Thursday, June 19, 2008

Food & Drink

Now to the important stuff. Food and drink!

We really enjoyed the fruit of Michigan's loins. I'll start with the tour we took; we went to two wineries and a cherry processing plant.

The first winery was actually a sort of conglomerate of businesses. It was a CSA (a form of agriculture in which subscribers help purchase seed and get a weekly bag of seasonal, fresh produce), a bed & breakfast, a stable (where b&b guests could keep their horses), a petting zoo, a farmer's market (a store with locally produced products) , a winery, a creamery (for making cheese), and a wine shop/tasting room. Whew! They keep busy.

Here is the farmer's market.

Straight ahead in the below photo is a cave for wine and cheese. Oh, to be a hermit in that cave!

Winetasting room.

Winetasting bar.

Winetasting menu.

Emily and Kim at the winetasting.

A glimpse of the creamery through windows in the winetasting room.

Another room of the creamery (visible through another window in the winetasting room).

Next we went to a cherry processing plant. As might be expected, it was a loud, dirty warehouse that smelled like chemicals.

We went into another warehouse where workers were sorting cherries -- which are yellow because they've been soaking in some kind of chemical bath to prepare them to become maraschino cherries. It was even louder and smellier. Pretty fascinating. We had to wear hairnets.

Then we went to another winery. This one specialized in sparkling wines -- red, white, and rose -- and was a lot smaller than the first (thirty acres as opposed to 160). We sat out by the grapes for our tasting.

We had Sex, all of us, right there on that table. Relax, it's the name of a wine -- the one in the glass below.

When the conference ended, we had a half-day to hang out in downtown Traverse City. We went to a teahouse. I love teahouses. They're always peaceful and I can happily drink a lot of tea all day long. We got a pot of some kind of white tea with herbs and a pot of cacao-mint black tea.

That night we went to a restaurant that served meals made with all local ingredients. Here's the menu.

First course: I got a white bean soup with red wine in it. Actually there were only two things on the menu I could eat (not counting dessert), since I'm a vegetarian. So it was the soup and an arugula salad. So delicious. Oh, and I got some chocolate dessert thing too.

Kim got the trout. I wanted her to show that it was, like, half a fish. I harangued her into taking this photo.

I actually tasted her fish. Which is kind of crazy since I have never, ever eaten seafood (well, except once; see below). I have had an extreme aversion to fish and crustaceans and all that other stuff since I was a kid -- even when I ate lots of meat back in the day. (Please don't comment about how great shrimp, crab, whatever is. I've heard it all before and remain unconvinced.) But when I was in NYC I tried ceviche, which is evidently some kind of raw fish, and I liked it. (We were at a very expensive Japanese restaurant, which may be why it was good.) So I figured, maybe I should try cooked fish. It was nasty.


Jen said...

Ceviche is the bomb. Hard to find, though. It was excellent in Cancun. Mmm...

sarah said...

I don't know if I'd eat it again. It was just one of those nights where I felt down for whatever. But who knows. People change ... or so I've heard.

Kim said...

sarah: Excellent summary of our travels in Traverse City!

jen: The Latin market at the corner of NW 23rd Avenue and NW 2nd Street has great ceviche. Oh, that's in Gainesville, of course.