Mackinac Island Cottage Cookbook: Savor Summer All Year Long

Now with summer officially over, we can hold on to the season by savoring can hold on to the season by savoring the Mackinac Island Cottage Cookbook (Touch Down Books 2017; $29.95) written by two former Southwest Michigan residents, Barbara Toms and her daughter Marcia Dunnigan.  For years, their families and friends have been gathering together…

Searching for Schweinshaxe: From Heidelberg to Michigan

           My search for started back in 2012 when Frank Buesing of Stevensville, after returning from a trip to Bavaria, wrote asking if I knew where he could find pork knuckles (schweinshaxe in German) in Southwest Michigan. On his trip, his guide had recommended he try some and, liking the dish  so much, he’d…

Hot Chicken Takeover: Good Food & Second Chances

Hot Chicken Takeover hadn’t opened yet and already the line on the second floor in North Market, Columbus Ohio’s super food emporium was about a half hour long. “It’s always like this,” said my friend Kari Van Treuren who was showing me around the city. As an aside, I’d never thought much about Columbus and…

Crazy Sista Cooking: Cuisine & Conversation with Lucy Anne Buffet

When my daughter was in high school, I drove her and a friend down to Gulf Shores, Alabama for spring break. While we were there, a friend insisted we go to Lucy Buffet’s Lulu’s Gulf Shores, a bayside beach restaurant. I was pretty sure, no make that positive, that this would be some kind of…

A Visit to Julius Renner Weinhaus & Weinkellerei in Historic Oberkirch

Following the Muhlbach Stream as it  gently flows through downtown Oberkirch, a marvelous collection of timber-framed, multi-stories houses, cobblestone streets, brightly painted shutters and window boxes overflowing with cascading blooms, we bounce along in Martin Renner’s topless  Range Rover into the vast orchards and vineyards, climbing the ever narrowing road up the verdant hills of…

Old Fashioned Fairs and Food

            I love going to food festivals and state and county fairs and seeing what great home cooks both young and adult are doing. One such favorite that I never miss is the Berrien County Youth Fair in Southwest Michigan which always hosts an annual Baked Fruit Pie Contest, an event highlighting the lush and lovely fruit…

Celebrating the Season of Peaches in Southwest Michigan

I owe a big thank you to Nancy Perry, chairperson for the 2018 Coloma Glad Peach Festival who sent in the winning recipes from the annual Glad Peach Bake Fest Winners. The three-day festival, held the first weekend in August, celebrated its 51st year.  There were four categories with Mallory Spaulding winning both first place…

South Bend’s Magnificent Tippecanoe Place

Built in 1889, Tippecanoe Place, a fine dining restaurant in South Bend is an elaborately gabled and turreted 24,000-square-foot Richardsonian Romanesque-style house which belonged to Clem Studebaker, one of the Studebaker auto magnates. Perfectly preserved, it’s about what having it all meant back in the late 1800s. With 40 rooms, 20 fireplaces and ball room,…