Cherry is my personal favorite. And it has been since I was a little girl and was first introduced to kolace, usually at the home of my great-grandmother, Olive (Moravek) Rashleigh. She was Czechoslovakian and whenever we got together for family gatherings at her house, my mom would take homemade kolace with fillings like cherry, apricot, prune and poppyseed.

When Steve and I saw the “open” sign in the window of the normally closed bakery in Wilber last weekend at the Czech Festival (read more about that here), we couldn’t resist the temptation of the buttery, fruit-filled pastries. When we got inside,  we saw hundreds of postcardjar.comkolace that filled the cases of small bakery and took our place in the back of a long line of other kolace lovers. As we waited, I looked around the old bakery a bit, noticing the large wooden paddles on the wall which were once used to slide the tasty treats in and out of the oven. Behind the counter, where the owners struggled to keep pace with the demand for their sweet pastries, I saw a large kitchen with racks and racks of kolace baked special for the annual festival.

The owner asked if I’d like to see the old oven, and of course, I said yes. In between filling orders, she showed me around the kitchen and back to the old Middleby-Marshall oven that, for decades, has baked kolace and rye bread on six revolving shelves.

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The owner told me the oven came from a bakery in Syracuse, Neb., and can bake 630 kolace at one time. Considering the entire process of making kolace takes about six hours, that’s a good thing. He said they made more than 1,200 kolace for the Czech Festival this year and from the looks of the lines at the bakery, they were easily going to sell out. He said cherry is, by far, the top seller and accounts for about one-third of their sales. The Wilber Bakery also carried raspberry, poppyseed, apricot, and cream cheese kolace.

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When we returned from Wilber last weekend, I took my mom a half dozen of her favorite flavor – poppyseed. I remembered her making kolace as well when I was a kid, and asked if she had great-grandma’s recipe for me to share on our blog. She said she hadn’t used great-grandma’s recipe in a very long time, as she had gotten another from a local Czech woman and she says it’s even better. If you have the time, see for yourself.

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Have you had kolace? What is your favorite filling? Let us know in the comment section. We’d love to hear from you. 

 

  • Steve writes: When I first set my eyes on the outside of the Sagrada Familia Cathedral in Barcelona, I was unimpressed. In fact, I thought it was plain ugly. Construction continued, and I returned several times over the years, each time finding more to like about it. Finally, on a visit with Ann, the inside of the Cathedral was open for a visit. So we went inside.⁣
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Architect Antonin Gaudi's creation is brilliant. The way he uses stained glass to bring color to the stone inside, combined with the shadows created by the shape of the stone is breathtaking. Truly, this cathedral might be the most impressive one I've seen anywhere. This place should be on your bucket list. It's worth a trip to Barcelona to see it.
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We spent about an hour in this fun spot, sipping, playing, and enjoying the relaxed atmosphere. It will definitely be on our list of places to go again, someday. Beer and pinball are a pretty good mix.
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Prosecco is a sparkling wine, and people often see it as intergangeable with champagne. This isn't the case at all. Champagne is made from the Chardonnay grape, while Prosecco comes from Glara. Because of this, the two wines are completely different.⁣
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We enjoyed a tasting at Roccat, where they served us glasses of crisp, clear, delicious wine alongside some crunchy breadsticks that were just the right thing to enjoy with the wine.⁣
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If you ever have the opportunity to go to Italy, make sure you include time to head to Valdobbiandene and try some Prosecco.
  • Located in @clearlakeiowa, the historic Surf Ballroom has hosted some of the biggest names in music. It was on this stage that Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and JP "The Big Bopper" Richardson performed their final show on February 3, 1959. After the concert, they boarded a plane for their next town on their tour. That plane crashed shortly after takeoff, and the date has been remembered ever since as "the day the music died."⁣
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@traveliowa
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Folks come from all over to see this art installation and take it in. Children love running around it and gazing into it, not realizing they are learning about convex and concave shapes. ⁣
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Standing here you'll hear a multitude of languages and see people from all walks of life there to enjoy the art. And that's why we love public art so much--it brings people together.
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We spent an afternoon with lessons about Greek cuisine, and how they waste nothing, not even excess juice from a cucumber. We also saw how to make incredible dishes like this spanakopita, or spinach pie. Sitting in her dining room, enjoying the light, flaky crust and delicious filling is an experience we won't soon forget. ⁣
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While traveling, we try to find opportunities to experience local culture. It's amazing how similar people in the world really are if you just take some time to see what life is like.
  • Do you remember that song from "The Music Man" about trouble? You know the one about the kids in the knickerbockers, shirt-tail young ones, peekin' in the pool hall window after school. ⁣
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Well, we got to peek in a replica of that pool hall on a recent visit to The Music Man Square on our hosted to Mason City, Iowa. It's the town where "The Music Man" creator Meredith Willson was born and raised and his legacy lives on. ⁣
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Before you go see @thehughjackman and @suttonlenore in this Broadway favorite, consider a visit to the real River City.⁣
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Click on the link in our bio to see our latest blog post about why fans of "The Music Man" need to visit Mason City, Iowa. ⁣
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@themusicmanbway

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