Chicago’s Randolph Market is coming to Southwest Michigan’s Harbor Country and teams up with Fernwood Botanical Garden with a great summer event for those who love vintage and antiques, home and fashion design, styles throughout the decades, and collectibles.
This year will mark the eighteen year when the Randolph Street Market kicks off its 2021 summer season in Harbor Country in Three Oaks, Michigan over Memorial Day Weekend. Saturday May 29thand Sunday May 30th, from 10am until 6pm EST.
Whether you’re in the mood to buy or just explore, the curated displays of art and antiques, vintage and Modern treasures, and hand-crafted goods from 40 chosen dealers from Los Angeles, Nashville, Cape Cod, St. Louis, Michigan, Chicago, and Northwest Indiana is sure to delight.
“Our Chicago venue is undergoing renovation. Instead of missing a summer of fun and excitement, we’re taking the show on the road. Three Oaks is a natural — so many of our Randolph regulars have houses in the area plus there’s a huge untapped market in Michiana for a great market event,” said Sally Schwartz founder of the Randolph Street Market.
Just north of downtown Three Oaks, a historic village with a quaint downtown and a trendy food vibe, the market takes place at 16860 Three Oaks Road/ North Elm Street. Entrance fee is $5 per adult; children under twelve free. Visitors are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance for guaranteed entrance at RandolphStreetMarket.com.
One dollar of every ticket purchased goes to support Fernwood Botanical Garden in Niles-Buchanan, Michigan. The 105-acre Fernwood, nestled on the St. Joseph River, is a lovely tract of virgin forest, prairie, gardens, an intricate railway garden and visitor center with a gift shop, all interspersed with walking woodland, riverside, and garden trails.
More market shows will be held June 19th and 20th, July 3rd and 4th, August 7th and 8th, and September 4th and 5th. The Randolph Street Market, an internationally recognized event, was named as one of USA Today’s, “Top 10 American Flea Markets,” and “An Authority on Stylish Living,” by Sophisticated Living Magazine. It’s been featured in Travel & Leisure, the Wall Street Journal, Architectural Digest, and the Guardian and is a renowned destination for antique collectors, merchandisers, designers, stylists, fashionistas, and set decorators alike.
On Valentine’s Day in 1923, Harry Diamond, a dashing bootlegger who was a real lady killer, decided that since his rich wife had signed a new will leaving her fortune totally to him, it was time to get rid of her. In a sort of Deadman’s land between Gary and East Chicago, he ordered his chauffeur to check the tires, then shot his wife five times at close range and shot the chauffer as well. Nettie played dead, the chauffeur ran away, and as soon as Harry carried her body into the drugstore she owned, she looked him in the eye and said “You killed me, Harry.”
I recounted the story of this murder that took place in my hometown in my true crime book A Jazz Age Murder in Northwest Indiana. The woman, Nettie Diamond, was a much married pharmacist and businesswoman and her husband (her fifth and last) was a bootlegger and speak easy owned named Harry Diamond. He was like 23 and she was 42.
I was signing copies of my book after a presentation when one of the people who had attended asked me how I had gone from writing about food to writing about murder. I still write about food but the short answer was that my mother had dated Nettie’s son when they both were attending Indiana University way back when and she had told me about their romance–and the murder– shortly before she died. I had known Nettie’s son, whose name was changed from Herskovitz to Hurst as he was my elementary school principal. Anyway, this is turning out not to be such a short answer, but I became fascinated by the case which is so perfectly 1920s and when I was asked about segueing from food to murder, I started asking myself, well…what would have Nettie and Harry eaten?
Below are some recipes that were popular in the 1920s. So who knows? Maybe Nettie would have had her cook (yes, she had one) whip up some of these dishes. As for the drinks, this was Prohibition after all, and I’m guessing that Harry would have served some of his bootlegged rye whiskey. The Journeyman Distillery in Three Oaks, Michigan happens to be making a classic rye whiskey and kindly shared a recipe with us.
