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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.

Great things come from ‘Out of the Blue’

7 May

 

Sue showing off their wide variety of imported seafood and talks about the lobster tails from Cuba that customers have coined as “The Ohmygods”

Sue showing off their wide variety of imported seafood and talks about the lobster tails from Cuba that customers have coined as “The Ohmygods”

by Diva Calista Powell
It was fishing on the river where Sue Larson and Don Voisin met, and today this married couple continue to share their passion at their fresh fish and seafood market ‘Out of the Blue’ in Bayfield, Ontario. Six years ago, Sue and her husband noticed that Huron County was lacking a supplier of freshly caught fish and wanted to open up shop and bring in their own fare from the Great Lakes. Since then, they have cast their net wider to import the best lobster tails from Cuba and even catfish from North Carolina that they cure themselves in their at-home smokery. It has been claimed by the residents of our area that they sell the best quality and variety of fish on the West Coast, which is supported by the many restaurants in Huron County that feature their local fish on their menu. This claim is also validated by returning international tourists that stock up before they head home to South Africa, China and Jamaica to name a few places. While chatting with Sue, she said that their claim to fame is definitely their wide variety of smoked fish, so I decided to take the plunge and get the smoked catfish. Even though I can be a picky eater and was hesitant to try catfish, I was blown away by the moist light flavour and have even been back to get some more since writing this article. It was at that time where I also decided to turn up the heat in the kitchen and try out local Lake Huron rainbow trout. Sue gave me a fail-safe recipe that she swore by, and even laughed a little when I jotted down her straightforward directions on my notepad. As promised, this recipe turned out fabulously and the trout was perfectly flaky and had a nice delicate flavoring. If anyone else would like to test their culinary talents and support local, I too highly recommend buying from Out of the Blue Fish and Seafood Market.

Out of the Blue’s fresh fish display case with varieties of bass, halibut, perch and pickerel among others.

Out of the Blue’s fresh fish display case with varieties of bass, halibut, perch and pickerel among others.


Sue Larson’s Simple Baked Rainbow Trout:

Ingredients:
2 cuts of fresh rainbow trout
Soya Sauce
Sea Salt
Pepper
4-6 thick slices of tomato
2 lemon wedges

Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees Celsius and line a baking tray with aluminum foil.
2) Place the trout on top of the foil and drizzle on soya sauce and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Top with thick slices of tomato.
3) Bake uncovered for 12-15 minutes and serve with a lemon wedge.

My delicious rainbow trout creation!


My delicious rainbow trout creation!


For more information about Out of the Blue visit their Facebook page at:https://www.facebook.com/OutOfTheBlueFishAndSefoodMarket

Out of the Blue
Hwy 21, Bayfield
(519) 565-4240

 

“You can give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; you teach a man to come over to Out of the Blue and he is happy for a lifetime”.                              - Sue Larson

Situated right off of the Bayfield square makes this a great location for County residents and summer tourists to stop in and acquire a taste for their product.

Situated right off of the Bayfield square makes this a great location for County residents and summer tourists to stop in and acquire a taste for their product.


Sue wraps up my rainbow trout and catfish in newspaper and calls it “the old English way”.

Sue wraps up my rainbow trout and catfish in newspaper and calls it “the old English way”.

photo 3

Ah, sweetest taste of Spring – Fresh Maple Syrup!

7 Apr

by Diva Karen
Saturday was the perfect day to take a trip ’round Huron County to pick up some fresh, organic maple syrup.  I visited Robinson’s Maple Products in St. Augustine and learned all about modern maple syrup production.  With 20,000 trees in five separate bushes, Bill and Susanne have built a business that provides fresh organic products not only to much of southwestern Ontario, but also to a large market in Japan and emerging markets in China and the Ukraine.

Read the full story at HERE at www.tasteofhuron.ca.

This equipment, called a PIG (it looks like one, eh?) churns thickened syrup for smooth creamy maple butter.

This equipment, called a PIG (it looks like one, eh?) churns thickened syrup for smooth creamy maple butter.

Saps contains 2% sugar,  After processing through this Reverse Osmosis System it's at 16%.

Saps contains 2% sugar, After processing through this Reverse Osmosis System it’s at 16%.

Holding tank on the second floor for the 16% concentrate … will flow down to the evaporator

Holding tank on the second floor for the 16% concentrate … will flow down to the evaporator

Evaporator on the left side uses steam coils to boil down the sap to 66.5 degrees Brix*

Evaporator on the left side uses steam coils to boil down the sap to 66.5 degrees Brix*

This filtering system removes the impurities

This filtering system removes the impurities

Dinner on Saturday night included Tangy Maple Meatballs – a recipe that Suzanne shared with us.

