Granny’s Travels…Door County!

July 4, 2013 § 1 Comment

I’m dedicating the month of July to my Granny and the charming places she traveled while I was young.  First stop, Door County, Wisconsin.  I remember hearing about Granny and Aunt Edith taking the car ferry from Michigan to Northern Wisconsin and I just discovered the car ferry still exists.  You can go from Ludington, Michigan over to Door County and your car travels with you.  How convenient!  Many call Door County the Cape Cod of the Midwest…I’ve never been a fan of such comparisons.  I think Door County can stand on it’s own.  It has it’s own charm and appeal.  Cape Cod (Martha’s Vineyard) will come in a later post for Granny.

I had a couple of sorority sisters who spent their summers in Door County and I always loved hearing their stories and meeting their summer friends, but now that I live in Chicago Door County is a favorite summer get away for many of my fellow Chicagoeans.  And some of my very favorite people spend time in this quaint corner of the world.

Growing up in Michigan the get away was UP NORTH and look out for the cars heading north on I-75 on a Friday afternoon.  My friend Kate recently posted on Facebook that her kids thought “Up North” was an actual place…like with a zip code.  I think that’s hilarious!!  It kind of IS.  There is a spot UP NORTH that will be featured this month in Granny’s travels.

Cherry-country…I think that was one of the things that drew Granny to Door County.  She loved cherries in anything.  Cherries still remind me of her.  Tart or sweet, it’s all the same to me.  I have an awesome gadget from Williams Sonoma to pit the cherry.  It also works with olives.

Although, the waters may be cold this summer, the people are warm and will warm your heart.


Homemade Ginger Ale Recipe by The Cookery

  • 1 c Granulated Sugar
  • 3 c Water
  • 1 c Peeled, finely chopped Fresh Ginger
  • Club Soda
  • Lemon Juice
  • Lime or Lemon Wedges

In a saucepan, make a simple syrup by dissolving 1 cup sugar into 1 cup of boiling water. Set aside.

Bring the remaining 2 cups of water to a boil in a separate saucepan. Add ginger. Reduce heat to medium low and let ginger sit in the simmering water for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for 20 minutes. Strain liquid through a fine mesh strainer. Discard ginger pieces.

Make ginger ale by mixing 1/2 cup of ginger water with 1/3 cup of Simple Syrup and 1/2 cup of club soda. Add a few drops of fresh lemon juice and a lime or lemon wedge to each glass.

For a Door County twist, add a splash of Door County Montmorency cherry juice to make a cherry ginger ale.

 Cherry Ginger Ale

The Wickman: Signature Drink

Build in a stemmed wine glass

  • Add 2 oz of John D. Taylor’s Velvet Falernum
  • Fill Glass with Ice
  • Add 3 Drops of Bittercube Orange Bitters
  • Squeeze 1 Lime Wedge
  • Layer in 1 1/2 oz Bonal Apetitif
  • Add a Splash of Soda Water
  • Garnish with a Luxardo Cherry


Door County Fish Boil Dinner (At Home)

  • 16 pieces lake michigan whitefish, in 2 inch wide slices
  • 16 small baby red potatoes (I use the B size baby red potatoes)
  • 16 small sweet white onions, peeled and left whole (like pearl onions)
  • 1/2 lb salt
  • 2 gallons water
  • lemon wedge
  • coleslaw

Add a 1/4 lb. of the salt to water and bring to a boil. Add potatoes, boil for 16 minutes. Add onions, boil for 4 minutes more. Add fish and the other 1/4 lb. of salt and boil for 10 minutes, then drain in a colander. For each plate, place two pieces of fish, two potatoes and two onions. Then drizzle the fish, potatoes and onions with 2-3 tablespoons of melted butter (I use unsalted). Serve with a wedge of lemon, coleslaw and a piece of Door County cherry pie for dessert.


Cherry Almond Cream Cheese French Toast

  • 1 loaf of white bread
  • 4 cups of frozen Door County cherries (rinsed
  • and drained)
  • 16 oz. softened cream cheese
  • 1/2 c. sour cream
  • 1 c. sugar – divided
  • 2 tsp. almond extract – divided
  • 1/2 loaf of French bread
  • 7 eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups of milk
  • 1-1/2 cups of half & half
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup sliced almonds

Cut the loaf of white bread into cubes. Place the cubes into a greased 9 x 13″ pan. Spread the cherries over the bread.

Microwave the cream cheese to soften it. Add 1/2 c. sugar, 1 tsp almond extract and sour cream to cream cheese. Spread over cherries.

Cut ten 1″ slices of French bread, place the slices over the cherries. Beat the eggs well, add   the remaining 1/2 c. sugar, 1 tsp almond extract, the milk, and cream, and beat again. Pour the egg and milk mixture over the French bread slices. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake covered with tinfoil for 40-50 minutes, then uncovered for last 10 minutes to brown slightly. Let set for about 10 minutes. Sprinkle top with powdered sugar and sliced almonds before slicing into. Makes 10 servings. Enjoy!


 All is a-shimmering at The Clearing,
Where white gulls float under a Nordic blue sky,
Over the waters of Green Bay, ever changing,
And aspens flutter like wind chimes sigh.- Christine Swanberg


Wherever your travels lead you this summer be in the moment.




§ One Response to Granny’s Travels…Door County!

  • Pam Olafsson says:

    We are going to make the ginger ale when we are back in town! Door County rocks, and it really looks like that blond boy is enjoying his drink!!

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