May 10, 2011

Cooking with Fresh Produce from Our Own "Potager Garden"


This picture was taken standing in front of a wine the Abbey of  Valmagne, one of the most prestigious and well preserved Cistercian abbeys dating back to 1139.  Valmagne Abbey is in Southern France in the Languedoc region of France...close to Montpellier.

Auberge de Seattle Inn & Specialty French Cooking School

On my recent trip to France I could not help but notice how much the French are into food.  It is not just a continual quest for that excellent restaurant; it's more than that, it's a continual all consuming pre-occupation with food.  Plain and simple they "honor" food, and have a far different approach from what we do here in America.

Wine is the cheapest drink you can buy, cheaper than bottled water, juice, milk or pop.  Everyone seems to have their own vegetable garden, what they call a "potager" garden, even if it is tiny, they are growing food or if they have no land, they will substitute with lots of pots of different sizes on their balconies.

This year I am also trying my hand at growing a "potager" garden.  My dream is to grow our own vegetables for the cooking classes. I'm excited and looking forward to you using and eating freshly picked vegetables in your cooking class!




Posted by Jo Wilson on May 10, 2011 at 09:30 AM in Activities & Events, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 04, 2011

The Monterey Wine Festival Celebrates 35

Now in its 35th year The Monterey Wine Festival continues to evolve into a platform for the regional wine industry and the community of wine lovers.  After 35 years the festival will take a historical turn and bring guests along for the sips and scenery.  On Friday, June 10th,  the festival will kick at The Monterey Hyatt Regency where bites and sips from the wineries will be enjoyed.  During this evening guest's can take a quick hop on the Champagne Shuttle sponsored by Sam Linder Auto Group and continue the party at The Monterey Museum of Art-La Mirada.  This museum is known for its historic architecture and the former celebrities that resided there.  Guests can enjoy the views from the hilltop and the art inside the gallery, but perhaps the most ardent competition for attention will be found in the sips of champagne and bites of chocolate dipped strawberries.  What fun to hob-knob in the same location as old Hollywood!  Glass

On Saturday, June 11th,  the celebration continues at another historic destination The Custom House Plaza and The Maritime Museum, which boasts a snazzy newly appointed foyer.  These historical edifices are on designations that many consider hallowed ground.  Guests will continue this day of celebration with a completely mouth watering experience from both the wineries and purveyors of food.  Along with these two ingredients live music is the final sensation that further ensures a winning combination. Wine, Food, Music! Aaa hhh!

It's a Chowdah Throw Down!

A sweet addition to the festival this year is the 2nd Annual West Coast Chowder Competition.  Professional chefs from the Western Coast will come to compete and chowder lovers will pay homage to their special creations.  This year chefs from Seattle, San Francisco, Portland, and other chowder known destinations will be landing in Monterey to compete against the local titans of chowder.  All competitors will be trying to slay the judge's tongues with their creations, take home the prize money and boast of their achievement in what is expected to be one of the most impressive competitions around.  Clam, Seafood and Creative Chowders are the categories that make up the contest and the big copper pot award goes to the people's choice along with a cash prize.  Guests can sample or buy a cup of chowder of their entries and pick their own personal favorites and compare their palettes to the judges.  Wines that pair with chowders will also be available to sample. 

Tickets online at

Posted by Jo Wilson on May 4, 2011 at 04:28 PM in Activities & Events, Art, Food and Drink | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 02, 2011

Prince William’s Chocolate Crunch Cake

Tea & Sympathy's Easy Recipe

chocolate crunch cake! 
Serves eight


For the cake
1 box graham crackers
¼ c. raisins
¼ c. nuts, chopped
5 oz. dark chocolate
5 oz. milk chocolate
1 stick butter, room temp.
1 14-oz. can condensed milk

