Letters

Letters 09-01-2014

Hamas Shares Some Blame

Even when I disagree with Mr. Tuttle, I always credit him with a degree of fairness. Unfortunately, in his piece regarding the Palestinian/Israeli conflict he falls well short of offering any insights that might advance his readers’ understanding of the conflict...

The True Northport

I was disappointed by your piece on Northport. While I agree that the sewer system had a big impact on the village, I don’t agree with your “power of retirees” position. I see that I am thrown in with the group of new businesses started by “well-off retirees” and I feel that I have been thoroughly misrepresented, as has the village...

Conservatives and Obamacare

What is it about Obamacare that sends conservatives over the edge? There are some obvious answers...

Republican Times

I read the letter from Don Turner of Beulah and it seems he lives in that magical part of the Fox News Universe where no matter how many offices the Republican Party controls they are not responsible for anything bad that happens...

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Monday, September 20, 2010

Tastemakers: Chili By The BAy/ Spaten Oktoberfestbier Ur- Marzen

Dining Rick Coates Chili by The Bay
It is tailgate season and that means a lot of secret chili recipes will find their way to many stadium parking lots. Legend has it that chili originated in Texas sometime in the early 1800s by cowboys who drove cattle through the plains and needed simple meals. One theory is that cooks traveling in these cattle caravans planted oregano, chiles, and onions among patches of mesquite to protect them from foraging cattle. The next time they passed the same trail, they would collect the spices, combine them with beef, and make a dish called “Trail Drive Chili”.
In the Midwest, Cincinnati chili is the regional favorite. Typically “Cincinnati-style chili uses unique ingredients such as chocolate, cinnamon or cloves and typically does not use chili powder or chili peppers. It is usually served over spaghetti, hot dogs, chili or chips.”
Traditional dishes include two-way: spaghetti and chili; three-way: spaghetti, chili, and shredded cheese; four-way: spaghetti, chili, shredded cheese, and either diced onions or beans; five-way: spaghetti, chili, shredded cheese, diced onions, and beans.
 
Monday, September 13, 2010

Tastemekers: Great Lakes Chip Company/ Bell‘s 25th anniversary

Dining Rick Coates Great Lakes Chip Company
America’s number one snack food? The potato chip of course. According to potato chip folklore this crunchy snack and sandwich side was developed purely by accident. In the summer of 1853, Native American George Crum was employed as a chef at an elegant resort in Saratoga Springs, New York. A dinner guest was upset with the thickness of Crum’s french fries and sent them back.
Crum in turn was upset and decided to send out the thinnest fries he could make, the guest was ecstatic over the browned, paper-thin potatoes and word began to spread about Crum’s “potato chips.”
Michigan is one of the top producers of potatoes grown for potato chips and Traverse City entrepreneurs Chris and Ed Girrbach (of Pangea’s restaurant in Traverse City) decided to take advantage of the crop. Earlier this summer they launched the Great Lakes Potato Chip Company. Not only are they using local potatoes and seasonings, they are manufacturing and distributing their chips from a production company at the base of the Leelanau Peninsula.
 
Monday, August 30, 2010

Tastemakers: Hilbert‘s Money/ 231 Harvest Signiture Cocktail

Dining Rick Coates 231 Harvest Signature Cocktail
The Evening with Mario Batali in Traverse City a few weeks ago attracted
2,000 guests who dined on Batali recipes prepared by the chefs from The
Cooks’ House and Epicure Catering. While the food was exceptional and the
culinary teams are to be commended for preparing 10 recipes to perfection,
equally impressive was the 231 Harvest Signature Cocktail introduced that
evening.
 
Monday, August 30, 2010

The Mackinac Bridge Labor Day Walk

Features Rick Coates Striding the Straits: The Mackinac Bridge Labor Day Walk
By Rick Coates
On Labor Day, tens of thousands of walkers will converge on the 53rd Annual Mackinac Bridge Walk. Since there is no fee charged to walk, only estimates are available on how many people participate; organizers guess that on a great year it‘s 60,000 plus, and on an average year, around 45,000. All indications point to this being a great year.
“This has been a great tourism season here in St. Ignace,” said Janet Peterson, executive director of the St. Ignace Chamber of Commerce. “The weather has certainly helped out this year
compared to last year. The Bridge Walk is one of the big events of the year for us; it is sort of the unofficial end of the summer celebration for a lot of people.”
 
