A COOK'S TOUR
Enjoy our own Michigan-grown goodness!
We invite you to visit Michigan's rolling countryside and enjoy the sights and smells of growing Michigan produce.
"A Cook's Tour" contains 12 different motor trips located throughout Michigan, each highlighting a particular product of the various regions. Take your choice of tours, or try all 12!
Included with each tour are two recipes, using the produce and cheeses featured. The recipes will give you an opportunity to try some new ideas.
For a planned outing or unexpected burst of energy on a sunny day, keep a "Cook's Tour" handy with a bookmark.
We know you'll enjoy touring Michigan this year!
|Cook's Tour 1
Michigan's Fruit Basket
|Cook's Tour 2
Michigan's Cherry Orchard
|Cook's Tour 3
Michigan's Bean Pot
|Cook's Tour 4
Michigan's Sugar Bowl
|Cook's Tour 5
Michigan's Meat Market
|Cook's Tour 6
Michigan's Potato Bin
|Cook's Tour 7
Michigan's Apple Barrel
|Cook's Tour 8
Michigan's Strawberry Patch
|Cook's Tour 9
Michigan's Wine Cellar
|Cook's Tour 10
Michigan's Salad Bowl
|Cook's Tour 11
Michigan's Milk Bottle
|Cook's Tour 12
Michigan's Cheese Wheel
Cook's Tour 1 - Michigan's Fruit Basket
|Start at Benton Harbor...|
Warm, moist winds from Lake Michigan make Berrien County where this tour is centered, one of the top fruit and vegetable growing counties in the state.
In the spring an annual Blossomtime festival is held in the "twin cities" of Benton Harbor and St. Joseph. Heading east to Millburg on Territorial Road and south to Sodus, via Paul Avenue and Hillandale Road, you'll see many of the crops for which this area is famous.
Among the fruit crops Berrien County is known for are: apples, blueberries, cantaloupe, cherries, grapes, peaches, pears, prune plums, raspberries and strawberries.
In vegetables, there are asparagus, mushrooms, green peppers and, if you classify them as vegetables, tomatoes - they're actually a fruit.
From Sodus, take Pipestone Road southeast toward Eau Claire, then Eau Claire Road to Berrien Springs. If you choose to take a side trip, head southwest on Snow Road to Mt. Tabor Road just south of Shawnee Road. There's a great opportunity to visit a winery. Tours take approximately 25 minutes.
Head south to Buchanan on Red Buc Trail along the banks of the St. Joseph River, then west from Buchanan through Galien on the Galien-Buchanan Road. Just south of Galien, hop onto US-12 west to the Lake Michigan coastline. There are many places to stop and either pick your own fruits and vegetables or buy them at a roadside market.
Then it's up the Red Arrow Highway along the coast through Harbert, where there's another winery for you to see, or just enjoy the beautiful sand dunes along the shore. Warren Dunes State Park would be a great place to stop for a picnic lunch and eat some of the fresh produce you may have acquired.
From here it's a short journey to Stevensville, then north on Business Loop I-94 and you're back at the start of this tour.
Peach Compote6 large Michigan peaches, diced
1 pint Michigan blueberries
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar
Dash of ginger
Dash of nutmeg (optional)
1 pint sour cream (or whipping cream)
Sprinkle lemon juice over peaches. Add sugar and blueberries, and mix lightly. Let stand until sugar dissolves. Spoon into dishes and top with sour cream or whipped cream to which you have added the ginger and nutmeg, if desired.
Plum Sauce1.5 pounds fresh Michigan plums
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup horseradish
1/4 chopped onion
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon salt
Combine all ingredients, bring to boil and simmer until plums are tender. Put in blender and puree (half the mixture at a time). Reheat, serve over spareribs, pork chops or broiled chicken.
Yield: 2 cups.
Cook's Tour 2 - Michigan's Cherry Orchard
|Start at Traverse City...|
Traverse City proudly calls itself "The Cherry Capital of the World," and rightly so. Michigan produces over 75 percent of all red tart cherries grown in the United States, and half of that production comes from the Traverse areas.