For the topping
5 oz. dark chocolate
1 tsp. milk

1. In a large metal bowl, crumble graham crackers into bite-size pieces. Add raisins and nuts.

2. In a saucepan, melt chocolates, butter, and milk. Stir frequently so chocolate doesn’t burn.

3. Add melted mixture to crackers and stir until dispersed.

4. Line an 11-by-7-inch pan with waxed paper. Pour mixture into pan; spread evenly. Refrigerate for 2 hours.

5. For the topping, combine ingredients in a saucepan; stir until melted.

6. Remove cake from fridge and cover with topping. Cut into squares and serve.

To see how it’s done, watch our demo. For more information on Tea & Sympathy, go to Originally posted online @ April 27, 2011

Posted by Jo Wilson on May 2, 2011 at 08:59 PM in Activities & Events, Current Affairs, Food and Drink | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 16, 2010

Top 5 Golf Trips by Private Charter

As any seasoned golf player could tell you, the only way to test your true ability as a golfer is to constantly challenge yourself.  And what better way to test your strengthens and weaknesses on the green than by traveling to some of the finest and most challenging golf courses in the country?  Luxury golf resort getaways are the best way to challenge your skills on award-winning golf courses while simultaneously enjoying the best that four-star hotels and spas have to offer. 


During your next search for your perfect golf vacation destination, keep in mind that not every luxury golf resort is the same. Some golf resorts offer challenging wind-swept courses while others feature elevated greens surrounded by mountainous terrain.  Also keep in mind that no matter which luxury golf resort you choose, the safest and most convenient way to travel to your destination is by private jet charter. 


Private jet charters to luxury golf destinations afford you the ability to travel directly to and from your golf resort destination without the inconvenience of traveling through large, metropolitan airports.  In the past, Stratos Jet Charters has provided air charter service to and from luxury golf resorts for a number of our golf player clients.  We have access to several aircraft that have a large cargo capacity that can safely transport you and your golf clubs to your resort destination on the safest and most luxurious aircraft in the industry.  To make your search even easier, we have provided you with a list of the top five golf resort destinations our clients have frequently named as their favorite.  We have also provided a brief description of each resort and recommended convenient airports and relevant aircraft for your next charter flight to any one of these destinations.  Enjoy!


#5 The Boulders Resort & Golden Door Spa; Carefree, Arizona


Situated in the middle of the Sonoran Desert, amongst various cacti and stunning rock formations, lies The Boulders Resort & Golden Door Spa. Figuring out what makes this luxury golf resort such a favorite amongst our clients was not much of a challenge, although the same can’t be said about their golf courses.  The Boulders Resort, located in the small town of Carefree, Arizona, offers seasoned and professional golf players a thrilling and challenging game with spectacular views in a warm, desert climate almost every day of the year.  But it’s not just the pleasant weather or two award-winning golf courses that make this resort so popular—it’s also the spa.  The Golden Door Spa, a 33,000-square-foot facility, offers a number of massages, therapeutic baths, and refreshing treatments, all with a unique desert flair.


Jet Charter Flights to The Boulders Resort are accessible through the Phoenix Deer Valley airport (KDVT) and Scottsdale Airport (KSDL)


Recommended Private Aircraft: King Air 350


#4 Pinehurst Resort; Pinehurst, North Carolina


When it comes to combining prestige and luxury with some of the finest golf courses in America, no golf resort does it better than the Pinehurst Resort.  Located in Pinehurst, North Carolina, the Pinehurst Resort was built in 1895 by soda fountain tycoon, James Tufts, and is now a historical landmark as well as a luxury golf resort.  Not only does this charming southern resort offer eight world-renowned golf courses, including the famous Championship Pinehurst No. 2, it also features three luxury hotels, a spa and an impressive array of sports and leisure facilities.  After a long day on the green, golfers can sip a cold class of iced-tea (called sweet tea in the South) at the 107-year-old Carolina Hotel or they can treat themselves to a relaxing “golfer’s massage” at the spa which specifically targets all the muscles used during golf. 


