The Eagle River area has the cranberry cure! Instead of Cranberry Fest the first weekend in October, the area is ripe for a self-guided Cranberry Experience. Our hard-working farmers are in the midst of producing thousands of pounds of cranberries and they need people to enjoy them this fall.
Similar to the versatile cranberry, our neck of the woods knows how to celebrate Wisconsin’s number one fruit export in more than one way! (Did you know that cranberries can be eaten raw or cooked or baked or jammed or juiced or fermented – and more?) Instead of joining the throngs of people who attend Cranberry Fest each year, tourists have a chance to take in the sights – and tastes – of cranberries at their own leisure.
Check out what you and the family can do this fall in the Eagle River area! If you can’t make it, consider looking at our favorite cranberry recipes to make a cranberry dish at home.
Go on a Cranberry Harvest Tour
Want to see where all of those flavorsome cranberries come from? Lake Nokomis will be harvesting another huge cranberry crop this September and October. While it’s fun to see cranberries get rounded up in flooded fields, the fruit doesn’t actually grow in the water. Learn fun facts about cranberries while on a harvest tour. Lake Nokomis will continue harvest tours of its marsh with patron safety in mind. And don’t forget to purchase fresh cranberries to eat or try some cranberry wine during a free tasting (if 21 years old or older).
Eat and Drink Delicious Cranberries
Local businesses will offer plenty of opportunities to consume cranberries this fall, too. Eagle Baking Company transforms its cranberries into delectable baked goods that have been known to make mouths water. Eagle River area grocers like Trig’s and Pick ‘N Save are already beginning to stock a variety of cranberry goods in their aisles to satisfy those cranberry cravings. Tribute Brewing Company is coming out with a fresh batch of Frostwatch, it’s special seasonal brew to pay homage to the area’s love of cranberries. If you like eating or drinking cranberries, Eagle River has a place with your favorite.
Support Eagle River Businesses
The Eagle River area won’t be able to welcome 40,000 people this year like Cranberry Fest normally brings, so downtown businesses are finding unique ways to highlight cranberries and their own goods and services this fall. The Eagle River Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center is offering Craisins – a dried tart/sweetened cranberry – and cranberry-related souvenirs. Other businesses are finding ways to incorporate cranberries into food, crafts, and even services. You can help support your favorite Eagle River business by visiting them in person or purchasing goods and services online.
The Eagle River Cranberry Experience
Don’t let 2020 leave a sour taste in your mouth. Leave that acidic, lip-smacking tartness to Eagle River area cranberries! Or just add some sweetness for a truly savory cranberry experience.
Cranberry Fest Vendors
Local Favorite Cranberry Recipes
CRAISIN WALNUT COOKIES
Kevin Rietveld, Bakery Director at Trig’s
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups/12 ounces local craisins
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Heat oven to 375. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixing bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in craisins and nuts, if using. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.
Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
CRANBERRY WALNUT RELISH
A cranberry favorite with turkey/pork/chicken alongside or on a sandwich or crackers.
Linda DuBois, Eagle River Landing
12 ounces of fresh local cranberries
¾ cup white sugar
¾ cup coarsely chopped walnuts
¾ cup orange marmalade (not sugar free)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place cranberries in a small, shallow baking dish. Sprinkle with sugar.
Cover cranberries with aluminum foil. Bake in the preheated oven approximately 35 minutes. Remove from heat, sprinkle with walnuts and recover. Continue baking 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
Stir marmalade and lemon juice into cranberry mixture. Cool to room temperature. Transfer to bowl, cover and chill in refrigerator at least 3 hours before serving.
CRANBERRY PORK PINWHEEL WITH CRANBERRY GLAZE
Larry Emerson, Eagle River Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center
8” to 10” length of boneless pork loin –approximately 2 pounds
10 ounces of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and all liquid squeezed from it
¼ pound of bacon – cooked and crumbled
1 cup of fresh local cranberries
¼ teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese
Wash pork and dry with toweling. Cut in a “Z” pattern lengthwise – ¾ of the way through to create a large flat piece of meat. Unfold and flatten. Take meat tenderizing tool and pound out to flatten. A rolling pin works well.
In bowl mix well drained spinach, bacon and cranberries. Be sure to squeeze this mixture again to be sure all excess liquid is removed. Sprinkle in allspice, cloves and blue cheese, mix together. Spread this mixture over the pork. (You may have more than needed – stuff to your liking. Excess mixture can be spread over the top and alongside the roast in its baking dish.) Then roll the pork with mixture staying inside to create a pinwheel effect. Tie together with cooking string. Bake uncovered in a glass dish at 350 degrees until the meat/center of pinwheel reaches 160 degrees in the thickest part. Slice and serve with Cranberry Glaze drizzled over the top or on the side.
CRANBERRY ORANGE GLAZE
To be drizzled around the pork pinwheel before serving.
1 cup of fresh local cranberries, chopped
Zest of orange peel
1 large orange – squeeze to create approximately ¾ of juice
2 tablespoons brown sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ cup Karo Syrup
Water and Cornstarch
Mix zest of orange with fresh squeezed orange juice. Pour over chopped cranberries and mix. Add brown sugar and ground cloves. Place in saucepan and bring to a boil stirring now and then. (When using fresh cranberries lower heat and simmer until cranberries are soft. Return mixture to a boil.) Mix some cold water and cornstarch in a small bowl to create a white milky liquid. Pour slowly into the boiling mixture and stir constantly until thickened to your liking.