We avoid the interstate highways as often as possible, tooling down the state and U.S. two-lane highways at 55 miles per hour. Sometimes, when we can’t get there from here, we resort to narrower two-lane roads that we can’t find on the map. We tell ourselves that we are getting better gas mileage but the real reason we enjoy the back roads is because there is more of interest to see. We get to drive down the main street of small towns, getting a feel for the culture of the part of the country we are in. We get to see lots of barns and sometimes even stop to take some photos.
We get to find the small family-run dinners 10 miles down the road from the interstate and around the corner, where all the cars are parked for lunch. Most fun of all is finding roadside markets selling produce in season. Last week we traveled the back roads to Manistee for 4 nights of camping on Lake Michigan and on the way discovered this wonderful market to stock up on some seasonal produce for our dining enjoyment.
The fresh strawberries were done in our neck of the woods, but were still producing a ways north – and the blueberries that aren’t yet ripe in the lower tiers of Michigan counties were just starting. As an added bonus (how can I take so much excitement) they had the delicious black cherries grown in the northeastern lower peninsula.
JB loves a good deal and his favorite vegetable is asparagus so his eyes lit up when he saw they were selling asparagus for $1 a pound. We had it for supper for three of the four nights.
I’m saving the best find for last. Did you notice the bakery sign in the photo above? It caught our eye right after seeing the strawberry sign – and who can leave a farm market without checking out the baked goods. First stop was the table with fresh baked biscuits and short bread to go with the strawberries. We opted for the short bread and weren’t disappointed when we savored the strawberry shortcake with a cup of tea after supper. But that wasn’t the best…
The best was the doughnut. That wonderful apple-cinnamon doughnut made with buttermilk. The one with the little crunch as I broke through the light brown crust. And then the sweet, light center that melted on my tongue. Oh, I feel the ecstasy of that moment. And I’m glad that memories don’t contain calories. Maybe I’ll have a another one.