We’ve enjoyed hearing about your adventures over the Fourth of July Weekend. Actually, weekends as the holiday stretched over two weeks. We are just starting to see our business travelers and vacationers back. Although we miss everyone during the summer breaks I’m thrilled to have travel back on the front burner. It is so positive for all businesses.
Pups and ponies are doing excellent. It’s been too warm to walk Maddie and Sofia unless we are out the door by 7 AM or after 8 PM. Even then it’s sometimes a stretch. They sleep like rocks after our mile trek. One of their favorite things to do is lie, flat out, on the hot driveway. I surmise that it is like a heating pad and makes their little bodies feel good. We celebrated Sofia’s 10th birthday Saturday so the “girls” are now the same age. I am so fortunate to have them in my life. Z has been a real trooper with the warmer weather. We still get in 4-5 spirited workouts a week even though they are shorter with more walking breaks. He gets a nice cool hosing down immediately and then a big flake of hay, carrots and apples and a fan turned on to high. If the humidity isn’t too bad he and Kos go out to pasture together for a few hours to get their grass munching time in. Life is good for us all.
I am always thrilled when Michigan blueberries are in season. They are so sweet and delicious. Blueberries have been commercially grown In Michigan’s upper and lower peninsulas since the 1900’s and are big business. There are over 20,300 acres and more than 30 varieties which contribute $135 million to the state’s economy. Michigan has been the #1 state for blueberries for the last 70 years and much of that success is due to the Hancock varieties developed by MSU horticulturist James Hancock. Some blueberry fun facts – July is National Blueberry Month; there are 600 blueberry farms in Michigan; they are one of the only fruits native to North America but are found on almost every continent and one of the few naturally blue foods. Their health benefits include dietary fiber, vitamin C and manganese. I love just popping them plain into my mouth or as a topping for my morning yogurt. So...Good.
My gardens are growing in leaps and bounds. Hydrangeas are magnificent, bleeding hearts abound and the few planters I have are full and vibrant. Veggies are progressing slower although I am still picking delicious lettuce and Swiss chard. While others are telling me that they’re eating tomatoes already mine are barely past the blooming stage. Rhubarb is always ready to harvest though and all my herbs, especially the basil, are voraciously abundant. I cut my garlic scapes, the beautiful flower stalks that emerge from the bulb. Garlic is wonderful as it provides 2 harvests, that of the scapes and soon after the bulbs. It is imperative to cut the scapes before flowering, as they will be much more tender and flavorful. Removing the scape allows the bulb to grow larger as it isn’t competing for energy. I’ll make my favorite scape and pistachio pesto, freezing most of it to use for the rest of the year. I love to garnish boiled redskins with chopped scapes and butter, add them to omelets and as a substitute for garlic in hummus. They also make a lovely bouquet when blooming.
Sharon and Crew have Awesome Chalkboard Features:
One of my all-time favorites
BOUILLABAISSE , A Traditional Provencal Fish “Stew” of Scallops, Cod and Mussels Steamed in a Saffron Tomato Broth with Fennel, Celery and Onion will be Served with a Grilled Baguette and Fennel Aioli;
WILD STRIPED BASS , Another Favorite, Is Pan-Roasted and Presented over a Veggie Quinoa Pilaf with an Artichoke Lemon Butter Sauce and Topped with Gremolata and Last, not Least
SHRIMP AND GRITS – 6 Gulf Shrimp Sautéed with Bell Pepper, Onion and Garlic in a Cajun Broth over Buttery Grits. Max will Have a Dessert Too. YUM!!!
We Look Forward To Seeing You at the Bistro!
Be safe, have fun. And remember: “Make Every Day A Million Dollar One.”
XXOO, Mary, Maddie, Sofia, Z and Kos
Certified Executive Chef and Owner of Diamond Jim Brady's Bistro