Tag Archive | cheese

Mousehouse Cheesehaus in Windsor


7-3-18  Celebrating 30 Years!

You can’t miss it as you leave Madison, heading north on I-90.  Take exit 131 and you are soon there.  This prime location has given them so many customers, they had to expand over the last year to keep up.

In the 70’s, the store was mostly a liquor store with some cheese. Tony’s parents owned it from 1988-1998, increasing the amount of cheese over liquor. Tony took over ownership of the Mousehouse Cheesehaus in 1998 from his parents and added homemade fudge in 2009.  I took this photo in 2010.  The mouse on top of the roof is named Igor. Hours are 8 AM-7 PM daily so plenty of time to stop in.

In 2016, before the expansion, CEO Tony Sobczak and Vice President Heather Smythe explained all that they do on a local Wisconsin program called, “Talk of the Town”. She has been there for 20 years!

July 2018

The expansion was completed in 2017 and there is room now for much more cheese and fudge! Read more about the expansion here.

The inside is just as amazing, bring a cooler because you are going to need it.  This is your one-stop shop for all things Wisconsin.

You can now watch Fudge and Cheese Curds being prepared through the new viewing windows. On the left is the fudge window, the right is the cheese room.  Stop in around noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays to see these confections being made! Separate prep rooms for the cheese and fudge ensures the highest quality for you, the customer!

Inside the Fudge room. Inside are 2 steam-jacketed kettles with stirrers to make the fudge creamy and smooth while cooking. It takes about 40 minutes for the fudge to be ready to pour and flavor. Read more on the fudge here.

In the Cheese room, you can watch cheese curds mixed with herbs and spices to give you many flavor choices.

 You can watch both cheese and fudge being prepared on Tuesdays and Thursdays at around 12:00 PM. The new viewing windows to the cheese and fudge kitchen are a hit with the kids too! These new kitchens ensure that your cheese and fudge are prepared with the utmost care and in a very clean environment. You can see how clean everything is!

Enjoy a tour of the store with me in the video below. You can taste all the cheese before you buy too. You can get pre-assembled gift boxes or choose your own selections for a custom box. Watch Megan make many varieties of delicious fudge right from the viewing window!           Also, see April mix many flavors of delicious cheese curds made that very morning! I’m getting hungry just watching.

You can also get sandwiches here, no need to go somewhere else for lunch or supper.  Igor’s Big Belly Deli can make prepare sandwiches to order to go or eat there in their dining room. Get 8-inch subs too, pre-made and ready to eat.  Menu here.

We hope you enjoyed touring the Mousehouse Cheesehaus.  Tony, Heather, and crew are happy to serve you and bring you the best cheese and fudge in Wisconsin!  Contact them here or come for a visit!

  • CONTACT INFORMATION
  • 4494 Lake Circle Windsor, WI 53598
  • Toll-Free: 800-526-6873
  • Local: 608-846-4455
  • Email at: customerservice@mousehousecheese.com

Photo by Mousehouse Cheesehaus

 

Hoard Historical Museum and National Dairy Shrine in Fort Atkinson


11-11-15 and 3-18-16

Hoard Museum signHoard Museum and National Dairy Shrine

A visit to Fort Atkinson is not complete without exploring the Hoard Historical Museum and National Dairy Shrine. Suggested donations are $5 for individual or $10 per family.  A painted cow and stained glass art greet you upon entering the building.

Hoard Museum cow

The first room we entered is the Mounds Gallery. We learned a lot about the Indian Mounds in Wisconsin.  We saw a short film made my members of the tribes involved.  In the same room are arrowhead collections by Raymond Thomas Lawton.

Increase Lapham display

Thomas Lawton Indian Collection

The adjoining room has a Native American diorama and more artifacts.

Indian Diorama at Mound Museum

A close up.

Indian home display at Hoard Museum IMG_7563

Inside of the home.

Indian home IMG_7559

And the food they ate, either growing naturally or their own plantings.

Indian Food display at Hoard

Food sign at Hoard

The museum also encourages visiting Aztalan State Park, which we had!

We headed up to the 2nd floor where there was a display dedicated to their local famous poet, Lorine Niedecker.

Hoard 2nd Floor Exhibits

Lorine Niedecker display

The William Dempster Hoard room, where resides a large portrait of him and his magazine, Hoard’s Dairyman is displayed. The magazine still exists today, in production since 1885!

William Dempster Hoard and magazine

He also went to the Wisconsin State Fair in 1859 and Abraham Lincoln was a guest speaker. Here are his impressions.

The Bird Room has MANY birds in display cases,  some over a century old. This Bald Eagle is from 1904.

Taxidermy room at Hoard

Bald Eagle display at Hoard

Another room upstairs is dedicated to Ft. Atkinson’s Police and Fire Department.

Police and Fire Room at Hoard

The Lorine Niedecker Room in addition to the display near the stairs.

Lorine Niedecker room at Hoard

The Duck Hunting Room showed hunting around Lake Koshkonong.

Duck Hunting Story sign at Hoard

Canoe information, it may have been owned by William Hoard himself!

Duck Hunting Room at Hoard

Boll Hoard canoe at Hoard

Duck display at Hoard

In the Play Room were toys from days gone by.

Play Room display at Hoard

We went back downstairs to see a representation of how the Hoard house may have looked while occupied by him and his family. Displays are rotated occasionally to display different pieces.

Frank and Luella Hoard House sign

Hoard Dining Room

Hoard house parlor

Kitchen at Hoard house

The last part we saw in November was the Lincoln Era Library and Exhibit room at the back on the museum on the first floor. It spotlighted Lincoln artifacts, Fort Koshkonong and the Blackhawk War.

