Nov/Dec 2022 Cherryland

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A Story 100 Years In The Making With Mammoth Distilling COUNTRY LINES November/December 2022 MICHIGAN Cherryland Electric Cooperative Ripping Off The Band-Aid Frozen In Time: The Magic of Mt. Holiday Cherryland Retires $1 Million In Capital Credits
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Michigan’s Electric Cooperatives



EDITOR: Christin McKamey

COPY EDITOR: Yvette Pecha


PUBLISHER: Michigan Electric Cooperative Association

Michigan Country Lines, USPS-591-710, is published monthly, except August and December, with periodicals postage paid at Lansing, Mich., and additional offices. It is the official publication of the Michigan Electric Cooperative Association, 201 Townsend St., Suite 900, Lansing, MI 48933.

Subscriptions are authorized for members of Alger Delta, Cherryland, Great Lakes, HomeWorks Tri-County, Midwest Energy & Communications, Ontonagon, Presque Isle, and Thumb electric cooperatives by their boards of directors.

Postmaster: Send all UAA to CFS.

Association Officers: Tom Sobeck, Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op, chairman; Gabe Schneider, Cherryland Electric Cooperative, vice chairman; Chris O’Neill , HomeWorks Tri-County Cooperative, secretary-treasurer; Craig Borr , president and CEO.

CONTACT US/LETTERS TO EDITOR: Michigan Country Lines 201 Townsend St., Suite 900 Lansing, MI 48933


Cooperative Association,

Townsend St., Ste. 900, Lansing,


November/December 2022 Vol. 42, No. 10 /michigancountrylines /
the Cover: Owners of Mammoth Distilling Chad Munger, wife Tracy Hickman, and their distillery dog Dawson. Photo courtesy of Sandra Wong 6 ENERGY ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS FOR 2022-2023 10 MI CO-OP KITCHEN Holiday Side Dishes: The perfect pairings for your festive feast. 14 100 YEARS IN THE MAKING The rediscovery of Michigan Rosen rye took equal parts of serendipity, location, teamwork and passion. 18 GUEST COLUMN The Salted Christmas Goose: A HomeWorks member recalls how a cooking catastrophe created better family communication. #micoopcommunity Instagram contest winner Flowers give this old Ford a facelift @lexannrebecca (LexAnn DeWeerd) MI Co-op Community To enter contests, submit reader content & more, visit Guest Column See details on page 18. Win $150 for stories published! Recipe Contest See details on page 10. Win a $50 bill credit! Instagram Contest Use #micoopcommunity for a chance to be featured here and on our Instagram account. CHANGE OF ADDRESS: Please notify your electric cooperative. See page 4 for contact information. The appearance of advertising does not constitute an endorsement of the products or services advertised.
Statement of Ownership, Management and Circulation (Required by U.S.C. 3685) 1. Publication: Michigan Country Lines. 2. Publication No.: 591-710. 3. Filing date: 10/1/22. 4. Issue frequency: monthly, except Aug. and Dec. 5. No. of issues published annually: 10. 6. Complete mailing address of office of publication: Michigan Electric
MI 48933. 7. Complete mailing address of headquarters of publisher: 201 Townsend St., Ste. 900, Lansing, MI 48933. 8. Full names and complete mailing address of publisher, editors, and executive editor: Craig Borr, Christine Dorr, Casey Clark, 201 Townsend St., Ste. 900, Lansing, MI 48933. 9. Owner: Michigan Electric Cooperative Assoc., 201 Townsend St., Ste. 900, Lansing, MI 48933. 10. Known bondholders, mortgagees, and other security holders owning or holding 1% or more of total amount of bonds, mortgages, or other securities: None. 11. Tax status: has not been changed. 12. Issue date for circulation data: Sept. 2022. 13. Extent and nature of circulation: A) Total No. of copies 245,503 246,919 B) Paid and requested circulation 244,543 246,070 C) Total paid and requested circulation 244,543 246,070 D) 1) Free distribution by mail 157 157 2) Free distribution outside mail 809 849 E) Total free distribution 966 1,006 F) Total distribution 246,469 247,925 G) Copies not distributed 0 0 H) Total 246,469 247,925 I) Percent paid and/or requested circ 98.7 99.7% Avg # of copies each issue during preceding 12 mo. Actual # of copies of single issues published nearest to filing date 16. Publication of statement of ownership: November 2022 17. Signature and title of editor: Christine Dorr, editor Contents 3MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES


Cherryland Retires $1 Million To Members In December


David Schweitzer, President 231-883-5860

Melinda Lautner, Senior Vice President 231-947-2509

Gabe Schneider, Secretary 517-449-6453

Tom Van Pelt, Treasurer 231-386-5234

Valarie Handy, Director 231-392-4705

Terry Lautner, Director 231-946-4623

Dean Adams, Director 231-642-0014

General Manager: Tony Anderson Co-op Editors: Rachel Johnson Courtney Doyle:


Monday–Friday 7:30 a.m.– 4 p.m.


