Here’s some more locavore news for our region:
- If you went to the Downtown Windsor Farmers’ Market (DWFM) last year then you may have seen chef Rino from Black Kettle Bistro picking up some ingredients for his soups and specialty dishes that he makes from scratch; look for even more local food to be included in these great dishes soon…
- Steve Green and I are heading to Kitchener for the “Bring Food Home” conference at the beginning of March; I’m attending to get more information for the DWFM and to get as much information as possible to increase my knowledge/background in agritourism; Steve is part of the Homeless Coalition, runs WECSA and is spearheading the push for urban chickens so almost every workshop is going to apply to him!
- Amherstburg is hoping to have a farmers’ market this summer; read the review on Windsorite.ca (the city’s latest news blog!) and follow some of the links to learn more
- The March 1st deadline for Sanson Estate Winery’s recipe contest is quickly approaching; get full details here
I hope you had a wonderful Valentine’s Day! We celebrated on Saturday at Penalty Box (Smoke n Spice was packed)…hope you supported your favourite independent restaurant too!
Downtown Windsor Farmers Market, Sanson Estate Winery, WECSA
In an earlier post about cabbage rolls I talked about using Thomas’ tomatoes in the recipe.
Here’s a list of where to find Thomas’ canned tomatoes (aka Utopia Organic):
- Loblaw’s (different stores carry different stock though)
- Barron Poultry (Amherstburg)
- Sanson Estate Winery (McGregor)
- Biddell’s (Windsor) – wholesale
- Birelli Distributors (Windsor) - wholesale
- Morton Wholesale (Oldcastle) – wholesale
- Cisco Foods (Windsor) – wholesale
You can also buy direct: http://www.thomascanning.com/contact_us.html
Sanson Estate Winery, Thomas' Organic Tomatoes
I love garlic but since we try to do only a few large cooking days a month, sometimes I forget to buy garlic or the bulbs we have are starting to sprout!
The Garlic Box wants your garlic to last and they want to make your life easier. Who needs to bother with messy skins and peeling garlic? The Garlic Box sells a bag of large garlic cloves, already peeled, frozen and vaccuum sealed. When you are getting ready to cook you just need to pull out the number of cloves you need; they thaw quickly or you can microwave them for a short time.
I forgot to take a photo when the bag was full so the photo above shows about 1/2 a bag. I purchased it for $7.95 at Sanson Estate Winery. You can contact The Garlic Box to find out who else carries their products.
From their website:
“The Garlic Box™is Canada’s leading premier company of gourmet garlic food products made with select cold-climate garlic.”
The Garlic Box is in Hensall, about 45 minutes north of London.
Garlic, Hensall, Sanson Estate Winery, The Garlic Box
As we enjoy fall and get ready for the holidays (are they really that close?!?) we have the opportunity to choose from many events:
- November 19 – Aleksander Winery’s Harvest Winemakers Dinner – Enjoy a harvest meal paired with Aleksander wines at Per Bacco; check out their website for details
- November 21 & 22 – Sanson Estate Winery Holiday Open House – complimentary food and wine tasting in the events hall; live cooking demos; see their newsletter
- November 28 – Southwestern Ontario Vintners Association (SWOVA) Holiday Open Houses – Celebrate with 12 local wineries; each winery celebrates in a different way so check out SWOVA’s site for details
There are more events to choose from so check out my calendar for those that are related to local food and spirits.
Other news this week:
- The Kildare House closed it’s doors – I am very sad!
- WindsorEats launches their Wine Trail Rides website (after winning the culinary tourism experience award!) …[scooped from Bike Windsor, be sure to check them out if you are interested in lots of cyling info in the area]
- Walkerville’s Holiday Walkabout is this weekend; check out their website for details and be sure to stop at Taste Bud for a local focus on prepared meals
- Richard of Thibert Farm mentions that he will try to grow oats in 2010/11 – I can’t wait!
