As part of a weekend-long Walloon Lake Writer’s Retreat Weekend at Hotel Walloon, the public is invited to a FREE event – A Lakeside Chat with Author John Patrick Hemingway – on Friday, April 14 at the Talcott Event Venue in downtown Walloon Lake. Doors will open at 7pm with a cash bar featuring a Pilar’s Rum Hemingway Daiquiri (see recipe below), along with select wine and beer; the discussion will begin at 7:30pm and a book signing will follow.
Throughout the weekend, the Canadian/American writer and journalist will lead writers in a series of workshops, readings and other creative exercises meant to inspire personal storytelling. Last year’s inaugural Writer’s Retreat was led by Ernest’s great granddaughter (and John’s niece), Cristen Hemingway Jaynes, author of Ernest’s Way.
In addition to his memoir, John Hemingway has published a number of short stories in magazines and literary reviews such at The Saturday Evening Post and Provincetown Arts and has also written for many fishing and hunting magazines such as Showboats International and Ducks Unlimited. His first novel, Bacchanalia: A Pamplona Story(2019), takes place in Spain during the Fiesta de San Fermín, a nine-day event that was made famous in the1920s by the publication of his grandfather’s work The Sun Also Rises.
Ernest Hemingway was just three months old when he made his first trip from his hometown of Oak Park, IL to Walloon Lake where his parents – Clarence and Grace (Hall) – had purchased property along the North Shore. Ernest spent time every summer until 1921 at the family’s beloved Windemere cottage there, the simple cottage still owned by descendants today. The woods and waters in and around Walloon Lake shaped Hemingway’s life in many ways and it was a place he always held dear to his heart. It was here that his 1972 posthumously published book, The Nick Adams Stories, is primarily set.
To inquire about availability for the “Walloon Lake Writer’s Retreat ” please contact Hotel Walloon at 231-535-5000.
I’m happy to report that Clampitt’s goal was a success. Her book takes us to both well-known and out-of-the-way destinations that offer a historic perspective and—in some cases—a culinary delight. Think of it as an in-depth historical travel guide and choose from a plethora of places to read about and/or visit covered in her book. I certainly have a few I now want to explore. These include the Amana Colonies in Iowa which started off as a religious society that escaped religious persecution in Germany. But though it’s rooted in the past with many places to visit such as the High Amana General Store and Zuber’s Homestead Hotel which was built in 1862) it’s also one that embraced technology producing, writes Clampitt, “many high-end electronic products, including everything from microwave ovens to washing machines.”
Strictly old-fashioned though is the recipe Clampitt shares for pickled ham that was given to her the Ronneberg Restaurant which opened more than 70 years ago in Amana. Pickled ham, one of the specialties of the area, can also be purchased in jars at the Amana Meat Shop & Smokehouse that dates back to 1855.
Clampitt, a Chicago-based food historian and travel writer who has also authored other books including Midwest Maize: How Corn Shaped the U.S. Heartland, who says she also wants to keep these icons of the past from disappearing by creating an interest to visit them, learned to appreciate iconic Midwestern destinations when young and visiting places with her family. That developed a long-time fascination that endures to this day.
This love of exploration isn’t confined to just the Midwest. Clampitt has visited thirty-seven countries on six continents.
“When I’m not traveling, I’m thinking of traveling,” she says, adding that she does a lot of research in preparation as well.
Indeed, since the publication of her book, she has racked up more destinations so here’s hope for a sequel to her book. No matter what, Clampitt will keep traveling and she invites others to do so as well.
“There are so many places in the Midwest to visit that are remarkable, I don’t want them to vanish,” says Clampitt. “I hope people get in their cars and go visit.”
Now one of the most popular retirement area for Americans and Canadians, the Lake Chapala Region, nestled in a valley almost a mile high in Mexico’s Volcanic Axis, has long been a draw for ex-pats and vacationers, lured by its almost perfect climate and beauty.
