Have you ever been away from home and ran into someone you know? I love that. We were on our vacation and ran into the friends that have the stone cottage we have stayed in. Herm, the owner invited the boys to go fishing on Lake Michigan and I invite them for supper at the cabin. We drive away and I panic a little. These folks are so warm and friendly but they are well-traveled foodies. What am I gonna make in my little makeshift cabin kitchen?
I head to Mann’s, the grocery on the island. I look at steak and chicken–I decide on steak, heck we are on vacation and it is still way cheaper than going out for steak. I go to the produce. I am looking for fresh, local produce to inspire me. I see fresh corn, kale and raspberries…my wheels start turning. I strike up a conversation with the bag boy. He is working at one of the Island restaurants at night, wants to be a chef when we get out of high school. He shows me this….
This is Golden Verjus from Lyons Isle Vineyards. This is alcohol free made from unripened grapes. It is a cross between vinegar and lemon juice. I finish my shopping and head home to make a gourmet-type dinner on a two-burner electric stove with 1 skillet, a steak knife and a prayer.
I pull out a cutting board and make a little tray of fruit and cheese. I always like a bit of some thing to put out to welcome guests. Plumbs, Raspberries and some cheese from Door County. Now, I better get the grill lit and get to work.
Braised Kale with bacon and raspberries.
1 large bunch of Kale, washed, dried and stems removed. 1/2 small red onion chopped. 2 slices bacon. 1/2 pint fresh raspberries, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1/4 cup Golden Verjus, Salt and Pepper.
Crisp up your bacon, remove to drain and keep 1 tablespoon of fat in the pan. Add onions and cook a few moments until softened. Add Verjus, sugar, and kale. Cook a until kale starts to soften. Toss in raspberries and stir gently. Season with salt and pepper. Crumble bacon on just before serving. Fresh, Sweet, Salty and a bit Sour this is a quick and easy show stopper perfect with our rich steak dinner.
I made my never fail corn casserole with corn bread mix and fresh corn and grilled bread instead of boring old baked potatoes.
Grilled the steaks and waited for the them to show up. I always take a few moments before guests arrive and remember my Fish Stick Aunt. If I make my guests feel welcome, a good time will be had by all.
They all come home, boys with fish stories and Herm with beautiful fillets of small mouth bass fresh from the lake–our lunch tomorrow.
We chatted and shared and laughed. It was a great evening and a good meal.
We are always a little sad to leave Washington Island. We’ll see you next summer!