Tangy Maple Meatballs (Recipe below)

Tangy Maple Meatballs (Recipe below)

Robinson Maple Products
84548 St. Augustine Line
Auburn, ON  N0M 1E0
Phone:  519-527-7857
www.robinsonmaple.com

SUZANNE’S TANGY MAPLE MEATBALLS

Meatballs
1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 lb ground pork
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 egg
2 tbsp dried parsley flakes
1 tsp Worchestershire Sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

Preheat oven to 350.  Combined above ingredients and form into 1 1/2″ balls.  Please in 8″ square pan, bake for 20 minutes.

Sauce
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp vinegar
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 c water

Combine cornstarch, mustard and salt in small saucepan.  Gradually stir in vinegar, maple syrup and water.  Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly.  Drain fat from the meatballs, pour sauce over meatballs.  Bake 20 minutes.

 

A DIFFERENT WAY OF COLLECTION
While the Robinson’s operation is automated – sap is suctioned via vacuum on those blue plastic lines strung through the bush the local Amish were tapping trees along the roadside and rather than the traditional pails (shown in last year’s story HERE), they’re using Wine Skins as shown in the photo below.

Amish in the area are using WineSkins for sap collection.

Amish in the area are using WineSkins for sap collection.

 

*Degrees Brix (symbol °Bx) is the sugar content of an aqueous solution.  One degree Brix is 1 gram of sucrose in 100 grams of solution  and represents the strength of the solution as percentage by weight (% w/w). If the solution contains dissolved solids other than pure sucrose, then the °Bx only approximates the dissolved solid content.

Olympic Fever at the Albion

26 Feb
The Albion is a popular spot for snowmobilers.

The Albion is a popular spot for snowmobilers.

by Diva Trista Russell
February has been a great month for getting cozy on the couch and watching some television…especially when the Winter Olympics were on! While I was in Bayfield staying at the Little Inn during the Family Day long weekend, I headed down the street to watch the Canada vs. Finland hockey game in the pub at The Albion Hotel.

Not surprisingly, there were lots of hockey fans cheering on the Canadian team, and servers were even dressed in red and white jerseys. It was a sunny winter’s day, so of course there were lots of snowmobilers stopped there too. Every Tuesday, they have great specials and prizes for snowmobilers, which includes $2 tacos or sliders and chili dogs for $5.95!

The Albion has huge murals painted on the walls along with some displays of sports memorabilia. The interior looked different from the last time I was last there, but I love how the decor provides a relaxed and cozy vibe.

Olympic fever has hit the Albion!

Olympic fever has hit the Albion!

For those that enjoy fish and chips, when I went they had a $12 two-piece fish and chips special. I enjoyed the “Nachos Supreme” and a beverage, which definitely hit the spot!

The Albion has a great atmosphere for watching sports, especially the Olympics. You can see how proud everyone is of the Canadian team when the pub erupts with cheers. Go Canada Go!

The Albion Hotel
1 Main Street, Bayfield
Phone: 519-565-2641 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting
Email: albion@tcc.on.ca
The Albion is on Facebook!

My hockey watching menu: “Nachos Supreme” with ground beef

My hockey watching menu: “Nachos Supreme” with ground beef

Watching the Olympic hockey game at the Albion

Watching the Olympic hockey game at the Albion

Murals and sports memorabilia adorn the walls

Murals and sports memorabilia adorn the walls

Audrey’s Feast

30 Sep

IMG_4008by Diva Trista Russell

I have to admit that when I heard about this event, I had no idea who Audrey was. But after attending Audrey’s Feast, it appears that Audrey was wonderful inspiration to our community, and especially the Farmers’ Market in my hometown of Exeter. Unfortunately, she recently passed away, but it was evident from the kind words spoken throughout the night that her inspiration still lives on.

Audrey’s Feast was a long-table style dinner that was held in a tent right beside Main Street in Exeter. Audrey’s Feast was inspired by Audrey McFalls, who saw similar events celebrating local food held in neighbouring regions and wanted to bring it to Exeter. The proceeds from the Feast went to the Huron County Food Bank Distribution Centre and the Exeter Farmers’ Market. The servers throughout the night were all vendors from the Farmers’ Market. Dinner was catered by Devin Tabor of Bon Vivant Personal Chef Service, and live music by Devon Martene and Jon Gill.

The delicious dinner started off with an amuse-bouche (bite size appetizer) of smoked Lake Huron fish, mixed greens with roasted beets, and roasted sweet potato soup. For the main course, there was roast beef with gravy and horseradish cream sauce, and honey dijon roast chicken. This was accompanied with a medley of veggies, smashed potato with roasted garlic, and fresh rolls with seasoned butter. The dessert was an an apple crumble with fresh raspberries, chantilly cream and mint. Yum!

