Imagine your childhood without the influence of your Wisconsin mom. You’d have eaten far less cheese, and you’d never know the joy of watching your mom dance the polka at your cousin’s wedding. And don’t even get me started on your Midwestern vocabulary. You owe a lot to your Wisco mom. Here are 10 signs you were raised by a Wisconsin mom.
1. She taught you how to play cribbage as soon as you could count.
Playing card games after dinner was a family ritual. Thanks to the early childhood cribbage lessons, you know all the ways to make 15 by heart, and you know exactly what “15-two, 15-four, pair is six and knobs is seven” means. You’ve even once got the elusive 29, and you’ll tell the story to anyone who will listen.
2. Your big family vacation was a weekend in the Wisconsin Dells.
It didn’t matter whether it was the peak of summer or there was snow up to your knees. The self-proclaimed “Waterpark Capital of the World” was your year-round family destination. You rode every slide twice, ate greasy mediocre pizza, and gave your mom a panic at least once when you ran off to the wave pool unsupervised. And when you tired of the waterparks, your mom took you on a duck tour to the Witches Gulch — which was not nearly as exciting as the name suggested.
3. Your mom knows the only way to cook a brat is to boil it in beer first.
She also knows the best way to serve it is with a side of deep-fried cheese curds, ranch dressing, and, of course, a beer for those over 21.
4. She took you to the bar with her for Friday night fish fry.
The pinnacle of Wisconsin dining traditions, Friday night fish fries are a weekly family event. Battered and fried walleye or perch with a side of cheese curds for the whole family only costs $10. When your mom went on a diet, she ordered a poor man’s lobster instead, but she still ate the cheese curds.
5. She’d send you outside to play in the snow no matter how cold.
But only after wrapping your socks in bread bags to keep them dry inside your snow boots.
6. She knows what a TYME machine is.
To your mom it was just as sci-fi as the 1980s DeLorean.
7. She’d bring an ice cream pail full of booyah home after Sunday church.
She’d never heat it up in the microwave — booyah is meant only for the stove top! Sometimes with beef, always with vegetables and chicken, one bucket of booyah fed the family for days. The exact recipe varied depending on who made it, but none were ever wrong.
8. She decorated the house for every holiday and Packers game.
Your mom has it all — fall wreaths with plastic mini-pumpkins, heart-shaped window clings, an Easter Bunny-shaped candy dish, and an impressive collection of Santa Claus figurines. Of course, from August to February, green and gold garland lined the windows and a “Go Pack Go” banner hung above the TV.
9. She made football-themed food for Packers games.
She served buffalo chicken cheese dip in a football-shaped bowl, baked cookies with green and yellow icing, and brought out her special green and yellow paper napkins. And you recently showed her how to use Pinterest, so now her game-day snacks are next-level. Avocado and cheddar on football-shaped rye bread, anyone?
10. She’d trade in your dad for Brett Favre or Aaron Rodgers.
Given the opportunity, she would take the upgrade, and honestly, your dad wouldn’t blame her. After all, he idolizes both, too.