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After being Milwaukee, Wi. residents all of our lives, my husband and I retired to the Lake of the Ozark area in central Missouri, two years ago. The "Lake" as everyone in Missouri calls it, is located in the heart of the Missouri Ozarks. The area is just beautiful, and the people are so friendly. We have made so many new friends, and they have welcomed us into their lives. Even a trip to Walmart, brings smiles from everyone. Every day we take in a lake sunset, or look at the beauty around us, and are so happy we made the move. The winters are so much milder than the harsh ones, we left behind in Wisoonsin. Though, we have had to learn to deal with black ice. Spring comes early and is just beautiful. We still run away to Northern Wisconsin for the cooler summers, and quiet northwoods, as tourism here during the summer months, can put as many as 50,000 boats a weekend on our 92 mile long lake, and northern Wisconsin is peaceful and beautiful.
I really miss having a garden, but it is almost impossible, as we are gone for the summer, and the ground here is all bedrock. I try to put some things in up north, but the growing season, sometimes shuts me down as early as mid August, in northern Wisconsin.
We do miss the good Wisconsin fish fries, and the better quality of beef, available in the stores. You can find Amana and Black Angus beef in most stores, but it doesn't even compare to the plain old choice beef we got back home. One butcher, told me there are different grades of Angus. Makes you need to re-think your cooking. People here, will have a really dry piece of meat, and say its great.
The entire area is very big on BBQ foods, and some are outstanding, but some of the other local fare, just isn't up to Midwest standards. We miss some of the good Italian and German places back home, and a really good, thick, juicy steak, but we easily trade that away, for having the chance to live in such a wonderful area.
I still love the Old Red Betty Crocker cookbook, and Taste of Home Magazine, but have to admit, that since I joined Recipezaar years back, most of my new favorites come from there. There are some great chefs on this site, and sometimes, I read a review, where someone will try a recipe, and completely change it, and then complain, that the recipe was not right, and give it a low rating. This is a pet peeve. If you make it the way it was printed, and don't like it, okay, that is understandable, but if you change it, don't blame the chef.
My biggest fear is that Recipezaar will disappear one day, and all of my favorites will be gone.
I love German and Polish food. Perogi for one. My favorite perogi is made with sauerkraut and mashed potatoes, and covered with sauteed onions. Love fresh Kielbasa, but cannot find it in the area. Good old Klements or Usingers, miss you both. Hubby and I both love Korean and Mexican food. We do have good Mexican places in the area.
I'm family and friend famous for my cream cheese mushrooms, and many homemade soups. I don't write many of them down for Recipezaar, as they are always, a pinch of this, and a touch of that. I also experiment with mashed potatoes. They are different each time I make them. Always adding new seasonings and new ingredients.
I love Sicilian style breaded chicken or steak. Any restaurant that makes it good is my favorite. I'm learning to appreciate good old southern BBQ and rubs, and have been experimenting with briskets, though I find they are really expensive, for such a dry, tough, piece of meat. Pecan crusted Grouper is big down here, and quite a treat. Cajun food is plentiful and good too.