Monday, August 30, 2010

Labor Day Weekend Getaways

Features Rick Coates Labor Day Weekend Getaways
By Rick Coates
It‘s the last official weekend of summer (even though summer is still around officially for a couple more weeks) and from BBQ’s to boating there is plenty to do in Northern Michigan. Here are a few
suggestions that might not be on your radar for a Labor Day Weekend getaway:
 
Monday, August 23, 2010

KC‘s disco days

Music Rick Coates The Sun still Shines for KC’s Disco Days
By Rick Coates
Few musicians can take credit for actually creating a music style, but when you ask who was responsible for the disco music scene of the early ’70s, one Howard Wayne Casey comes to mind.
Casey founded the KC and the Sunshine Band in 1973 and is the force behind such hits as “(Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty,” “Give It Up,” “Keep It Comin’ Love,” “That’s The Way (I Like It),” “I’m Your Boogie Man,” “Get Down Tonight,” and “Boogie Shoes.” Along with the Bee Gees and Donna Summer, KC pioneered the disco music and dance scene.
Howard Wayne Casey, nicknamed KC, brings his band to Northern Michigan this weekend to the Odawa Casino Resort in Petoskey. The Saturday concert will be the band’s first appearance in Northern Michigan in years.
“I am looking forward to it up there. Is it snowing yet? I love the snow,” laughs KC. “I have been checking the weather up there and see that it has been great all summer. But truly I like the snow. I live in Miami and we don’t get snow, so I love it because I get to see it and then leave it.”
 
Monday, August 23, 2010

Tastemakers: Hall‘s sweet corn/ Frankenmuth Brewery

Dining Rick Coates Hall’s Sweet Corn
Northern Michigan sweet corn is making the headlines this summer. Scientists released a study earlier this summer attributing the Michigan corn crop to lower summertime temperatures. Climatologists claim that the increase in corn crops in Michigan over the past 60 years increases the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere, resulting in cooler temperatures. In other words, our summer might have been even hotter this year, if it weren’t for all the corn grown in Michigan.
Okay, that is way too much science for something that tastes so good. The sweet corn crop in the region is in full harvest. Last week I was at the Traverse City Farmers’ Market and there was a crowd gathered around Hall’s and their giant trailer full of sweet corn. I asked one person in line about it who said Hall’s is the “best anywhere and I come every Wednesday and Saturday to get it.”
Well, when I loaded up my bag and went to pay, I asked for the secret to their success and the young woman just smiled and said, “It is all in the water, that’s all I am saying.”
 
Monday, August 23, 2010

Larry Bell: Craft brew titan

Features Rick Coates Larry Bell: Craft brew titan started as a home-brewer
By Rick Coates
Larry Bell is the “godfather” of the Michigan craft brew industry of
microbreweries and brewpubs. While the modern craft brew industry
started out West, Bell is one of its pioneers this side of the
Mississippi River. He has inspired legions of brewmasters to follow in
his footsteps.
 
Monday, August 16, 2010

Foreigner

Music Rick Coates It feels like the first time for re-energized Foreigner
By Rick Coates
Foreigner guitarist, lyricist and co-founder Mick Jones has seen the good, the bad and the ugly of the music business. He brings a reincarnated Foreigner to Interlochen Center for the Arts on Thursday.
Jones is the only original member left in the band that released 39 singles with 20 reaching the into the Billboard Top 20. Since their first release in 1977, Foreigner has sold more than 50 million albums, packing such hits as, “Cold As Ice,” “Feels Like the First Time,” “Hot Blooded,” “Double Vision,” “Dirty White Boy,” “Waiting For A Girl Like You.”
 
Monday, August 16, 2010

Cavo

Music Rick Coates Champagne days for Cavo
By Rick Coates
Modern rockers Cavo return to Traverse City this Wednesday to Ground
Zero Nightclub but this time it will be a little different from their
previous stops.
 
Monday, August 16, 2010

Rhythm Devils

Music Rick Coates The Rhythm Devils carry on a Dead tradition
By Rick Coates
The Hoxeyville Music Festival continues to grow in stature within the music community. Stepping beyond the confines of a local band festival, they added some national headliners last year. The result was so successful that they have kicked it up a notch this year with The Rhythm Devils.
Any “Deadhead” knows that The Rhythm Devils are Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann, the drumming duo of The Grateful Dead. The group evolved out of those improvisational drumming and percussion sets that took place at most Dead concerts. After the death of Jerry Garcia in 1995, The Dead disbanded and its members became involved in several musical projects and bands.
The Rhythm Devils will headline this weekend’s Hoxeyville Music Festival along with Keller Williams. While Williams is now on his own tour, he was a part of The Rhythm Devils earlier in the summer and will certainly join them on stage.
 
