
With fewer get-togethers this holiday season due to COVID-19, consider reaching out with a gift that says “Wisconsin.”
Meat, Cheese, and Cranberries
What do you think of when you consider Wisconsin? Dairy, of course, along with sausages and bratwurst. So why not gift a loved one with a little something from Johnson’s Sausage Shop in Rio? The meat-lovers will drool over a package of Bockwurst or a big slab of Brown Sugar Bacon. Other meaty delights include Cranberry Bratwurst, a huge variety of “snack sticks,” Garlic Summer sausage, and chorizo. Cheeseheads will love the Milwaukee Brick, the Super Sharp Cheddar, the White Horseradish Cheddar, or even Limburger. Gift certificates fit in any stocking.
416 State Road 16, Rio; https://johnsonssausage.com/shop/
Award-winning Hook’s Cheese in Mineral Point makes Colby, brick, farmer’s cheese, and flavored Jack cheeses (garlic, dill, tomato-basil, and pesto), but they are best known for their award-winning cheddars, aged up to 15 years. And Hook’s doesn’t stop with Wisconsin standbys; they also make a variety of Gorgonzolas, Parmesan, Swiss, blue, and sheep’s and goat’s milk cheeses.
Kringle pastries also say “Wisconsin” to many, and Racine Kringles create some of the best. The company makes a huge variety of these Danish treats, but its bestsellers include almond, pecan, and raspberry. Other fillings include apple cinnamon, apricot, cherry, blueberry, strawberry, macadamia, walnut, maple walnut, and pecan.
Give cranberry lovers a delicious item from The Bogs Cranberry Specialties in Wisconsin Rapids. In addition to treats like dried cranberries, chocolate-covered cranberries, cranberry-raspberry taffy, and cranberry jelly beans, the Bogs offers cranberry-themed candles, air fresheners, potpourris, and much more to please that Wisconsin cranberry lover.
Aside from milk, nothing proclaims Wisconsin quite like beer, and Wisconsin craft beers are among the best. Here are just a few:
Central Waters Brewing, Amherst https://centralwaters.com/
- Bourbon Barrel Scotch Ale
- Rye Barrel Chocolate Porter
New Glarus Brewing, New Glarus https://newglarusbrewing.com/
- Serendipity Fruit and Field Beer
- Wisconsin Belgian Red
Oso Brewery, Plover https://www.osobrewing.com/core-line-up
- Scarlet Letter Wild Ale
- Convenient Distraction Imperial Porter
If you have an artistic person on your list, Wisconsin potteries offer gorgeous gifts for the discerning. Consider Lake Mills’ Ephraim Pottery at 130 E. Lake Street https://ephraimpottery.com/ephraim-pottery-lake-mills-gallery/. Its art pottery faience creations come in rich colors and organic forms. Cambridge Wood-Fired Pottery, at 10 Tranquil Lane or https://cambridgepottery.com/, gives its unique pieces character through a wood firing process. Or visit Ephraim Clayworks in on Hwy 42 in Door County https://ephraimclayworks.com/ for unique, useful, and colorful works.
What about youthful literature lover? Wisconsin has a very active community of children’s writers. Look for picture books by Jamie Swenson (A Fall Ball for All), Ann Bausum (Moonbeams), and Lisl Hornig Detlefsen (Time for Cranberries). Middle-grade readers would love Sandy Brehl’s Odin’s Promise trilogy or Kashmira Sheth’s Nina Soni books. Young adult readers will be fascinated with Ilsa Bick’s Ashes trilogy or challenged by E.M. Kokie’s Radical.
You can even find plenty of gifts by Wisconsinites online. Check out art prints, scarves, and other products by artist Ingrid Kallick here: https://www.redbubble.com/people/ingridkallick/shop.
If you’re looking to support Native American crafts, check out the basketry, beading, and jewelry at Woodland Indian Art or check out the Wisconsin Historical Society gift shop for a wide variety of items that illuminate Wisconsin history.
And, of course, you can give someone the best gift of all by presenting them with a yearlong pass to Wisconsin state parks.