May-what a wonderful month! Everything is grenn, white, pink, and beautiful! And, there are many events happening. This Saturday, May18th, is the Great Lakes Wine and Beer Festival at MISwww.greatlakeswinefest.com
If you prefer flowers over wine,Hidden Lake Gardens www.hiddenlakegardens.msu.edu
is having a wildflower walk. I have written about the Gardens before-it is a beautiful place!Or, you can do both-the walk is 11am to noon, and the wine fest is in the afternoon and evening.
May 25 & 26 is the History Palooza at Brick Walker Tavenr. Learn the History of the Irish Hills and of the Tavern.www.OTIH.com
. And May 26, from 4-8, Cherry Creek Old Schoolhouse Winery is hosting a Merorial Weekend Celebration with wine tasting and entertainment. For more info check www.cherrycreekwine.com
MAY is a wonderful month!
National Herb Day is this month! Did you know that? I didn't. Herbs are used in food, medicine, beauty products, and crafts, so they are a part of our daily life, whether we realize it or not. What would "Turkey Day" dressing be without SAGE, and ROSEMARY is not only used in crafts but cooking certain meats also.
Growing your own herbs is very doable for anyone. Grow them in your flowerbed, in pots on your deck, or in your garden . Some are perennials-come back every year-and some are annuals-only last 1 year.
If you would like to learn about All Things Herbal, come to Hidden Lake Gardens this Saturday in the beautiful Irish Hills of Southern Michigan.www.hiddenlakegardens.msu.edu
. The event is free with $3 garden admission and takes place 11am-3pm. Discover the art and joy of growing herbs, enjoy cooking demos,educational seminars,kids activities , and plants & products for sale from several vendors who will be present.
And don't forget the WILD WEED WALK at 1pm. Check the website or call 517 431 2060 for more information. And if you would like to stay a night call Dewey Lake Manor B&B for a reservation 800 815 5253.http://www.deweylakemanor.com
And next Saturday is Hidden Lake Gardens plant sale-May 11.
The calendar says it's spring but it's 11 degrees this am and there was a little snow-again- last night. Spring should look like this, but maybe next month. There are things to do inside though-Hidden Lake Gardens here in the Irish Hillswww.hiddenlakegardens.msu.edu
has their SPRING bulb show thru March 24 in the conservatory(it's beautiful) and next weekend is the EasterEgg-stravangza.
Ann Arbor is finishing their Film Festival this weekend also www.visitannarbor.org
and April 5 & 7 is their FoolMoon & FestiFools BIG street party.
Closer to the Irish Hills is the town of Tecumseh's www.downtowntecumseh.com
Downtown Divas at Dusk Event- March 28 5-9. Grab your sisters, daughters, moms, and enjoy special promotions, refreshments, prizes and just plain FUN!
Spring is coming-the Sandhill Cranes are back, the Turkeys are out and about and we have a flock of 30-40 Cedar Waxwings. This area is truly a bird-watchers paradise.
One other event this weekend here in the Irish Hills, is Cherry Creek Winery's 10th anniversary celebration. Saturday March 23 11-6 enjoy food tastings, entertainment and discounts .http://.www.CherryCreekWine.com
Bet you didn't know that in 1995, the U.S. Congress designated March as National Irish-American Heritage Month, and since we live in the IRISH HILLS, I thought I should write a little blurb.
Irish immigrants made their way all over the state of Michigan during the mid-1800s. The work they did was as varied as where they settled. They worked for lumber barons or the growing railroads, and were sometimes paid with land, hence the Irish settlements north of Grand Rapids, and those near Ann Arbor and Jackson, where they could do farming, which many had done in Ireland. Others worked as miners, longshoremen, and fishermen.
The IRISH HILLS of Jackson and Lenawee counties is so named because the rolling landscape reminded those fleeing the potato famine of home. And, you can kick off ST.Patrick's Day by Experiencing the IRISH HILLS! Visit the Hills March 9-10, 2013, and partake of the TASTE OF THE IRISH HILLS. There are 17 restaurants participating and tickets are $15 and includes both days. Check www.brooklynmi.com
for details, and look for discounts on lodging Saturday night. Spring is right around the corner and this would make a nice getaway.
It's nearly over! Never realized how much high calorie eating is packed into this month. We start with the Super Bowl, then Chinese New Year, and on to Valentine's Day. There's snacks, candy-chocolate, and DESSERT, after your romantic meal with your Valentine.
Then there was Fat Tuesday and paczki"s(700 calories a bite-not quite), and king cake.
Well, this is the last Holiday-President's Day, and since cherries are a tradition for this holiday, I will post a recipe in their honor.