Monday, August 16, 2010

Tastemakers: Traverse City Wine & Art Festival

Dining Rick Coates Traverse City Wine & Art Festival
A couple of weeks ago I attended the Paella in the Park in Traverse City and a friend of mine from out of state joined me. He laughed when I told him it was all local wine from the Old Mission Peninsula. But I countered, listing the major awards wineries in the region have won at international tasting competitions. He came back with a response I hear a lot: “Okay, so you make great white wines up here, but I am a red wine drinker and your reds...” Before he could finish I escorted him to the Peninsula Cellars table so he could taste their 2005 Cabernet Franc.
 
Monday, August 9, 2010

Goose Lake

Music Rick Coates Goose Lake : America’s Forgotten Festival
By Rick Coates
The abundance of music festivals now taking place in Northern Michigan probably are better known than one of the largest and most successful in American history.
Last weekend marked the 40th anniversary of Goose Lake International Festival that originally took place between Jackson and Ann Arbor August 7- 9, 1970 and attracted more than 200,000 attendees.
While Woodstock received full fanfare from the media last year in honor of its 40th, little is being made about Goose Lake, despite the fact that Billboard calls it one of the most successful music festivals of all time.
“I will take the blame for the lack of media coverage,” said Tom Wright, one of the organizers and production manager for the festival. “All this media from Rolling Stone Magazine to others showed up looking for backstage access and I wouldn’t give it to them. I gave them free passes to get in an’ sit with
 
Monday, August 9, 2010

An evening with Mario

Dining Rick Coates An Evening with Mario: A Reservation For 2,300, Please!
By Rick Coates
Sam Porter is fresh off his successful first-ever Paella In The Park event last Friday in Traverse City which attracted a sold-out crowd of 1,500. Porter has no time to celebrate as he conducts another first-time event, “An Evening With Mario Batali,” that is expected to attract 2,300 for dinner.
The event is being co-produced by Porterhouse Productions and the National Writers Series. It will take place on the historic front lawn of the Village at Grand Traverse Commons this Saturday, August 14, from 5 to 10 p.m. Tickets range from $35 to $99 (the more expensive the ticket the closer to the stage one sits).
“This is a very fantastic event that starts with the generosity of Mario Batali,” said Porter. “Mario is donating his time and the net proceeds will go the scholarship fund that the National Writer Series has set up.”
Porter says there are “so many aspects of this event” that he is concerned some may not understand what they get for the ticket price.
“There are several components to this evening. First all, everyone is going to be well fed as all tickets include all 10 dishes being prepared from recipes inspired by Mario’s cookbooks,” said Porter.
“There will be a cash bar that will feature local wines and beers. When you purchase your first glass of wine you keep that glass and take it home, it is really nice stemware. For the beer we have canning jars but we are asking that you donate those back as they are going to a youth program to teach canning.”
 
Monday, August 9, 2010

Tastemakers: Mario Batali‘s Molto Gusto/ Market fresh mixology

Dining Rick Coates Mario Batali’s “Molto Gusto”
The world’s third best-selling book of all time after the bible and the dictionary is the “Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book” with more than 30 million copies sold since it was first released in 1930. Cookbooks represent a large market share in the book publishing industry with sales in 2010 about $1 billion in the United States alone. Industry studies show that about 40% of Americans “collect” cookbooks and the average household has at least 20 cookbooks.
One of the top cookbook authors out there today is Mario Batali. While Batali’s fame from his years on the Food Network coupled with him being one of the top restauranteurs in America has given him celebrity status, the popularity of his cookbooks goes beyond that. Batali will be the next writer/author in the popular National Writers Series this Saturday in Traverse City.
Batali’s success in authoring bestselling cookbooks might start with his celebrity but ultimately the practicality and functionality of the recipes within his books give him longevity in a crowded field. His latest effort, “Molto Gusto,” is a collection of recipes primarily from his popular NY eatery Otto Enoteca Pizzeria.
 
 
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