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The Wickwood Inn Notebook
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  A N D  L O R E  T H A T' S  F I T  T O   P R I N T Topiary I N D I A N  S U M M E R  2 0 0 9
S U B S C R I B E  TO  T H E  W I C K W O O D  N E W S L E T T E R

                                                                                                                                                                                  Ted Swoboda image
  "Try to remember. The kind of September. When life was slow. And oh so mellow"
   from "The Fantasticks"


"How do they taste? They taste like more."   H.L. Mencken

Farmers’ Markets are mesmerizing! Today, we can feel lucky that so many smart, authentic minds are growing and raising foods that harken back to those we can remember. They work hard because they love it. And as we shop for Wickwood everyday, we can’t be more grateful!


August 25-October 31 Constance Edwards Scopelitis work at Rubinkam Gallery
August 25-September 15 Adornment for the Body
, Good Goods Gallery
August 25 Oval Beach in the 50’s and 60’s Lecture, Old School House August 25 Pajama Game Red Barn Films
August 25-September 7 Alexander Calder at Meijer Gardens, GR
August 26 Los Bandits, tex-mex music, Wicks Park
August 26 Martha Churchill, historian at Douglas Library
August 27 Soul System at Douglas Social, 5-9
 Sept, Oct, Nov ...

Five New Restaurants Open Saugatuck/Douglas

"Earth is so kind, that just tickle her with a hoe and she laughs with a harvest."
-- Douglas Jerrold

Good food just keeps getting better in our towns.

Salt of the Earth, Fennville

Opening August 25th, with Detroit’s “Roast” chef Mathew Pietsch transplanted here and with a menu which includes Grilled Hanger Steak, Norwegian Salmon, Crispy Pork Belly, brick oven baked breads and pizzas and handmade pastas and pierogi, we can’t wait!!!!! Reservations 269.561.SALT

Fifth Season, Douglas

Milan trained Chef Mario Deruda is already receiving accolades for his Penne alla Vodka, Beefsteak Florentine, Veal Piccata, and Ravoli di Ricotta alla Salvia and the Spicy Flourless Chocolate Cake and Poached Pears in Wine to end a meal. We’re thrilled to have great northern Italian food nearby. Reservations 269.455.5160

Costa Azul, Douglas

Authentic Mexican food is always a find and when this new restaurant opened in Douglas, we all applauded! We devoured Falling-off-the-bone Ribs with a Chipolte sauce, Baked Calamari, Garlic Shrimp, Grilled Salmon, fresh, made-to-order Guacamole and real (no mix) knock your sox off Margaritas along with homemade desserts that we fought over. 269.857.1523

in downtown Saugatuck

The old Billie’s Boathouse has been transformed serving Rib Eyes, Fried Perch, a Half-Pound Burger, Mussels, Panko Shrimp, pasta, salads and Root Beer Floats. Yum and Cabaret music too! 269.857.2888

in downtown Saugatuck

Open all day for breakfast, lunch and dinner with every kind of dog ... Chili, Chicago, Kraut, and Corn you might want plus Gyros, and Souvlaiki, and even Smoothies and eggs for early morning and garden dining too. 269.455.5112

"I cannot live without books."
-- Thomas Jefferson

The Writer’s Writer

A relaxing Spring stay at The Hunting Tower at Chatsworth introduced us to the writing of The Cavendish Family’s great friend, Patrick Leigh Fermor. “Paddy” as he is known, has been described by the London Sunday Times as “ one of the greatest travel writers of all time.” We agree. Known as both a scholar and a nomad, at 18 he set off in 1933 to walk from England to Constantinople. His curiosity, charm, intellect and fantastic memories of his journeys make absolutely mesmerizing reading. We can’t encourage you more to try Paddy’s: “Words of Mercury", “A Time of Gifts", "Between The Woods and The Water", or on his time at several monasteries, “A Time to Keep Silence". They transport you to adventures, you never imagined.

Oh, Go Climb a Tree!

Our villages sit in the middle of The Fruit Belt, farms growing blueberries, apples, peaches, cherries, raspberries and blackberries. They’re here due to the warm breezes off Lake Michigan which make superb growing conditions. It’s great fun in fall to spend a few hours picking your own apples at Crane’s Orchard, no matter what your age. There’s also a Corn Maze, Pumpkin Barn, Haunted House and best of the entire famous Crane Pie Pantry ... for great soup, cider, and pie a la mode!

Chocolate Saves Lives!