IMG_4009The dinner featured items from Barrking Hill FarmBayfield Berry FarmCedar Villa Angus FarmsFirmly Rooted FarmGood Luck GardensMcClymont Century OrchardSheldon Berries, The Home Farm, and Cudmore Farm.

Guest speaker for the evening was Andrew Fleet, who is Director of Growing Chefs! Ontario, a non-profit organization based in London that unites chefs, growers, educators and community members to help get kids excited about how to grow and prepare healthy food. One of the programs Growing Chefs! Ontario offers is called “Fresh Food Frenzy” which takes school kids to a local farmers’ market and then prepare a meal using market ingredients.

He also spoke about how we need to change how the way we look at food, as often we look at eating as an inconvenience in our busy day. He said that Europeans, especially Italians, have it right: they look at food and eating as a priority, and fit the other things in life around food.

I hope this event happens again next year!

IMG_4021

Each diner got to take home a package from Egg Farmers Ontario, including a handy microwave egg cooker.

IMG_4016

I was one of the lucky winners who got to take home a beautiful centrepiece of fresh cut flowers from Cudmore Farms!

IMG_4015

Some wonderful ladies from London that I met at Audrey’s Feast. Hope you enjoyed the evening!

IMG_4001

A sample of the items you can purchase at the Exeter Farmers’ Market.

European ambiance at the ArtSee Café

27 Sep

by Diva Susan Pye

One recent Friday evening I was standing under the porch of the new public library in Bayfied (a great community resource and meeting place!), watching a very loud  thunderstorm blowing down Main Street and wondering why I had ventured out at all.  I had my answer as soon as I dashed across the road and entered the ArtSee Café to be greeted by the wonderful aroma of various tasty dinners being prepared by Chef (and owner) Guy Spence and the other kitchen wizards at work.

ArtSee is a little restaurant/café tucked into a European, or perhaps New Orleans style, alley and courtyard midway down Main Street on the south side of the street. Small trees, shrubs, grasses and flowers around the alley and little courtyard add to the Euro ambiance.

Friday night is French Bistro night, as is Saturday on long weekends, with the last Friday night French Bistro occurring October 11 (please see the ArtSee Café web site for details on schedule, reservations, and menus; the Café continues to be open on weekends through to November 10 with various special menus planned).  The friendly wait staff (including Guy’s daughter Anita who moonlights as a teacher in London during the week) helped make our dinner decisions, which was tough because everything sounded delicious and looked amazing as the various dishes passed our table to other diners.  We were fortunate enough to benefit from the usual Friday night bistro dinner as well as Lobster Fest option. While I dined on lobster salad and a exceptionally tasty pasta  (little pockets of black truffles with pieces of lobster in sauce), my husband enjoyed the French onion soup (traditional and delicious, not too  gooey as so often can be the case) and a  tender beef filet with béarnaise sauce (who doesn’t love béarnaise sauce?).  While we probably shouldn’t have, we shared a home made cheesecake for dessert, which was exactly what a cheesecake should be (again, not too gooey).

When we rolled out of the Café into the warm autumn evening on the charming Main Street of Bayfield, we were very, very happy. A wonderful way to start the weekend! Thank you Guy and kitchen wizards, and of course Anita and wait staff!

ArtSee Café & Bistro
19 Main Street
Bayfield Ontario Canada

enjoy@artseecafe.ca
519.565.2200

It was the Schnitz!

4 Sep
Food stations offered numerous options for each course.

Food stations offered numerous options for each course.

By Diva Trista Russell

Ontario’s West Coast is home to loads of produce growers and meat suppliers, many of which are located right in our own area. The aim of Taste of Huron’s “Food for Thought” Dinners is to celebrate just that: we truly live in the “bread basket” of Ontario!

Last Monday I was treated to a delicious Taste of Huron dinner called “It’s the Schnitz” at Hessenland Country Inn in St. Joesph. For $50 a person, it included wonderful grazing style dinner with bite size samplings of salads and soup, many different types of schnitzel, side dishes, dessert, and also one drink ticket. Various dining stations were set up outside in Hessenland’s beautiful gardens and in their Garden Room. To top it off, Diva Karen and I, along with our guests, had a lovely table right by the window overlooking the pool and gardens while the sun was setting over Lake Huron. I can definitely see why Hessenland is a popular choice for special events, especially weddings.

