About a year ago, I started canning. It was too hot for my wussy self to be outside gardening last summer, so instead, we bought all the fruits and veggies from the grocery store. I had wild dreams of making the best damn jams on the planet. I got to work making cantaloupe jam, mimosa jelly, raspberry jam… but none of it set, regardless of how much pectin I shoved in those little jars. In effect, not only did I waste perfectly good fruit, but I also wasted my supplies. Which is why I couldn’t be happier that Elsie Mae’s Cannery and Pies is now open in downtown Kenosha. Well, to be fair, they’ve been open since November, but this was the first time I had been there.
The store is owned by an adorable couple with a brand new son (congrats guys!) and all the products are made with locally sourced ingredients. We stopped in around breakfast time – which, for me, is about 10:00 – and I had a slice of Buckeye Pie. It’s just like the traditional buckeyes. Chocolate, peanut butter, and delicious. Yeah, I know, it’s not the healthiest breakfast option… but it was good. Don’t judge me. Anyway.
The left side of the store has the coveted Wall of Jam. What I like about the products, jam and pies included, is the uniqueness. The owners try to make different things, so some ingredient combinations were completely new to me. Cranberry mustard? Craziness. But so good! Elsie Mae’s also makes its own bloody mary mix. And let me tell you, it is the best bloody mary mix I’ve had. A peppery tang and big chunks of garlic put this one on the top of the heap.
The store also sells chicken pot pies (yum!), and they strive to be sustainable. With each pie, chicken or otherwise, the price includes a $1 deposit that you get back if you return the pie tin. I love it. Now we can hoard things like all those states that can return cans for deposits. Granted, you’d have to eat a LOT of pie to get a sizeable refund… but I think I’m okay with that.
Elsie Mae’s is definitely a stand-out shop in downtown Kenosha, one that I hope sticks around as the town continues its renaissance into a more progressive and modern area. Because really, what fun is anything without pie, jam, and a bloody mary?