He met his wife, Gwen Chan Burton who was a teacher of the deaf and then director at the Lakeside School for the Deaf in Jocotepec, one of the three main towns lining the shores of Lake Chapala. Though they now reside on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, the Burtons continue to revisit Mexico regularly and he is currently editor-in-chief of MexConnect, Mexico’s top English-language online magazine.
The other two towns, each with its own distinctive vibe, are Ajijic and Chapala, native villages resettled by the Spanish Conquistadors in the 1500s. “This book looks at how Chapala, a small nondescript fishing village in Jalisco, suddenly shot to international prominence at the end of the nineteenth century as one of North America’s earliest tourist resorts,” writes Burton. “Within twenty years, Chapala, tucked up against the hills embracing the northern shore of Mexico’s largest natural lake, was attracting the cream of Mexican and foreign society. Thus began Lake Chapala’s astonishing transformation into the vibrant international community it is now, so beloved of authors, artists and retirees.”
The book, organized as a walking tour, covers not only existing buildings but also pinpoints the spots where significant early buildings no longer stand but their histories still weave a story of the town. It’s only a partial guide, explains Burton, noting that an inventory prepared by the National Institute of Anthropology and History identified more than eighty such buildings in Chapala including many not easily visible from the road but hidden behind high walls and better viewed from the lake.
Among the famous people who lived in Chapala at some point in their careers was author D.H. Lawrence, probably best remembered for his risqué (at the time) novel, Lady Chatterley’s Lover.
In 1923, Lawrence and his wife, Frieda, rented Casa de las Cuentas (House of Rosary Beads), a house that dates back to the 1800s. At the time, a one-story abode with a half-moon entrance and heavy wooden gates, it was located at 307 Calle Zaragoza, a street formerly known as Calle de la Pesquería (“Fishing street”) so named as it was where the local fishermen repaired their nets and hung them out to dry. It was while living on Calle Zaragoza that Lawrence wrote the first draft of The Plumed Serpent, published in 1926. The novel is described as “the story of a European woman’s self-annihilating plunge into the intrigues, passions, and pagan rituals of Mexico.”
Over the decades, after the Lawrences moved out, subsequent changes were made to Casa de las Cuentas including the addition of a swimming pool in the mid-1950s when artist Roy MacNicol and his wife, Mary, owned the home.
While Lawrence’s writings were considered by some as scandalous, MacNicol’s life had its scandals as well. Burton describes him as “colorful” in that he was married multiple times and was involved in many escapades as well as lawsuits.
It wasn’t the work of a dilettante as reviews of her book such as this one on Amazon shows.
“Flower Cookery is recipes, but far more than recipes,” writes one reviewer. “The book is organized by the popular name of the flower in question. Each section is introduced with quotations from literature, philosophy, and poetry that feature the blossom. This is followed by the recipes, interwoven with mythology, stories, and aphorisms about the flower, the plant from which it grows, its symbolism, and the culture or society in which humans discovered the value of the plant or blossom. The recipes include original favorites as well as recipes collected from historical sources and contemporary sources around the world. Here is just the tiniest sampling of the riches in the book.”
Burton shares her Christmas Cheer recipe from when she lived at Casa de las Cuentas.
10-12 squash blossoms with stems removed
2 eggs, beaten
2 to 3 tablespoons water
Flour, enough to thicken mixture about one tablespoon
Salt and pepper
1 cup neutral oil such as grapeseed, canola, or safflower
Wash and dry squash blossoms on paper towels, making sure to remove all the water. Mix remaining ingredients except oil to make a smooth batter. Place oil in a large, heavy skillet to 350-375°F. Dip blossoms in batter and fry in oil until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Serve hot.
As for the house, it was renovated again in the early 1980s and is now Quinta Quetzalcoatl, a lovely boutique hotel.
The above maps, both copyrighted, show Chapala 1915 [lower map] and 1951 [upper map].
In all, he’s planning on adding several more to what he currently calls the Lake Chapala Quartet, these focusing on the writers and artists associated with the area. I asked him to describe the region so readers who have never been there can get an idea of what it is like, but it turns out the Burton is NOT a traveler who meticulously plots every moment of a trip before he arrives. Instead, he tells me that part of the fun when traveling is to not know in advance what places are like and instead to see and experience them for yourself.