From Traverse City take M-37 north and tour Old Mission Peninsula, which divides Grand Traverse Bay into East and West Arms. By leaving M-37 and driving East Shore Road, Bluff Road or Peninsula Drive, you'll be provided with beautiful vistas of blue water and rolling hills dotted with cherry orchards. In the spring when the trees bloom, it seems the landscape has been covered with a pink blanket of blossoms.
Another pleasant trip takes you around the Leelanau Peninsula. North from Traverse City through Suttons Bay to Northport on M-22, the highway is guarded on the left by tall hills and on the right by the cooling waters of Grand Traverse Bay. The terrain will remind you of New England as the road winds through woods dotted with farms and orchards.
South from Northport on M-22 towards Leland, the road again goes through woods and hills with occasional glimpses of small, emerald lakes. Quaint shops in Leland and Glen Arbor invite a stop for browsing.
At Glen Arbor you can take a side trip on M-109 over to Sleeping Bear Dunes or continue on M-22 to Empire. East on M-72 and you're heading back to Traverse City.
Most of the cherries harvested in Michigan are taken from trees by mechanical harvesters which shake the tree, causing the cherries to fall into a large net.
During the harvest season, you will find pick-your-own farms and roadside markets where cherries may be picked or purchased fresh from the tree. Take some home and try the cherry recipes below.
Poached Michigan Cherries1.5-2 pounds Michigan Cherries
1 cup sugar
2 cups water
1/4 cup kirsch or to taste
Stem the cherries and pit them if you like. Combine the sugar and water and bring to a boil. Add cherries and cook 'til heated through. Add kirsch and let the cherries cool in the syrup. If served over ice cream while hot, it's Cherries Jubilee.
Cherry Kuchen1 egg, beaten well
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1.5 cups biscuit mix
1.5 cups drained and chopped red tart Michigan Cherries
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup nuts, chopped
Combine beaten egg, sugar, milk and vanilla. Add biscuit mix and stir until smooth. Pour into an oiled 8x8x2 inch pan. Sprinkle drained chopped cherries* evenly over batter. Mix flour, brown sugar and cinnamon well; cut in butter until texture is like cornmeal, add nuts and sprinkle over cherries. Bake at 375 degrees about 30 minutes. Serve as coffee cake or covered with cream.
*Drain cherries before and after chopping.
Cook's Tour 3 - Michigan's Bean Pot
|Start at Saginaw...|
Huron, Tuscola and Saginaw counties lead the state in production of dry edible navy beans, and Michigan, in turn, leads the nation. Beans are planted in June, and harvest occurs from late summer to mid-fall. About 500,000 acres of beans are planted annually, and almost 500 million pounds of beans are harvested.
As you leave Saginaw going south on M-13, you'll see not only large fields of low-growing beans but sugar beets, cucumbers and other fruits and vegetables.
Turn right at the M-57 intersection, head west toward Chesaning and you'll come across more large fields; some may contain cabbage, wheat or blueberries.
When you see a pick-you-own farm, and there are a number of them en route, you might stop and let the family choose their own snacks for the remainder of the trip.
Turning north toward St. Charles on M-52 takes you to the edge of the Shiawassee River State Game Area and the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge, favorite stopping places for migratory waterfowl.
Continuing north through St. Charles on M-52 to Lakefield Road, then turning west to Merrill Road and then north to Merrill will take you through potato country. There are also dairy cows and beef cattle in this rich agricultural area.
M-46 east to Hemlock, north on North Hemlock Road, then east on Freeland Road to Freeland also gives you a brief glimpse of Midland County.
South from Freeland on M-47 and you're following the Tittabawassee River back to M-46, then east on M-46 into Saginaw and the end of the tour. Now stop at a store and buy a bag of Michigan beans as a reminder of your trip. When you get home, try one of the following recipes.
U.S. Senate Bean Soup (1872)3 cups Michigan Dry Navy Beans
1 ham bone
4.5 quarts water
1.5 pound smoked pork
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1.5 tablespoons minced onion
salt and pepper to taste
Soak beans in water to cover overnight. Drain. Add water, pork, onions, celery salt. Cook beans 'til very soft. Press through coarse colander. Add mustard, salt and pepper. Heat to boiling, stirring. Garnish with parsley.