231-486-9200 or 1-800-442-8616 (Mich.)


P.O. Box 298, Grawn, MI 49637


Cherryland Electric Cooperative office 5930 U.S. 31 South, Grawn MI, 49637

Cherryland Electric Cooperative is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Cherryland’s board voted to retire approximately $1 million in capital credits to the membership this December. This amount includes the passthrough of the retirement Cherryland will receive from its power supplier, Wolverine Power Cooperative, that same month. The amount retired to each member can be found on the December billing statements.

Rebates Changing In 2023

Planning on getting an EV or Level 2 charger? You’ll want to take note of some changes to our rebate program starting in 2023.

As of Jan. 1, Cherryland will offer a $500 rebate on qualifying EVs, instead of a $1,000 rebate. Level 2 chargers will have an increased rebate value of $800 and must be a smart charger that is permanently installed with data capability to qualify.

Members interested in applying for a 2022 rebate must have the items purchased and installed before Dec. 31. Upgrades performed after Dec. 31 are not eligible for 2022 rebates.

If you have questions regarding rebates, visit our website or contact Tammy Haworth at 231-486-9261 or

Members Support Local Nonprofits Through Cherryland Cares

Cherryland Cares distributes funds to local nonprofit organizations in need of financial support. The funds distributed by Cherryland Cares come from generous members electing to round up their monthly bills to the nearest dollar. Members can contribute to the Cherryland Cares fund by calling 231-486-9200, signing up through SmartHub, or emailing

If you are an area nonprofit agency seeking financial help, please contact Dawn Garrock at 231-486-9234 or email The deadline for fourth-quarter applications is Friday, Dec. 9.

Cherryland Office Closed Over Holidays

In observance of the holidays, the Cherryland office will be closed on the following dates:

Thursday, Nov. 24, and Friday, Nov. 25, for Thanksgiving Friday, Dec. 23, and Monday, Dec. 26, for Christmas Friday, Dec. 30, and Monday, Jan. 2, for New Year’s

Line crews are on call to respond to any outages or emergencies. You can report an outage by texting OUT to 800-442-8616, logging into SmartHub, or calling us at 231-486-9200. Visit our website’s Outage Center for more details.

Members May Dispose Of Christmas Trees At Cherryland

Cherryland members are reminded that Christmas trees can be discarded at Cherryland’s office in Grawn. Trees can be dropped off on the right side of the Cherryland parking lot as you are driving in, just beyond where the two parking lots meet. This service is offered free to co-op members.

/cherrylandelectriccoop @cherrylandec

Ripping Off The Band-Aid

our cooperative serves over 37,000 members. Residential meters account for 95% of this total. Sure, we serve large loads like Crystal Mountain, Great Wolf Lodge, and Turtle Creek, but our “bread and butter” is the average home— it always has been, always will be.

As a not-for-profit electric cooperative, we strive to match our costs with where we get our revenue so that every rate class pays its own way. When you look at your household electric bill, there are only two choices for generating revenue— the availability charge and the energy charge. I’m writing today to prepare you to expect changes in the availability charge next year.

The availability charge, currently set at $18 for residential service, is a fixed amount each month. Its purpose is to cover the cost of everything it takes to have electricity at the flip of a switch. In theory, if there was

zero energy used at every residential meter, this fixed charge would be enough to cover expenses at the cooperative. Theory isn’t the same as reality, however.

In the last 20 years, the availability charge has never covered all the fixed costs. A higher-than-necessary energy charge has always had to make up the difference. Why? This answer is easy. I had a plan to increase the availability charge at a higher rate every time we needed a rate increase. We wanted to gradually “ease” into the true cost of this billing component. Well, we just haven’t had enough rate increases over the last 20 years to “ease” anywhere close to the true cost. The slow, gradual approach has not worked.

This challenge has been compounded by a period of rising costs that affect us as much as any other company— our costs for everything from conductor to meters are increasing,

and our availability charge needs to increase to cover those fixed costs.

It is time to abandon easy and rip off the band-aid. We are currently finalizing a cost-of-service study and expect to recommend an increase in the availability charge around $10 per month for residential members. There will also be a small decrease in the energy charge as we move fixed costs out of the energy charge and into the availability charge. Residential members aren’t the only ones who will see this change, but the details of how this rate increase looks for each rate class is complex and our accounting team is hard at work to define those details. Of course, we plan to share all of that with you in the magazine and at member meetings in January before changes would go into effect sometime in the spring.

