Saturday heirloom plant sale is sure to be hopping

Hops, the herb of the year, is among the veggies, flower and herb plants to be sold at annual event

Things will be “hopping” at this year’s Ozaukee Master Gardener Heirloom Plant and Herb Sale, which will run from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 26.

The sale will be in the field house at Concordia University Wisconsin in Mequon.

Among the more than 100 types of plants sold will be the traditional lineup of 30 varieties of tomatoes, 17 types of peppers, 13 different lavenders, five varieties of kale and 20 kinds of basil.

There will be favorites such as bee balm, lavender, mint and zucchini, as well as newcomers like Golden Alexander Zizia and Polar Bear Zinnia.

And, of course, there will be the herb of the year — hops.

The hops plant is a vigorous, climbing, herbaceous perennial, and its flowers can be used in cooking to infuse flavor into a dish much like a bay leaf, or they can be grated and sprinkled on top of a dish.

Hops stalks and leaves are edible, too.

In addition to culinary uses, the plant can be used in sleep pillows as well as fresh and dried flower arrangements.

But perhaps the best known use of hops is in beer — the first recorded use of hops in beer dates back to 822 AD in northern France. But it took another 300 years before the Germans began using hops, and it wasn’t until the 13th century that the herb’s use became commonplace.

Beer is the world’s oldest and most widely consumed alcoholic beverage and, after water and tea, is the third most popular drink overall.

In addition to plants, herbal baked goods and teas will be available for purchase.

Experts will be on hand at the sale to answer gardening and plant questions.

An educational area with information about pests such as jumping worms, buckthorn and garlic mustard will be at the sale,.

Shoppers with a long list may wish to bring a wagon or basket to carry their plants.     

A complete, mobile-friendly list of the plants that will be available and additional information can be found at Updates can also be found on Facebook

Shoppers may pay using checks, cash and credit cards.

Following are recipes using hops and beer provided by Ozaukee Master Gardeners.


Sweet Onion Kielbasa in Beer Sauce

1 kielbasa sausage
1 small onion
2 tablespoons butter
1 12-ounce can beer
1/3 cup honey
2 to 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Pepper and/or chili powder or favorite spices

    Slice sausage into 1/2-inch medallions. Set aside.
    Chop onion and saute in butter until transparent. In large skillet, bring half the beer to a slow boil, then add kielbasa. Cook until the beer is reduced by half, then add the remaining beer. Add honey, mustard and spices to taste.
    Cook until the sauce thickens. Add onion to sauce or use as a garnish.


Hopped-Up Bruschetta

1/2 small garlic clove
Kosher salt
1 large tomato, chopped
1/2 small onion, sliced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 to 3 fresh hop flowers, not pellets, torn
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 to 8 pieces toasted country bread

    Mince and mash garlic to a paste with a pinch of salt. Combine garlic paste with 1/2 teaspoon salt, chopped tomato, onion, oil, hop flowers and pepper. Top toast with the tomato mixture and serve.
    Makes three to four servings.
    If you have trouble finding fresh hops, basil flowers make a worthy substitute. Once the basil plant has gone to flower, its pungency increases and its herbaceousness becomes slightly bitter and hop-like.


Hops Tea

Add 1/4 ounce whole cone hops
8 ounces boiling water
Honey or sweetener of choice

    Place hops in tea ball, strainer or French press. If using pellets, place in a tea bag.
    Heat water to boiling, add hops and steep for a few minutes to taste. Serve with honey or sweetner of your choice.


Bacon-Wrapped Beer Brat Bites

6 brats
1 can or bottle of beer
12 slices bacon, cut in half
For glaze:
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons Sriracha garlic chili sauce, or to taste
Hot, honey and yellow mustards for serving

    Cut six 12-inch wooden skewers into quarters. Soak in water.
    Pierce brats and place in a pan. Pour beer over the brats. Bring to a simmer, then cook about 10 minutes, until brats are no longer pink inside.
    Remove pan from heat. Cut each brat into four equal pieces.
    Wrap each brat bite in a half-slice of bacon and secure with skewer. Place on a cookie sheet.
    To make the glaze, combine brown sugar, yellow mustard, soy sauce and Sriracha sauce until smooth. Brush each brat with a generous amount.
    Bake glazed brats in a 450-degree oven for 17 to 20 minutes, turning once halfway through and basting as needed with extra glaze.
    Serve with hot, yellow and honey mustards.
    Makes 24 bites.


Guinness Glazed Nuts

2 cups peanuts , unsalted
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup Guinness or other stout
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

    Place peanuts, sugar, beer and salt in a medium pot. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring until mixture comes to a boil.
    Once mixture comes to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and stir about 10 minutes, until the syrup has almost dissolved. Remove pot from the heat and stir in vanilla.
    Spoon nuts onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread nuts with a rubber spatula.
    Bake in a 300-degree oven for 10 minutes. Remove tray and stir the nuts on the tray, then return to the oven and bake an additional 10 minutes.
    Remove from the oven and cool on tray.
    Store in an airtight container.




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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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Port Washington, WI 53074
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