Having Herm for dinner


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….

golden verjus

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!


Sincerely, Sara

4 thoughts on “Having Herm for dinner

  1. That’s amazing….. love the Fish Stick story. I have a friend, who although has never put it in those words exactly, does the same thing. Her motto: “it’s just food”!

  2. Wisconsin is one of my all-time, hands down top places to visit! I want to live there. We loved Door County and every year we go to APT. This year we planned two trips up there just because we love it so much! xo Kristin

  3. My mother was the consummate hostess. She always had cookies, bars, cake or pie on hand. Someone was always just dropping by, and they never left without a cup of coffee and a sweet treat of some kind. Ask Erik remembers the “cake scraps” she would send out to feed the neighbor kids. She made wedding cakes and sliced off the tops of the cake for a squared off top. We called these “cake scraps” and I was always embarrassed to carry these and a container of Kool-Aid outside to feed the neighborhood kids, who were numbered in the dozens and almost always in our yard. I miss you Mom, you taught me well.

  4. Pingback: Blogust, 2013 | thesisterslice

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