For now, a $10 increase in the availability charge may sound shocking. We are simply updating our rates to reflect our actual costs. Yes, it could have been done long ago. That failed strategy was my recommendation. As I stated previously, it was not successful due to growth in sales and conservative operation of the cooperative over the years that resulted in few rate increases.

As we enter an era of more limited generation capacity and different energy costs for various times of day, you will likely see more incentives to use less electricity or at least to shift your electricity use outside the daily peak period of 5–8 p.m. We have no way of knowing how these future shifts will affect our revenue. Ripping the band-aid off to ensure our availability charge covers true costs will better protect everyone from future shifts in electricity consumption.

“Ripping the band-aid off to ensure our availability charge covers true costs will better protect everyone from future shifts in electricity consumption.”


Winter Protection Plan

Contact: Your Local Utility Company


The Winter Protection Plan (WPP) protects enrolled seniors and low-income customers from service shut-offs and high utility bill payments during the winter months. If you are eligible, your utility service will remain on (or restored with the WPP) from Nov. 1 through March 31, if you:

• pay at least 7% of your estimated annual bill each month, and

• make equal monthly payments between the date you apply and the start of the next heating season on any past-due bills.

When the protection period ends (March 31), you must begin to pay the full monthly bill, plus part of the amount you owe from the winter months when you did not pay the full bill. Participation does not relieve customers from the responsibility of paying for electricity and natural gas usage, but does prevent shut-off during winter months. You qualify for the plan if you meet at least one of the following requirements:

• are age 65 or older,

• receive Dept. of Health and Human Services cash assistance, including SSI,

receive Food Assistance,

receive Medicaid, or

• household income is at or below the 150% of poverty level shown in the Income Guidelines chart above.

Senior citizen customers who participate in the WPP are not required to make specific payments to ensure that their service will not be shut off between Nov. 1 and March 31. Service for seniors can be restored without any payments.

Note: All customers 65+ are eligible regardless of income. Customers are responsible for all electricity and natural gas used. At the end of the protection period, participants must make arrangements with their utility company to pay off any money owed before the next heating season.

Earned Income Credit


• U.S. Treasury Dept., Internal Revenue Service,

• Michigan Dept. of Treasury,

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a refundable federal income tax credit for lowincome working individuals and families who meet certain requirements and file a tax return. Those who qualify will owe less in taxes and may get a refund. Even a person who does not generally owe income tax may qualify for the EITC, but must file a tax return to do so. If married, you must file jointly to qualify. File Form 1040 or 1040A and attach the EITC.

You may claim a Michigan earned income tax credit for tax year 2021 equal to a percentage of the federal earned income tax credit for which you are eligible.

State Emergency Relief Program (SER)

Contact: Local Michigan Dept. of Health and Human Services

You do not have to be a DHHS client to apply for help with a past-due bill, shut-off

or the need for deliverable fuel through the SER. This program, available Nov. 1–May 31, provides most of its utility assistance during this crisis season. However, limited assistance is available outside the crisis season.

you receive a DHHS cash grant, you may use part of it toward heat and electric bills. Apply online using MI Bridges:

Low-Income Weatherization Assistance Program

Contact: Local Community Action Agency

You may be able to receive help with weatherizing your home to reduce energy use if you meet low-income eligibility guidelines (200% of poverty guidelines) or if you participate in the Dept. of Health and Human Services Family Independence Program or receive SSI. Weatherization may include caulking, weatherstripping, and insulation. Contact your local Community Action Agency for details. Visit to find one in your area.

United Way

Contact: Call 2-1-1 or

2-1-1 is a free phone service operating 24 hours daily to provide information about help that may be available in a particular area with utilities and other needs. Dial 2-1-1 or visit to find available services.

Medical Emergency Protection

Contact: Local Utility Company

You are protected from service shut-off for nonpayment of your natural gas and/ or electric bill for up to 21 days, possibly extending to 63 days, if you have a proven medical emergency. You must provide written proof from a doctor or a public health or social services official that a medical condition exists. Contact your gas or electric utility for details.

Shut-off Protection For Military Active Duty

Contact: Local Utility Company


later than Sept. 30 each year.

must be filed

If you or your spouse has been called into active military duty, you may apply for shut-off protection from your electric or natural gas service for up to 90 days. You may request extensions. You must still pay, but contact your utility company and they will help you set up a payment plan.

