In our ongoing effort to support the struggling local economy, Jason and I thought it would be fun to organize an event centered around Michigan-made food and beverages. I did a little research and was able to pull off a huge spread without buying anything from outside the state.
We started with the obvious choices like Better-Made chips, Kowalski sausages, and Faygo. And followed those up with the less obvious including a spread of Michigan cheeses, several of which were organic, Avalon Breads, Eden Organic and Germack nuts, dried Traverse City cherries and local apples. Farm raised chicken from the Royal Oak Farmer's Market was shredded with Hot Rod Bob's BBQ Sauce (Oxford) and served on buns from Miami Bakery (Livonia). McClures Pickles from Royal Oak and Garden Fresh Gourmet chips and salsa, which are based in Ferndale, rounded out the menu.
Our 25 guests were asked to bring a Michigan wine, beer or spirit. And to my delight, no one showed up with that N/A wine from St. Julian. Some of the wines that they brought were surprisingly good. Sparking wines from L. Mawby, Pinot Gris from Chateau Fontaine, and Naughty Red from Chateau Chantal were some of my favorites from the night. There was a huge selection of local brews from Bell's, Short's, Founders, Arcadia Ales, Michigan Brewing Company, just to name a few. A couple guests even brought their home-brewed concoctions to share. And although I am not a vodka connoisseur, the offerings from True North and Valentine were both very good and artfully packaged in cool bottles.
So as our play list of Michigan-made music blared on in to the wee hours, the food and drinks and dancing eventually dwindled down. I think we were successful in our purpose, to introduce people to some terrific localitems that they may have been unfamiliar with. And by the way, McClures spicy pickle brine tasted great in the bloody mary's the next morning.