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. 

 

  • This is our Airbnb, Postcard Place. It's located right in Pawhuska, just a two and a half minute drive from the Pioneer Woman's Mercantile. It even has its own Instagram account, @postcardplce. ⁣
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Postcard Place can accommodate up to six people. With comfy bedding (including clean duvets for each new guest), USB ports by every bed, make-up remover wipes, comfy blankets for tv viewing, complimentary coffee/tea, creamer, full kitchen, soap, shampoo, hand lotion, and even a luggage scale, we've tried to think of everything you might want when spending a night away from home. Of course, we also provide stamped Pawhuska postcards so you can send greetings to those who couldn't come along on the trip.⁣
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Find Postcard Place on Airbnb and book it for your next trip to Pawhuska and come @visittheosage.
  • Perched high on a hill in Tuscany is the medieval village of Montepulciano. In the center of town is the piazza grande paved with bricks laid in a herringbone pattern in the 14th century. ⁣
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Standing in the piazza, looking at the bricks, we were filled with a sense of awe at the history these bricks have seen. They've been there for 700 years so have seen times of war and peace, celebration and sorrow. Generation after generation of townsfolk were born, lived and died, and all have walked on these bricks. ⁣
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This is one of the things we love most about traveling. It gives us an authentic feel for history, one we wouldn't have if we just stayed at home.
  • We were so tickled when @thechefandthedish reached out and asked us if we'd like to take a complimentary cooking class with them. They offer private cooking classes with chefs from all over the world that you can take right in your own kitchen. ⁣
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For this class, we Skyped with chef Paola who taught us to make strawberry risotto, traditional bruschetta, and a delicious poached pear dessert that blew our minds. ⁣
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Risotto always seemed like a difficult dish to make, but Chef Paola explained it so well that it wound up being pretty easy. We spent a great afternoon with friends, learned something new, and enjoyed a great meal after. A class with The Chef & The Dish is a great gift idea, as well. Follow the link in our bio, and you can read more about our class on our blog.
  • The world is a big place, and there's so much to discover. Go places, and see things. It doesn't matter if you don't have a detailed itinerary, either. Sometimes, it's more about the journey and what you see and experience along the way, than it is about the destination.
  • During our trip in Tuscany with @italyunfiltered, we stopped at a small family winery. After learning about the organic methods they use to produce high quality Chianti Clasico wines, we had a tasting. ⁣
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Wine tastings in Italy are nothing like those in the US. They are glorious affairs complete with delicious foods paired with the incredible wines. This particular winery brought us samples of homemade, organic jams made from fruits grown in the family's garden. We dabbed these on locally produced pecorino cheese. Yum!⁣
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We're so glad that we had a local driver and guide. Stopping here was a highlight of our Italian adventure, and we never would have found it on our own.
  • The village of Marsaxlokk, Malta, is famous for these brightly painted fishing boats. The design is rather ancient, possibly dating back to Phoenician times, though it's still used today because it is very strong and holds up well in rough weather. One feature of each boat's decorations, are eyes painted on the bow of the boat. These eyes are said to protect the people fishing while they are at sea.
  • The blue cobblestones of Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, are actually part of a recycling project which started 500 years ago. Iron foundries in Spain produced huge piles of waste, called slag. Rather than throw these piles away, the slag was made into blocks which was placed into ships as ballast. The ballast was offloaded in Puerto Rico when they loaded products bound for Spain. The blocks were then used to pave the streets. ⁣
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Pretty good idea, and 500 years later, they are holding up well!
  • The Overseas Highway connects Key West and the Florida Keys to the mainland U.S. While the entire road is a marvel of engineering, the centerpiece is the Seven Mile Bridge, which runs over water for, well, seven miles.⁣
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The next time you're driving, reset your trip odometer and wait until it gets to seven miles. You'll see that's a pretty long distance. And then think about the fact that people built a bridge over water with no land to support them for that distance. Pretty incredible-especially since the first one was built in 1912.

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