Income Guidelines 2022–2023
in Household 150% Poverty Guide Maximum Income 1 $20,385 2 27,465 3 34,545 4 41,625 5 48,705 6 55,785 7 62,865 8 69,945 Add $7,080 for each additional household member.
Assistance Programs 2022-2023 Season Home Heating Credit Contact: Michigan Dept. of Treasury # Exemp. Max. Income # Exemp. Max. Income 0–1 $14,949 5 $35,717 2 20,141 6 40,909 3 25,333 7 46,101 4 30,525 8 51,293 Add $5,192 for each exemption over 6. You can apply for a Home Heating Credit for the 2022 tax year if you meet the income guidelines listed above (110% of poverty level) or you qualify based on alternate guidelines including household income, exemptions, and heating costs. Additional exemptions are available for seniors, disabled claimants, or claimants with 5% or more of their income from unemployment compensation. If you qualify, you may receive assistance to help pay for your winter heating bills. Forms are available mid-to-late January wherever tax forms are provided or from the Michigan Dept. of Treasury (517-636-4486 The Home Heating Credit claim form
with the Michigan Dept. of Treasury no

Michigan Veterans Trust Fund Emergency Grant Program

Contact: MI Veterans Trust Fund

The Trust Fund provides temporary assistance to veterans and their families facing a financial emergency or hardship, including the need for energy assistance. Contact the Michigan Veterans Trust Fund at 800-642-4838 or

Michigan Homeowner Assistance Fund Administering Agency: Michigan State Housing Development Authority

The MIHAF provides funds to customers with assistance preventing homeowner mortgage delinquencies, defaults, foreclosure, loss of utilities or home energy services, and displacement. Applicants must demonstrate financial hardship directly related to COVID-19 on or after Jan. 21, 2020.

MI Energy Assistance Program

Contact: Utility or 2-1-1 in late November

The Michigan Energy Assistance Program (MEAP) includes services that will enable participants to become self-sufficient, including assisting participants in paying their energy bills on time, budgeting for and contributing to their ability to provide for energy expenses, and being energy efficient. Shut-off protection is provided

Nov. 1–April 15 for all residential customers. The MEAP is supported by the state’s Low-Income Energy Assistance Fund (LIEAF). An electric utility that chooses not to collect for the LIEAF shall not shut off service to customers for nonpayment between Nov. 1 and April 15. For a list of electric providers that opt out of collecting the LIEAF, go to

Holiday Tips

The holidays are a magical time, and it’s also the most expensive time of year for many of us. Here are tips to reduce the financial burden with efficient ways to use less energy at home and lower your monthly bills.

Home Practices

If you are hosting guests, your household will consume more electricity than normal. Be prepared with efficiency basics:

• Have your thermostat programmed at 68 degrees when you are home and dialed back by eight to 10 degrees when you leave the house or go to sleep.

• Run the clothes washer on cold with full loads.

• When not in use, turn off lights and the TV; fully shut down computers and gaming systems instead of putting them in sleep or standby mode.

Cooking Efficiency

• Use the oven light to check the food. Every time the oven door is opened, the temperature inside is reduced by up to 25 degrees, according to the Department of Energy (DOE).

• When possible, make use of a slow cooker, microwave, toaster oven, or warming plate, which uses less energy than an oven and stovetop.

• Let hot food cool to room temperature before placing it inside the refrigerator. This ensures you don’t increase the temperature inside your fridge and cause it to use more energy to cool down.

Holiday Lighting

• LED holiday lights consume 70% less energy than conventional incandescent light strands.

• Use light timers so you don’t have to remember to unplug your lights every evening. You can also choose to upgrade to smart holiday lights that offer a wide range of app-controlled options, including time, colors, music, and modes.

Out-of-Town Efficiency

If you’re visiting family and friends during the holidays, prepare your home to use less energy while you’re away.

• Water heating is the second-largest energy expense in your home, accounting for about 18% of your utility bill, according to DOE. Switching your water heater to vacation mode will reduce wasted energy by keeping the water at a lower temperature. If your water heater does not have vacation mode on the dial, you can adjust it to the lowest setting.

• Set your thermostat to around 55 degrees so you’re not wasting energy to heat the home while you’re away.

• Consider upgrading a lamp or fi xture to a smart lightbulb. This allows you to control lights from afar and set a schedule for the light to go on and off.

Dial 2-1-1 for more information on heating and other human services programs.

Frozen In Time The Magic of Mt. Holiday

Today, Mt. Holiday stands as a four-season recreation location and the cornerstone of the Holiday Hills neighborhood on the east side of Traverse City. Seventy-three years ago, in 1949, Mt. Holiday was just a treecovered chunk of state land when a group of recreationhungry community members came together to build a single ski run. It marked the beginning of something special.

Mt. Holiday Executive Director Nate Noyes explained, “This neighborhood in Traverse City was just evolving. They made their first rope tows; they were literally made out of farm equipment and ropes, and they got people up the hill. There was no such thing as snowmaking. There were no groomers.” Together, they cleared the land, leaned on each other’s talents, and created a place to enjoy the long, cold winters of northern Michigan.

