Summer must be over — it’s “Taste of the Gunflint Trail” time

A sign of how fast the summer of 2011 flew by: Our most recent blog post forewarned guests about buying fishing licenses before the July 1st state shutdown. And now, after what feels like a very short interval, we’re about to post the yearly picture of Andy holding a cookbook for the fall “Taste of the Gunflint Trail.”

In between we should have blogged about our fantastic summer staff or about celebrating the anniversary of buying Bearskin. We certainly should have written about the Gunflint Canoe races, the mid-July flooding, or the 97-year-old kayaker. Didn’t happen. The down side of  having an extraordinarily full resort all summer is that it’s very time-consuming.  Busy is a good thing.

The one blog we didn’t need to write this summer was the annual post usually entitled something like “Help, we need a recipe idea for the Taste of the Gunflint event.” Luckily for us, one of our longtime guests, Sarah Dale, did the thinking for Bearskin and came up with an inspired idea. The original concept was for resorts to serve a recipe featured in the Gunflint Trail cookbook, A Taste of the Gunflint Trail, such as the recipes for Sally’s Acorn Squash Soup and Sally’s Herb Bubble Bread. But we’ve already used all the doable Bearskin recipes that were included in the book.

Sarah Dale has been visiting Bearskin for years, and has fond memories of cooking school with Bearskin’s almost legendary former Chef Sally Bresnahan. Sarah even saved this stylish birchbark cookbook from 1994. (It’s desperately trying to return to tree trunk form, but with effort you can flatten it out enough to read the recipe pages.)

Sarah collected many of Chef Sally’s recipes over the years and suggested that we try Sally’s Fresh Mushroom Soup. I think of mushroom soup as a goopy, beige substance dumped out of a red and white Campbell’s can into a casserole dish. We use it, but we sure don’t eat it.

So we had our doubts about this recipe. Then we tried it. No wonder people love it – this is mushroom soup of a very different kind.

We’ll be serving Sally’s Fresh Mushroom Soup during the Taste of the Gunflint Trail event this Sunday, September 4th, from 11-5. The event is a fundraiser for the very successful Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center.

You can work your way up the trail Sunday afternoon tasting Gunflint Trail treats, then finish up with a piece of homemade pie and ice cream on the front porch of Chik-Wauk. There’s a $5 suggested donation and coffee and lemonade will also be served. After you’ve eaten your fill, venture inside the museum to enjoy the interpretative and interactive exhibits on Gunflint Trail history. Local authors John Hendricksson, Betty Hemstad and Beryl Singleton Bissell will also be hanging out inside, ready to sign books.

If you’ll be in the area over Labor Day weekend, join us for a Taste of the Gunflint and pick up a copy of Sally’s recipe.

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