Polentina (AKA the girl who loved polenta)Friday, October 16, 2009
Windy City Mama
Since 1853, the Graue Mill has been grinding out cornmeal (and whole wheat flour) on its traditional gristwheel. Frederick Graue, a German immigrant to the area, also housed runaway slaves in the basement of his gristmill, and the Graue Mill is one of the remaining authenticated Underground Railroad stations.
We visited last Sunday, as we do every year in late fall. I bought our annual supply of cornmeal (it's freezable!), which I use to make polenta, a stick-to-your-ribs Italian winter staple, and of course, cornbread. We visited the museum (my elementary school teacher, Ms. Jones, works in the gift shop as a volunteer!) and then walked along the hiking paths of Fullersburg Woods, stopping to skip stones in the Salt Creek, gather colorful leaves, and peep our heads down mysterious animal holes. At the end of the path you'll find the Fullersburg Woods Nature Center (free entrance), where kids can see a mastadon skeleton, identify animal tracks, climb a birds nest and play with animal puppets, and birdwatch with binoculars.
Check their Web site for tour times and the many special
events offered every weekend.
Season: mid-April - mid-November
Hours: Tuesday - Sunday 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; closed Monday, except for holidays
Admission Rates: Children 4-12 $1.50; Children 3 and under Free; Adults $3.50; Seniors $3.00