Steak houses were big. Instead of using the word oven broiled instead of grilled which doesn’t sound very good at all. But it’s the same concept. Think Jazz Age clothing, lots of cigarette smoke, ice clinking in cocktail glasses, banquettes, and Cole Porter music when making this steak dish using Omaha steaks—as that company was already in business.
Steak Au Poivre
2 (10- to 12- ounce) filets mignons (or substitute your favorite cut such as bavette, rib eye, skirt, porter house, flat iron, or New York strip), at least 1½ inches thick
“Pat the steaks dry with paper towels and liberally season all sides with salt. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and set aside for 1 hour at room temperature. When ready to cook the steaks, heat a large cast- iron skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes. Increase the heat to medium- high and pour in 2 tablespoons of the avocado oil. Heat until oil is shimmering and carefully place the steaks in the skillet.
“Cook, flipping the steaks every 60 seconds, until the internal temperature registers 130° to 135°F on an instant- read thermometer, about 8 minutes. Remove the steaks from the pan and transfer them to a wire rack to rest for 10 minutes. While the steaks rest, wipe the skillet clean with a paper towel, then place it over medium heat. Pour in the remaining 1 tablespoon avocado oil, then add the shallot. Cook, stirring, until softened, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has reduced by about half, about 2 minutes.
“Add the stock, green peppercorns, thyme, and a pinch of black pep-per. Cook until the sauce has reduced again by half, about 4 minutes. Fold in the ghee and stir until it has melted. Taste the sauce and season with salt and pepper as desired. Slice the steaks against the grain and arrange them on a serving platter. Spoon the green peppercorn sauce over the top and serve.
Growing up in Tahoe City, a one stoplight town in California’s High Sierra Mountains, Lindsay Navama yearned for the big city life. Los Angeles offered just that, and she was happy there in her career as a recipe developer, personal chef, and owner of Cookie Culture, a boutique bakery.
But when she and her husband, David, moved to Chicago for work, Navama felt unmoored and wondered what to do next in her life.
Lured by articles about the wonders of Harbor Country, the swath of countryside starting at the state line and curving north along Lake Michigan to Sawyer, Michigan, the couple decided to check it out.
Unfortunately, upon arrival the two were totally underwhelmed.
“We heard people call it the ‘Hamptons of the Midwest but we thought is this it?” says Navama.
The two didn’t return for several years, but when they did—they both experienced what she describes as the region’s magic. It was more than just the beautiful beaches, the eight quaint small towns each unique in its own way, lush farmlands, orchards, rivers, and woods, there was also an appealing vibe. Each visit brought new discoveries– an estate winery, a fun delicatessen that became like a second home, a Swedish bakery that first opened for business in 1912–and new friends.
Wanting to spend more time there, the couple moved into a small place in New Buffalo and dubbed it “Camp Navama.” There Navama cooked and entertained, developing her own recipes and tweaking them when needed to feed friends on gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, keto, paleo, and other diets. She learned the rhythms of the land and seasons such as when deep blue Concord grapes were peaking at Dinges’ Farm in Three Oaks or when an order of fresh caught sturgeon arrived at Rachel Collins’ Flagship Specialty Foods and Fish Market in Lakeside.
In ways it was a convergence of Navama’s experiences growing up in the High Sierras and adulthood in the ever-so-hip L.A. food and cultural scene. Navama identified with many Harbor Country residents who moved to or had second homes in the area and brought that big city sensibility with them when it came to art, food, entertaining but appreciated a more rural way of living and a lot less concrete.
Navama no longer felt lost and instead saw the direction her life should take.
“I wanted to preserve those memories, great meals, and good times in Mason jars,” she says.
A great cookbook with 50 recipes and photos by Gabrielle Sukich of Benton Harbor, it’s also a travel guide with small maps, listings of restaurants, wineries, intriguing hideaways, and everything else the area has to offer.
“I never saw myself as living any other place than California and here I am in a tiny town in the Midwest,” she says. “And I’m beyond grateful it happened.”
