Hi, happy Monday!
Rolling around in my head are Bucket Lists for every season. Please tell me you have those lists in your head or on your Ipad or in your journal. It helps me to know I am not alone. My lists are filled with ideas that are easily doable and also those that are probably never, ever going to happen, but a girl’s got to dream doesn’t she? The problem with my Bucket Lists is that they’re mine…filled with things that appeal and excite me and not usually the rest of the people in my life, namely Scott, Maggie, Kyle, and Jessica. My Bucket Lists are their Eye Roll Lists. “Mom wants to do what?” “Michelle, you want to go where?” “Seriously?”
Yesterday, I got to cross 2 1/2 things off my Summer Bucket List and Scott, Maggie, Kent, Kris, Lucy, and Maddie joined in and seemed to have a really good time!
Among my favorite things is the Farm Show on Saturday mornings on WGN radio. I love listening to Orion Samuelson and Max Armstrong and appreciating the impact that our friends and neighbors that farm have on the world economy. A few times each year Orion interviews Herb Teichman from Tree-Mendus Fruit Farm in Eau Claire, Michigan. Tree-Mendus Fruit Farm grows cherries, berries, peaches, nectarines, and more and is the site of the International Cherry Pit Spit Contest. Naturally, it’s been on my Summer Bucket List for years–a family passionate about their business, ripe peaches and apricots right off the tree, and peach pie squares! Although it was a 3 hour drive from Sycamore to Eau Claire, MI the peach pie squares and the incredible fruit made it so worthwhile!
We picked delicious Red Haven peaches, but I had read that they had a variety that tasted like cotton-candy. We asked and they pointed us across the lane to a group of Saturn peach trees. Saturn peaches are a flatter, smaller peach, but absolutely the sweetest peach we’d ever tasted. One bite and you could appreciate why Saturn peaches were compared to cotton candy.
I am so jealous of Kent. He got to meet and visit with Herb Teichman. Kent learned the history of the farm, why its location makes it ideal for growing fruit, and how to best freeze a peach. Simply slice the peach, put the slices on a flat cookie sheet or plate fuzz or skin side down in the freezer until frozen. Once frozen place in freezer bags for storage. His favorite tip was on a cold winter morning toast a slice of whole wheat toast, liberally butter it with real butter, and top with some of those peach slices. I can’t wait to try it!
While Kent was visiting with Mr. Teichman, Kris and I were finding the blackberry bushes and getting a lesson in blackberry picking. Any hint of red and a blackberry will be too tart and not ready to be picked. When picking a blackberry you want to grab it by “its shoulders” and gently pull. It should easily pull away. The best way to learn the difference is to try them! A plump, sun warmed blackberry is amazing! I also think they’re pretty amazing in this easy-peasy recipe:
Maggie knows well the story of the Little Red Hen so she made she sure she helped pick blackberries so she’d be able to enjoy some Blackberry Cobbler in the days to come.
I’m not sure if it was because of the meteor showers, but the stars aligned as I planned my Summer Bucket List trip. I think through some of my Facebook friends I discovered Janet Dahl’s blog. Janet is married to Steve Dahl of radio and Disco Demolition fame. I love the way Janet writes and feel a kindred spirit as I read about her family and her life’s joys and disappointments. I’ve signed up to receive an alert whenever she posts and they sometimes idle in my email box for a few days. As I was pondering this adventure and how to best enthuse my family I opened Janet’s blog and read this:
Once again, I am sharing my epic love for Stop 50 Wood Fired Pizza in Long Beach, Indiana. This is an act of generosity, for I live in fear of a day when I cannot get in. I visited Pizza Bianco in Scottsdale, a Southwest cousin of Stop 50, and there was a 2 hour wait. If you go, tell Chris and Christy- the nicest couple ever to buy a farm, build a pizza oven, chop a zillion trees to stoke it, and present deliciousness on a daily (well, not really- they close for the harshest part of winter) basis. The featured salad is the best caprese you will ever experience, and the pizza specials are always a revelation. I cannot let go of my pistachio-prosciutto love, and Steve is a sausage mushroom. Oh, the crust, oh the crunch. I want one NOW. They make home made soup, gelato and three epic desserts: wood oven style s’mores, a baked gooey banana and the Biga Donut-pizza dough smeared with nuttela that puffs up and melts in your mouth. I want all of those right now, too. Go. My peanut allergic grandson went there and they totally sanitized the oven to keep him safe. They are that wonderful.
Long Beach, Indiana happens to be on the way home from Eau Claire, MI and we stopped for a late lunch. Janet Dahl does not lie–it is that good! You must put Stop 50 Wood Fired Pizza on your Summer Bucket List. I may have scratched it off mine, but trust me it’s definitely a place we will return to… pistachio-prosciutto pizza and Biga Donut are calling us…
So we’ve crossed Tree-Mendus Fruit Farm and Stop 50 Wood Fired Pizza off my Summer Bucket list. What was the half? I’ve always wanted to visit Indiana Dunes and even though we were stuffed with pizza, Biga Donuts, and S’mores, kind and patient Scott and Kent stopped so Kris and I could walk to the beach and see Lake Michigan. We weren’t there long, but it’s been moved to the top of my Summer Bucket List!
What’s on your Summer Bucket List?