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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A Foodie Train Ride Road Trip

My husband and I have itchy feet or what some refer to as wander lust.   Honestly, had we not had kids, I doubt we ever would have settled down.  Not that settling down and establishing roots is a bad thing it's just there are so many places to see, so many adventures and my gosh the food possibilities are endless.  We are beyond pleased to have become established, creating firm roots for our kids and grandkids, but we still have a bit of wander lust yet to expore.

new cooler to carry home our Wisconsin cheese score
A couples of our kids and family live in Wisconsin so we try to get there two or three times a year.  The problem with driving from Ontario to Wisconsin is you have to go down under the bottom of Lake Michigan and let me tell you with the lake effect, that stretch of highway is beyond brutal in the winter.  So this trip, we decided to take the train.  If you have not traveled by train especially for a longer distance, this is a must do on your bucket list!

We seriously have coolers and insulated food bags at home, on the boat, at the vacation home and in both vehicles.  Well, we arrived at the train station for our early morning 6 AM departure, opened the trunk and all we had was the large insulated food bag.  I'm sure it would have worked fine but my husband insisted we would buy another cooler in Wisconsin with the size depending on the amount of cheese being brought home.  He felt the insulated bag would not keep the cheese cool enough for the over 8 hour trip.

Only foodies would buy a cooler to bring home their stash of goodies :)  We stopped at Cedar Valley Cheese Store where we delighted in stocking up on cheeses.   Then we stopped to buy a cooler to fit our purchases.  He bought the 28 quart Igloo Island Breeze cooler which just fit all of the cheese leaving just enough room for the light lunch and yogurt we purchased at the grocery store for our lunch on the train before the switch-over.  Now, we were travelling rather light with two back packs (one almost empty for other purchases), the computer case (computer, iPad) and we had a spare cloth shopping bag just in case.  The nice thing about traveling by train is there's no liquid restrictions and coolers are allowed (50 lb or under with size restrictions) plus we only had to get the cooler from the rental car to the train then to the next train on switching then to our car and finally in the house but it was considerably less complicated than flying.  If traveling by train, I highly recommend not getting a cooler larger than this as when filled, this cooler just comes under the size restrictions.

our Wisconsin cheese score from Cedar Valley Cheese
I have blogged several times about Cedar Valley Cheese Store in Wisconsin.  The store has expanded and now offers gift boxes, wines and imported cheeses along with their own cheeses. You can order online with shipping via UPS or USPS.  You really cannot appreciate this cheese without visiting the store though.  It does have some of the best cheese in Wisconsin although I may be just a tad biased.

Pictured is our Cedar Valley Cheese Store purchase of just over $140.  The only cheese I bought that was not from Cedar Valley was the English Blue Stilton.  We bought a total of about 30 lb of cheese: 6.3 lb whole milk mozzarella cheese, 3.57 lb sharp cheddar, 3.64 lb white mild cheddar, 3.84 lb medium chedar, 3.26 lb colby jack, 3 lb low fat cheese strings, 2.23 lb cheese curds, 1.21 lb cheddar garlic and dill, . 90 lb swiss premium grade and .19 lb of the Stilton.

Our kitchen refrigerator is stuffed with cheese but make no never mind, I will put it to good use!  It's a toss up what will be first - poutine using those beautiful cheese curds or a cheddar beer soup. Of course, lasagna is a given as is homemade mac & cheese.  Stay tuned ...

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