Saturday, July 8, 2017

Eating and Drinking Locally for the Summer Months #WinePW

I love living in Michigan.  I love that we have a variety of weather, sometimes all on the same day.  I love the beauty of our State; the Great Lakes, the multitude of inland lakes, the sand dunes, the farmland, the orchards and the vineyards.  I think we grow the best apples, strawberries, peaches, cherries and corn on the cob that can be found anywhere else in this Country.  I even love the snow and the freezing temperatures of the winter months.


What I don't love is the gray days that we suffer through during the dead of winter and I wistfully look at warmer climates and wish that we, too, could enjoy fresh local bounty year round.  Alas, while we can enjoy all the foods that we have preserved over the winter and I still get fresh eggs, though not as abundantly during the winter.....you aren't hitting up any Farmer's Markets for local produce.  We can still get locally grown meats and if you are a hunter or angler the season is ripe for the picking, so to speak, but we are not getting any fresh fruits and veggies...that's for sure.



So during the season I hit the Farmer's Markets as often as I am able and thank God for the abundance of all the great produce we are able to enjoy now and preserve for later.  My meats are all home grown from the farm of our friends, Dave and Vicki, and are perfect for putting on the grill during the dog days of summer.  Along with those grilled meats, I serve up local, fresh veggies.  I grill them, I turn them into salads, I make cruditè platters with dips made from fresh herbs.  I also use as much local fruit as I can get my hands on...berries are very abundant, peaches are sweet and juicy, apples are tart and crisp, rhubarb is everywhere, and cherries are exploding off the trees.


Michigan also has great wineries and breweries with more popping up each and every day.  I am normally a California red kinda girl but when the weather turns hot I tend towards white wines that are served chilled.  Michigan makes some great white wines.  One of my favorites is this crisp dry white from the little town of Leland called Fishtown White.  Leland is affectionately called Fishtown because it is known for it's fishing.  You can charter a boat and go out after fresh salmon or whitefish. I have been lucky enough to have been the recipient, numerous times, of fresh salmon from our Great Lakes....it is amazing.  Whitefish is extremely popular in Northern Michigan and a treat that I enjoy at least once each visit.

With that thought in mind and no plans of going north before this post was due, I went on a hunt for some smoked whitefish and a bottle of the Fishtown White.  I had a pretty good idea that I could find Michigan White Fish at my favorite local market, Nino Salvaggios, and I was right.  They had both the white fish and the wine.


I turned this whitefish into dip that I served on garlic toasts with cold, crisp, clean glasses of Fishtown White.  The old adage to serve food from the same locale as the wine holds true locally as well as in other States and other Countries.  This pairing was delicious and a perfect start to a lovely dinner enjoyed poolside on a glorious Michigan evening.


I opened up a block of cream cheese, grabbed the sour cream, lemon, dill and fish from the refrigerator, spied a red onion on the counter and decided to add that as well.


This dip is delicious and was a perfect match for the Fishtown White.


Don't miss out on all the other summer wine pairings.  You will find them directly under this recipe.

Smoked White Fish Dip

6-8 oz. smoked white fish meat, picked over, bones and skin removed
1 (8 oz) block Neufchatel Cheese
1/4 c. sour cream
juice of 1/2 a lemon
2 T. diced red onion
handful of fresh dill weed fronds or to taste
dash of hot sauce 
salt and pepper to taste

Place half of the fish, the Neufchatel Cheese, onion,  sour cream, lemon and hot sauce in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until smooth.  Spoon into a bowl and fold in the remaining fish.  Taste and season as desired.  Print Recipe

More Summertime Wine Pairings

16 comments:

  1. I'm jealous of your fabulous farmer's markets. Nothing like that here. The whitefish dip looks wonderful!

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    1. I'm not sure where in FL. you live but I have gone to a large fruit market called Roberts was here, near the keys....very expensive but a fun side trip.

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  2. I grew up in Wisconsin, it sounds like a lot is the same in Michigan. Since leaving Wisconsin for warmer states I have also fallen hard for farmers markets, but I love my summer visits to Wisconsin and their farmers markets - always regional differences that make the discoveries new. Looking forward to going to Madison's farmers market around the capital soon and getting some local wine too. I plan on looking for some local smoked white fish to try your dip, sounds yummy. Cheers!

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    1. Yes, I think Wisconsin and Michigan are pretty much the same..at least those areas that border Lake Michigan.

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  3. You really wrote some poetry like words about your love of Michigan. I've only been briefly and was passing through. Hope to get to visit again in the future. Love salmon and how awesome that it can be caught right there in the Great Lakes!! The fish dip sounds amazing!

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    1. I hope you get to Michigan again Paula and I hope we can arrange to meet each other when you do. I am still working on getting to Kansas also.

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  4. I'm headed to Northern Wisconsin, where white fish is common (fish boils!). I'd love to make this while we are there.

    Michigan really is a great state for local produce. We get there at least once a year for wine tasting. Southwest wine trail!

    Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I love Wisconsin too Jill. It is just as beautiful as Michigan. I need to get back down to the southwest part of our State. It has been far too long and I know that there are a lot of new wineries I have yet to try.

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  5. We celebrate the farmers market season here in MN, too. Ours doesn't really get going until early June!

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    1. Yes, it is a little colder in MN. My mother's family was from there.

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  6. love the focus on eating & drinking locally. Cheers!

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  7. Almost no matter where you live winter can leave you craving something fresh! i love that you are friends with your meat farmers. We are too. Great looking dish. We are fans of smoked white fish.

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    1. Sounds like we have much in common Jade.

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  8. I love smoked fish! And they're fun to pair with both red and white wines!

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    1. I will have to try it with some red. Thanks

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