Simple Life, Simple Joys (Simple Recipe!)

by dellspause / Jul 22, 2009 / 1 comments

There is a place in Wisconsin Dells where you can taste smell hear breath the essence of what made this town so popular in the first place: Nature.  It is a place only a short hop from Broadway, the main tourist drag, but is so nicely tucked away on River Road that you might not take much notice of the quaint yellow sign that notes the entrance to it: Birchcliff Resort.  The driveway is steep and curves around to the original guest house, where you'll find the office. The second floor of the building is still a quiet home to the original bed and breakfast rooms dating back to at least 1912.  The maze of rooms, with an antique screen door leading to a porch out back, is now used for storage and is steadily quiet with just the heavy feeling of so many memories.  Around the resort in general: The air is clean.  The air is 1968.  The air is complete escape.  Ahhh, breath.

On the far side of the main building, there is a large open dining room with bright yellow walls and lace curtains.  At night when it's cool cool cool, especially this year, it is just plain comfortable to sit in the dim lighting with friends to chat; the bright yellow turns into a buttery welcoming color in candlelight.  Wander past this main building to the edge of the resort and you'll pass a couple goats, Jake and Elwood.  Beyond them lies a field to the left where there is a small community garden for family and friends.  Still going, you'll come to a trail that leads down to one of the best beaches in town, Birchcliff.  The trail connects to the DNR trail with a parking lot just down the road, which offers access to the beach for the general public.  It's a quiet, calm, scenic fifteen-minute walk through the woods, a short descent down one of the sandstone ridges which makes the Dells so popular, and then you are suddenly standing on the beach at what appears to be a large opening.  The opening is the mouth of the Narrows, the dangerous but gorgeous postcard-looking area where the sandstone cliffs are a scant eighty feet apart at some points.

Though the beach is a beautiful spot to spend an afternoon on the banks of the river, the resort is what I cannot overemphasize.  I find it unlike any other place in the Dells.  When I want to get away from the daily craziness and get back to roots here, I take my bike and head to Birchcliff.  Just walking around that area makes me feel like a million bucks.  It's family run; Joseph and Dailene Malacina themselves seem out of this world and time.  Joseph has the face of an era soldier, with a Lincoln-esque beard and kind eyes.  Dailene homeschools their two daughters and is lanky tall with a relaxed smile, happy laugh and easy spirit.  Their features resonate across the resort, from the field to the classic 1950s small resort pool to the very welcoming cabins to the tops of the big goddess trees.  

Every time I am at Birchcliff, accessing the beach or relaxing with friends, I feel like dropping my job and hitchhiking around the country to meet people around campfires at simple resorts with simple lifestyles with simple joys.  Speaking of simple joys, I've found another incredibly simple recipe.  I have to admit, I've been making this one a couple times a week!  Simple. Simple. Simple.

No Bean Hummus

2 zucchini, peeled and cut into 1" chunks

1/4 cup olive oil

4-8 garlic cloves

2 pinches sea salt

1/2 cup lemon juice

3/4 cup sesame seeds

3/4 cup tahini

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon cumin

In a blender, blend zucchini, olive oil and garlic.  Once it is smooth, add the remaining ingredients and process in the blender until smooth.


For more information on Birchcliff Resort, visit


Bianca Richards is the Organic Food Editor for Wandering Educators.


Comments (1)

  • Dr. Jessie Voigts

    14 years 12 months ago

    bianca - you sure can write. i so want to go there now. and your recipe? we'll make it, today. thanks!


    Jessie Voigts, PhD


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