Whistle Stop Asian Noodle Salad
Contributed by Whistle Stop Grocery and Chef Eva Frahm
1 pound angel hair or capellini pasta
5 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced
¼ cup plus ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
¾ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
¾ cup hoisin sauce, divided
1 medium red bell pepper
1 medium yellow bell pepper
¼ cup seasoned rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon garlic chili sauce
Sriracha, to taste (optional)
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves, chopped
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the pasta water, if desired. Add the angel hair and cook 7 to 8 minutes until just al dente, so the noodles are still slightly firm and not overcooked. Drain into a colander, rinse gently with cold water, let drain again, then place in a large bowl. Set aside.
In a skillet over medium heat, sauté the mushrooms in ¼ cup of the olive oil for about 7 minutes, or until lightly browned. Season with ⅛ teaspoon of the salt and ⅛ teaspoon of the pepper. Remove from the heat and add 2 tablespoons of the hoisin sauce. Stir to coat and set aside.
Julienne the bell peppers by cutting them into ⅛-inch-thick strips. Set aside.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the remaining 10 tablespoons hoisin sauce, the remaining ⅓ cup olive oil, the rice vinegar, the garlic chili sauce, and the Sriracha (if using). Set aside.
Add the mushrooms, peppers, scallions, cilantro, and sauce mixture to the noodles. Toss gently to incorporate. Season to taste with the remaining salt and the remaining pepper and transfer to a serving bowl or store covered in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days.
Lake Life Cranberry Limeade Cosmo
3 ounces favorite vodka
1 ounce triple sec
2 ounces cranberry juice cocktail
3 tablespoons limeade concentrate, thawed
a cocktail shaker and martini glass in the freezer for about 20 minutes.
Add the vodka, triple sec, cranberry juice, and limeade concentrate to the chilled cocktail shaker. Shake your booty while you shake your Cosmo for about 10 seconds, because why not?!
For all those who have been opining that Southwest Michigan is indeed become a food-centric destination thanks to our great farmers and the crops they grow in fields and orchards, multiple wineries, breweries, distilleries, chefs and food producers, the biggest proof came last week when Abra Berens, chef in residence for Granor Farm in Three Oaks was nominated for the Best Chef award in the Great Lakes Region by the James Beard Foundation. This coveted honor came about for multifold reasons including her best selling cookbook Ruffage: A Practical Guide of Vegetables (Chronicle Books 2019: $35). The book make veggies easily accessible and tasty. Containing 300 recipes based upon 29 vegetables, the cookbook was on numerous top ten cookbooks for 2019. Then there is also Granor’s Farmhouse Dinners, often featuring celebrity chefs, she prepares. These dinners, based on what’s grown on the farm as well as locally sourced foods, attract people locally but also from Chicago, Detroit and even Indianapolis. For the last two years, each dinner has sold out and has had a waiting list.
“I never thought it would happen to me,” says Abra when I called to congratulate her. “I think the term was gob smacked when I found out. A long time ago I figured it was not my wheelhouse because my food is not fancy food.”
It turns out that Abra heard about the honor from a friend who lives in Pennsylvania and saw the press release from the James Beard Foundation and immediately pulled it up on her phone. It was hard to read but there it was.
She grew up cooking and has worked in restaurants since she was 16 including Zingerman’s Deli in Ann Arbor and then at Ballymaloe Cookery School and Farm, a 100-acre organic farm in Shanagarry, County Cork, Ireland. In ways Ballymaloe was similar to Granor in that what they grew on the farm was served at its restaurant and guest house.
“It was an education for me—that connection with what a farm is growing and the meals you eat,” she says.
Next stop was Neal’s Yard Dairy, a serious cheese shop where staff people like her worked with some 40 cheesemakers, in selecting, maturing and selling farmhouse cheese made in the United Kingdom and Ireland. From there, she headed to Chicago where became the executive chef at Stock Café at Local Foods, Vie and the Floriole Cafe & Bakery. As if that wasn’t hectic enough, Abra also co-founded Bare Knuckle Farm in Northport in Michigan’s Leelanau Peninsula. That meant a round trip commute of 700 milers on a regular basis for six years
It was worth it, says Abra about those six years, because she wanted to do dinners based on what she grew.