Country Style Baked Beans1 pound Michigan Dry Navy Beans
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 bay leaf
2 medium Michigan onions, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
3 peeled tomatoes, chopped
1/2 teaspoon oregano (optional)
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
Simmer beans in water to cover, with salt, pepper, garlic and bay leaf until just tender. Fry bacon crisp, then remove from pan. Saute onions in the drippings, then add pepper and tomatoes and cook 5 minutes more. Stir in oregano and parsley. Drain beans and mix thoroughly with all other ingredients, including bacon which has been crumbled. Place in pot or casserole, adding bean liquid to cover. Bake for one hour in 350 degree oven, adding liquid if necessary.
Cook's Tour 4 - Michigan's Sugar Bowl
|Start at Sebewaing...|
Just as people have a "sweet tooth," Michigan has a "sweet thumb" where over 1,500,000 tons of sugar beets are harvested annually. Largest production is in Bay, Huron, Saginaw and Tuscola counties, and this tour begins and ends at a sugar-making plant in Sebewaing.
In October and November, when the sugar beets are taken from the fields, you'll see hundreds of huge trucks lined up in the streets of Sebewaing waiting to unload at the sugar plant.
Michigan has two sugar companies with five plants, located in Bay City, Saginaw, Caro, Sebewaing and Croswell.
North on M-25 from Sebewaing, small fields with diversified crops alternate with views of the blue waters of Saginaw Bay on your left. Going inland to the south on M-53 at Port Austin, more and more large fields of leafy sugar beets can be seen.
Other fields may be planted with Michigan dry edible navy beans, a crop in which our state leads the rest of the nation. Huron County is also among the top producing counties for dairy products, chickens and beef, so this is a varied tour.
Touring west just north of Bad Axe, take M-142 through Elkton and Pigeon to Caseville Road, then south to Sebewaing Road and turn west for your return to Sebewaing. Along the way there are more miles of neat green fields of sugar beets. Consider as you drive that an acre of land yielding 20 tons of beets will produce about 6,000 pounds of pure granulated sugar for humans, plus 2,500 pounds of dried beet pulp and 1,800 pounds of beet molasses for livestock feed.
|Divinity (Guaranteed Foolproof!)
3 cups Michigan Sugar|
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup water
2 egg whites (large)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts
Cook sugar, corn syrup and water in saucepan to 248 degrees, or until small amount of syrup forms a hard ball when dropped in cold water. Remove from heat and let stand until temperature has dropped to 220 degrees (about 7 minutes) without stirring. Whip egg whites to soft peak stage. Add syrup gradually in fine stream. Add vanilla, continue beating 20 to 25 minutes or until mixture starts to lose its gloss. Add nuts, stir until blended. Drop from teaspoon onto waxed paper.
Blueberry Pudding1.5 cups fresh Michigan blueberries
2.5 cups sifted all purpose flour
1/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup Michigan Sugar
1 egg, beaten
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
Grease 1-quart pudding mold thoroughly, including inside of the cover (or use coffee can and cover top with heavy-duty aluminum foil). Pick over blueberries and wash well; dry on absorbent paper. When dry, toss lightly with about 1 tablespoon of the flour. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in egg. Stir in vanilla and lemon extracts. Combine baking soda with buttermilk, stirring well. Add flour and buttermilk alternately to creamed butter, beginning and ending with flour; blend thoroughly. Fold in floured blueberries. Turn into mold and smooth out top. Cover securely with lid (or tie foil over top of coffee can). Place on a rack in a large pot. Pour in sufficient boiling water to come within 1 inch of top of mold. Cover pot tightly, bring to a boil, reduce heat, and steam three hours, adding more boiling water during cooking period as needed. Lift mold carefully from the pot. Remove lid and run a knife around edge of pudding. Turn out on serving platter and serve warm with hard sauce or whipped cream.
Cook's Tour 5 - Michigan's Meat Market
|Start at Mt. Pleasant...|
Depending on the time of year you take this little trip, you see not only beef but you also can drop in on two of Michigan's harvest festivals as well.
