How we ended up eating kolaces with readers of our blog

How we ended up eating kolaces with readers of our blog

A few months ago, we got a sweet comment on our blog from a man who had read our post about 70+ Things to do in Crete, Nebraska (our hometown). He wrote,  “My newly discovered half-sister and I have planned a trip to Crete in June to explore our family roots. Your list of things to do in Crete is filled with good humor and practical advice!”

Things to do in Crete, Nebraska

We exchanged a few more messages and were delighted when we asked about how he found the post and he said, “Yes, I Googled “Things to Do in Crete, Nebraska,” and your blog popped up. I was charmed when I saw that Trip Advisor had offered you no responses to this same question. But as you demonstrate, there are many things to do in Crete!”

There are many things to do in Crete. In fact, there are at least 70. We kept in touch with Ben and he wrote again last week to say that he and his half-sister were planning a trip to Crete to explore their roots and would like to meet. We were so delighted to accept their invitation and asked them to stop by our place this week for coffee and a chance to check something else off their “things to do in Crete” list: #29 – eat a kolace.

#29 on our list of Things to do in Crete was eat a kolace.

It was so nice to finally meet Ben and his sister, Jackie (Jelinek) Eggers and hear their story. Ben, who had been adopted as an infant, grew up with wonderful parents and after their deaths, decided to look into identifying his biological family. Through a series of inquiries, ancestry websites, and eventually a DNA test, he found that he had a half-sister, Jackie. Ben contacted Jackie’s grown son and with his approval, contacted the sister he’d never known until last year.

The two siblings and their spouses and families have quickly developed wonderful relationships and their trip to Crete was a next step in their journey to better understanding their past. They visited the Benne Museum in Crete, drove to nearby Wilber to explore Czech heritage there, and found a granite memorial that we’d never even seen. The memorial was erected in 1929 in memory of the Bohemian pioneers who settled in Saline County, Nebraska.

Memorial to Bohemian pioneers near Crete, Nebraska

We had a lovely time with Ben and Jackie, discussing their family history and our hometown. And of course, we had kolace.

Kolace in Crete, Nebraska.

 

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Wahoo, Nebraska — A Pleasant Surprise

Wahoo, Nebraska — A Pleasant Surprise

For the last few years, we’ve enjoyed purchasing half a beef from one of Steve’s colleagues who is also a local farmer. This year, they had the beef processed at the meat locker in Wahoo, Nebraska, so we thought we’d make the 55-mile drive from our home in Crete to pick up our packaged beef one Saturday morning.

Perhaps most recognized as the former “home office” of The Late Night with David Letterman Show, we were somewhat surprised to find Wahoo a quaint town and a great place to spend the day.

The Wahoo Locker was fantastic. Not only do they process and sell meat, they also make and sell fresh soups and salads and operate a catering business. The store is just the kind that entices a visitor to shop around and we enjoyed seeing all of the kitchen supplies, food items, and even wine.

We purchased a few kitchen gadgets we don’t know how we ever lived without, and couldn’t resist a package of the Wahoo Wieners we’d heard so much about, accompanied by freshly baked buns. They did not disappoint.

We are so excited to fill our deep freeze with half an all-natural Nebraska beef.

We are so excited to fill our deep freeze with half an all-natural Nebraska beef.

After loading the back of our truck with boxes and coolers full of meat, we decided to stay in Wahoo for lunch and drove over to the Wigwam Cafe.

The Wigwam Cafe is unique because it has been open and continuously operating since the 1930’s. Through the years, many owners have put their personal touches into the business, but all seem to have respected the idea that quality food is most important

Tubes of popular kolache fillings like poppyseed, apricot, and lemon.

Tubes of popular kolache fillings like poppyseed, apricot, and lemon.

for a restaurant. Ann had a grilled chicken club sandwich, and Steve had a hot beef

sandwich. For dessert, we split a piece of their famous banana cream pie. We would recommend this as a nice place for a meal should you ever be in Wahoo and want to have good food while enjoying some of the friendliest service around.

After lunch, we noticed an interesting-looking store nearby called Warehouse Surplus and Variety. It piqued our interest, and we went inside.

So glad we did! What an interesting store, filled with five-and-dime-type items and in the back, warehouse food supplies including everything you’d need to make kolaces (a Czech tradition) and a huge variety of spices at great prices.

We picked up some poppy seeds, crushed Rosemary, and sesame seeds and were on our way.

Spices galore!

Spices galore!

What we thought would be a quick trip to Wahoo to pick up some meat, ended up being a wonderful Saturday spent exploring this great Nebraska town. If you’re looking for something different to do off the beaten path, swing through Wahoo–it has a lot to offer.