Last weekend I took a break from dinner duty. Forgoing the challenge of cooking a meal that tries to please everyone is a welcome change. Although we still are required to eat something and take-out food is underwhelming, I took the opportunity to prepare what my family calls “the meat and cheese board.” What this usually involves is a hard salami, smoked meat or sausage along with a variety of hard and soft cheeses. The add-ons depend on what is available and looks tasty. I use fruit spreads, crackers, olives, nuts or hummus.
I took great pleasure in making this particular platter because I used only products that were grown or produced in Michigan. Our great state is an agricultural goldmine and it is quite easy to find just what I needed. My Michigan smorgasbord contained three cheeses, two bratwursts, a fig spread, fruit and multigrain bread.
I shopped for all of these products at Argus Farm Stop in Ann Arbor. Argus Farm Stop is a direct-to-consumer market for local producers of vegetables, fruits, meats, baked goods, dairy and artisans. Open since August of 2014, this seemingly small market sells over 100 products from local farms and producers year round. These are all the wonderful products I brought home for dinner:
- Raw Gouda cheese—Fluffy Bottoms Farm in Chelsea
- Bella Sole cheese—White Lotus Farms in Ann Arbor
- Fresh mozzarella—Four Corners Creamery in Tecumseh
- Wine sausage bratwurst—Black Oak Farm in Byron
- Turkey feta and spinach bratwurst—Duerksen Turkey Farm in Mancelona
- Multi grain bread flour—Westwind Farm in Swartz Creek
- Notorious F.I.G. jam—Gus & Grey in Detroit
- Mutsu apple—Kapnick Orchards in Britton
As the weather gets warmers and the days get longer, linger on the deck or porch with a glass of wine, good company and your artisan platter. It is a perfect no-cook dinner, yet still a filling, satisfying and local meal.
—Pam Aughe, R.D.