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A Rainy Day Didn’t Stop the Midway

25 Oct Many prizes to be won!



By Diva Calista Powell

Although the Township of Howick-Turnberry is small, their community spirit was on full display at their fall fair on October 3rd. As I pulled up to join the long line of parked cars on the highway, there was quite the crowd gathering at the gates. Small children were running around excitedly, and you could just tell that they were hoping that they would be tall enough to ride the midway. I made it just in time to catch the opening ceremonies where a bagpipe procession lead the Howick-Turnberry Ambassador, Jessica Walther to the stage. After a few speeches, I joined the crowd in perusing the exhibits and saw some really amazing crafts, baked goods and interesting produce grown by locals. It was fantastic to see a large number of entries at this fair, and I liked how the entrants were from all age groups.

Many prizes to be won!



Many prizes to be won!

This was by far the largest head of lettuce I have ever seen! The exhibits brought back memories of when I used to submit my chocolate-chip cookies to the Clinton Spring Fair.

This was by far the largest head of lettuce I have ever seen! The exhibits brought back memories of when I used to submit my chocolate-chip cookies to the Clinton Spring Fair.

Unfortunately, I was not brave enough to ride the Thriller this time.

Unfortunately, I was not brave enough to ride the Thriller this time.

This fair had something for everyone, and personally I was intrigued by Dorothy Brown-Henderson’s booth where she was selling her new cookbook Loving it Local: Preparing delicious fresh local food. An Exeter resident, Dorothy was inspired by Huron Perth’s Buy Local! Buy Fresh! Map and decided to compile her recipes that were made up of ingredients from local farms. As I talked to her about the importance of supporting small farms, I could tell how passionate she was about cooking. It was wonderful to see her expertise and enthusiasm translate into recipes to be shared with everyone. After purchasing her cookbook and leaving the fair, I was already deciding as to what would be the perfect accompaniment to my family’s Thanksgiving dinner. Overall, as a first time attendee, I can say that the Howick-Turnberry fall fair was a great experience and offers fun for all ages.

Photo4

Dorothy Brown-Henderson and her new cookbook Loving it Local: Preparing delicious fresh local food.

For more information on her cookbook, email:dorothybrownhenderson@gmail.com

 

 

A Friday Night Fireside Cafe Visit

6 Oct
The Fireside Cafe offers a warm and comfortable dining experience

The Fireside Cafe offers a warm and comfortable dining experience

by Diva Calista Powell

As a loyal Huron-Countian and supporter of local business, I thought I had discovered all of the neighbourhood gems. This past Friday, however, I got the chance to take a break from the books and go out for dinner at The Fireside Cafe on Highway #4, just outside of Wingham. Growing up, I did not visit North Huron much (other than for soccer games), so I feel as if I have a lot of catching up to do in this area. When I heard a lot of talk around town about The Fireside Cafe, I decided it’d be a great way to spend my Friday visit back home.

As I pulled up, I was intrigued to see what was inside this little building on the side of the road. We were greeted with a smile into this trendy little establishment, and it embodied a welcoming and warm atmosphere that made the Fireside Cafe true to its name. It got even better when I saw that they offered a salad bar with the stuffed chicken special, so before I even sat down I knew what I was having for dinner. My Grandma, Polly, decided that she would indulge in the other special, and chose the fish; A lightly battered roughy with a dill cream sauce. This time, she seemed very reluctant to share a morsel of her fish with me, but thankfully for the sake of writing this article for Ontario Travel Diva’s, I can vouch for the fact that the Fireside Cafe can whip up a mean roughy. Thanks, Grandma and thank you Fireside Cafe for a wonderful night out!

 

My stuffed chicken with garlic mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables.

My stuffed chicken with garlic mashed   potatoes and seasonal vegetables.

Grandma Polly’s lightly-battered roughy with a hot potato salad and veggies.

Grandma Polly’s lightly-battered roughy with a hot potato salad and veggies.

The Fireside Cafe offers an all-you-can-eat buffet on Saturday and Sunday evenings which includes soup, salad and the dessert bar.

Must Try: Homemade tortilla chips and salsa from the salad bar.

Must Try: Homemade tortilla chips and salsa from the salad bar.

They also feature a wonderful Sunday brunch from 11:30am-2:00pm on Sundays.