Each year, Michigan farmers sell almost 500,000 head of cattle and calves for beef valued at close to $175 million. Of course, that's statewide, but many cattle come from the Isabella County region.
Leave Mt. Pleasant going north on Old US-27. Before the freeway to your right was built, this road was the only one available for north and south travel in the center of the state.
About five miles north of Mt. Pleasant, turn left on Weidman Road to Weidman, then west on Airline Road to M-66 and turn south to Remus. Around Remus are a number of pick-your-own farms growing asparagus and other fresh fruits and vegetables. Remember, asparagus is one of Michigan's earliest vegetables, usually available about the first of May.
South on M-66, then east on M-46, you come to the first festival town on the tour. The Edmore area is an important potato growing district, and each fall a potato festival features parades, carnival rides and other activities.
Oil derricks are something else you'll see on this tour. This is one of the top oil-producing areas in the state. In Alma, to the east, is an oil refinery which breaks the oil down into the various petroleum products.
At Old 27, on the western edge of Alma, turn north to the industrious little town of Shepherd, another festival town. Each spring the townspeople hold a maple syrup festival and serve fresh Michigan sausage and pancakes smothered with maple syrup. You've probably already seen a number of "sugar bushes." They're groves of maple trees where the maple sap is harvested.
Now, follow Old 27 a few miles west, then north, and you're back in Mount Pleasant.
Cottage Meat Loaf1 egg, slightly beaten
1.5 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1-1/4 pounds Michigan ground chuck
1 cup Michigan cottage cheese
1/4 cup minced onion
1/4 cup minced green pepper
Combine egg, Worcestershire sauce, salt, mustard and pepper. Add meat, cottage cheese, onion and green pepper; mix lightly but thoroughly. Press into 8.5x4.5x2.5 inch loaf pan. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven 50 to 60 minutes. Let stand a few minutes before removing from pan to serve.
Swiss Steak Mozzarella2 pounds Michigan beef round steak 1/5 inch thick
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
1 can (1 pound) tomatoes*
1.5 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon basil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1.5 cups (6oz) shredded Mozzarella cheese
Cut meat into serving pieces, coat with flour. Brown meat slowly on both sides in butter in large skillet. Add tomatoes, salt and basil. Cover and simmer 1 hour; add onion and green pepper. Cook 30 to 45 additional minutes or until meat is tender. Top meat with cheese, if necessary, heat until cheese melts.
*NOTE: If using an electric skillet with a broiler cover, set temperature at 340 degrees and use a 1 pound, 12 oz can of tomatoes.
Cook's Tour 6 - Michigan's Potato Bin
|Start at Monroe...|
It's hard to believe the area between the busy cities of Detroit and Toledo could have a thriving agricultural community but it's true.
Monroe County is among the leaders in a number of crops, including potatoes, sweet corn, green peppers, tomatoes and wheat.
Begin your tour to the northwest on M-50 and you'll find pick-your-own farms and roadside markets right outside of Monroe. Low fields of green are interspersed with small orchards and truck farms. There is a variety of agriculture along the route, but much of this fertile soil is planted with potatoes.
Michigan's potatoes (many of the Russett Burbank variety) are of high quality, finely textured and top flavored. Production, statewide, usually ranges from 800 to 900 million pounds a year and is valued at close to $50 million.
Continue west on M-50, through Tecumseh, to M-52 and turn south. The road into Adrian is lined with farms, small woodlots and an occasional orchard.
Turning east again on US-223 toward Blissfield and Ottawa Lake, the flat fields give testimony to Michigan's productive nature. Peas, beans, strawberries and other fruits and vegetables are here in abundance.
Many of the low houses visible from the road are shelters for pigs, as Lenawee County is among the state's leading producers of pork. The county is also high in production of cauliflower, beef, field corn, tomatoes, turkeys and wheat.
Just north of Ottawa Lake, turn due east on Temperance Road through Whiteford Center and Temperance, than north on US-24 and you'll be back in Monroe. A side tour may take you north into Pointe Mouillee State Game Area, which is rich with waterfowl in spring and fall.