Hessenland proudly showed of its German roots (ancestry I distantly share as well) by showcasing a variety of schnitzel including pork, turkey, chicken, fish, and wiener schnitzel. Just to make your mouth water even more, here’s part of the menu:

IMG_3954 IMG_3955Salads/Soups

  • Frank’s Corn Chowder
  • Shredded Carrots and Bell Peppers tossed with a Dijon Maple Dressing
  • Yellow and Green Beans tossed with Garlic Scape Pesto Dressing
  • Sweet Corn Kernels tossed with Chili Dressing
  • Garden Greens tossed with Cantaloupe Balsamic Dressing

IMG_3957 IMG_3958

Desserts were delicious!

Desserts were delicious!

Dessert

  • Fresh Strawberries with Zabaglione
  • Creamy Strawberry Sorbet with Orange Mint
  • Field Melon Salsa
  • Individual Peach Crumble

Most of the ingredients came from local suppliers, including: Metzger Meat Products, Hayter’s Turkey Farm, Masse Farm, Ferguson Apiaries, Poganatz Family Bakery, Purdy’s Fisheries, and The Garlic Box. Chef Frank Ihrig even made a last minute addition to the menu with some beets he got from a neighbour. I think the favourite of the night for me was the peach crumble. As Chef Frank mentioned in his opening speech, peaches are very tender and juicy this year.

IMG_3956If you missed this dinner but would like to attend another one, you’re not too late! The next Food for Thought Dinner called “This Little Piggy Went to Pisa” (featuring heritage pork) will be held on Tuesday, September 17th at Samuel’s Boutique Hotel north of Goderich.

For more info: www.tasteofhuron.ca

Great Food, Good Times at Paddy O’Neil’s

19 Aug

Paddy O'Neilsby Diva Trista Russell

On my way up to Goderich to check out Behind the Bars (see my last post), I stopped at Paddy O’Neil’s on The Square in Goderich for some dinner. O’Neil’s is part of the Hotel Bedford which is the only hotel right on The Square. O’Neil’s has a variety of food, ranging from fresh local fish and pastas to chicken wings. I tried the breaded pickerel ($18.89) which came with your choice of potato and steamed veggies. Very tasty! The service was excellent too. The main dining room was pretty full on a Thursday evening, so I sat on the patio which had a nice view of the Courthouse. Afterwards, I walked around The Square to see the improvements Goderich has made.

IMG-20130808-00218After touring Behind the Bars, I headed down to Goderich’s main beach to catch the sunset. I’ve heard that Goderich’s sunsets are rated as some of the best in the world. Such a beautiful view!

Paddy O’Neil’s Restaurant
92 Courthouse Square
Goderich, Ontario
Phone: 519-524-7337
Website: http://www.hotelbedford.ca

Paddy O'Neil's IMG-20130808-00221 Paddy O'Neil's, Goderich Sunset on Lake Huron

Clinton’s Trial Farmer’s Market Deemed a Success

15 Aug

P1020268by Diva Karen Stewart
Clinton & Central Huron BIA has a trial Summer Market operating Wednesdays until September 4 from 8am to 2pm at the Library Park.   “Originally planned to close on August 14th, the market was extended a couple of weeks as this season’s unique weather sees produce maturing later than is typical here,” says Co-ordinator Sandy Garnet. “Downtown businesses report increased traffic and there’s a strong desire from our merchants to expand the season in 2014.”

There are vendors who sell fresh meats, fresh baked goods (including gluten free), cheese, maple syrup and honey, farm fresh eggs, as well as home made crafts and one of a kind items. The main feature, however, is the farmers and their fresh picked fruits and vegetables.   Averaging ten vendors each week, the market can easily accommodate up to 20 and hopes to encourage more vendors from Central Huron.

Check out some of the local flavour featured at the Farmers’ Market.  And, if you’re gluten free check out the Almond White Chocolate Coconut Squares from Humble Roots Bakery – I can vouch for them … they are quite tasty.

Location:

The Market is located 27 Albert Street, Clinton, Ontario N0M 1L0
Wednesday 8am – 2pm, until September 4th

Contacts:

Sandy Garnet, Made in Huron, 519-525-0671 (Made in Huron on Facebook)
Nina,  ReLook Nook, 519-606-4001  (Re-Look Nook on Facebook)

4 year old Landin Carter

4 year old Landin Carter

Gluten Free, Lactose Free and reduced sugar baking from Humble Roots Bakery in Milverton.

Gluten Free, Lactose Free and reduced sugar baking from Humble Roots Bakery in Milverton.

P1020271

Ross Dobie of Auburn sold frozen meats and fresh vegetables for a Hurno County-based Mennonite friend. Ross Dobie of Auburn sold frozen meats and fresh vegetables for a Hurno County-based Mennonite friend.

Pauleen Kerkhof, a local Epicure consultant is a regular vendor at the Market.

Pauleen Kerkhof, a local Epicure consultant is a regular vendor at the Market.

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