- MIT releases a study that links local food with aiding the obesity epidemic; eating local helped me lose a lot of wait so maybe people will believe this study if they don’t believe me
Kildare House, SWOVA, Sanson Estate Winery, Thibert Farm, Windsor Eats
A new line for Sanson Estate Winery’s retail store arrived recently: Giffin Maple Syrup Products. Yay for the arrival of winter’s sweet gift!
The amazing syrup is available in light, medium and dark and comes in decorative glass bottles. If you like you can buy a plain can as well.
Check out a video of Don Giffin from the Chatham Daily News.
Where else can you buy the syrup?
- Sobey’s (Blenheim)
- Delhaven Orchards (Blenheim)
- A&J Market (Cedar Springs)
- Anna Mae / Pardo’s Market (Cedar Springs)
- Greatview Orchards (Cedar Springs)
- Sara’s Market (Chatham)
- Parks Blueberries (Thamesville)
You can also buy the syrup and other great maple products directly from the Giffin’s store in Blenheim at 18862 Communication Road South. While Giffin’s Maple Syrup is open year-round, it is always best to call ahead to confirm when you will be visiting (as with most small, farm-based businesses). You can reach them at (519) 676-3448.
What will you do with all of this great syrup? If you have yet to try Thibert Farm pancake mix then pick up a bag at your next trip to the Downtown Windsor Farmers Market. The pancakes are amazing, the mix is made with recognizable ingredients, and you will have a perfect syrup to go on top. The pairing would make a nice addition to a gift basket too!
Yummy, pancakes from scratch (almost)!
Blenheim, Giffin Maple Syrup Products, Sanson Estate Winery, maple syrup
There is so much going on that it is hard to keep up! We are in a very busy time of year for life in general, but especially for locally grown produce.
Hopefully you have been stopping in at the downtown market. Despite the rain, the vendors were still out there this weekend and I got my bread and cookies from Thibert Farms and some amazing peaches from another vendor.
SWOVA’s Annual Vintage Tasting was also this past weekend; let me know if you made it out and tell me how it was. $50 for a ticket would have been wasted on me as I cannot drink yet (8 weeks to go, but who is counting?)!
The highly sought “Bird Dog Red” is back at Sanson Estate Winery. Bird Dog has been missing for the past 3 years so fans are eager to try out the new pup. It is an ‘05 blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet France and Merlot. Grab a bottle while you can! It is hard to fall in love with a wine as they may sell out or some winemakers do not make the same wines each year (this happened to me when I went to Aleksander and they were sold out of their Baco). Make sure to find a few local faves and cross your fingers that supplies last.
Stop in at the Leamington Tomato Fest this weekend for loads of family fun. A new feature this year is the wine tent with several local wineries participating. Check out their website for details.
There are loads of other events coming up so be sure to check the food calendar.
Aleksander Estate Winery, Downtown Windsor Farmers Market, Leamington Tomato Festival, SWOVA, Sanson Estate Winery, Thibert Farm
I hope that some of you got to enjoy “Sip Into Summer” at participating wineries or stopped in to the wine tent at Art in the Park. The summer events are not over though…
- Sanson Estate Winery – June 20th, 12-4pm – Celebrate Summer Solstice with nature walks, wine and food sampling, falconry exhibit (around 2pm), and a complimentary BBQ of all-natural meat products; FREE and child-friendly! Get more info here.
- Viewpointe Estate Winery – June 27 & 28th, 1-5pm – Even though the retail portion of Viewpointe has been open for a couple of years, their official grand opening will be this summer. Stop in for tours, barrel tastings, culinary demos and more. Get the PDF here.
- Aleksander Estate Winery – Sundays, 12-4pm – Visit the winery to view works from a different artist each Sunday throughout the summer. Check out their website.
I want to cover more wines and wineries but right now I am unable to do the sampling that I used to enjoy so much. Local food is even more important to me now that I will be having a baby in the fall. So keep sending me your “finds” for local foods, especially if they are natual or organic!