It worked well in Chicago and definitely does in Three Oaks as well.
Granor Farm is expanding too.
“We’re adding new space to the kitchen and we’re working to grow vegetables year round by building indoor growing space,” she says. “We’re putting in refrigeration to add dairy such as artisan cheeses from Windshadow Farm in Hartford, Evergreen Lane Cheese and Creamery in Fennville and Capriole Goat Cheese in Greenville, Indiana.”
They’re also growing heritage varieties of wheat, rye and corn. Their Bloody Butcher corn, a variety grown by Daniel Boone’s brother Squire almost 250 years ago, is used by Molino Tortilleria in Sawyer to make their corn tortillas. Abra also plans on making and selling bread from these heirloom grains using a wood burning oven.
All in all, though she didn’t ever expect it, Abra definitely deserves the James Beard nod. It’s a first for Southwest Michigan and shows all the great things—foodwise—to come.
The following recipes are reprinted from Ruffage by Abra Berens with permission by Chronicle Books, 2019.
“Parsnips are perfect for roasting because they are naturally a bit drier than carrots or sweet potatoes,” she writes at the beginning of this recipe. “I like to roast them pretty hard so that their little chips burn, foiling the natural sweetness of the root. As with all oven roasted things, allow enough space between the pieces on the baking sheet; A convection oven will help develop that crispy exoskeleton on the veggie comma and cook until the roots are tender when pierced with a knife. “
Roasted Parsnips w/Fresh Goat Cheese, Pecans and Pickled Apricots
“Pickling dried fruit heightens its flavor by introducing a serious tang and a touch of salt,” she writes explaining the reasoning behind pickling. “It breathes new life into a pretty standard pantry staple. It works with all dried fruit though Apple chips get weird and soggy. You can also pickle fresh fruit, though this was sometimes soften the flesh to mush so be gentle with the heat. I love this with basil, which is increasingly available from year-round growers. If you can find good looking basil, either drizzle with basil oil or use parsley or mixture of parsley, tarragon, and or mint. “
10 parsnips or about 2 pounds, ends cut off, peeled and cut into obliques1/4 Cup olive oil, plus more for cooking the parsnips
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
1/4 cup Apple cider vinegar
1 half cup dried apricots cut into 1/4 inch strips
4 ounces fresh goat cheese
1 cup pecans, toasted
6 leaves basil, torn
Heat the oven to 400° F. Toss the parsnips with a big glug (about two tablespoons) of olive oil, 2 pinches of salt, and 2 grinds of black pepper. Transfer to a baking sheet and roast until the parsnips are tender and golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes.
Heat the vinegar, salt and brown sugar to boiling. Pour this over the apricots and let them sit for 10 minutes. These will keep for weeks so feel free to scale up and have some on hand.
Drain the apricots reserving the liquid for dressing or making a spritzer with soda water. Remove the parsnips from the oven, toss with the ¼ cup olive oil and let it absorb for a couple of minutes.
Place on a serving platter, dot with the goat cheese, scattered the pecans and apricots over them, garnish with torn pieces of basil and serve.
w/currants, walnuts, blue cheese + burnt honey
10 parsnips (about 2 pounds)
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup currents
1/2 cup walnuts
4 ounces blue cheese
One sprig rosemary, stripped and minced
After roasting the parsnips, removed them in the oven and turn on the broiler. Combined the honey and water to thin. Drizzle the roasted parsnips with the honey mixture and slide under the broiler to char like a toasted marshmallow. Removed from the oven and transfer to a serving platter. Garnish with the currents pickled (same as for the apricots, if you like), walnuts, blue cheese and rosemary.
w/other roots, garlic mayo + sage
5 parsnips (1 pound)
5 carrots (1 pound)
1 celery root (1/2 pound)
2 sweet potatoes (1 pound)
5 sunchokes (1/2 pound)
½ cup garlic mayo
3 sprigs sage, cut into thin slices or fried in oil until golden and crispy
Roast the roots drizzle with the garlic mayo and garnish with the sage.
