A Roundup of Wisconsin-Made Things that Give Us Joy

By Shelby Rowe Moyer | Photo by Just Name via Pexels

These days, we have to take stock in the little things that make us happy — a light breeze on a sunny day, a FaceTime call with your best friend, wearing something other than sweatpants. It’s hard not to feel like you’re in a rut, so it’s important to create little moments we can look forward to — and to notice the slices of daily life that you may have overlooked pre-COVID-19.

In honor of that, here are a handful of statewide wonders we are digging, from local art to craveable dishes.

A Bowl of Ramen

It’s easy to miss being at a restaurant with friends or family. We never thought we’d be robbed of such a simple pleasure. But, alas, we will happily accept a take-out order, and a hot bowl of ramen is exactly what the doctor ordered. Our go-to is a heaping bowl of melt-in-your-mouth pork belly ramen from Morris Ramen on King Street. Feeling generous? The restaurant is running a #BuyNoodsGiveNoods promotion that allows you to give $15 and provide a meal for neighbors in need, including service workers who lost their jobs due to COVID-19.

A Dose of Positivity

The City of Madison and Madison Public Library have come together to create the #lookforwardmadison campaign and matching @lookforwardmadison Instagram. The account spotlights the creative efforts of locals helping their community, words of wisdom from area thought leaders and more.

A Hot Cup Of…

We are shamelessly drinking three cups of coffee a day — warmer weather be damned. No matter what’s on the menu for your morning mug, you’ve got to have a sweet array of ceramics. We have so many potters we love, so we wanted to share a few with you. For sweet and simplistic, check out Appleton’s Whitechapel Pottery. Appleware Pottery in Washburn has a huge selection of rustic mugs with photographic illustrations depicting country life; bonus points for the coffee-mug-turned-travel-mug designs. Hawks Nest Vintage, a lovely little Madison online vintage shop, offers stellar retro mugs and mug sets, and they are so quaint.

Creamy, Dreamy Art

The art by Madison-based Marissa Recker — also known as Astuary Art — is seriously mesmerizing. Ethereal wisps of color blend to create Rorschach shapes and stormy flashes of vibrant hues. But what’s even better than scrolling through her website or Instagram account is that she has a YouTube channel with time lapse videos of her art creations, as well as tutorials.

The Ultimate Cheese Kit

This might be the best (?) COVID-19 invention: the social distancing cheese kit from Fromagination in Madison. It comes with three artisan Wisconsin cheeses, summer sausage, three jars of locally made preserves, organic crackers, a palm platter and cheese paper. Honestly, what else could you want? Oh wait…beer!

A Cold One

Paid time off: quite possibly the best phrase to ever come out of the English language. So good, in fact, that 3 Sheeps Brewing in Sheboygan named a seasonal beer after it. The Imperial stout-style brew has toasted coconut, cocoa nib and walnut notes. We’ll take a case of that. Use the brewery’s site map to find a Madison location that sells its beers.

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