Air charter flights to the Pinehurst Resort are served by the Moore County Airport Information (KSOP)


Recommended Private Aircraft: Cessna Caravan


#3 Bandon Dunes Golf Resort; Bandon, Oregon  

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Breathtaking views, wind-swept terrain, four challenging courses—it’s no wonder Bandon Dunes is third place on our clients’ list when it comes to luxury golf resort destinations.  Perched on top of a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Bandon Dunes combines spectacular views of the rugged Oregon coastline with all natural links-style courses for a truly natural golf experience.  The four walking-only courses—Bandon Dunes, Pacific Dunes, Bandon Trails and the new Old McDonald—are all susceptible to wind changes, offering a unique and challenging experience every time the course is played.  As for accommodations, the Bandon Dunes resort offers simple and comfortable lodging, from single rooms in The Lodge and Inn to large four-bedroom Grove Cottages.


Charter flights to the Bandon Dunes Golf Resort are serviced by the Southwest Oregon Regional Airport (KOTH)


Recommended Private Aircraft: Challenger 604


#2 The Greenbier; White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia


If your idea of the perfect golf resort destination involves rolling terrain, well-bunkered greens and panoramic views of the Allegheny Mountains, then look no further than The Greenbrier resort.  This luxury resort, nestled in the quiet countryside of White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, is home to three award-winning, 18-hole golf courses—The Meadows, The Old White and The Greenbrier—and is Stratos Jets clients’ second favorite luxury golf destination.  While the Greenbrier resort is well-known for its expertly-defined golf courses and magnificent scenery, the main attraction lies in the resort’s unique history.  Built in 1858, The Greenbrier plays an important role in both golf and American history, having hosted the likes of Sam Snead, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Ben Hogan, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Nick Faldo and Tom Watson.  In addition, the resort was home to a secret underground bunker during the Cold War era that was designed to protect the nation’s Congress in the event of a crisis. The bunker, hotel and White Sulphur Springs (located inside the hotel) are open to visitors year-round.


One-way and round-trip air charter flights to The Greenbrier are served by Greenbrier Valley Airport (KLWB)


Recommended Private Aircraft: Phenom 100


#1 The American Club; Sheboygan, Wisconsin


Really, is there any other course in America that can really truly rival the American Club’s spectacular wild beauty and signature links-style courses? Our clients’ answer? No.  It doesn’t come as a surprise to us that the host of this year’s PGA Championship, The American Club in Sheboygan Wisconsin, is also our clients’ favorite golf resort destination.  It’s really more of a surprise that the resort doesn’t have its own jetport.  Set against the picturesque shores of Lake Michigan, this world-famous resort is home to four Pete Dye-designed courses—two each at Whistling Straits and Blackwolf Run—and an award-winning Kohler Waters luxury spa and resort.  All of the walking-only courses at the American Club were designed to mimic the ancient seaside links of the United Kingdom and Ireland to provide a truly natural and unique golf experience that will never be forgotten. 


Private jet rentals to Whistling Straits are accessible through the Sheboygan County Memorial Airport (KSBM)


Recommended Private Aircraft: Pilatus PC-12

Posted by Jo Wilson on September 16, 2010 at 08:12 PM in Activities & Events, Recreation, Sports, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 08, 2010

Life is Good this Weekend in Canton

The "Life is good Festival" is a one-of-a-kind benefit event taking place the weekend of September 11th & 12th 2010 just 15 minutes from Boston on a scenic 40 acre farm at the base of The Blue Hills in Canton MA. The festival is a two-day celebration of music and optimism, featuring three stages of diverse live music, hands-on games, interactive arts activities and the "Good Kids" zone — home to the top acts in kids entertainment. The Life is good Festival is a unique music event that every age group can enjoy.

100% of Life is good's profits from the Festival will go towards The Life is good Kids Foundation, helping kids overcome life-threatening challenges such as violence, illness and extreme poverty. Every festival attendee will have the opportunity to access exclusive hospitality, preferred viewing, artist meet and greets and other prizes by setting fundraising goals or making a donation to help kids in need. Top fundraisers will be called V.G.P.'s — Very Good People (like V.I.P.'s), and will have a once-in-a-lifetime concert experience.

The Life is good Festival will be held on historic Prowse Farm in Canton, Massachusetts, conveniently located just off of Rte 93 (Rte 128) at exit 2B. The event site is 15 minutes from downtown Boston.