For the mayo, combine two crushed cloves of garlic, the juice and a half cup of mayonnaise.
Vinegar Braised Onions with Seared Whitefish and Arugula
8 shallots or cippolini
Neutral oil salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup red or white wine vinegar
1- 6-ounce filet of white fish per person
4 ounces arugula
1/4 cup olive oil
Heat the oven to 325°F.
Clean the shallots. Cut them in half from top to bottom.
Heat a glug (about two tablespoons) of neutral oil in a medium of improved frying pan until just above smoking.
Sear the onions, cut side down until well charred. Flipping season with a hefty sprinkle of salt and pepper. Char the other, grounded side as best as you can. As long as there is a good char on the cut side, you’ll be good.
Remove from the heat and pour the vinegar over the onions, getting it into the petals of the onion. Be aware it will spit as the vinegar hits the hot pan and will probably make you cough. Cover with foil or parchment paper and place in the oven. Bake until the onions are tender, about 25 minutes. In a large frying pan heat a glug (about two tablespoons) of neutral oil until smoking hot. Blot the whitefish skin dry, sprinkle with salt and sear, skin side down, about 5 minutes.
When the skin releases from the pan, place the whole pan in the already hot oven to cook through, about 4 minutes.
In a medium bowl, dress the arugula with olive oil in a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
Serve the fish, skin side up, top with arugula and onions, spooning the onion liquid over the whole thing period.
The dazzling 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition brought 27 million people to Chicago which was no small feat given that the first gas powered automobile is credited to Karl Benz in Germany in 1886 and Henry Ford’s 1908 Model T was the first car easily accessible to people other than the wealthy.
The crowds came to see all the newest inventions like the Ferris Wheel, the zipper and Cracker Jacks, diet carbonated soda, Aunt Jemima syrup and pancake mix and Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit gum. Plus it was at the Exposition that Pabst Select won the Blue Ribbon in the beer competition and hence forth became known as Pabst Blue Ribbon beer.
But there were other attractions less awe inspiring or recognizable but as important if not more so.
1500 botanicals (a term used to describe seeds, berries, roots, fruits and herbs and spices) were brought from around the world to the exposition to the Field Columbian Museum (now the Field Museum). Among the 40 million objects belonging to the museum—only 1% of which are on display—the majority of these botanicals remain.
Megan Williams, Director of Business Enterprises for the Field Museum, started a beverage program around seven years ago in celebration of the museum’s 125th anniversary. Her idea was to use some of these botanicals as a way of connecting the museum’s past and present.
“I am not a researcher here,” says Williams discussing her background, “though I used to teach environmental science. I joined the Field museum as an account manager and then took over the restaurant. I wanted to create a sense of community, a place for people to sit and talk and what better place for that than a bar.”
Combining the communal ambience of a bar with the awesome history of the museum was one of the reasons Williams started the beverage program.
“I wanted to educate people through taste and smell, to be able to taste or smell something that has a historic significance,” she says.
Williams described it as an opportunity to bring people together who love spirits and love learning.
“It’s not just putting a museum label on something though there’s a legitimacy in that,” she continues, noting she’s worked with brewers and wine makers as well in developing Field branded drinks. “But we wanted to take it another step further, working with people who have a passion and understand the museum’s language and mission.”
Contacting the Journeyman Distillery in Three Oaks, she invited Matt McClain, Journeyman’s lead distiller and owners Bill and Johanna Weller to view the botanicals to look at the botanicals.
“The first spirit we talked about was rye, that ended up as the last one made,” says Williams. “We asked questions such as what would work well in making gin—what could–out of these 1500 botanicals—and where could we source them.”
McClain spent several months researching the botanicals that were at the museum, to determine their history as well as their availability.
“I found that a lot of them were not considered safe or even poisonous,” he says. “Standards were different back then.”
From there, he and Bill Weller chose those they thought would be a good fit for the spirits they wanted to create.