Hot Potato Salad4 medium Michigan Potatoes
6 to 8 slices bacon, diced
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon enriched flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1.5 teaspoons salt
Dash of pepper
1/3 cup vinegar
1/4 sup water
3 hard cooked eggs, sliced
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
Cook potatoes in jackets 'til tender; drain. Peel and slice (4 cups cooked and sliced). Fry bacon 'til crisp; add onion and cook 1 minute. Blend in flour, sugar, salt and pepper; add vinegar and water; cook and stir 'til thick. Pour vinegar mixture over hot potatoes, add eggs, mix. Sprinkle with parsley and celery seed. Serve warm. Good with grilled Michigan hot dogs.
Stuffed Potatoes With Nuts and Cheese4 hot baked Michigan Potatoes
1/5 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup nuts, chopped fine
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup grated cheese
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup milk
Cut potatoes in halves lengthwise; remove pulp and mash; add nuts, cheese, milk, butter and seasonings, and beat until very light; refill shells, heaping mixture in the center. Make a slight depression with a spoon, put in a small bit of butter, sprinkle with paprika, and brown in a hot oven.
Cook's Tour 7 - Michigan's Apple Barrel
|Start at Rockford...|
Kent County is one of the leading apple-producing counties in the state. Others include Berrien and Van Buren to the south. Michigan, in fact, leads the nation in volume of Northern Spy and Jonathan varieties, with Jonathans, McIntosh, Red Delicious and Northern Spys accounting for almost 75 percent of Michigan apple production.
In Rockford, where our tour begins, you'll find numerous little shops you may want to visit before you begin or when you return.
Proceed north on Old US-131, now called Northland Avenue to Cedar Springs. While the area has developed into a suburb of Grand Rapids, you will still find farms dotting the rolling landscape. In Cedar Springs turn west on M-46 through Kent City to Casnovia and head north on M-37.
The entire western side of Michigan is ideally suited to fruit growing. In the summer winds off the waters of Lake Michigan keep temperatures cool, while in the winter the lake water has a slight warming effect.
Turning left north of Newaygo on M-82, you will arrive in the town of Fremont, home of Gerber Products. Tours through the plant can be arranged. There are also numerous pick-your-own farms in this area with such diverse choices as potatoes, tomatoes, blueberries, cherries, strawberries, cucumbers and peaches.
Continue west of Fremont to M-120 and turn south. M-120 will turn west, but you should continue south on B-31 at Brunswick. After passing through more rolling hills with diversified crops, you'll reach Nunica. This town is surrounded by blueberry fields and orchards. Neighboring Fruitport, to the west, is aptly named.
Take I-96 back to Grand Rapids, then Plainfield Avenue north to M-44. Continue on North to Rockford and your day's trip is complete.
Sauteed Apples4 large Michigan Northern Spy Apples*
1/2 Cup Waters
Core but do not peel four large Michigan Northern Spy Apples. Slice crosswise into 1/4 or 1/2 inch rings. Dip in melted butter and place in skillet in layers, sprinkling each layer with a little sugar. Add 1/2 cup water. Cover pan and cook 5 to 10 minutes until apples are tender. Remove cover and continue cooking until water is evaporated. Do not over cook. Remove rings gently and serve as a deliciously appropriate accompaniment to ham, pork, bacon, waffles or pancakes. (*Some other varieties may not hold their shape.)
Apple Crisp5 or 6 Michigan Apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Cup Flour
1/2 Cup Butter
Mix together sugar, flour and butter as for pie crust. Grease shallow pan - 8 inch square or rectangle. Fill bottom of pan with sliced apples, the more apples, the better. Put topping over apples as evenly as possible. Bake in slow oven (325 degrees) until apples are done (approximately 25 minutes). May be served plain or with ice cream or milk.
Cook's Tour 8 - Michigan's Strawberry Patch
|Start at Chassell...|
Houghton and Keweenaw counties are rich in history. Douglass Houghton, Michigan's famed geologist, was the first to recognize the rich mineral deposits that were found throughout the area.
This is hilly country, covered by hardwoods which attract thousands of people each fall to view the brilliant leaves. These same forests also provide the raw product for several manufacturing companies in the Houghton-Hancock vicinity.