Posted by Jo Wilson on September 8, 2010 at 11:53 AM in Activities & Events | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 23, 2010

Visiting Atlanta? Check Out The Canopy Walk

Canopy-interactive-160x160[1]   Visitors to the Atlanta Botanical Garden can now tour one of the city's last remaining urban forests from 40 feet in the air now that the long-awaited Canopy Walk has opened, lending a bird's-eye view to the beauty of a woodland below. The May 1st Grand Opening of the Canopy Walk, Edible Garden and Cascades Garden marked the completion an expansion project which nearly doubled the size of the Garden.

Extending 600 feet from a bluff in the Garden into the branches of oaks, hickories and poplars, the walk is considered the only tree canopy-level walkway of its kind in the United States. By linking the 15-acre existing Garden to the adjacent Storza Woods, the Canopy Walk has enriched the visitor's experience, providing 30 acres of gardens to explore. Strolling the 12-foot-wide concrete pathway, visitors will feel like they are floating through the leafy clouds of storied hardwoods, thanks to the bridge's four large masts which seemingly disappear amongst the treetops.

This is one of those special activities that is beautiful, educational AND fun, for grown-ups and kids alike! Check out their website for information on other programs like birdwatching, critter tours, scavenger hunts, visiting at night and special classes.  

Posted by Jo Wilson on June 23, 2010 at 01:34 PM in Activities & Events, Attractions, Organizations, Science, Travel | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 04, 2010

Nursing or Job Burnout Retreat at The Deeper Well - Sequoia National Park

Re-Membering the Healer's Spirit - a nursing or job burnout retreat

January 23-25, 2010The Deeper Well Sequoia National Park logo
February 20-22, 2010

A 3-day retreat near Sequoia National Park
24 hours continuing education for California and Nevada nurses

see for details and registration information

The retreat is organized around six passages, with one and six occurring before and after the retreat. Each passage involves individual reading assignments, some creative projects including Mandela making as a contemplative exercise, gathering together for group sharing, and a directed meditative walk among the Giant Sequoia trees at Crescent Meadow in Giant Forest in Sequoia National Park.

Retreat Objectives:

1. To present the participant with an opportunity to engage "job burnout" as a creative process, one that is dynamic, organic and inherently healthy.
2. To provide foundational information about origins and stages of burnout, both from the individual's perspective and within a broader nursing professional perspective.
3. To allow for a retreat setting to encourage the participant to read, journal, and discuss a diverse range of ideas, approaches and bases of knowledge about many aspects of healing. To offer practical ways to experience burnout transformation.
4. To offer practical ways to experience burnout transformation.
5. To support the person in this experiential exploration in ways that are compatible within a holistic healing philosophy.
6. To nurture what happens without judgment, preconceived ideas or pressure. To allow for a natural unfoldment of the person's own process, one that intertwines within the person's professional practice.
7. To serve and support the person's re-membering of spirit, enhancing the dignity of the human spirit and bringing healing and authenticity to the world.

The Deeper Well Sequoia National Park Instructor Elsah Cort, RN, CMT (certified massage therapist) has been practicing Craniosacra work since 1997, blending the work with a feng shui consultation practice since 1998. She has completed the curriculum in Visionary Craniosacra Work with The Milne Institute and studied with Charles Ridley (Biodynamic Craniosacral Work) and with The Upledger Institute.

She graduated from the Grady Memorial Hospital School of Nursing, in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1969. She has worked in many fields of nursing, including psychiatric nursing, operating room, pediatrics, ICU, hemodialysis, and recently seven years in home health.

She is now dedicating her professional work to the care of nurses and others, who have job burnout, through her teaching and writing. She offers individual life coaching sessions and the burnout retreats.

