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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. www.rickspicknyc.com

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. www.martinspretzels.net

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   | 
www.wickwoodinn.com  |    Bill and Julee Rosso Miller, Proprietors