They even have a menu for gluten-conscious diners!

To view the Fireside Cafe’s menu visit their website at: www.thefiresidecafe.com/

Follow their culinary journey on Facebook at:
www.facebook.com/winghamfiresidecafe

FIRESIDE CAFE
86348 London Road (Hwy #4) about 2 minutes south of
Wingham, ON.

 

Photo 4 Caption: 

Polly looking pleased about her pecan flan.

Polly looking pleased about her pecan flan.

The smorgasbord of desserts that The Fireside Cafe offers. Decisions, decisions!

The smorgasbord of desserts that The Fireside Cafe offers. Decisions, decisions!

A Busy Friday Afternoon at the Bayfield Farmer’s Market 

1 Aug


Whether it is stopping on the side of the road to pick up some sweet corn on the honour system or frequenting markets, eating local is both good for you and our economy!

Whether it is stopping on the side of the road to pick up some sweet corn on the honour system or frequenting markets, eating local is both good for you and our economy!

By Diva Calista Powell

We are so fortunate in our area to have beautiful lakes and land that make for the perfect farming climate. We are also very lucky that we have so many places in Huron County for small businesses to sell their harvest. As a past “Londonite” I made sure to visit the many markets the city has to offer, but had never been to one in HC. It just so happened that for one of my other jobs I was asked to sell tickets for a local initiative in Bayfield during the market hours on Clangregor Square. Boy, was I ever impressed. I thought that the sleepy beach town of Bayfield would have a small turnout, but each booth was so busy, I hardly had a chance to chat with the vendors. I was also impressed because there wasn’t just the regular old fruit and veggie stands lining the square. I enjoyed a hot coffee from Shop Bike Coffee Roasters and a vanilla cinnamon roll from the Red Cat Farms bakery cart. I also had the chance to say hello to Pat McDougall and Shelagh Sully of CovenTree Gardens and peruse through Irene Morris’ unique garden art. Overall, Bayfield Market has a great selection of vendors and is worth the visit this summer.

Check out the Bayfield Farmer’s market every Friday from 3-7PM on Clangregor Square.To find other markets in the area download Huron Perth’s Farm to Table, “Buy Local! Buy Fresh!” guide here:http://huronperthfarmtotable.ca/consumers/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/4th-BLBF-Map-FINAL.pdf

Firmly Rooted supplies many happy customers with fresh seasonal veggies.

Firmly Rooted supplies many happy customers with fresh seasonal veggies.

Pat McDougall and Shelagh Sully pose for a shot with their fresh cut flowers. Coventree Gardens is known as the home of Bayfield lilies.

Pat McDougall and Shelagh Sully pose for a shot with their fresh cut flowers. Coventree Gardens is known as the home of Bayfield lilies.

Irene Morris smiles alongside her work that was originally inspired by art she saw in Ottawa.

Irene Morris smiles alongside her work that was originally inspired by art she saw in Ottawa.

 

Samuel’s Thursday Night Sushi is Back!

31 Jul

Samuel's Summer Sushi Backby Diva Calista Powell
Transitioning from living in the city for 5 years to moving back to Huron County is something I welcomed with open arms back in March. I knew that I would not miss the hustle and bustle of traffic, the blaring sirens and unfamiliar faces. But my gosh, I did not consider how much I would miss sushi. Luckily, a good friend and foodie extraordinaire, Jill Donnelly, notified me that her work, Samuel’s Hotel in Saltford, serves these beautiful rice rolls every Thursday night. Conveniently located across the street from my Dad’s house, I met up with Jill and our mutual friend Brittany and was pleasantly surprised to see the wide variety of sushi rolls on the menu. I would have to say that the best part about the menu was the great promotion they have on Thursday night called “A Dinner for One”. For $21, you can order your choice of 1 starter, 1 roll, and 1 dessert. This was a great choice for all of us as Jill is an experienced sushi connoisseur, and Brittany had never tried any before so we ordered to share.

The summer fresh rolls.

The summer fresh rolls.

