One day last week Elliott, Lola and I took advantage of “it’s summer time and we’re living in the country” and decided to do a day trip.
Our first stop was to walk Lola along the St. Croix Lake front. We were fortunate to catch the St. Croix Sailing School in action. This was great fun and what a beautiful morning to be out on the water.
Photo: Pat Dunsworth, www.stcroixsailing.com
Next up, I’m always planning dinner the morning of and because I try to be all about the Slow Food Movement especially in the summer, we set off to the local Farmer’s Market so I could gather our dinner options from local vendors.
Hudson Farmer’s Market (Dawn Gilbert)
Plaza 94 (I-94 & 17th St) Hudson, WI 54016
Experience the Hudson Farmer’s Market with fresh local fruits, vegetables, flowers, etc. Held at Plaza 94, Thursdays from 7 a.m. to noon, June through October. Located in the Plaza 94 shopping center on the frontage road between 19th Street (Ward Avenue) and 18th Street, Hudson, WI.
We purchased fresh green beans, onion bulbs, new potatoes, blue berries, and strawberries from different vendors.
Next an Amish free range chicken from Good Earth Farms.
Another great source of local / Slow Food meat selections: RJ’s Meats. Their shop is located right down the road. Be sure to take a look at all of their awards plastered over all the walls.
Dinner menu in place: Caesar salad, herb, garlic and lemon marinated grilled chicken, steamed green beans w/ balsamic vinegar, herbed new potatoes.
I was wishing that all components for entire dinner could have been gathered from local vendors like in San Francisco — I miss the SF Ferry Building Farmers Market.
I could of gotten fresh lemons, olives, lettuce, oil, vinegar, artisan cheese etc. but one must make due with what is available.
Next stop, Bass Lake Cheese Factory for the artisan cheeses. Parmesan, Asiago, and just for tasting chevre w/ green olives.
Mental note: for a future one-stop- pick- up- place for picnic items and a great variety of wine, this is the place! We were a little early for that day’s wine tasting—so we’ll definitely go back this fall.
Note: Pick up their key lime or lemon chevre cheeses. I’ve found them in local grocery stores. Super refreshing!
Next we’re headed for lunch. We drove along the MN side of the scenic St. Croix River Valley to Taylor’s Falls MN. Here we were beckon by a larger than life rotating root beer mug. I’m always on the quest of a seriously good burger and we definitely found one of the best ones that I’ve had in decades.
If you can get past the hokey poodle skirts (thankfully those girls switch it up wearing Pumas and other contemporary accessories) and period music, I highly recommend The Drive In.
While waiting for our burgers and out-of -this-world onion rings (skip the fries), I was reading their Good For Our Planet brochure. They’ve gone as green as possible. Everything from energy efficient electrical to recycled fry oil converted to bio-diesel fuel to recycled pickle buckets.
Unfortunately this is not posted on their website, but consider eating here. It’s great food and really a lovely drive.
Heading back we stopped at a must–stop-wayside.
Look for the big bold red “IT ALL MATTERS” sculpture.
Last stop or rather a drive- thru. I cannot drive thru Marine on the St. Croix without seeing one of the most majestic developments — I hate that word — let’s just call it what it is: Jackson Meadow .
I love the pristine houses, the sense of nature shared with community. The glorious prairies and never ending sky. It takes my breath away. During this trip thru the Meadow, I was surprised to see at least 5 of these beauties for sale. I guess it shows the sign of the economy just like everywhere else.
Excited by one home for sale in particular that seemed perfect for us. Beautifully secluded and sited, very vertical and was completely (from the exterior) divided in two. His side and my side – utopia!
We drove away discussing living out there. Summer and fall glorious. Winter never!
Reality really set in when I came to– out of my “what if” fog and realized how long of a drive it is just to Stillwater and then to the TC. Never going to happen for me.
Back home to make my quasi Slow Food dinner, which turned out beautifully delicious!
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