Wisconsin winters are at once beautiful and treacherous. One threat we deal with when driving through the frozen months is “black ice.” But what is it, exactly? Glad you asked. Black ice is a deceptive hazard that forms when a new layer of clear ice forms on water. The ice can appear dark in color because it has trapped fewer air bubbles (which are what can usually make ice appear white) and as a result is almost completely transparent, showing the black color of the roadway beneath it. This can make a roadway appear merely wet rather than covered in a sheet of ice. Freezing rain causes this condition to occur because it adds new layers of water to the roadway and very quickly turns it to ice. The temperature of the ground, where ice actually forms, is always lower than what your thermostat, more than likely placed above ground, reads. Remember to take caution in the coldest days of winter when roadways or sidewalks appear wet.
Read more here about how black ice forms.
Certain things in Wisconsin are just part of our DNA – fish frys, cheese, beer, beer cheese soup, freezers full of venison, and (of course) the ability to order and consume a decent “Old Fashioned” just about anywhere. But where can one find this noble cocktail's roots, and why is it such a Wisconsin staple, and why can’t the rest of the country seem to make a good one to save their lives? Over at the Midwestival blog, Rachel Fell dove into the history of the drink and uncovered some answers, telling a story filled with Wisconsin character. In most bars and super clubs, an Old Fashioned features whiskey, but here in Wisconsin we know it to contain brandy. This difference stems back to the tastes of German immigrants, who dominated early Wisconsin’s population and forever left their stamp on the state’s cuisine. The origin of the drink can be traced back to the Chicago World’s Fair (as can nearly every food or drink with a mysterious historical origin, it seems). Fell’s historical investigation into this artifact of Wisconsin lore is a colorful and enjoyable celebration of Wisconsin’s spirit.
See what I did there? Anyway, head over to Midwestival.com to read The Wisconsin Old Fashioned: An Abridged History. Pretty pictures!
Check this out – the great Music Over Menomin concert series is asking for your help. For those unfamiliar, Music Over Menomin is a summer musical event on the shores of Lake Monomin in Menomonie, showcasing local musical talent – for free. It’s been going strong for five years, but due to budget cuts the committee in charge of organizing the event has taken to Kickstarter. The event will happen regardless of the success of the campaign, but the fundraiser will allow them to add new and exciting programs to the series. The event was recently featured on the Kickstarter staff picks page, and the campaign’s page is very clear about what exactly the money they’re trying to raise will fund.
Head on over to their Kickstarter page to learn more and to support an awesome event featuring Chippewa Valley musicians.