After the nasty winter we endured, folks in northern Indiana and southern Michigan deserve the very best summer 2015 has to offer.
Most people have been thinking summer since Memorial Day, but the official start to the season is Sunday, June 21. Whether you’re playing tourist in your own city or want to have the best cookout on the block, Flavor 574 has everything you’ll need to make this the most delicious summer on record.
- Future master chefs can roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty in the kitchen this summer. Martin’s Super Markets is offering classes for its summer Chef Camps in Granger, Stevensville and Warsaw. Children will be guided through cutting techniques, menu planning, baking tips and more, depending on the class.
- It’s a staycationer’s dream: The Flat at Journeyman Distillery in Three Oaks, Mich., is available to rent on Airbnb. More than 16 guests can rent out the upgraded flat on a nightly or weekly basis. The flat is steps from the distillery and minutes from the beaches of Lake Michigan.
- Strawberries are the crown jewels of summer and there are plenty of places in Michiana to pick your own. See the map on Flavor 574.
- Take your lunch outside or gather friends and grab a drink on a patio. Primo Italian Eatery in downtown Elkhart added an outdoor eating space and South Bend Chocolate Cafe spruced up its patio.
- Take me out to the ballgame! South Bend Cubs fans can get classic ballpark food at Four Winds Field, and vegans and vegetarians can also grab a veggie dog or burger.
- Chances are you’ll hit a cookout or two during these next few months. Those with special diet needs can still have just as much fun with these tips.
- Trips to Lake Country are less than a tank of gas away. Community bloggers Loren Shaum and Tom Westerhof make their way through Kosciusko County and share their delicious stops along the way on their blogs, Lake Country Escapades and Bites and Bitters.
- Share the bounty this season and let local farmers do the hard work for you. Community supported agriculture, or CSA, programs connect farmer to consumer and offer an assortment of fresh, local goods on a regular basis and you can find the program that’s right for you in Michiana.
- The Elkhart Jazz Festival is back June 19-21 with six stages, more than 30 performing acts and a lot of great food specials, food vendors and a pop-up restaurant.
- Stick out your green thumb this season and try growing a few herbs, fruits and vegetables of your own by finding out the peak season for the most popular produce.
- Take your tea brewing skills to the next level and make the most of the heat of the sun by brewing some sun tea. We can’t think of anything else more refreshing than a tall glass of iced tea on a hot summer day.
- Once the grill is rolled out on Memorial Day, there’s no stopping the barbecue. Brush up on these 10 grilling tips before you get started. While you’re at it, try these traditional cookout recipes to put your skills to good use.
- The Kentucky Derby is over, but the fabulous drinks don’t have to be. Mint juleps are a refreshing brew for the 21-and-over crowd, and we’ve got the Old Forester recipe right here.
- Whether you’re heading to the farmer’s market or growing your own goods, you can hang onto the fresh taste of summer and make the most of your produce with these tips to store and preserve.
- As soon as the mercury rises, outdoor food and stand season is fair game. It’ll be in full swing for the summer and we have a full list of outdoor food stands, ice cream shops and more in our area.
- Speaking of which, The Igloo Ice Cream Shop, 108 W. Main St., in Silver Lake, is back with new ice cream and nostalgia for those who want a taste of hometown history.
- We say “Goshen” and you say “The Chief,” which is open for its 53rd year. The little stand churns out about 70 gallons of ice cream every day.
- Make no mistake, sangria is no new trend. Get a pitcher and pour in your favorite wine and fresh fruits for a refreshing drink to serve at your next party.
- If you’re raising a glass for Fourth of July, be sure the drink inside is fit for the party with these five recipes for patriotic drinks.
Follow digital producer Danielle Waldron on Twitter @DanielleWaldron.