A few years later, in the 1950s, word spread that the old Coast Guard barracks at the airport would be torn down. So, Noyes said this resourceful group saw an opportunity. “They were like, ‘Don’t throw all these timbers away!’ They brought them all over here, and boom, they made this lodge,” he said. The same lodge is still standing at the foot of the hill today. Pictures from the past prove Mt. Holiday quickly became a beloved place to gather, laugh, and play together as a family and community.

The hill changed hands several times between private owners before landing in the Brosch family’s lap in the mid1980s. Mr. Warren Brosch and his wife Sue owned a hotel downtown and teamed up with a few other hotel owners

to buy the old ski hill down the road, thinking it may help them drum up some business. “And they joke that he was the only one that showed up to the closing, so by default, Warren and Sue were the ones that got it,” Noyes quipped.

“I think for them, there was a shift in what Mt. Holiday was to them,” Mt. Holiday General Manager Josh Rhem said. “You know, it started out as something to try and help fill up hotel rooms, but they fell in love with serving the community and the kids in particular. I think it was only a few years before it was really, truly only a passion project.”

Under the Brosch ownership, they took what had become a run-down, vandalized, old ski hill and revived it to its former glory. They added chairlifts and a tubing hill. Noyes reflected, “Warren was a legend known for just wanting to put smiles on kids’ faces. He wanted to do that out here.


“This is a place where cell phones get turned off. It’s timeless. Kids out there skiing, it’s like it’s 1960 or 1980, you know.”

This thing never made any money for him, but as his wife says, he just loved this place.”

After Warren passed away, many tried to purchase and develop the property, but his widow Sue knew Mt. Holiday belonged to the community. “It was actually one of the sons of one of the original owners—his name was Dr. Hall; he’s the one that kind of anchored the idea to start a nonprofit and save Mt. Holiday,” explained Rhem.

It was 2001 when the group successfully raised $1.5 million and purchased the hill. Shortly after, Mt. Holiday became a member of Cherryland Electric Cooperative. “Now, we’re a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. We have a board of directors, and we’re back to what this started to be,” said Noyes.

A lot has changed in the last 73 years, but the mission has stayed the same. “Our mission is to connect this community, connect families through recreation, and we want to do it affordably,” Noyes explained.

Family generations have learned to ski here. They’ve watched every run, tumble, and turn while sipping hot cocoa, perched in the cozy lodge by those seemingly endless windows. The team at Mt. Holiday expects that to be the case for generations to come.

“One of the things that I’m really proud of is on any night in the wintertime, you’ll see family generations together. It’s not uncommon to see grandkids, mom and dad, and grandma and grandpa out here together,” reflected Rhem, who has been working at Mt. Holiday since it became a nonprofit over two decades ago.

As the infrastructure ages, things need to be updated. In the coming years, Mt. Holiday will see some upgrades to ensure its operation runs as efficiently as possible. But one thing is sure, the magic of Mt. Holiday is here to stay. “This is a place where cell phones get turned off. It’s timeless. Kids out there skiing, it’s like it’s 1960 or 1980, you know,” said Noyes.

And so, as the world we live in continues to change, Mt. Holiday stays frozen in time, ready to be the place where memories are made, relationships are forged, and community is cherished. For more details on Mt. Holiday’s history, programs, scholarships, and how you can support the hill, visit

Since opening in 1949, family generations have gathered in the lodge and on the hill to make long-lasting memories together. More than 70 years later, making memories is still the mission at Mt. Holiday.

Photos by Robert Bruce Photography || Recipes Submitted by MCL Readers and Tested by Recipe Editor Christin McKameyMI CO-OP Recipes TASTY TUSCAN BUTTER MUSHROOMS Deb Finedell, Great Lakes Energy 4 tablespoons butter 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 tablespoon tomato paste 1 pound baby bella mushrooms, cleaned 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved ¼ cup heavy cream ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese ¼ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper ¹⁄ 8 –¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 3 cups fresh spinach • chopped fresh basil, for garnish Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and tomato paste and cook until fragrant (about 1 minute). Add mushrooms and tomatoes and cook until mushrooms are tender and tomatoes start to burst, about 5 minutes. Add heavy cream and Parmesan, and season with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. Bring to a simmer. Add spinach and cook until sauce is thickened and spinach is wilted, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes. Garnish with basil before serving. Enjoy! Watch a video of this month’s winning recipe at WINNING RECIPE! RECIPE CONTEST National Cherry Month due Dec. 1 • Fish Fry due Jan. 1 • Vegetarian due Feb. 1 Submit your favorite recipe for a chance to win a $50 bill credit and have your recipe featured in Country Lines with a photo and a video. Submit your recipe at, or send it via email (include your full name and co-op) to Win a $50 energy bill credit! HOLIDAY SIDE DISHES Serve alongside your holiday dinner. 10 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2022


1 package chicken stuffing

6 cups sliced zucchini


1 (15-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup






Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare chicken stuffing according to package directions.