Aleksander Estate Winery, Sanson Estate Winery, Viewpointe Estate Winery
Due to some great volunteers, Art in the Park will not be Art in the Meadow as organizers had joked. We walked the park last night and it has been tidied up just in time for the annual event.
This year will be the first year that a wine tent will be open during the festivities and will feature three local wineries: Sanson Estate Winery, Wagner Orchards & Estate Winery, and Pelee Island Winery.
For those of you who do not know what Art in the Park is:
Art in the Park is held the first full weekend in June of each year, and is the signature event that launches Windsors festival season. This event is one of Ontario’s largest outdoor arts and crafts shows with exhibitors from all over Ontario, Quebec and the state of Michigan. The exhibitors display and retail their wares in booths set up around the 15.5 acres of gated grounds surrounding the beautiful and historic Willistead Mansion in Walkerville (Windsor), Ontario.
Hours for Art in the Park are Saturday, June 6th from 10am to 9pm (art vendors close at 6pm) and Sunday, June 7th from 10am to 5pm.
Hours for the wine service are Saturday from 12 noon to 9pm and Sunday from 12 noon to 5pm.
You can check out the event website here: http://www.artintheparkwindsor.com/
This weekend you can also opt to visit the wineries on Saturday, June 6th for “Sip Into Summer”. This year’s theme is herbs so each winery will be pairing their vintages with different herbs. Stop into Sanson Estate Winery for lots of treats or check out what other wineries are offering by visiting the SWOVA events page.
I will be at the winery on Saturday and Sunday so drop in between 12 and 4 to taste some great wine and herbalicious snacks!
Art in the Park, Pelee Island Winery, Sanson Estate Winery, Sip Into Summer, Wagner Orchards
Bootleggers are back at Walkerville Brewing Company but supplies are limited so hurry in. I do not know for sure whether the bootlegger is the same as the growler (1.89L for $17)…
The veggie stand at the corner of Walker Road and 42 is now open. I love this because I work nearby and can stop in on my way home. Last year they had organic asparagus from Chatham and their signs say Leamington tomatoes so the bounty has begun!
Also, I mentioned the All Canadian Wine Championships that happened on Thursday and some of our local wineries did very well in the competition. The website is not updated yet, so we cannot share all of the winners but here are some that we know of:
- Aleksander Estate Winery – GOLD: ‘07 Baco Noir, GOLD: ‘07 Cab Franc (available this summer), BRONZE: ‘08 Chambourcin (available end of May)
- Sanson Estate Winery -
I am a big fan of Baco Noir and love Aleksander’s take on this french grape. I am sure that if you enjoy red wines that you will love it too.
Aleksander Estate Winery, All Canadian Wine Championships, Sanson Estate Winery, Walkerville Brewing Company
Asparagus is in season and there are loads of great recipes out there to try. The bigger grocery stores do not always carry local asparagus, even though it is in season here and now so be sure to check the tag. Alternatively, look for the fresh bundles at roadside stands, at the market ($2.99/lb) and at Sanson Estate Winery ($4/lb, $7 for 2lbs).
Even thought the weather does not always cooperate, we have had the BBQ going a lot and I am sure that you probably have too. I picked up asparagus at the winery this week so on Saturday night we enjoyed Schinkel’s Ball Parks on the grill along with grilled asparagus. Here is the recipe:
- Trim the hard part of the asparagus; try snapping it for a natural separation of the stalk or just grab the whole bundle and chop off the bottom inch or two
- Using a peeler, take off a think layer of skin from just below the crown to the base (I just did the surface and got the extra leaves off)
- Put the asparagus in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt; toss this around to cover well
- Put the stalks right onto the grill and cook over medium heat until they brown very slightly; turning every minute or so
- Depending on the thickness of the stalk, you will need about 5 minutes for thin and 10 minutes for very thick asparagus
Keep an eye on your veggies so they do not burn and you will enjoy the great taste! So convenient too.
Sanson Estate Winery, asparagus