“That said,” he continues, “the various villages and towns on the shores of Lake Chapala are all quite different in character. The town of Chapala, specifically, is a pretty large and bustling town. It is growing quite rapidly and has added several small high end boutique hotels in recent years, as well as some fine dining options to complement the more traditional shoreline ‘fish’ restaurants. The many old–100 years plus–buildings in Chapala give the town a historic ‘air’ where it is relatively easy to conjure up images of what it was like decades ago. By comparison, Ajijic, now the center of the foreign community on Lake Chapala, has virtually no old buildings and more of a village and artsy feel to it, though it also has very high quality accommodations and more fine restaurants than you can count.”
Other structures still standing include the Villa Tlalocan, completed in 1896 and described by a contemporary journalist as “the largest, costliest and most complete in Chapala… a happy minglement of the Swiss chalet, the Southern verandahed house of a prosperous planter and withal having an Italian suggestion. It is tastefully planned and is set amid grounds cultivated and adorned with flowers so easily grown in this paradisiacal climate where Frost touches not with his withering finger…”
Also still part of the landscape is Villa Niza. One of many buildings designed by Guillermo de Alba, the house, according to Burton, was built in 1919 and looks more American than European in style. Located at Hidalgo 250, it takes advantage of its setting on Lake Chapala and has a mirador (look out) atop the central tower of the structure, which affords sweeping panoramic views over the gardens and lake. De Alba’s strong geometric design boasts only minimal exterior ornamentation.
Burton, who specializes in non-fiction about Mexico, related to geography, history, travel, economics, ecology and natural history, has written several fascinating books about the history of the Lake Chapala region.
In If Walls Could Talk, Burton invites you to walk with him through time as you explore the city.
“That it is approachable, nonthreatening, and there is something in Straight Up Tasty for everyone, regardless of their level of experience in the kitchen,” says Adam Richman. “I aim to introduce people to flavors, ingredients, and maybe even techniques that they have not used in their kitchens before. “
personality, culinary traveler, cook and author, travels so much for his shows
such as “Secret Eats with Adam Richman,” that I wondered if he ever woke up in
the morning and wasn’t sure where he was.
do,” Richman tells me. “In fact, one time, it was the
strangest/saddest/weirdest sensation I’ve ever had. I woke up at home and
didn’t know where I was. My first thought was, ‘This must be one of those old
boutique hotels that they renovated an apartment to make.’ I honestly did not
even recognize my own home. It’s a mixed bag of emotions, but I wouldn’t change
up the opportunities I have and have been given for anything.”
Expect him, though, to know what
he is demonstrating when he’s in front of a crowd because Richman is totally
into making cooking accessible to everyone.
A while back I caught up with Richman at the KitchenAid Fairway Club where he was doing a cooking demo when Harbor Shores, a Signature Jack Nicklaus golf course on Lake Michigan in Benton Harbor, Michigan was the venue for the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship.
“The recipes are simple but deeply delicious, and each dish can be used for multiple purposes: the salmon can be by itself, or served a top a salad,” Richman says about what has become almost his mantra and why his cookbooks and shows such as “Secret Eats with Adam Richman” and “Man vs. Food.” He now is starring in Matchday Menus, a brand new series on Facebook where he uses football stadium food to explore some of the coolest places in the world. It started three weeks ago and already has almost 3.5 million followers.
the golfing aspect of the tournament, I asked Richman if he played.
actually on my high school team,” he says “I have not played in ages, and I
cannot imagine how my game has suffered as a result of that. I still enjoy the
driving range quite a bit, but most of all, my favorite thing about
opportunities like this is to meet the people that watch my shows and enjoy the
things I do. Because this way, I can give people more of what they want, and
find out what else they are interested in that I have yet to explore.”
it’s the backroads and city streets in the United States or internationally—is
what Richman’s shows are all about. How did
he decide where to go for shows such as “Secret Eats with Adam Richman?”
locations for the international season were decided by the network–at least in
terms of the cities,” he explains. “Because my shows have had a significant and
very fortunate degree of international success, they wanted to film in cities
where my shows already had a foothold. In terms of the establishments with in
those cities, I am blessed to work alongside an amazing team of storied
producers, and I have a great director and show runner. We all do research for
a couple of months and then meet with the places we have for each city. It’s
actually quite a bit of fun. Everybody is trying to out-secret each other.