Fill a saucepan with salted water and bring to a boil. Add sliced zucchini and chopped onion. Boil for 5 minutes; drain well. In a bowl, combine soup and sour cream. Stir in carrots. Fold in drained zucchini and onion. Combine stuffing with butter. Spread ½ of the stuffing mix in bottom of 10x7x2-inch baking pan. Spoon zucchini mixture on top. Sprinkle remaining stuffing on top. Bake for 30 minutes. Serve immediately.

1 head cauliflower

1 stick butter


Jane Ellison, Great Lakes Energy

1 (12-ounce) package cream cheese

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 tablespoon horseradish

• salt and pepper, to taste

Cut cauliflower into just bigger than bite size. Steam the cauliflower for 30–35 minutes (do not boil, or it will be mushy). Drain the water from pot. Add all ingredients to the pot. Use a potato masher to mash and combine. Top with additional cheddar cheese and serve.


Teresa Peterman, Presque Isle

1½ pounds baby potatoes, halved (20–24 potatoes)

2 tablespoons olive oil

tablespoon melted butter, for drizzling

sprinkle of sea salt

Parmesan Mixture:

cup grated Parmesan (fine texture)

teaspoon garlic powder (or onion powder)

teaspoon dried oregano or thyme

teaspoon paprika


coarse black pepper

Dipping Sauce:

cup sour cream or plain yogurt, or a combination of both

cup finely

Preheat oven to 400 F. Mix all of the ingredients for the “Parmesan Mixture” in a bowl. Drizzle olive oil in 9x13 glass baking dish. Tilt dish to spread all over the base. Use a spoon to scatter the Parmesan Mixture over the base and spread as evenly as you can. Once sprinkled, do not touch or try to spread. Place halved potatoes, cut side down, on top of Parmesan, pressing firmly. Drizzle top of potatoes with melted butter (or spray with butter spray), then sprinkle with salt. Bake potatoes for 35–40 minutes or until they are soft and the Parmesan crust is deep golden (note: you can check through the bottom of the glass). Let rest for 5 minutes. Use a small spatula to cut between every 4–5 potatoes, cutting through the Parmesan crust that binds the potatoes. Serve cheese side up. Mix dipping sauce ingredients together and serve with potatoes (optional). Serves 4–5 people.

Correction: The October version of this recipe did not list zucchini in the ingredients,

standard loaf pans were not included in the instructions, and the frosting has been

to optional. We apologize for the omissions.


Cindy Thome, Alger Delta

Frosting (optional):

cup soft butter

cup soft cream cheese

teaspoon vanilla


Preheat oven to 325 F. Grease and flour a 9x13 pan or two standard loaf pans. In a large bowl, mix together all cake ingredients until combined. Pour into the pan. Bake for 40–45 minutes. Cool completely before frosting. To make the frosting, in a small bowl, combine all of the frosting ingredients and beat in a mixer for 2 minutes. Frost the cake and enjoy.

Dennis Gocha, Great Lakes Energy
¼ cup chopped
cup sour
cup shredded
½ cup melted
¼ teaspoon
½ teaspoon
chopped green onions or chives
½ cup butter ½ cup vegetable oil 1¾ cup sugar 2 beaten eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla 3 cups shredded zucchini (approx. 3 medium) 2½ cups flour 4 tablespoons cocoa powder ½ teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda ½ teaspoon cinnamon ½ teaspoon ground cloves
3 cups powdered

Troub le With Transformers

Months of constricted operations at electrical transformer factories caused by the COVID-19 pandemic ha strangled inventory of these essential grid devices. Add to that spiking demand from new housing developments, scarcity of raw and finished materials, bottlenecks at shipping ports, and a shortage of freight drivers, and it’s a recipe for a long-term supply crunch. Here are some of the key drivers of the current national transformer shortage.

Electrical steel plates


Labor Shortages

and retaining factory worker and technicians.

Electrical Steel

A global shortage of electrical steel, a key component in transformers, is slowing production.

Driver Shortages

A shortage of truck drivers and warehouse workers is impeding deliveries of finished products.

High Demand

Developments in growing areas of the country and seasonal storm prep are spiking the need for new transformers.

Shipping Bottlenecks

Imports of components made overseas are being delayed by labor shortages at U.S. shipping ports.

Electric Vehicles

Much of the world’s tight supply of electrical steel is being absorbed by the booming EV market.

August 2022 RE Magazine 7
Design: Kevin Kepple

Don’t wait, claim that rebate!

As of Jan. 1, 2023, Cherryland will decrease the rebate on qualifying EVs to $500—so cash in on the 2022 rebate before it’s too late!

If you apply for a rebate on your new EV before Jan. 1, 2023, you’ll be eligible to receive the 2022 rebate rate of $1,000 before it goes down to $500 in 2023.