The best news ever! We can all rejoice with the news from the Journal of Internal Medicine about chocolate. Their newest study shows that heart attack survivors who eat small amounts of dark chocolate two or more times per week cut their risk of dying from heart disease about threefold compared to those who never touch it. Connoisseurs cherish chocolate with higher cocoa content, 64% and higher, as the read deal. Earlier studies have already shown that cocoa-based confections lower blood pressure and improve blood flow. It is also: high in antioxidants, helps lower cholesterol, reduces inflammation, helps with mood, delicious!         RECIPES ...

"If you eat more, you'll  swell up so tight your freckles will fall off."
-- Andy Griffith

You Don’t Have to be a Farmer to Eat Real Food

Reading Michael Pollan or Barbara Kingsolver’s work or the recently published “Just Food” and “Fast Food Nation”, or watching “The World According to Monsanto” and Food Inc. and , or the advice of Dr. Mehmet Oz or Dr. Andrew Weil has emphatically reinforced what we learned as children: Eat real food, Eat less Eat local Eat seasonally!! It’s simple and getting easier all of the time.

In Saugatuck, we think of the farmers all around us as “rock stars” and their incredible end-of-summer bounty is now upon us!!! There’s the Saugatuck Green Market, The Summertime Market, Holland Farmer’s Market, and farm stands galore. Then we’ve U-pick at Krupka’s, Cranes, Earl’s and the Pepper Patch ... or stop by Dee’s Farm Stand, Chicken Scratch Farm, Lyons, Sunrise Market, and dozens of other honor-pay stands. We’re very lucky!! Enjoy them!!


Julia's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking",  #1 on New York Times Best Seller list 8.30.09 - first time in 48 years in print.


ArtPrize, Grand Rapids
September 23 - October 10

The world’s largest art prize ever, ArtPrize, has , in it’s first year, exploded with a record breaking 1261 artist entries competing for a 1st place prize of $250,000. The concept and prize were created by Rick DeVos to celebrate the art heritage of southwestern Michigan and invite artists worldwide to enter. The artists’ work will be displayed in venues all over town ... commercial and private properties, indoors and out with the winner being determined by a public vote. Voters must be registered attendees in Grand Rapids to have their vote be valid. The Top 10 entries will each receive a prize.
• Opening Day - September 23
• Top 10 Announced - October 1
• Winner Announced - October 8
• Exhibition Closes - October 10.

Johnny Blue, Saugatuck Sculptor

The world of Johnny Blue is a splendid one to have in our neighborhood. It is inventive, smart, whimsical and powerful. Johnny’s imaginative work from various metals and stainless steel has achieved extraordinary recognition in private and corporate collections around the world. Sometimes delicate, other times massive and dynamic Johnny’s creativity is crafted into wall art, benches, balconies and indoor and outdoor small and massive sculptures. Available at Brackett & Company, Douglas

"Walking is the best possible exercise."  -- Thomas Jefferson

“Saugatuck is One of the Top Five
Art Towns in America”
-- American Style Magazine

Gallery Strolls
Every weekend this Fall the dozens of Art Galleries and Studios  are abuzz with Gallery Openings, Artist’s Receptions, painting demonstrations and classes! Saugatuck/Douglas and The Blue Coast has over forty galleries exhibiting over 800 artists—all year long!!                 
Galleries ...

The Italian Wine Merchants

In addition to offering Angelo Gaja’s just released Brunellos and Barbarescos, the IWM has created a trip that any gourmand and wine enthusiast will savor. Six glorious days of October in Piedmont at superb restaurants such as Tra Arte e Querce and Trattoria della Posta and with vintners Bartolo Mascarello and Luciano Sandron in Barolo, Giacomo Conterno in Monforte d’Alba, Vigna Rionda in Serralunga d’Alba, and Gaja in Barbaresco ... all during the white truffle season of Alba. In addition, there will be a hands-on cooking class of Piedmontese specialties. This is the experience of a lifetime. 212.473.2323 or

Wine Tasting Rooms

The Round Barn, Fenn Valley and Tabor Hill all have Tasting Rooms in Saugatuck with their wineries nearby. During the “vendage” of September and October, it’s prime time for tasting wine, vineyard tours, wine making and wine pairing classes and Harvest Dinners. Join in the fun!
                               Wineries ...

Pigs Are Flying!

Pork has been king with chefs for several years and we must admit we’re a little crazy about it too. We bring in our bacon from Benton’s Hams in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, our Evening Cheeseboard salumi from Armandino Batali in Seattle and our breakfast sausage from Paul Bertolli in Oakland. We love all things pig!

