Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Shake it don't break it

I have been dutifully documenting meals and recipes these last many weeks, with plans to share lots of images and stories with you. Wholesome things, mostly, summer squash, farm eggs, raspberry lime rickeys. But let's face it, sometimes you just want the money shot. So that's what I'm going to bring you today. We just returned from a too-short trip to Michigan and have returned with a new motto: Michigan-who knew?

Who knew, for example, that Lake Michigan is like a salt- and shark-free ocean, with waves and tides? That heartlanders really are as nice as is reported? That Northern Michigan really is the cherry capital? Some of you surely did, but you were wise to keep it a secret. Otherwise, you'd never have the place to yourselves. But we crashed t
he party and I'm glad. Because if we hadn't, I wouldn't be able to tell you about the cherry shake at Don's Drive-in in Traverse City.

Don's cherry shake brings all the boys to the yard.

And though you might be able to guess at the sheer glory of good vanilla ice cream blended with ripe, just-picked Bing cherries, now you know for sure. Best of all? Don's offers a real, true small size, 10 ounces of creamy goodness that's just enough to satiate, but not so much it sickens. After all, I had a lot of research left to do to find the state's best tart cherry pie, so I couldn't let my appetite be hampered by too much cherry shake. If you happen to be in this part of the world during cherry season, make a bee-line to Don's (2030 N US Highway 31 N, Traverse City, MI 49686, 231-938-1860).

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