Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Michigan's Treasure

Saugatuck – with a name like that, how can it be anything but great? We visited Saugatuck, Michigan a couple of years ago on our annual Mother’s Day trip, which never actually takes place on Mother’s Day. Let me explain. Each year, my sister and I give my mother a two-night trip as her Mother’s Day gift. Our challenge is to find places that are within a 4-hour drive of the Chicago area. After we’d been to Lake Geneva, Galena and Amish Acres in Indiana, I remembered a friend raving about Saugatuck.

A little Internet research led me to the Beachway Resort and Hotel. Loved the name -- loved the location even more. Beachway is situated between downtown Saugatuck and Lake Michigan, overlooking the Saugatuck Harbor, where you can board the only hand-cranked chain ferry in the U.S. It only takes about 15 minutes to cross the Harbor into charming downtown Saugatuck, where quaint shops, art galleries and a variety of restaurants await.

For beach lovers like me, there’s something even better about staying at the Beachway (and I quote from the Beachway site) “it is the closest hotel to Lake Michigan's award-winning Oval Beach.”

What makes Oval Beach award winning? Check it out, and you won’t wonder for another minute. This Lake Michigan stretch of sand feels and looks like the most beautiful Florida beach you can imagine. Endless miles of sand and water, a sand dune high enough to experience panoramic views of Saugatuck and the shimmering waters of Lake Michigan. And no…Beachway did not pay me for this blog. And no…it’s not the Taj Mahal of hotels. Just a nice, clean family-run resort/hotel with a fantastic, family-friendly vacation or a great place for a couple’s or friends’ getaway. There are many other great places to stay in Saugatuck, as well. Check them out at

Nothing says Michigan like cherries. Check out this delicious pie recipe.

Star-Spangled Cherry Pie with Crumble Topping

• 4 c. tart cherries, frozen or fresh
• 1 c. granulated sugar
• 3 T. quick-cooking tapioca
• 1/2 t. almond extract
• Pastry for one-crust 9-inch pie
• 2 T. butter or margarine

Crumble Topping:
• 1/2 c. butter, softened
• 1/2 c. brown sugar, packed
• 1 c. flour

In a medium bowl, combine cherries, sugar, tapioca and almond extract and mix well (it is not necessary to thaw frozen cherries before using). Let cherry mix stand for 15 minutes.
Line a nine-inch pie plate with pastry and fill with cherry mixture. Dot with 2 Tbs. butter.

To make crumble topping, combine 1/2 c. soft butter, brown sugar and flour in a small bowl and mix until crumbly. Top cherry filling with crumble topping and bake in preheated 400° oven for 50 to 55 minutes or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly.

Note: Two cans (16 oz. each) well-drained unsweetened tart cherries can be substituted for frozen or fresh cherries.

Tip: If freezing your own cherries, arrange in a single layer on a cookie sheet after pitting. Freeze until solid to prevent cherries from clumping together, then bag.

1 comment:

  1. We have so many fabulous treasures in Michigan. Saugatuck is definitely one of them. Great post - and beautiful photos, as always. :-)