Everybody tries to find the coolest place, the coolest hidden dish and so on.
Ultimately, we look over everything that everyone has brought in, and then try
to figure out what makes the best four location episode that really represents
Richman says he’s flattered people call him a chef but says
he thinks there’s something academic and studious to the word chef.
“I think of myself—excuse the expression—as a badass
cook,” he says. “I may not be a chef,
but I’ve worn clogs a few times and baggy checkered pants.”
The latter clothing list is a nod to
Mario Batali, the embattled restauranteur/TV food star/cookbook author who was
known for his orange Crocs, hair pulled back into a ponytail and oversized
shorts and patterned pants.
“It used to be if you had a sheath
of tattoos up and down your arm, you were a biker,” he continues. “Now it means
you can cook a great pork belly.”
His cooking demonstrations include a
lot of digressions as well as action while he’s talking. Slicing a lemon with a
mandolin, he tell us about how to avoid taking a slice out of your hand,
sharing the story of an incident where he did just that and then lamenting it
was too bad, he wasn’t making marinara sauce in order to cover up the
accident. There’s advice against cooking
with wine we wouldn’t drink and adding oil to an unheated pan.
It’s a science thing about the latter, he
says, adding it’s important to heat the pan first. That’s because the longer
fats cook, the quicker they’ll break down and start to burn impacting both the
taste and even releasing harmful toxins.
How do you know when the pan is hot
enough to add oil? Richman shows how but holding his pan close to the
“My mother hates when I do that,” he
says, noting that less perilously, splashing a drop or two of water in the pan
and seeing if it sizzles also works.
are so many cookbooks on the market, what do you tell me people about why they
should buy yours.? I ask.
“That it is approachable, nonthreatening, and there is something in Straight Up Tasty for everyone, regardless of their level of experience in the kitchen,” he says. “I aim to introduce people to flavors, ingredients, and maybe even techniques that they have not used in their kitchens before. I want people to use my recipes as a point of departure for them to then tweak and customize to make them their own. Above all, I want people to have fun. It’s not just recipes – there are poems, essays, even lists of great restaurants to check out that I have discovered in my travels.”
¼ cup olive oil
½ cup miso paste (yellow or mild works well with the
3 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 beets, peeled and cubed
2 12-ounce bags of broccoli florets
2 Spanish onions, cubed
1 head of garlic, separated into cloves and peeled
¼ cup garlic powder (not granulated garlic) or more to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F
2. In a large bowl, combine the oil and the miso. Add the
sweet potatoes, beets, broccoli, onions, and garlic cloves and toss to coat.
3. Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking
spray and add about ¼ inch of water. Add the vegetables to the pan. Dust
everything with the garlic powder. Cover the whole dish with aluminum foil.
4. Roast the vegetables for 50 minutes. Remove the foil,
stir the veggies, and cook uncovered for an additional 10 minutes, or until the
sweet potatoes and beets are fully covered. Serve hot or warm.
Smoked paprika onion rings
3 Vidalia onions (or other sweet onion), peeled
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, beaten
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
3 TBS sweet smoked paprika
Vegetable or peanut oil, for deep frying
Kosher salt to taste
1. Using a mandolin or a very sharp knife, slice the onions
into ¼-inch-thick rounds. Separate the rounds into rings.
2. Place the flour, beaten eggs, and panko in three separate
shallow bowls. Mix a tablespoon of paprika in each bowl.