Posted by Marsha Rhodes on January 4, 2010 at 03:43 PM in Activities & Events | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

December 30, 2009

The Christmas Carol - Warner Grand Theater - San Pedro CA

Whale & Ale Christmas Carol

Enjoy a two course meal at The Whale & Ale on the same occasion that you experience a production by The Relevant Stage Theatre Company at Warner Grand Theatre for one low price! See The Christmas Carol from Dec. 22 to January 3 for only $40 - which includes your delicious meal & theatre ticket. Learn more about the shows at, & purchase your tickets from TRS online, or through The Whale & Ale, in person on your next visit. You may also call 1-800-838-3006 & conveniently order your TRS dinner/theatre tickets by phone. We ask that you call ahead for seating the day of the event, & arrive for dinner 2 hours before the event start time to allow us to serve you & get you to the theatre in time to see a great show!
Performances: 8pm Evening Shows on:
Tues.12/22, Wed.12/23, Sat.12/26, Sat. 1/02
2:30pm Matinées on: Thurs. 12/24, Sun.12/27 & Sun. 1/03
Warner Grand Theatre is at 478 W. 6th Street, San Pedro, a short walk away (one block over) from The Whale & Ale

Posted by Marsha Rhodes on December 30, 2009 at 10:07 AM in Activities & Events | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 06, 2009

Art Deco Ocean Liner event - San Pedro, CA

Don't miss the opportunity to be a part of the Art Deco Ocean Liner event of the year. Captain's table & general seating are both still available, but you should sign up now:

Celebrating 5 great ships with 5 amazing courses

Saturday, November 14th 7:30 p.m.

At The Doubletree Hotel, San Pedro, CA

Whale & Ale Ocean liner chart

    • Living historians will play key roles, including the captain of each ship.
    • Recreated radio broadcasts for each maiden voyage.
    • The most popular music of the era.


1930s, black tie, business attire, or uniforms are appropriate


Whale & Ale Ocean liners

$85.00 per person $95.00 Captain’s table (subject to availability)
includes Champagne reception, five course dinner, & wine.
No additional charge for Maritime Research Center members at Captains’ tables.

Silent Auction

Click for reservations


Information 310-521-0175


Posted by Marsha Rhodes on November 6, 2009 at 01:33 PM in Activities & Events, Dining | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 05, 2009

Wickwood Inn Holiday Notebook - Saugatuck, MI






A L L  T H E  L O C A L  N E W S,  G O S S I P,  R E C I P E S  &  L O R E  T H A T' S  F I T  T O   P R I N T     

   H O L I D A Y   2 0 0 9


Saugatuck Sparkles
    Ed Goelich, Photographer
“Later on we'll conspire, as we dream by the fire."
  --- played by Chris Botti

Our villages are transformed into a quintessential old fashioned Christmas card from mid-November through New Year's. Twinkling lights, horse drawn buggy rides, shops aglow, Dickens, ballet, jazz, A Santa Parade, Wickwood's Festival of Trees and music everywhere. The spirit is contagious --- come and catch some!    Wickwood ---



November 7 New Orleans Singer, Tab Benoit, SCA
November 7 Edye Evans Hyde,
The What Not Inn
November 8 Tim Johnson Trio, The What Not
November 10 Boy's Town, The Red Barn
November 11 Veterans Day
November 12 Shop Fabulously, Post Holiday Shopping Event at Good Goods with Holiday Refreshments
November 12-14 Grand Rapids Wine & Food Festival
November 14 Lakeshore All Star Blues Band
, What Not Inn
November 14- December 12 Blaze of Color
, Water Street Gallery
November 14 A Tribute to John Denver with Gregg Sanborn, The Red Barn Playhouse
November 15 Mary Rademacher
, The What Not
November 17 Grapes of Wrath,
The Red Barn
November 18 - January 3 Christmas Holiday Traditions Around the World, Meijer Gardens, Grand Rapids

    More Calendar ---







We're baking memories for the Holidays --- Pecan Sticky Buns, Cranberry Cake, Apple Blueberry Bread Pudding with Vanilla Sauce, Bismarck's, Bacon & Caramelized Onion Strata, Baked Country Ham, Pecan Tassies, Julia's Chocolate Bites, Christmas Cookies, soups and sips. Come share the enchantment.   
    Recipes ---


Holiday Open Houses Every Weekend

All around our villages the wineries, art galleries, and shops all host receptions to make the Holidays more festive six full weeks. The weekend of November 20-21 is the kick-off in Saugatuck and Douglas with extended shopping hours, music, refreshments, holiday specials, good cheer, warm treats, special wrapping services, all in an effort to give you the Holiday Spirit and help make your Holiday gift giving a joy.