CHERRY SCONES (betty crocker)
heat oven to 400*
2 cups white whole wheat flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold butter,cut into 8 pieces
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips
1 egg beaten
1 tsp vanilla or almond extract 1/2 cup whipping cream
In lrg bowl, mix flour,sugar,baking pwd,salt. Cut in butter until mixture is fine crumbs. Stir in cherries,chocolate,egg,extract, cream, until dry ingredients are moistened. Place dough on lightly floured surface & knead lightly 10 times. Pat dough into 8-inch circle on ungreased cookie sheet.Cut into 8 wedges with knife dipped in flour but don't separate wedges.Bake 18-20 minutes until lite brown. Remove immediately from cookie sheet and separate wedges. Serve warm.
Only 390 calories per serving-a fitting end to February-don't you think?
February is National Cherry Month, and we usually think of cherries as red-bright red tart cherries, dark red sweet cherries, but there are also yellow sweet ones. Michigan growers provide more than 70% of the nation's tart cherries, and Traverse City is the cherry capital of the world!
And, who chopped down the cherry tree? was it George Washington? I think so.
February is a very important month-Valentines Day, President's Day, and now Cherries. And your health tip of the day-tart cherries are loaded with antioxidants, they have anti-inflammatory properties, and help fight heart disease.Dark chocolate, cherries, what a month!
I was invited this past week to a food show in Saline, Michigan, which was held in a most magnificant building. For me, the beauty of the building almost overshadowed the food show. It was the Stone Arch Arts and Events building.
This show was all Michigan-made products and some vendors came quite a distance -Kalamazoo, Alpena, Adrian, Michigan. The products ranged from beef and pork, poultry and eggs, to barbecue sauce, salsa, herb teas, and pie. 2 products that caught my interest was Hickory sirup-ever heard of it?-made from Hickory tree bark and sweetened with sugar beet sugar, and very tasty firstname.lastname@example.org
; and an Artisan Bread Mix which comes from Tecumseh,Michigan, right here in Lenawee county.www.easyartisanbread.com
. I have a package of Old World Rye Bread Mix and a Whole Wheat mix to which I am going to add cinnamon, raisins and a little sugar. The vendor had samples at the show and that was very good, as was the pizza flavor.
Another vendor was Mrs. Glee's Foods www.mrsgleesfoods.com
, which was Gluten free foods. He had pastas, flours, and many mixes-cookie, crackers, pizza, just to name a few.
As you can tell, I was impressed, and it was well worth our time. That was the day of one of several Michigan snowstorms to hit us lately, but I'm glad we went.
Today is Groundhog Day, and here in the Irish Hills, he didn't see his shadow. Neither did he see it in Pennsylvania-which according to legend - means we will have an early spring! I hope so, but time will tell if he is right. According to a National Organization, from 1988 to 2010, there was no correlation between the groundhog's prediction and the real weather.
One thing his appearance does predict is a very large increase in tourism, as shown in this picture. That's Punxsutawney Phil, the most famous groundhog, who made it to television today.
There is another legend attached to another creature-the Woollybear Caterpillar. We've all seen them-they're black with a brown stripe around their middle, and according to folklore, if the brown stripe is wide, winter will be severe. Party-pooper experts of course, disagree, but that doesn't stop the Woollybear festival in Ohio in the fall, which draws thousands of people to the event.
We certainly are having Winter here in the Hills. If you are looking for a winter getaway, come on out and bring your snowshoes and x-country skis.
Winter in our area should look like this, and there is a little snow now but we sure haven't had much yet. If you're looking for something to do this weekend, it won't be xcountry skiing or snow-shoeing , or sno-mobiling; at least here in the Irish Hills of Southern Michigan. But, there are wineries right here in the Irish Hills, and Cherry Creek Old Schoolhouse Winery www.cherrycreekwine.com
is having a "wine release and Food Pairing" Saturday January 26th 11am-5:30pm. Check their website for details.
Or you can head to Ann Arbor-this is their Restaurant Week, and Zingermans Next Door has some of the best hot chocolate in the country, according to Food and Wine. The 36th Ann Arbor Folk Festival also happens January 25 & 26 . Check www.visitannarbor.org
Dewey Lake Manor is only 30 minutes away if you need an overnight getaway, and this is the last weekend the second night is half price http://www.deweylakemanor.com
I was a guest today at an Iron Chef Competition, not on TV or a cooking school, but at the Adrian, Michigan library! www.adrian.lib.mi.us
. This competition was for teenagers grades 7-12. It has taken place in past years, but this was my first event as my grandson was a participant. He was part of the LISD team, which was more advanced then the others, so they wern't judged. They were there for experience.
There were 6 other teams, both boys and girls, and they had to produce 3 dishes from the ingredients that were provided(which they hadn't seen until today when they registered). And they were timed.I believe they had 45 minutes. It was quite amazing to see these "kids" working together and all but one finished with in the time limit, and they were only 3 minutes over. They took their creations to the judges table and it took quite a while for them to taste and decide the winner. And these were the judges choice-the FILET MIGNON'S, 5 boys who don't look like chefs but did win first prize, especially for their dessert they called "elvis presly". It was an interesting event,and I hope to go next year.