Localized Me

People: I believe I have accomplished true Midwestern status. I spent this past Memorial day "opening the cabin" and then taking in the fruits of this lush food basket. Let me explain.

Matt's family has a cabin on Lake Oakwood, just west of the Minnesota border in South Dakota. It is the pride and joy of his family because it is both where they gather and where they relax. It was a joy to be a part of their cleaning and prepping festivities as well as their dining, because this group knows how to eat.

Our Saturday meal, which followed a long day of work, featured not only seasonal fruit and veg, but regional favorites and fresh Walleye catches. (Read, me, agog). I got a few sideways glances as I gleefully snapped photos of our meal, but for the most part all parties were amused.That bacon wrapped delight to the right of my plate is half of a "cowgirl," a favorite of Midwesterns who shop the local grocery chain Hyvee. Summer in the Midwest is made official by the collective and constant grilling of these cheese and jalepeno stuffed chicken breasts. Our asparagus came direct from the Brookings South Dakota Farmers' Market and was grilled with a bit of olive and sea salt, Walleye from Oakwood, panned fried with a bit of butter and garlic, and a wild rice salad prepared by Matt's nutritionist Aunt with roasted almond slices, golden raisons and green onion. Oishi.

And as if that wasn't enough to thrill my culinary senses, friends of the family brought a rhubarb pie for dessert, with a flakey, tender, oil and milk crust.
Between the collection of drift wood and the consumption of asparagus, fresh fish and rhubarb I believe I established a true Midwestern existence. Here is to the lake days (and dines) to come.


  1. Your photos are lovely. And I want to be at the lake! Man, I miss the outdoors, feasting away on delights among trees, near water. And fish, not from the sea, but from a lake, or a stream perhaps? That's something I have never tried.

  2. Mak and Murph: Walleye Pike is a significant Great Lakes fishery. Because of its resemblance to a familiar ocean-going flatfish, it is also known as the Sole of the Midwest. Because of it's mild flavor and fine texture it is a favored ingredient for making Gefilte Fish. Mak and Murph's dads often enjoyed eating Walleye Pike during their Chicago dayz.

  3. I see some Gefilte fish in my future. Hollar to the Scandinavians.


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