However, the Keweenaw Peninsula is also known for its strawberries. it is among the top six strawberry producers in the state. Production generally runs around 17 million pounds, for both the fresh and processing markets. Growers are paid $5.5 million annually for their crop.
Chassell, just south of Houghton on US-41, is surrounded by pick-your-own strawberry fields. There's a strawberry festival in early July each year.
Glazed Strawberry PieBaked 9-inch pie shell
1 quart drained, hulled Michigan Strawberries
3 oz. package white cream cheese, softened
1.5 cups strawberry juice
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
Spread softened cream cheese over bottom of pastry shell. Cover with half of the berries (choicest). Mash and strain rest of berries until juice is extracted: add water, if needed, to make 1.5 cups juice. Bring juice to boil; stir in sugar and cornstarch. Cook over low heat, stirring continually, until boiling. Boil 1 minute. Pour over berries in pie shell. Chill 2 hours. Just before serving, decorate with whipped cream.
Fresh Strawberry Mousse1 pint Michigan Strawberries*
2 packages (3oz.ea.) strawberry flavored gelatin
1/4 cup sugar
1 pint whipping cream
Crush strawberries and drain the juice; reserve. Add enough water to the juice to make 1.5 cups. Bring juice to a boil and stir in gelatin; dissolve and cool. Add strawberries and sugar. Whip cream until it stands in soft peaks and fold into strawberry mixture. Pour mixture into a 2 quart ring mold or a 1.5 quart souffle dish with a 2-inch collar. Chill several hours or overnight.
*Note: 2 packages (10oz.ea.) of frozen strawberries can be substituted for the fresh strawberries. Omit sugar if frozen berries are used.
Cook's Tour 9 - Michigan's Wine Cellar
|Start at Paw Paw...|
You know this is wine country as you see the vineyards marching row by row, across the rolling hillsides. It shows you why Michigan ranks fifth in the nation in production of wines.
Our tour begins in Paw Paw, just north of I-94, center of the wine region and headquarters for several Michigan wineries. All are open for guided tours and wine tasting, and it's easy to lose a day in this charming village dominated by the winding Paw Paw River and Maple Lake.
Take M-40 from Paw Paw into Lawton. At the north edge of town go west on 68th to the end, turn north to Paw Paw Road, then west to M-51. Turn south to Decatur and you'll soon see this is not just wine country. Neat orchards provide apples, peaches and other fruits in season.
All along this pleasant drive you'll find opportunities to stop and pick your own fruits and vegetables. And wouldn't fresh apples taste delicious while you're traveling?
Go through Decatur and south into Dowagiac on M-51. Turn west again on M-62 to Indian Lake Road, then head north past a group of lakes which are thriving tourist attractions: Indian, Dewey, Magician and the Sister Lakes (Big and Little Crooked, Round and Cable). Jog west and follow Sisters Lakes Road north to Territorial Road, then east into Keeler, home of another Michigan winery where you may want to stop for a visit. Other wineries are located near the Lake Michigan shoreline, from Harbert in the south to the Leelanau Peninsula in the north.
Take 64th to Hartford. From Hartford take Red Arrow Highway east through Lawrence into Paw Paw, and you've finished your tour of "Michigan's Wine Cellar."
Sweet Cherry Salad3 cups canned, pitted Michigan black sweet Cherries
2 (3oz.ea.) packages black cherry flavored gelatin
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup fresh peeled, sliced pears*
1 cup dry Michigan sherry
Drain cherries and reserve 2 cups cherry juice. Dissolve gelatin in 1 cup boiling waters. Add cherry juice, lemon juice and sherry. Chill in refrigerator until partially thickened. Add cherries and pears, pour gently into oiled 6-cup mold. Return to refrigerator until set.
For salad, unmold and serve with whipped cream in which you've blended a little mayonnaise and a generous dash of ginger. For dessert, serve with sweetened whipped cream.
*Canned pear halves may be used if well drained.
Michigan Pears in Red Wine6 Michigan Pears
1 pint Michigan Port or Sherry Wine
1 cup sugar
3 slices lemon
3 slices orange
Peel the pears, leaving them whole with the stems intact. Combine the wine and sugar, bring to a boil, and simmer 5 minutes. Add the pears and the lemon and orange slices, and reduce the heat to the barest point. Poach until the fruit is just tender. It may take 1 to 1.5 hours. Cool in the sauce and serve very cold.
