I was born and raised in Michigan.
I have great childhood memories of growing up in Michigan.
As kids, we spent as much time as we could outdoors.
The four seasons were absolutely perfect.
I enjoyed the Summer spending time in the Pine woods, The Clinton River, and the Apple Orchards at the end of the street and I played softball.
I spent the Winters sledding, ice skating, skiing and building snow forts in the backyard.
My best friend and sidekick was Shannon.
We were inseparable.
When we weren't in school, we were outside playing and exploring.
My mother had a large Cast Iron Bell attached to a wooden post that she would ring when it was time for all of us to come home for lunch or dinner.
We shared every Holiday together and there was never a lack of things to do that entertained us all year.
We had Lemonade stands, we spent hours in the snow or ice skating at the local pond. In the Fall we piled the leaves as high as we could and then jumped in them , scattered them and started all over again.
We had Carnivals and Talent Shows in the Summer and we had Spook Houses in the Garage for Halloween.
We went Caroling at Christmas.
We listened to records in the basement and had dances.
We were always busy.
We had a "Little Store" that we walked to, to buy a brown bag of penny candy and a "pop". We'd return home with an empty bag of candy and an empty bottle of pop. My favorite pop was Grape.
We had the 'Big Tree" at the end of the street, where we played for hours, I wish I could return to see how big that tree actually was.
We picked.... or stole Apples in the orchard and we wandered the fields and the woods looking for Blackberries, Blueberries, Cherries and Peaches.
Life was good...... I loved growing up in Michigan.
Food in Michigan is a Cultural Event , almost as serious as the Arts. There are countless festivals in Michigan dedicated to food. Here's a list of my memories of food in "My Michigan".
Cherries - Michigan is the largest producer of Cherries in the world. Traverse City hosts the Annual Cherry Festival.
Apples - Statewide
Vernor's Ginger Ale - One of the few made with real Ginger. The original soft drink was first made and sold in 1866.
Fudge - Mackinaw Island and Holland
Salt Water Taffy - Mackinaw Island
Salmon, Walleye and Trout - THe Great Lakes and Rivers
Kellog's Cereal - Battle Creek
Faygo Soft Drinks - The origin of the word "pop" by which all soft drinks in Michigan are referred.
Wild Turkeys - Statewide
Cider - Frankenmuth
I ate all of the foods that were regionally available to us.
My Grandmother , Mother and Aunt Faye had to be the strongest influences in my life when it came to food and cooking.
The little boy in Michigan grew up, Cruised Woodward Avenue in his 1967 Camaro as a Junior in High School, we ate Burgers and Fries and Strawberry Pie at the Elias Brother's Big Boy on Woodward Avenue on Friday night, attended Oakland University, became a Peace Corps Volunteer, Traveled the World and has embraced different cultures through food. He married, has children, grandchildren and writes a blog dedicated to food and cooking!
And now I enjoy passing that passion on through this blog.
So in conclusion,
There's a Hippy in the Kitchen that wants you to:
Peace in the Kitchen!