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1. The Whitefish: You can usually find fresh whitefish in springtime at Door County grocery stores. I have seen it most often at Econo Foods in Sturgeon Bay and Main Street Market in Egg Harbor. Now take that whitefish back to your condo, home or campsite. The idea of cooking fish can be daunting, but really, a quick pan fry is easier than you think. Dust the whitefish with seasoned flour. Heat a nonstick pan to medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil to the pan. Add fish filets and fry ‘til golden, about 3 minutes on each side. Serve with lemon wedges. Or, use the oven roasted whitefish recipe that’s attached to my blog. If you are in a motel or resort without a kitchen (or you don’t feel like cooking), visit one of the many Door County restaurants that do a fine job preparing whitefish. Here are a few: The Cabin in Sturgeon Bay, The Nightingale in Sturgeon Bay, Mr. G’s in Jacksonport, The Greenwood in Fish Creek, The Sister Bay Bowl in Sister Bay, The Shoreline in Gills Rock. Best advice? Ask a local shop owner or motel owner their favorite place to go for whitefish. We take our recommendations very seriously!
2. Door County Wines: An array of choices and varieties can be found at the seven Door County wineries. And you can taste and choose your favorite at each one! For complete listing, go to Doorcountywinetrail.com
3. Local Spring Vegetables: As noted in the blog, if you want ramps, go forage right away, the season’s almost over. Local asparagus is also in season, and harder to find in the woods. And morels, the big kahuna of Door County forest treats, will be popping up mid to late May. If there is one thing I have learned living in Door County, is to never, EVER ask someone where they find morels. Their reaction will range from laughter to mild indignation. For all of these local vegetables, your best bet is to visit a farm market which can be found all over the County, or a community farmers market (those don’t open until June.) Check the Door County Visitors Bureau website, doorcounty.com for more information.
4. Décor: Table accessories for my dinner party were styled in conjunction with Maxwell’s House of Egg Harbor. Maxwell’s quirky and unique decorative items are just my style and were a perfect accent for the tableware I already owned. High quality homewares shops abound in Door County, including Nature Works in Egg Harbor, Bliss in Sturgeon Bay, and Blue Dolphin House in Ephraim, to list a few. Go. Browse. Find treasures! Find info on more shops at doorcounty.com.
5. Morels: More about morels! I wanted to include them in my dinner party menu, but they had yet to appear in the County. A very short and hard to predict season, just like ramps. Although it’s fun to hunt for morels, unless you’re an expert, stick to buying them at a farm market or grocery store so you can make sure they’re safe. Many wild mushrooms ae poisonous. No denying it, they are expensive, but a once a year splurge is SO worth it.
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