Cook's Tour 10 - Michigan's Salad Bowl
|Start at Okemos...|
The central Michigan area is truly Michigan's salad bowl. Rich, black and fertile muck farms grow much of the state's supply of onions, lettuce and carrots. Starting from Okemos, you'll see row upon row of these vegetable crops as you drive southeast of Lansing toward Stockbridge.
Leaving Okemos on southbound Okemos Road, you'll arrive at the Mason town square, where you should visit the old courthouse before proceeding east on M-36. As you pass through the Dansville State Game Area, you should look for deer and other wild game.
At the state game area, turn south on Meridan Road and you'll be heading toward the area east of Leslie, which is the heart of the "Salad Bowl." Turn east on Fitchburg Road, then at the town of Fitchburg go south on Friermuth Road until you reach M-106. Take M-106 east through Munith, then northeast toward Stockbridge. Huge fields of pale green iceberg lettuce near Munith mark Michigan's largest producer. North from Stockbridge on M-52 you'll notice more and more of the distinctive hedgerows which divide the muck fields. These hedgerows prevent the rich soil from blowing away when fields are dry.
Michigan's carrot crop is valued at around $10 million annually, the lettuce crop at almost $2 million, with onions close to $14 million. Among the 50 states, Michigan ranks fifth in production of carrots, tenth in lettuce and sixth in onions.
Continuing north on M-52, you see large plantings of soybeans and corn along the way. Follow M-52 while it jogs west on Grand River Avenue, then heads north again. North of Grand River Avenue are many large, beautiful farms where Black Angus cattle are raised, some as breeding stock with others destined for market. Continue on to Haslett Road and turn west. At Lake Lansing take Marsh Road south to Okemos, the end of this tour.
Marinated Michigan Carrots1.5 cups Michigan Carrots
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup salad oil
Dash of pepper
1/4 cup wine vinegar
1.5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed sweet basil
Cut carrots in strips (or use small whole carrots). Steam about 10 minutes or until just crispy tender. While still warm, add remaining ingredients. Stir gently, refrigerate 2 to 3 hours before serving. Serve on a relish tray with fresh sliced Michigan tomatoes, cucumber spears, radishes and green onions for a colorful bouquet.
Michigan Wilted Lettuce Salad2 heads Michigan Lettuce
4 to 6 slices bacon or salt pork, diced small
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup vinegar
1 teaspoon mustard
2 tablespoons or more chopped onion
1 hard boiled egg, chopped
Clean and dry the lettuce and arrange in a warmish salad bowl. Crisp the bacon or salt pork in a heavy skillet and transfer to the salad bowl. Add sugar, vinegar, mustard and salt, if needed, to the skillet. Swirl to blend and simmer until sugar is dissolved. Pour over the lettuce and toss lightly. add chopped onion and egg, and serve at once. Excellent with chops, steak or pot roast.
Cook's Tour 11 - Michigan's Milk Bottle
|Start at Port Huron...|
The largest dairy milk producers in Michigan are located in Huron, Lapeer and Sanilac counties, so an excursion north of Port Huron on M-25 to Port Sanilac and inland will take you past large fields with grazing dairy cows.
Looking toward Lake Huron on your right you may see ocean freighters and ore carriers plying their trade on the Great Lakes. Southbound freighters could be carrying Michigan agricultural products to overseas markets, an important part of our state's economy.
At Port Sanilac, turn left on M-46 toward the county seat of Sandusky and you'll see more picturesque dairy cattle farms. You'll also come across fields of sugar beets, beans and pickling cucumbers, other important Michigan crops.
In Michigan, 420,000 milk cows produce almost 4.5 billion pounds of milk each year. Output per cow averages 10,500 pounds. All this milk is checked by Michigan Department of Agriculture dairy inspectors who, using the same roads you travel on this tour, visit each dairy farm to make sure cleanliness and purity are maintained.