Time for Lunch!
September 7, 2009

Slow Food USA has organized a National Eat-In, a day of events on Labor Day in 250 locations as an effort in promoting school children to have real food at school. Every school day, we have an opportunity to build a strong foundation for our children’s health by growing and serving real food at school. The goal is to tell Congress that there’s no excuse for federal policy that forces schools to serve the processed fast food and junk food that endangers children’s health. This is an effort through serving good, natural local food to build a strong foundation for our children’s futures.

Thank you Johnny Appleseed!

The ancestor of Malus domestica, the domestic apple, is a wild apple that grows in the mountains of Kazaknstan. In some places it is the dominant species of the forest growing 65 feet tall with fruits from the size of marbles to softballs, colored from yellow and green to red and purple. Imagine the forest in May and again in October! The silk routes transverse some of these forests with seeds making their way to China where grafting was invented in 2000 BC. Pliny writes that the Romans cultivated 23 varieties of apples, including the Lady Apple.

The settlers of America carried the seeds westward with virtually every homestead having an orchard, more for the cider than the apples. In rural areas, cider took the place of not only wine and beer, but of coffee, tea, juice and even water. Of course cider can also be made into applejack brandy. Cider proved almost indispensable and as Emerson said” man would be more solitary, less friendly without this social fruit". Everyone agreed!

"Live within your harvest."
 -- Persian proverb

Pumpkin Patch
Life's a beach
Fireplace Drinks
The Villa
Saugatuck in the Fall
Crane's Apple Orchard

"Life is to be inventeed not merely lived."  -- Maira Kalman

More Maira Kalman

One of our favorite essayists and artists, witty Kalman is now doing “The Pursuit of Happiness” blog on the New York Times Opinion website. She has profiled Obama’s Inauguration, Presidents Jefferson and Lincoln, Benjamin Franklin and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. It appears the last Friday of each month. Don't miss it!

Local Art Stars

A few of our glorious local artists:

Blue Pears
 Dawn Stafford, Peachbelt Studio

James Brandess, Saugatuck Studio

Max Matteson, Button-Petter Gallery

Anne Corlett Wiley, Water Street Gallery

Johnny Blue, Brackett & Co., Douglas

Steven Rubinkam Studio, Douglas

Thimgan Hayden, Waterstreet Gallery

Halloween Hoopla!

Halloween weekend brings out the best in all of us. We’ll never forget Michael Holmes dressed as “Lucy in black and white” ... literally he looked just like ”I Love Lucy” on a black and white television. All over our towns houses look scary and have an eerie glow. Costume contests are for everyone who wants to strut their stuff ... for children in the afternoon and The Adult Parade held after dark in Douglas and not to be missed!

Dinner in the Sky

Well known, remarkable chefs are taking their knives up 160 feet in the sky all over the world. What began in Brussels and is now done in Las Vegas, New York, Monte Carlo, Istanbul, and Egypt now comes to Paris. This Fall Alain Paissard and eleven other chefs will cook dinner above the Tuileries for dinner parties of twenty people as they dangle in the air, a pianist playing nearby. If you dare, almost a bargain for a rare vantage point of the Eiffel Tower.

"Don't do the Turkey Trot when you're for the Waltz." -- George Trescher

Turkey Alert!

Heirloom varieties of Thanksgiving turkeys will be in short supply this year due to the economy. Heritage Foods USA is advising that you reserve your turkeys early, either from them or your own local source. Select Standard American Bronze, Narragansett, Bourbon Red or the Black Turkey. All are delicious!

Christmas at the Inn

  "Literature is love." -- Nabokov

Red Books     

The Bolter, Frances Osborne, Idina Sackville’s fascinating life in Kenya
In Tearing Haste, The Letters of Deborah Devonshire and Patrick Leigh Fermor, Edited by Charlotte Mosley. A fifty year friendship, letter by letter.
The Way We Live Now, Anthony Trollope. Originally published in 1875, proof people don’t change.
Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay. Haunting story of WWII in France.
The Last Bridge, Teri Coyne. A hypnotic portrait of an American family.
The Summer Book, Tove Jansson. Two generations on a Finnish island.
Home to Roost, Deborah Devonshire. The Dowager Duchess reminisces.

November 13
Wickwood’s Christmas Season Begins

December 26 ~ January 3 Christmas Week
at The Inn

December 31
New Year’s Eve Candlelight Cocktails
Fireworks at Midnight!

January 1
New Year’s Day

"A wine drinker, being at table, was offered grapes at dessert. "Thank you," he said, pushing the dish away from him, "but I am not in the habit of taking my wine in pills." -- Brillat-Savarin

"Come pause in our wonderful village soon, the weather is very very fine."
Julee and Bill




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