After mowing down our appetizers of always-a-great-choice edamame and some super gingery summer rolls (fresh rolls), I felt nearly full already but had to continue when the main course arrived. Jill, feeling daring, ordered the Fusion Fire roll which was a spicy blend of Lake Huron white bass, cucumber, and peppers topped with a chili mayo, and after having a couple pieces I thought my mouth was going to literally light on fire. They don’t joke when they say extra spicy, but then again I’m kind of a sissy when it comes to hot foods. Britt chose the safe option and went with the Teriyaki Chicken and although she was a little timid to take the first bite, she ate every last piece and tried some of mine and Jill’s. I decided to go with the Fusion Salmon roll which was cold smoked salmon, cream cheese, chives, cucumber and avocado topped with a pile of fish roe. Britt asked what the “little orange balls” were, and with our encouragement she tried, and liked arguably as much as Jill and I did.
Teriyaki chicken rolls. I have such great friends for letting me sneak a few morsels  off of their plates. “Guys, it’s for a Travel Diva’s article, come onnnn”.

Teriyaki chicken rolls. I have such great friends for letting me sneak a few morsels
off of their plates. “Guys, it’s for a Travel Diva’s article, come onnnn”.

If we weren’t wowed enough already, when the chocolate brownie and emperor’s napolean desserts came out we were definitely impressed. The presentation was so beautiful I almost felt bad destroying it, but it was worth every bite. I have never seen a dessert as elaborate as the emperor’s napolean. As expected, the sweet crispy wontons, green tea whipped cream, summer berries and raspberry chocolate liquor sauce were to die for. I have to say that one of my favourite things to do is introduce friends to excellent cuisine and I don’t think we could have picked a better place than Samuel’s Hotel to dine for girls night.

To view the rest of Samuel’s Special Thursday night Sushi menu: http://samuelshotel.ca/component/content/article/11-dining/31-summer-sushi

Samuel’s Hotel Inc. are located at
34031 Saltford Rd.,  Goderich, ON N7A 4C6

 

A deliciously rich brownie

A deliciously rich brownie

All hail the emperor’s napoleon.

All hail the emperor’s napoleon.

ArtSee Cafe Eats in Bayfield, ON

30 Jul
The mushroom spinach and ham crepe in a white wine cheese sauce. Delish!



The mushroom spinach and ham crepe in a white wine cheese sauce. Delish!

By Diva Calista Powell

ArtsSee Cafe’s website states they are, “Serving delicious, innovative, fresh and healthy food. Our service is friendly, casual and attentive. Our environment is relaxed, current, youthful and welcoming”, and I have to 100% agree with them. I have always wanted to go to this French-style bistro, so on a rainy day I drove up to Bayfield to have lunch here with my Grandma, Polly. It usually takes me about .5 of a second to decide what I am going to order but every single item on this menu was so intriguing. We ended up deciding on splitting a mushroom, spinach and ham crepe and the Mediterranean Panini made up of Metzger’s smoked turkey breast, artichoke hearts, crumbled feta, and sundried tomato mayonnaise grilled on a focaccia. It was nearly impossible to decide which meal I liked better. You can never go wrong with a healthy sandwich made from local ingredients, but then again the crepe had a white wine and cheese sauce that I wish I could eat every day.

The Mediterranean focaccia as recommended by our server. Definitely a good choice.

The Mediterranean focaccia as recommended by our server. Definitely a good choice.

The portions were great for a light lunch and the ambience of ArtSee Cafe was relaxed and welcoming. At one point a lady wearing her pyjamas sat down to an espresso to frantically scribble something on to a napkin that I could not make out . I later overheard as she was speaking to a friend who entered the cafe that she was visiting from London for a poetry workshop and just had a surge of inspiration. It made me smile knowing that someone from a neighbouring city would feel at home here and find ArtSee Cafe as wonderful as I did.

To view ArtSee Cafe’s Schedule and Menu go to their website at http://www.artseecafe.ca

They are located at 19 Main Street, Bayfield, Ontario

The super friendly serving staff Cassie Groot, Shannen Murray & Maddy McDonald.

The super friendly serving staff Cassie Groot, Shannen Murray & Maddy McDonald.

The culinary wizards who made my amazing meal! Big thanks to Guy Spence, Anita Spence and Stacia McLean.

The culinary wizards who made my amazing meal! Big thanks to Guy Spence, Anita Spence and Stacia McLean.

 

A Shopping Trip to the Exeter Market

24 Jun Exeter's Farmer's Market

by Diva Christine Harris

Exeter's Farmer's MarketIt was a beautiful day outside for a Farmer’s Market and I was lucky enough to meet all the vendors and talk to them.  Here are the people and places I met on June 19th during my shopping trip to the market.