The first product they created was their Field vodka using Bloody Butcher Corn, an heirloom variety often used for making bourbon. The vodka then served as a base for the next distilled spirit, their Field Gin
“We wanted to make a global gin,” says McClain. “So we were pulling species from around the world. We narrowed it down to around 50.”
But once they had the botanicals and began developing recipes, they had to cross off a few more from the list.
“A lot of botanicals that look and taste good, don’t work where you put them in in alcohol, others that I wanted to use were hard to get or arrived too late, I still have agave in the cooler,” says McClain, noting they used other criteria as well in the selection process. “Bill and I wanted the gin to be lavender focused. Obviously gin also has to have a heavy juniper taste as well. We wanted the gin to have tropical undertones and had to figure out those as well.”
Then they were down to 27 including not only lavender and juniper berries but also prickly ash, anise, mango, ginger, coconut palm sugar, pineapple, papaya, Valerian Root, cinnamon, coriander, Horehound, star fruit and Charoli nuts which are sourced from India.
For their Field Rye Whiskey, they tried several types of figs which McClain describes as the world’s oldest sweeteners, finally deciding that Black Mission figs worked the best. The figs were macerated or soaked in alcohol for three months, a process that brought out subtle and all-natural flavors of bananas, sweet melons and strawberries.
“It’s an incredible whiskey,” says McClain. “It has heavy caramel notes and soft marshmallow like palate.”
Bottles of the Field distilled spirits are available for sale. For those who would like to learn more about their taste, they’re also used in some of the cocktails served at the Staymaker, Journey’s restaurant.
Beer, which is so Chicago given its rich German heritage, was the first partnership Megan Williams embarked upon when she started her beverage program. Two Chicago breweries, Off Color Brewing and Two Brothers Brewing were among the first to use the botanicals to create beers for the museum. researchers at the Field Museum have spent years excavating and studying the Wari site in Peru. Toppling Goliath introduced PseudoSue pale ale, a nod to the museum’s famous 40 feet long and 13 feet tall at the hip, Tyrannosaurus rex. Physically SUE is the largest specimen T. rex specimen that’s been discovered so far.
Off Color’s introduced Wari, their artisan beer based on the Peruvian chicha, a purple corn beer native to areas of Central and South America. One of its other tie-ins with the museum is that Field scientists have spent years leading excavations at Cerro Baúl, a remote mountaintop citadel which was the only contact point between the Tiwanaku and the Wari, considered two great kingdoms whose dynamic relationship ultimately contributed to the rise of the Incan Empire. According to Off Color’s website, an essential sacrament shared by both cultures revolved around chichi. It seems that both tribes liked to consume massive quantiles of chicha served in ornately inscribed drinking cups called keros that were discovered during the archaeological expeditions at Cerro Baúl. In this way, Wari and Tiwanaku cemented their relationships. In other words, next time you see a bunch of heavy alcohol consumers at bars, understand they’re just continuing a thousand year ritual similar to that of the Wari and Tiwanaku.
The following recipes are courtesy of the Journeyman Distillery.
Journeyman Fig Old Fashioned
1.5 oz Field Rye
0.5 oz Fresh Orange Juice
0.25 oz Journeyman Bourbon Maple Syrup
Dash of Journeyman Barrel-Aged Balsamic Vinegar
Dehydrated Orange Wheel
Stir ingredients and pour into a rocks glass, over ice. Garnish with dehydrated orange wheel.
Field Vodka Gimlet
1.5 oz Field Vodka
.75 oz Fresh Lime Juice
.5 oz Simple Syrup
Fresh Lime Wheel
Shake ingredients well and strain into a tall glass over ice. Garnish with a fresh lime wheel.
Field Gin Fizz
1.5 oz Field Gin
.75 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
.5 oz Pear Simple Syrup
1 oz Aquafaba or Egg White
Combine ingredients and dry shake before adding ice to the shaker. Wet shake until froth has built up. Strain into a Collins glass and top with soda. Garnish with Star Anise.