3. Dredge the onion rings first in the flour, then in the
eggs, and finally in the panko. Place the dredged rings on a baking sheet and
allow the coating to set for 10 minutes.
4. In a large pot set over medium-high heat, bring about 4
inches of oil to 365 degrees (use a deep-frying or candy thermometer to check
5. Line a separate baking sheet with paper towels. Working
in batches, fry the onion rings until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side.
When done, the rings should float to the surface of the oil. Transfer each
batch of fried rings to the prepared baking sheet and season with salt.
6. Keep the finished onion rings warm under layers of paper
towels as you cook the remaining batches. Serve hot.
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease two
9-inch round cake pans with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the cake mix, eggs, 1 cup
of cold water, and the mayonnaise.
3. Pour the mixture into the greased cake pans and spread
with a spatula to smooth. Bake according to package instructions. When done,
remove the pans from the oven and place them on wire racks to cool
4. Invert one of the cake layers onto a plate. Using a
rubber spatula, spread a thick layer of frosting over the top. Carefully invert
the other cake layer on top and spread the top and sides with the remaining
Patricia Schultz and I had only been on the phone together for five minutes before we decided to make the trip to New Zealand—neither of us had been and both of us wanted to go. And no, I haven’t bought my ticket yet but that’s how mesmerizing Schultz, who introduced the concept of bucket list travel when she wrote the first edition of her #1 New York Times bestseller 1000 Places to See Before You Die in 2003. It was so popular that over the years more than 3.5 million copies have been sold.
Now Schultz has updated her book with
a new twist, her words accompanied by mesmerizing and amazing handpicked photos
of some of the most beautiful places in world. The book itself, weighing six pounds with 544
pages, is oversized eye candy—compelling us to pack our bags and head out to
1,000 Places to See Before You Die
(Deluxe Edition): The World as You’ve Never Seen It Before was years in the
making—after all Schultz had to travel to all those places.
Calling her new book, a veritable
scrapbook of her life, she says she became teary eyed when choosing the photos.
In its pages she takes us to destinations so exotic many might have remained
unknown to most of us if not for her writing. One such is Masai Mara, the
world’s greatest animal migration that takes place each May when hundreds of
thousands of wildebeests travel north from the Serengeti in Tanzania to the
grasslands of Kenya’s Masai Mara. It’s a two to three month journey and the wildebeests
are joining by other migrating herds including antelope, zebras and gazelles
swelling the animal population to a million or so. There’s also ballooning over
Cappadocia, a Byzantine wonderland encompassing a natural and seemingly endless
landscape of caves and peaks of shaped by eons of weather with wonderfully
colored striations of stone. Even better, Schultz points out, you can take a
side trip to Kaymakli, an ancient underground city just 12 miles away.
For those less inclined for such
travels or whose pocketbooks don’t open that large, Schultz features closer to
home destinations that are still special such as Mackinac Island where cars
were banned in the mid-1890s, New York City (where Schultz resides when not on
the road) and one of my favorites, Stowe, Vermont. And, of course, the majestic
While Schultz’s parents weren’t world
travelers, they encouraged her to find her way to what she loved. But for her,
it’s not just the road, it’s the people she meets as well. When the first
editor of her book proved so successful, she treated herself to a trip to Machu
Picchu in the Urubamba Valley of the Cuzco Region of Peru often known as the
Lost City of the Incas. Located 7800-feet above sea level, it’s isolated at the
top of a mountain surrounded by jungles and other peaks. There she met a
90-year-old woman who had been inspired by her book to travel there.
“She asked me if I had heard of the
book,” says Schultz. “Peru was the first stamp in her first passport.”
This venturesome woman who had
traveled outside the U.S. for the first time in her ninth decade, offered the
seasoned travel writer a pearl of wisdom that has remained with her for the
“She told me to make sure to see the difficult
places first,” recalls Schultz. “You can see the easy ones when you’re not as
active or energetic.”
Is Schultz burned
out by travel? Has she reached the point of been-there-done-that?
with an emphatic no.
“There are still so many places I
want to visit,” she says, noting that her list remains long. “I doubt if I’ll
get to do them all, but I will try to do as many as I can.”
What: Authors Group Presents Patricia Schultz, 1000 Places to
See Before You Die; Luncheon
When: Tue, Oct 29, 2019 from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Where: Union League Club of Chicago, 65 W. Jackson Blvd.,
Where: Anderson’s Bookshop La Grange, 26 S La Grange Rd, La
Cost: This event is free and open to the public. To
join the signing line, please purchase the author’s latest book, 1,000 Places to See Before You Die Deluxe
Edition, from Anderson’s Bookshop. To purchase please
stop into or call Anderson’s Bookshop La Grange (708) 582-6353 or order
“Wisconsin is not just about cheddar; we have a large variety of cheeses which consistently win awards.” Kristine Hansen, author, The Wisconsin Cheese Cookbook: Creamy, Cheesy, Sweet, and Savory Recipes from the State’s Best Creameries (Globe Pequot Press 2019; $24.95)
With over a million cows, the state
turns out more than 2.8 billion pounds of cheese per year. Hansen focused on
the growing artisanal cheese producers in the state and though her cookbook has
60 recipes (as well as beautiful, lush photos), it’s as much of a travel
guide—call it a cheesy road trip if you can excuse our pun–to 28 of the
“A lot of my friends, when they
come to visit, want to know the best cheese places I’ve discovered and ask for
directions,” says Hansen, a Milwaukee-based journalist covering food/drink,
art/design and travel whose articles have appeared in many magazines and
websites including Midwest Living, Vogue and on Travel + Leisure and Conde Nast
Writing the book meant lots of time
on the road, visiting corners of the state where she’d never been and learning
the intricacies of cheese making.
So, what makes Wisconsin cheese so
great? After all, there are cows throughout the Midwest, but Indiana, Illinois
and Michigan don’t have nearly the same amount of small batch hand crafted
cheesemakers as the Badger State.
of Swiss immigrants settled here, particularly in Green county,” says Hansen
about the home of Green County Cheese Days, the oldest and largest food fest in
the Midwest. The festival honors the area’s Swiss heritage (their Swiss
credentials are such that there’s also Wilhelm Tell and Heidi festivals) cheesemaking
tradition. The later includes a dozen creameries producing over 50 varieties of
award-winning cheeses as well as the only domestic maker of Limburger and the
only U.S. factory making 180-pound wheels of Old World Emmenthale.
creameries mentioned in Hansen’s book include the Door County Creamery in
Sister Bay in scenic Door County, where visitors where visitors can not only sample
cheese and take a farm tour but also participate in a 40-minute goat yoga
“ClockShadow is one of only two urban creameries
in the country,” says Hansen about this Milwaukee cheeserie which offers tours.
“One of the reasons they opened is they wanted people in Milwaukee to be able
to get fresh cheese curds without having to drive very far.”
As an added plus, adults can also
combine the experience by taking a tour of the Milwaukee Brewing Company which
is just across the street.
“People think the best Gouda comes
out of Holland, but Marieke Gouda is wonderful,” says Hansen.
Located in Thorp, Marieke Gouda has
a product store, newly opened Café DUTCHess and features tours. Across the street,
Penterman Farm where the milk for Marieke Gouda is provided by Brown Swiss and
Holstein cows, there’s a viewing room and tours as well.
Bleu Mont in Blue Mounds is one of
several cheeseries in the state with a cheese cave.
Asked what’s the most unique
Wisconsin cheese she’s sampled—and she’s tried a lot, Hansen mentions Carr
Valley’s Cocoa Cardona, a mild, sweet, caramel flavored cheese balanced by a
slight nuttiness that’s dusted with chocolate.
“There are about 500 varieties of
cheese of so in Wisconsin, so there’s a lot to choose from” says Hansen. “And the
cheeses here are not just for those who live in Wisconsin. Uplands Pleasant Ridge
cheese costs $26 a pound and sells in New York City. That says a lot about the