Wednesday, May 7, 2014

5/1 Sterling State Park, Michigan

I had a very busy week in Michigan, visiting friends and relatives, and getting some much-needed doctor and dentist appointments.  I've also stocked up on some of the things I can't get elsewhere in the country, like Awrey's Long John coffee cakes and some peameal back bacon, which is the real Canadian bacon! 

Awrey's was a long Detroit bakery until it shut down last winter and almost went bankrupt, which would have been a real disaster.  They were able to get some additional funding and so the factory was kept in business.  Long John coffee cakes are dense and full of nuts--yum! 

Canadian bacon is NOT the smoked ham stuff that is sold in the U.S.   In Canada it is known as peameal bacon, and is really not bacon at all.  It is a very lean cut of pork loin that has almost no fat in it and it is pickled in brine with spices until it "cures."  In reality, it is raw pork and must be cook, usually sliced and fried in butter.  It is good in a sandwich or with eggs for breakfast.  There are now several grocery stores in the Detroit area that have meat markets where the butchers make their one, which saves me a trip to Canada, which I used to do periodically.  You can even order it by mail now.  This site does a good job of  showing you both the raw and cooked meat.  Tip: Don't overcook peameal bacon.  It should be done in the middle, but not dried out.  See the photos in this link.

I also found a recipe online for brining your own peameal bacon.  Next time I am desperate for it, I might try this:  Don't skip on the salt or you will ruin it, as one meat market did because some stupid people complained it was too salty.  It is SUPPOSED to be salty.  If you don't like it, eat the bland ham stuff they pass off as Canadian bacon in the U.S. 

I was so busy, I did not take many photos of the sights in Sterling State Park, but I did take more last year, if you care to look them up.  Sterling State Park is along Lake Erie, just east of Monroe, Michigan, just off I-75.  It is a handy place to stay for visiting Detroit, and the local Enterprise rental company will pick you up if you rent a car, which is what I did for the week.

I was amazed at a couple of guys kite surfing in the very cold, and very strong, winds on the lake.  There are still chunks of ice on the lake, so it must be very cold, even with a wet suit.

A couple of weeks ago, I bought a weather station with a wind speed indicator, so here it is tied to the picnic table.  Works very well.  I measured winds one day at 29 MPH with gusts up to 36 MPH, which is one reason why I did not take a beach walk!  There is a ton of logs and other beach wood along the shore, which you can see in this photo.

Saw some tenters trying to light a fire with some of this scavenged wood, but this stuff has been under ice and snow all winter, so it is still very wet.  They got lots of smoke, but no real fire. 

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