Saugatuck Center for the Arts

Tab Benoit
Tab Benoit
Saturday, November 7

As Is by Laurel Farrin
thru Decmber 28

The Wreck of the Rockaway
Thurday, November 19

Twisted Tinsel
by Mason Street Warehouse
Friday, November 27

Improv Olympic
Saturday, November 28

Wintergreen Market
Saturday, December 5

Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra with Edye Evans-Hyde
Saturday, December 12


Bacon Fever
“Cooking is three-quarters shopping.” --- Jean Troisgros Roanne, France 1979

Bacon Fever!

Cold weather makes us crave smoky pork more than ever. We like our sausage, ham, and bacon pure and simple, from small farms raising - happy pigs, smoked by authentic artisans. The aroma when you're cooking smoked pork is simply hypnotic. Dedicated people are bring back traditional curing methods; double-curing in Michigan (with over a hundred years of experience), Smoky Mountain dry - cured, Wisconsin's intensely apple - smoked, Virginia's maple brown sugar cured --- with pepper or not, it's up to you. But you can't go wrong with any of these; they're the real deal:

Bacon Fever

Sweet Bacon Bites

A simple and delicious hors d'oeuvres that leaves everyone wanting more. Preheat oven to 375° F. Separate and halve thick cut bacon slices. Place dark brown sugar in a shallow plate.  Dip both sides of each bacon slice in brown sugar and coat thoroughly. Place the bacon on a rack over a pan to catch the drippings. Bake in upper third of oven for 20-30 minutes. Finish under broiler for a minute. Cool.    Recipes ---

Gourmet Magazine

Goodbye Gourmet!

Does the closing of this sixty-five year old food institution signal that the internet food blogs have won? We hope not. For to scroll the hundreds of recipes for any ingredient the internet brings, is to set every benchmark of good, better, best taste aside. Serious cooks want to learn from the experienced with standards that they can trust.


Christmas Gifts for Cooks & Foodies

An Olive Oil Collection
Mortar and Pestle Fresh
Oysters from Taylor's Fish Farm
Wheel of Bayley Hazen Blue Cheese from Jasper Hill Farm
Jacque Torres Chocolate
Wine selected by Kermit Lynch, Neil Rosenthal or Sergio Esposito
Salumi from Fra'Manni
Cheddars from Neal's Yard
A Bacon Tasting
Anything homemade by you
Tsar Nicoulai Caviar
Dinner at a Dream Restaurant
A Cooking Class
Italian Tuna, salt packed
Anchovies and capers
Two or three Unglazed Clay Pot Casseroles
Rose Champagne

“You might as well do your Christmas hinting early.”
---- Anon.

Wickwood Inn
Gift Certificate


We think that the greatest luxury we have today is Time. And so we marvel at the number of people who are giving the time to relax at Wickwood as gift certificates to their family and friends for all kinds of occasions. We think what they're really giving is loving memories. That pleases us enormously.

Gooble gooble
“Farmer's are zones of peace on this planet.” ---- Vanana Shiva, Indian Food Activist

Gobble Gobble!!

It's not too late to order a fresh Heritage Thanksgiving Turkey. These fowl are bred naturally; never fed hormones, antibiotics or animal by-products; walks around, matures at a natural rate; and, when the day comes, meets a clean end. Select a bird from 8 to 22 pounds and it won't be frozen, but arrive to you on ice via Fed Ex Tuesday, November 24 with cooking instructions. Please pass the compliments.

