Posted by: Kath Usitalo | May 21, 2010

I Brake For Zucchini Jam

The renovated 1940s log cabin near Chassell is stuffed with handmade crafts by dozens of area artists

Okay, I didn’t know about the zucchini jam when I braked for the bright sign alongside the road—-it was the sign that led me to the zucchini jam.

It was late in the afternoon and I was heading back to Blue Skies from Chassell—I had a lot of UP roadway between me and Naubinway.

But the red and white hand lettered sign at the side of US-41 caught my eye… What’s a little .8 mile detour, anyway? Afterall, I live by the words of Yogi Berra, “If you come to a fork in the road, take it.”

So I made a U-turn onto North Entry Road and, thanks to the talents of Teresa Palosaari (that’s a Finnish name for you), we now know the joys of a pork loin roast basted with zucchini jam.

As I pulled into the long driveway of her family’s farm property a smiling, welcoming Teresa abandoned her chore aboard the riding lawn mower to greet me at the Country Craft Cabin near their farmhouse.

A basket of sweet smelling, locally made soaps

Every inch of the 1940s log cabin she renovated is filled with handmade goodies, from edible local treats like honey, jams and Maple syrup to rag rugs, fleece hats and scarves, jewelry, notecards, soaps, and Christmas ornaments.

Teresa carries the work of a couple dozen area crafters, but much of the inventory is the product of her imagination and skills, including hanging kitchen towels, cast concrete yard art, and zucchini jam.

As a fan of the vegetable I couldn’t resist the zucchini jam (I was sold on the hand-lettered label and $4.50 price tag).

When I got back to the 313 a couple of days later I basted a pork loin with the zucchini jam. I expected the sauce to be green and savory, but the pineapple, apricot and lemon juice Teresa added (not to mention the sugar) made it sweet and orange-ish in color.

The zucchini jam pork loin roast made the family smile.

Teresa carries locally made honey and Maple syrup

Well worth the little detour.

Tip of the Day: If you’re driving that stretch of US-41 and see the cheery red and white sign be sure to turn onto North Entry Road and stop at Teresa’s Country Craft Cabin.

If it’s a Wednesday or Saturday between June and October you’ll probably find her in Hancock at the Tori—the Finnish word for outdoor marketplace.

Call Teresa at 906-523-6114. You’ll be glad to have met such an upbeat person who is sharing her many talents in a positive way.

Teresa in her charming log cabin shop, her homemade zucchini jam at the front



  1. Now I have to stop! I’ve seen the sign many times, but am usually on a mission with no time – I shall now make the time! Once again, thanx for the tip, Kath… 🙂

    • She seems like a fun lady. I’ll be stopping & shopping there again.

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