Truly-Local-(2)Truly Local

Matt McIntire from Truly Local has a food truck set up and today his specials are Pulled Pork Sandwiches and Meatball Subs. Matt believes in using only local meat, he can tell you exactly where he has gotten his meat from that he’s serving that day and when it was butchered.

Eagleson-FarmsEagleson Farms

Matt Eagleson primarily sells beef, lamb and pork from his farm near Grand Bend.  Most of their food is organic, or pretty close to it.  They also have peanut products from the Simcoe area.

The Healthy Hemp GuyThe Healthy Hemp Guy

Brent Holden sells Canadian made hemp products such as clothes, soaps, and seeds.  He also has a variety of balms, bamboo towels and coconut oil.

Bayfield-Berry-FarmBayfield Berry Farm

This vendor has a wide variety of items, ranging from produce to baked goods and canned goods.  Today the strawberries are in season as well as asparagus and rhubarb.  The pies and tarts look great!

Sandra's-Country-CraftsSandra’s Country Crafts

Sandra has a variety of crafts available for sale.  She enjoys making canvas art, handmade jewelry, and she also knits and crochets items like dishcloths.

WallyWally’s

Wally makes his very own jams, pickles and relish, all ready to take home at reasonable prices.

Good-Luck-GardensGood Luck Gardens

Joanne and Dave Foster are from Kirkton and have been in business for 24 years now.  Today tomatoes, asparagus and potatoes are for sale. They also have some beautiful planters and if you’re someone who enjoys growing their own food, they have heirloom tomato plants.  Look for Joanne on the cover of Rural Voice.

Pillitteri-Estates-WineryPillitteri Estates Winery

All the way from Niagara on the Lake this family owned and operated business joins our farmer’s market with five types of wine.  They have been in business since 1993 and have won over 700 awards.

Susan's-CraftsSusan’s Crafts

Susan has many unique crafts in her booth today.  She makes birdfeeders and what she calls dress-ups for the kids.  She also makes handmade quilts, pillows and purses from used clothing.

The-Home-FarmThe Home Farm

Kirk and Carol pick their produce the morning they come out to the market, so you know what you’re getting is fresh.  Today Carol is selling peppers, cucumbers, cilantro, parsley, lettuce and garlic. She also makes baked goods from spelt, which you can also buy as berries to make your own goodies at home. Today she sells a variety of cookies and pies.

Sheldon-BerriesSheldon Berries

Ray Sheldon from Lakeside Ontario is displaying some beautiful strawberries today.  He tells me that they have raspberries in their greenhouses and blueberries will be ready for July.  Ray is also selling honey, apple butter and raspberry jam.

Cedarvilla-Angus-FarmsCedarVilla Angus Farms

This 7th generation family farm from the Zurich area takes great pride in their products.  Today they were selling beef roasts, pepperettes and beef jerky.  You can contact them to place larger orders as well.

Apple Blossom Walk on the Blyth Greenway Trail

14 Jun The winter was long and hard on fruit trees - and the blossoms weren't quite at their peak.
The winter was long and hard on fruit trees - and the blossoms weren't quite at their peak.

The winter was long and hard on fruit trees – and the blossoms weren’t quite at their peak.

by Karen Stewart

On Saturday, May 24th, 2014 a small group of local residents met in the Village of Blyth to enjoy a walk along the Greenway Trail and hear about the no less than fifteen brands of apples growing there.  The story that these apples grew from cores pitched from the windows of the passing trains captured my interest.

Due to the long, long winter, the blossoms were not quite at their peak, but we did listen to tales of the Blyth Greenway by local historian Brock Vodden while enjoying a walk among the blossoms, trees and shrubs!

This blossom walk was lead by Hauke Reisenbichler, a Master Craftsmen in Gardens and Orchards from Germany.  He shared information on the fruit trees as well as some uses for wild plants growing along the Maitland River located adjacent to the trail.

Participants agreed there was interest in gathering again this fall to walk the trail and identify the apples, many of which are heritage brands.  A local source reported that one particular tree makes great applesauce — I look forward to trying some this fall.

But, the Trilliums were in their prime.

But, the Trilliums were in their prime.

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