"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give"
- Winston Churchill

The Giving Season

The talk is all about giving because it makes us feel good. During the Holidays we can all get carried away and forget some important aspects of giving:
Give of yourself. Your time, your love, your talent and your knowledge.
Give quality not quantity.
Give yourself time to celebrate.
Some we favor:

“A lovely thing about Christmas is that we all go through it together.”
--- Garrison Keillor


Armagnac & Marc

“People make Cognac for profit, but they make Armagnac for love, “Michel Guerard told us as he introduced us to these two many years ago at Eugenie. From Gascony and Landes, they pre-date Cognac by 200 years evoking the era of D'Artagnan and his fellow Musketeers. Both, are increasingly difficult to find as they are the result of long aging by small artisan distillers, reaching their prime twenty-five years later. We once tasted a seventy-five year old Marc (which is made from the very last pressing of the grape skins, pits and stems) at a vineyard in Burgundy. Could we buy it? We couldn't afford the taste, we were told. But a great swash-buckling memory. The best are bottled by Marc Darroze. A great gift, we find them at Helene Darroze's in Paris or Sherry-Lehman in nyc.

St. Marcellin Cheese

St. Marcellin Cheese
One of the best secrets of French cheeses is a small mild cheese made since 1251 on 15 farms and in 12 small-scale factories using raw milk from the hills, famous for walnuts, between Grenoble and Valence. The very best has a mild aroma and a slightly nutty distinct taste. It's a very special gift or addition to a Holiday Cheese Board. Shop where they know their affinage.


The Truth About Wine USA

Just as local artisans have become important to anyone who want to eat well, small artisanal wineries have become the integral link to wine actually made from grapes grown at the vineyard by a winemaker who is passionate about what he puts in the bottle that has his name on it. Of the thirty top selling wine brands in the US not a single one of them grows, produces or bottles their own wines. They buy tankers of bulk juice, and slap a label on the bottle. Most “wineries” have become marketing organizations. Even more reason to visit wineries, meet the winemaker and to trust the guy who is anxious to put HIS name on the bottle.


Union Square Market

Rick's Picks

When the tastes are out at NYC's Union Square Market, the lines are long for these crunchy pickles. Clever names on jars bring thrilling flavors. There's “Mean Beans,” “Slices of Life”, “Windy City Wasabeans” “The People's Pickle”, “Phat Beets,”or “Whup Asp”. They will sparkle salads, Hor's d'ouevres, or sandwiches.

Martin's Pretzels

Martin's Pretzels

Long an addiction, these perfectly toasted crisp pretzels are handmade by a Mennonite Family in Lancaster County Penna. Everyone who taste one raves about them! They can be ordered extra dark, whole-wheat, salted, lightly salted, or extra salted in boxes or shiny red tins. Simply a great Holiday Gift for every discriminating pal.

Donut Holes
“Christmas is the keeping-place for memories of our innocence.”
--- Joan Mills

Food Memories ---

I'll never forget the taste of my Grandma's warm donut holes on Christmas morning, or of my Mom's Date Nut Pudding with Whiskey Sauce always there at Lunch, or our Christmas Eve dinner turkey at The Hassler Grill in Rome in 1983. Then there were those first tastes of the bright vegetables from Chino Farm in Rancho Sante Fe, the multi-colored carrots I schlepped back from the Union Square market, Chatsworth's lamb we cooked this Spring, the fraise de bois from Chez l'ami Louis, braised radishes Alain Passard's way at Arpege nor my own late season heirloom grape tomatoes this year. I'll remember them all, always. Food flavors that are distinct and memorable. This is the food that I want to eat . These are the traditions and tastes worth preserving. This is the food that is worth fighting to save. It is simply about wanting to eat food the way it is supposed to taste. Not how it has been transformed with the “standards of fast food, ”in factory farms, with GMO's, or chemicals. As we individually re-examine our food sources remember, if you can, the way food used to taste. Spending time sourcing local seasonal and responsibly grown ingredients is simply the best thing you can do for your family this next year!

Felt Mansion
“Something about an old-fashioned Christmas is hard to forget.”
---- Hugh Downs

Felt Mansion Historical
Tours for the Holidays

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places a glimpse of former home of a wealthy inventor is a joy to tour, especially during the Holiday Season. It's a wonderful journey through time.
Winter Fest - December 12 Sesquicentennial Celebration Open House with Ice Skating, Hay Rides, Ice Sculpture Demonstration, music and refreshments.
Sundays, December 13 - January 3 During the Holidays: Tours, Ice Skating and Refreshments.
Thursday, Friday, Saturday, December 17-19 Evening Tours with Ice Skating and Refreshments.
Saturday, January 2 Historical Documentary, Tour, Ice Skating and Refreshments.