Thinking about getting an EV?

We have a whole section on our website dedicated to helping you choose! You can explore everything from the di erent EV models on the market to a savings calculator and a list of incentives like Cherryland rebates and federal tax credits.

Learn More

A Story 100 Years In The Making

With Mammoth Distilling

When Chad Munger held just a palmful of Rosen rye seeds in his hand in 2020, it was the beginning, or at least the continuation, of a 100-year-old story.

Munger, the founder and owner of Mammoth Distilling, with its flagship tasting room in Central Lake, and whiskey maker Ari Sussman had first spoken about these valuable seeds a few years earlier when he made a discovery while army-crawling his way through the agriculture and food archives at Michigan State University. He came across a full-page ad for Old Schenley rye in a 1934 issue of Vanity Fair touting that it was made with Michigan Rosen rye: “The most compact and flavorful rye kernels Mother Earth produces were used for this luxurious brand,” it said.

“Ari called me right away,” said Munger. “First, we couldn’t believe this rye had basically existed in our own backyard and we hadn’t heard of it before. And then the wheels started spinning on how to bring this rye back.”

The seeds had been successfully grown just off the Leelanau Peninsula

on South Manitou Island for the first time 100 years ago. With the seeds shipped from Eastern Europe in the early 1900s to Joseph Rosen, they eventually found a home at MSU, where Rosen worked with colleagues to test the flavor. The more the Mammoth team dug into the details, the more amazing the story became. They came to a simple conclusion— this was not your average rye.

“It quickly became coveted by the country’s top whiskey makers,” said Munger. “Unfortunately, it had a fatal flaw—it cross-pollinated very easily and would quickly lose the magical flavor that made it so special.”

Enter South Manitou Island: Being 16 miles from the Michigan coastline and not too far from MSU, it eliminated the danger of immediate cross-pollination. While Rosen rye had a good run supplying whiskey makers for decades, post-Prohibition times brought a hefty hurdle. During those “dry” years, folks had become accustomed to the low price tag of corn-based whiskey.

As the folks at Mammoth kept pulling threads on this unraveling story, they

quickly addressed the obstacles of bringing Rosen rye back, as well as introducing interested parties into the existing story of the strain.

“We didn’t create it, we rediscovered it,” said Munger. “It really felt like we were being charged with keeping the story alive.”

Many amazing groups helped to keep that story alive, from the USDA, to MSU, to the National Park Service


(which manages South Manitou Island as part of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore), in order to bring Rosen rye back to Michigan.

The initial crop, just 14 acres, was planted in October 2020, nearly 100 years after the first seeds made their way to Michigan. Eighty years after the last crop of Rosen rye left South Manitou Island, members of the Mammoth team celebrated the first Rosen Rye Day this past August to harvest the grain. The hope is to continue this historical process for years to come.

None of it has been easy. Or even logical. Farming on South Manitou Island comes with its own set of unique obstacles, including no irrigation, no pesticides, a lot of work done by hand, and concerns that the team won’t know for years how the whiskey will taste.

So, why do it? Why spend the time, energy, and, let’s be honest, money on a venture that may never pay off? Munger suggests that the entire team, including those at Michigan State,

the NPS, and the whiskey community at large, all agree—“Because it’s the right thing to do. Bringing the grain back is good for the world.”

If that’s the “why,” Mammoth is certainly slogging their way through the “how.” Watching the research, the passion, the grit, the sweat on the brow, and the vision, it’s not a simple path and it takes more than falling in love with a great story. It takes a leap of faith.

Munger identifi es the simple, but not at all easy, path forward: “All we need to be willing to do is the unreasonable thing.”

Unreasonable or not, there’s an excitement around this agricultural rediscovery and a connection to history, land, and rich storytelling that is at the heart of Mammoth Distilling.

Mammoth Distilling has locations in Adrian, Bay Harbor, Bellaire, Central Lake, and Traverse City.

“We didn’t create it, we rediscovered it. It really felt like we were being charged with keeping the story alive.”
/mammoth_distilling /MammothDistillingTC 15MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES


Committed To Our Community

Eleven Cherryland Electric Cooperative employees jumped at the chance to participate in the 2022 United Way Day of Caring. In September, they volunteered at Inland Seas Education Association to clear weeds and brush, cut back overgrown trail areas, and remove docks for the season, among several other projects.

Your Board In Action: September Board Meeting

• The results of the cost-of-service

indicate that

of the

were presented to the board. The


meet current and future

• The board voted to retire a total of $1 million in capital credits. To see how much you’ll receive, be sure to check your December bill under “Capital Credits.”

• In an August financial review, Cherryland’s chief financial officer noted that

continue to come in over budget.