Take M-19 south from Sandusky back into Port Huron via M-136, and you'll begin to see diversified agriculture. Pick-your-own farms and roadside markets offer apples, pears, plums, cherries and other fruits and vegetables for the traveler.
Once you return to Port Huron, consider a "foreign trip" across the famous Blue Water Bridge which spans the St. Clair River and leads into Sarnia, Ontario. After a brief visit with our Canadian neighbors, return to the tour's finish in Port Huron.
Helen East's Homestead Sauce2 eggs
1 cup Michigan Whipping Cream
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
In medium bowl, beat eggs with electric mixer for 15 minutes. Gradually add sugar and continue beating until mixture is very thick. Beat in vanilla. Whip cream until very stiff peaks form, fold into egg mixture. Chill, but use within a few hours since it may separate if stored too long. Serve over warm gingerbread and pass extra sauce.
Corn Pudding3 eggs
1 cup Michigan Milk
1.5 cups light cream
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups cream-style corn
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 1.5 quart casserole. Beat eggs until light and fluffy. Add milk, cream, sugar and salt. Stir in corn, bread crumbs and butter. Pour into prepared casserole, and place dish in pan of boiling water. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes or until custard is set.
Cook's Tour 12 - Michigan's Cheese Wheel
|Start at Rapid River...|
Michigan's rugged Upper Peninsula retains a wilderness character in spite of a flourishing economy based on timber, mining, recreation and agriculture.
At the southwestern terminus of the peninsula, around Menominee and Escanaba, dairy farmers provide fresh milk to surrounding communities and furnish raw materials to three of the U.P.'s six cheese factories.
The factories in the tour are at Rapid River, north of Escanaba; Daggett, north of Menominee; and Carney, just north of Daggett.
Going south from Rapid River on US-41, you'll travel on a modern multi-lane highway which takes you to Escanaba. Along the way, admire Little Bay de Noc on your left. Proceeding down M-35, you can see the wilds for which Michigan's Upper Peninsula is famous and also the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan.
Turn inland on CO352 at Cedar River toward Stephenson. Notice that forest breaks reveal pockets of diversified agriculture such as strawberries, sweet corn and other fruits and vegetables.
Turn north at Stephenson, once again on US-41 and you'll see dairy cattle grazing amid fields of hay and oats destined to be their winter food supply.
Now you're approaching Daggett and Carney, home towns of other cheese factories. Stop to see if a guided tour is available.
Keep following US-41, which joins US-2 and you'll soon find yourself back in Escanaba. Those huge trucks you encounter are probably loaded with pulpwood bound for the paper mill in Escanaba. Inquire at the company office about tours.
Cheese Noodle Casserole8 oz. medium-wide noodles
Boiling salted water
1 cup large curd cottage cheese
1 tablespoon grated peeled onion
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
2 tablespoon chopped canned pimiento
1 tablespoon chopped green pepper
1/2 cup shredded sharp Michigan cheddar cheese
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a deep 2-quart casserole. Cook noodles in boiling salted water as package directs. Drain. Combine noodles, cottage cheese, Worcestershire, salt, sour cream, onion, Tabasco, pimiento and green pepper in a large bowl. Turn into prepared casserole. Sprinkle top with cheddar cheese. Bake, uncovered, 25 to 30 minutes, or until thoroughly heated and top is brown.
Cheese Souffle1/4 cup Michigan butter
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/2 pound nippy Michigan cheese, grated or finely sliced
4 egg yolks
4 egg whites
Melt butter in top of double boiler. Add flour and salt, and blend. Add milk slowly, stirring constantly. Cook until thick and smooth. Add cheese and cover. Let stand over boiling water until cheese is soft, then stir to blend. Beat egg yolks. Add 2 or 3 tablespoons of hot mixture to the egg yolks, stirring well. Then stir yolks into hot mixture slowly. Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry. Turn hot cheese mixture into a large bowl. Fold in whipped egg white until thoroughly combined and mixture is light and fluffy. Pour into ungreased casserole 2/3 full. Never cover. Do not place in pan of water in oven if you want it to brown on top. Place in 325 degree oven and bake 1 hour and 15 minutes. Do not open oven during this time. Serve at once directly from the casserole.