Michigan - The Great Lakes State
Official State Motto “Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam circumspice”
If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you
No suggestions, I unabashedly love this motto
Two Truths and a Lie
Michigan has another official nickname, The Wolverine State. A bronze wolverine statue is a beloved landmark inside the state capitol building. This statue is actually on loan from the U.S. Navy. Recently the Navy requested the statue's return, and the state is resisting.
A five-mile bridge connects Michigan’s two peninsulas. “The Mighty Mac” is one of the world’s longest suspension bridges; it was purposefully designed to sway up to 25 feet during high winds.
In 1812, a large force of redcoats and Indigenous troops coming from Canada so frightened American General William Hull that he surrendered all of Detroit without a fight. The Americans recaptured the city two years later, and Hull earned a death sentence for cowardice.
The Recipe - Cornflake Florentines
Michigan became an industrial powerhouse in the twentieth century. In 1906, two years before Henry Ford introduced his Model T to the world, W. K. Kellogg opened the Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flake Company and started selling breakfast cereal to the masses.
As a kid, my favorite holiday treats were cornflake wreaths made with marshmallows, green dye, and hot cinnamon candy. (Though I always threw away the Red Hots.) I decided to make a more refined version and glue cornflakes together with a caramelly dough instead of melted marshmallows. I turned to a Florentine recipe and replaced sliced almonds with the famous flakes.
Michigan is a great state for agriculture as well as industry. In fact, it leads the nation in tart cherry production. Lake Michigan changes the state’s weather so land on the western edge of the lower peninsula enjoys long autumns but delayed springs which are ideal for cherry trees. I chopped a handful of dried Michigan cherries to add a burst of sweetness and acidity to the cookies.
I watched these anxiously in the oven because nothing seemed to be happening then mercifully they spread into thin lacey wafers all at once. Many of the cornflakes crumbled into the dough but enough survived to provide a nice crisp bite. These were so tasty. I intended to serve them as a Christmas dessert, but none survived past 4 O’Clock. I had to whip up a quick batch of sugar cookies for Santa instead. Next year I'll double the batch.
Want to experience Michigan for yourself? Then Teresa recommends ...
My family vacationed in the Upper Penninsula when I was 10. Hands down, the best vacation of my entire childhood. I did crafts at Fort Mackinac, swam in three Great Lakes (Superior, Michigan, and Huron), and ran amok in sand dunes. It is just a gorgeous, wild place. The woods and lakes are simply magical.
If you cannot travel there, I suggest turning on some Motown hits and getting your groove on. Michigan’s musicians produced some of the nation’s best music over the years.
Time for the whole truth
The Navy loaned a badger statue to the state of Wisconsin; its return is a current controversy. (By the way, you can click on any of the 2 truths and a lie statements to visit the source of the trivia)