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A New Thanksgiving Tradition

17 Nov Grandma Polly says it’s turkey time. Thank-you Hayter’s Farm!

by Diva Calista Powell
As our American neighbours prepare for their Thanksgiving feasts, I can’t help but reminisce about the amazing dinner that my family had this year. After visiting the Howick Fall Fair and seeing the wide variety of vegetables grown by my fellow Huron-Countians, I made it my goal to support local when selecting my Thanksgiving produce. Starting with the main attraction for this year’s meal, we picked up a fresh Hayter’s turkey. The great thing about Hayter’s is that you don’t have to drive too far in the county to get one, as they have a number of supermarkets where they distribute their products. Next on my grocery list was bread for the stuffing. Tasty-Nu Bakery and Cheese House in Zurich made this really easy. It just so happened that the last Goderich Farmer’s Market was happening on the Saturday before our big meal, so we picked up some carrots, potatoes for mashing, and my personal favourite- broccoflower (a hybrid of broccoli and cauliflower).

Steaming broccoflower and carrots from the Goderich Farmer’s Market.

Steaming broccoflower and carrots from the Goderich Farmer’s Market.

Grandma Polly says it’s turkey time. Thank-you Hayter’s Farm!

Grandma Polly says it’s turkey time. Thank-you Hayter’s Farm!

With the Christmas season around the corner, another family meal needs to be prepared. Even though the snow has made a recent appearance, you can still get great local produce. I recently became aware of the year-round Farm to Table box that offers Bruce and Huron residents produce grown in our region. This program is volunteer-run and have many locations for pick-up.

For schedules and more information about the Farm to Table Box email farmtotablebox@gmail.com or leave a message at 519-335-3493. For updates, follow them on Twitter (@farmproducebox) or like them on Facebook.
To see where you can purchase Hayter’s Farm products visit their website at http://www.haytersfarm.com/.

Dinner is served!

Dinner is served!

Laithwaite Apple Park, a fun family outing

14 Nov applesfrompark_1

by Diva Rachel Lynn
A couple of weekends ago our family visited Laithwaite Apple Park.  The park is located 1km east of Goderich on hwy 8.   It’s not just an apple park.  It’s also a farm that has many sculptures from cement, metal, fieldstone and found materials by George Laithwaite (1873-1956).  Some of the figures were created as satirical or political commentary on world events, while others were based on comic strip characters.  Most of his statues were created as a hobby during slow economic times.

statueapplepark_1

The Apple Park also features a farm store selling seasonal products.  Some products include apples, fruit in season, potatoes, honey, jam, apple butter, apple cider, squash and many more.  It is open year round.

Products available at Apple Park

Products available at Apple Park

On our visit we had pumpkins in mind as well as apples.  There are so many kinds of apples so I asked which one I should use for apple pie.  Pauline (one of the owners) mentioned she likes Courtland.  These apples were huge!  And delicious too.  Thanks to Pauline’s suggestion, I made a mean apple pie.

applesfrompark_1

Bea choosing her pumpkin

Bea choosing her pumpkin

pumpkins found a happy home.

pumpkins found a happy home.

Although our main purpose was pumpkins and apples we also picked up Robinson’s Maple syrup, spaghetti squash and a rutabaga.  I love good food and supporting local.

Laithwaite Apple Park
35563 Huron Rd,
Goderich
519-524-7763.

DUCK Dinner at Samuels enjoyed by this Travel Diva

12 Nov Finish - Fresh Concord Grape Mousse

by Diva Rachel Lynn

I think the name of this dinner should be renamed to “mmmmmmm”.  Seriously.  I recently had the pleasure of attending my first Food for Thought dinner at Samuels Hotel, just north of Goderich.  It was my girlfriend Caroline who suggested that we go.  I made reservations right away because any event I’ve ever attended at Samuels sells out fast! The food prepared had many local suppliers: Bayfield Berry Farm, Weth Mushrooms, Firmly Rooted, Shanahan’s Meats and Everspring Farms. As we waited for our starter, the owner of Everspring Farms, Dale Donaldson, told us a bit about Muscovy duck: they have a distinct flavor (like beef), Males are larger than females, lower in fat. starterddm_1Our started was Duck and Shiitake Dumplings:  fried dumplings with duck, shiitake mushrooms and chestnuts. Salad (sorry no picture, It was too good and ¾ gone by the time I remembered). Baby kale, sweet potato, curried quinoa and cranberries.

Main

Main

Muscovy Duck Breast, white bean puree, brussel sprouts . The duck was seared with black currant cassis sauce, white bean puree, bacon and lemon brussels sprouts.

Finish

Finish

Concord Grape Mousse, fresh off the vine grapes whipped into a light creamy mousse. I thought at many points throughout my meal that I may need to smack hands away from my duck and mousse.  To say it was delicious is a serious understatement.

Kim Burgsma, chef and owner of Samuels Hotel came by our table at the end of our meal to say hello.  I couldn’t say enough good things about the meal and about Kim.

To find out more about Samuels Hotel, please visit www.samuelshotel.ca  This is a must see place in Huron County.

Samuels Hotel Inc.
34031 Saltford Rd
Goderich, ON N7A 4C6
(519) 524-1371
www.samuelshotel.ca

 

Huron County Suppliers: Bayfield Berry Farm, Weth Mushrooms, Firmly RootedShanahan’s Meats  and Everspring Farms.

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.

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