"The fate of nations hangs upon their choice of food."
--- Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin,

Eating Animals

“Eating Animals” by Jonathan Safran Foer

Just out, the raves on this are over the top! Authors who have been writing about the agri-business and vegetarianism for years are calling this “the masterpiece.” Brutally honest with both factory farmers and animal activists speaking in their own words. Best of all, Foer shares his own personal journey. It makes you laugh, cry and best of all, come away with your own opinion of how you want to eat.

Kermit Lynch

Wine Legends You Can Trust for Holiday Gifts

Three venerable wine importers Kermit Lynch, Neil Rosenthal and Sergio Esposito are legends for championing producers who express “terroir” – wines that embody where they come from – excel with their Holiday Season lists. Today's prices can even be comfortable. When these names are on a wine label, you know that you'll be thrilled with the wine. Be sure to be on their newsletter lists:

Wickwood in Winter
Saugatuck Sparkles

“My first copies of Treasure Island and Huckleberry Finn still have some blue-spruce needles scattered in the pages. They smell of Christmas still.” ---- Charlton Heston

Red Books

Salt to Taste, by Marco Canora. For lovers of Insieme in nyc this is a dream come true.
Why Italians Love to Talk About Food, by Elena Kostioukovitch.. A study of Italian food as a means to discovering the Italian spirit.
Rose's Heavenly Cakes, by Rose Levy Beranbaum. She teaches us to make those perfect cakes again.
An Edible History of Humanity, by Tom Slandge. Simply fascinating.
I Know How To Cook, Ginette Mathiot. Every French woman's cookbook --- for three generations.
Ad Hoc, Thomas Keller. We can always learn from this chef. Now, for the home cook.
Chanterelle, by David Waltuck. Wonderful cooking for thirty years, now a memory as they've closed.
Italian Classics by Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers. Traveling through Italy with the River Café.
Eating, A Memoir by Jason Epstein. One of New York's finest foodies recalls memorable meals.
Far Flung and Well Fed by R.W. Apple, Jr. Journalists' best shares his great fun eating around the world.
Mediterranean Clay Pot Cooking by Paula Wolfert Traditional and modern recipes from one of the best.
Gourmet Rhapsody by Muriel Barbery. The “Hedgehog” author deals with social class, philosophy and glorious descriptions of food.
The Unhealthy Truth: How Our Food is Making Us Sick and What We can do about It by Robin O'Brien.
Deeply Rooted: Unconventional Farmers in the Age of Agribusiness by Lisa M. Hamilton.
Women, Work and The Art of Savoir Faire by Mireille Guilano. More of how the French do it.
The World According to Monsanto by Marie Monique Robin. This is an astounding work.
Food Inc.- Mendel to Monsanto The Promises and Perils of the Biotech Harvest by Peter Pringle.
Seeds of Deception: Exposing Industry and Government about the Safety of the Genetically Engineered Foods You're Eating by Jeffery M. Smith.
A Shadow Falls by Nick Brandt. A photographer memorializes the vanishing natural grandeur of East Africa with exquisite sepia photographs. Lovely.
Fresh - A perishable History by Suzanne Freidberg. An original interesting way of looking at food history.

 "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas."

  Christmas 2008

“There is no ideal Christmas; only the one you decide to make yourself.” ---- Bill McKibben

Join us for a glorious Holiday season filled with love, laughter and great tastes!! - Julee and Bill

Wickwood at night


Julee's Cookbooks


Julee and Bill


Wickwood Inn   |    510 Butler Street P.O. Box 1019   |   Saugatuck, MI 49453
Tel (800) 385-1174   |  |    Bill and Julee Rosso Miller, Proprietors

Posted by Marsha Rhodes on November 5, 2009 at 09:09 AM in Activities & Events, Food and Drink, Lodging | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack