Michigan Summers: Cuisine de Lime Lake

My grandparent's house sits atop a hill, nestled in the woods, and overlooks Little Lime Lake in Spring Arbor, Michigan. It's a small town and charming in its own right. It's about an hour outside of Ann Arbor. I can point it out on my hand if you'd like. 

  Boys ready to shuck some corn.

 

Boys ready to shuck some corn.

As kids we'd spend all day running up and down the hill from the beach house and the docks to the house itself for towels, sunscreen, and meals. Most of our time was spent on the dock trying to catch minnows or in the water scaring away fish. We practiced our casting off the far ends of the dock and if we caught anything, we'd holler for a Qualified Adult to unhook it and release it for us. Nothing was ever big enough to keep.  We didn't want to eat the fish anyway.

The beach house.

The beach house.

Meals were carefully orchestrated by my grandmother and always served in the beach house buffet style. My grandpa, Al, would be stationed near his beloved tomato plants at the grill. My great aunts would bring over sides like Pea & Peanut salad or fruits suspended in Jell-O topped with Cool Whip. We'd drink lemonade by the gallon and it was always Country Time--the powdery stuff packaged in little plastic tubs. Part of me wants to be grossed out by it now, but it still tastes like summer.  

Corn silk gets everywhere.

Corn silk gets everywhere.

Meanwhile, my grandma was stationed in the house boiling the corn we'd shucked for her earlier and pulling her Signature Dish out of the oven. She has made Cheesy Potatoes as long as I can remember. They come out of the oven in a casserole dish, browned on the top. They're steaming hot when you dip into them with a spoon later. Vaguely greasy, the shredded potatoes hold up so there's still some chew to them. I asked her to teach me how to make them on my latest trip, I was dubbed potato peeler. Grandma prefers to boil and then peel. I prefer the peel then boil. (She finished the dish without telling me.) 

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There was a huge storm, which put a damper on our dinner plans and then knocked out the power for slightly less than 24 hours. The chaos of it all made it difficult to shoot what we ate, but some of the views were too stunning not to capture.