IMG_7690

Lincoln display at Hoard House

Fort Koshkonong as it originally looked in this display.

Fort Koshkonong exhibit IMG_7716

Here is what the site looks like NOW.  It is presently a residential neighborhood.

Fort Koshkonong site in Ft. Atkinson

A great visit to this museum had to be cut short by lack of time to finish it.

—————————————————————————————————————-

3-18-16

We’re back!  Winter is over and it was time to complete viewing this amazing museum.  Flowers were beginning to push up in the garden in front of the museum. These are Iris Reticulata, planted by museum volunteers. Beautiful!

Hoard Museum in Spring

Iris at Hoard Museum

We never got to see the dairy shrine side of the museum in November so we got back today.  It took about 2 hours to see this part, it occupied the main floor and downstairs.

Dairy Shrine entrance

We entered into a large octagon-shaped room with a variety of displays and dioramas.  Going around the perimeter of the inside of the room was a timeline history of the Hoard Museum and dairy technology developments.

Hoard Museum Volunteer of the Year Joe Slaney frame

Volunteer Joe Slaney (Volunteer of the Year!) began the presentation in the room, we moved from exhibit to exhibit in a clockwise direction, everything was cued to audio and video, a 3D presentation!

 

The presentation began with a video introduction about the Hoard Museum, then it instructed us to move left to the next panel.

#1 – Hoard Farm Replica

Hoard Farm model

#2 – Modern Milk Marketing

Milk Marketing

This panel showed the many ways milk products were marketed to the consumers from 1 to 92.  One of the most successful was the “Got Milk” campaign. Al and I participated in this when we went to Cows on the Concourse. Here is our milk mustache photo.

Got Milk Campaign photoGot Milk Ad Campaign

Milk use pie chart.

Milk use breakdown

#3 – Daily Farmers of the 1800’s

A display depicting the dairy farmer in the 1800’s, also a room where ice blocks are stored that were cut from a nearby lake in the winter.

Milking cow in 1800's

Milk Storage and ice blocks

#4 – Farm Wife Makes Butter With the Milk

IFarm Wife Churning Milk into butter

After her husband (or farm hand)  milks the cow, she is responsible for processing the milk into butter or soft cheese. She often has a custom butter mold with her own unique design inside, marking it as her “brand”.  She then sells the butter to her town’s general store for store credit or cash. Here are a couple of butter molds on display in the museum.

Butter Molds

#5 – Modern Cheesemaking

Milk is now delivered to the cheese factory in large trucks, from there all kinds of cheese are made. We saw that in Arena and Rudolph.

Modern Cheese Making

salting cheese in Rudolph

#6 – Summary

Dairy Industry Summary

Milk Presentation Sponsors

That was an AMAZING presentation! In the center of this room is a library with dairy industry books and magazines.

Hoard Museum library

We completed our visit by seeing the other MANY artifacts, too many to count. Here is an array of butter churns.

Butter Churns

We will close our visit with a painting of the 7 Wonders of Wisconsin, the 7 cow breeds predominant in this state. This museum was well worth the time to see and we will return again to see any new exhibits, as they rotate some of them.  Thank you Frank Hoard for this gift to the community.

& Wonders of Wisconsin cow painting

 

Cheese Days in Monroe 2014 – The Parade


Cheese Days Parade logo

Cheese Days Part 2                                                      9-21-14

We had just found our viewing spot at the post office, it was a great place to see the  2 1/2 hour parade. I was glad then we didn’t bring our chairs or tripod, there would have not been enough room for them.  SO many people were here to watch the parade.

Cheese Days parade vantage point

 The parade is beginning!   A solemn procession of brown Swiss cows leads the parade. This symbolizes bring the cows down from alpine meadows in Switzerland to the lower elevations.

Soon after that were the Almost Famous “Dancing Cheesemakers” , excellent performance!

What is a Swiss parade without Alphorns and the Monroe Swiss Singers?

Alphorns at Cheese Days

Monroe Swiss Singers at Cheese Days

A special treat, Aareländer Musikanten from Switzerland!

Aarelander Musikanten from Switzerland at Cheese Days

The King and Queen of Cheese Days 2014 are Duke and Diane Phillips,  and their grandchildren.

Cheese Days King and Queen 2014

 Cheese Days Ambassadors Sarah Sacker and Brienne Hendrickson.

Cheese Days Ambassador Sarah SackerCheese Days Ambassador Brienne Hendrickson

1929 Ford Racer

1929 Ford Racer at Cheese Days

The Wacky Wheeler, a big favorite!  I have seen him at other parades.

Wacky Wheeler at Cheese Days

Here is the Swiss Colony Chris Mouse, all ready for Christmas gift giving!

Swiss Colony Mouse at Cheese Days

Pipes and Drums, Zor Shriners of Madison.

Zor Pipes and Drums at Cheese Days

 

National Mutual Benefit presents Betsy Ross. This lady is a friend of mine.  She is a retired school teacher who plays many characters at schools and nursing homes.

National Mutual Benefit  Volunteer Betsy Ross

And the mascot of Cheese Days, Wedgie!

Cheese Days Wedgie mascot

These guys were amazing! The Jesse White Tumbling Team from Chicago. Lets watch them!

Jesse White Tumbling Team at Cheese Days

Even the Loves Park, IL Shriners were here with a cute carousel float.

Loves Park Zor Shrine at Cheese Days

 

Also Stephanie Klett whom we just saw recently at Edgerton’s Chilimania is also Official Limburger Queen of Cheese Days 🙂

Stephanie Klett Limburger Queen

That was quite a parade. Many more entries than this went into this 2 1/2 hour parade. I understand why it takes two years to plan this festival.  We hope to enjoy it again in 2016.

Greetings from Cheese Days