Members have the

a rate increase is
financial needs
power supply costs
opportunity to provide input to the board prior to any regularly scheduled board meeting. To have your comments included in a monthly board packet for review, please submit them to Dawn Garrock at a minimum of three business days before the monthly board meeting. Emissions And Waste Comparison *Regional average information was obtained from the MPSC website and is for the 12-month period ending 12/31/21. Cherryland purchases 100% of its electricity from Wolverine Power Supply Cooperative, Inc., which provided this fuel mix and environmental data. Comparison Of Fuel Sources Used NOTE: Biomass excludes wood; solid waste incineration includes landfill gas; and wind includes a long-term renewable purchase power contract in Wolverine’s mix. Your Co-op’s Fuel Mix Regional Average Fuel Mix
Mix Report The fuel mix characteristics of Cherryland Electric Cooperative as required by Public Act 141 of 2000 for the 12-month period ending 6/30/22. Type of emission/waste lbs/MWh Your co-op Regional average* Sulfur Dioxide 0.62 1.16 Carbon Dioxide 676.4 1,133.0 Oxides of Nitrogen 0.43 0.82 High-Level Nuclear Waste 0.0088 0.0060 Fuel source Your co-op’s fuel mix Regional average fuel mix Coal 21.85% 36.27% Oil 0.20% 0.39% Gas 17.13% 26.18% Hydroelectric 0.56% 0.87% Nuclear 41.79% 27.82% Renewable Fuels 18.47% 8.47% Biofuel 0.34% 0.71% Biomass 0.20% 0.47% Solar 0.66% 0.32% Solid Waste Incineration 0.10% 0.05% Wind 16.96% 6.50% Wood 0.21% 0.42%
4 6 31 2 Christmas Trees 1. Our cat Captain watching the carousel under the Christmas tree.—Dede Demanigold 2. Early Christmas morning.—Karen Tameling 3. A very cozy Christmas at home. It doesn’t get any better than this!—Cathy McKinley 4. Red Wings tree.—David Truchan 5. Mom’s touch.—Parker Michels 6. Helping Grandma and Grandpa get a tree.—Candice Wallace Submit Your “Family Time” Photos By Nov. 20! Submit your best photo and encourage your friends to vote! The photo receiving the most votes in our Facebook contest will be printed in an issue of Country Lines, along with some of our other favorites. Our Nov./Dec. theme is Family Time! Photos can be submitted through Nov. 20 to be featured in our February issue. Enter Your Photos And Win A Bill Credit! To enter the contest, visit or visit cherrylandelectriccoop for a link to the current photo contest. Enter your picture, cast your vote, and encourage others to vote for you as well. If your photo is printed in Country Lines during 2023, you will be entered to win a credit of up to $200 on your December 2023 bill. Enter to win a $200 energy bill credit! PHOTO CONTEST MOST VOTES ON FACEBOOK! 5 17MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES

The Salted Christmas Goose

Violet Comero, in her own words.

On Christmas Day, Ma always got up first and stuffed the Christmas goose. This year was no different. She stuffed the goose and salted it and put it in the oven, and then went to the barn to do her chores. In the meantime, Papa got up and started the stove in the dining room. Before he went to the barn, he checked on the goose. He thought it didn’t look like Ma salted it, so he salted it and went to the barn.

After a while, my oldest sister got up to make breakfast. She checked the goose and thought it didn’t look like it had been salted, so she salted the goose some more. Later in the morning, Grandma Haeuser showed up, and the first thing she does is go to the kitchen to help. Well, she had to check the goose, too. Didn’t look like anyone salted it, so the poor goose got some more salt.

Everything was smelling good, and we could hardly wait. Finally, we sat down to eat. We all had goose, but no one was eating it. Then they started talking about it and realized what they had done. It was bad. It sat in the house till the next day, but nobody would eat it. So Ma threw it outside for the dog. He wouldn’t eat it, nor the cats. It remained around outside all winter. It would get covered with snow, and some animal would smell it and dig it up again, and leave it lying. That poor goose floated around the yard all winter. In spring, someone felt sorry for it and buried it.

There was much more communication in the house (kitchen) after that.

Where In Michigan Is This?


September 2022 Winner! Our Mystery Photo winner is Nancy Root, a Great Lakes Energy Cooperative member, who correctly identified the photo as Cranbrook Orpheus Fountain on its campus in Bloomfield Hills.

Winners are announced in the following issues of Country Lines: January, March, May, July/August, September, and November/December.

the correct location of the photo to the left by Nov. 20 and be entered into a drawing to win a $50 electric bill credit. Enter your guess at
Guest Column
Share your fondest memories and stories. Win $150 for stories published. Visit to submit. Win $150! Win a $50 energy bill credit!
Memories from 1925, from my mother,


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It's the most wonderful time of the year to give you capital credits. Take a look at your December bill under Capital Credits and see how much money you got this year.
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