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:
- 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
- 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.
If 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