We took a short "holiday" this past weekend, to visit friends who we haven't seen enough of in the past months. They are living up in Owen Sound, about 3 hours north of here, and had recently purchased a home - this was a chance for a housewarming, to get a tour of the local town sites, time for them to connect with our new baby, and of course great conversations over equally great food.
Part of our tour included the local farmers market, featuring a good supply of local vendors with handmade goods as well as honey, maple syrup, eggs, baked goods, breads and even some end of winter organic produce. The second exciting stop was a newly opened local foods store - featuring all local items sourced largely from the Grey-Bruce County and a larger 100-mile radius. The store, aptly called "Around the Sound Local Foods Store" was well stocked with local meats (including the specialty smoked fish from nearby Georgian Bay), cheeses, produce, grains, handbaked breads, cakes, pickles and jams. It also featured some handmade crafts (knitted hats, soaps and candles), and a few books about eating locally. We duly dropped off a stack of the latest Edible Toronto Magazine (called Edible Toronto, but really featuring southern Ontario farmers and food stories), which Anne, the shop owner took happily to pass along to her customers. We were quite impressed with the shop, and couldn't leave without buying a few loaves of the wonderful wholesome bread (cranberry-sunflower, and multigrain sourdough, baked by the Rising Sun Bakery using local grains), and a jar of "fire kraut" (a unique and spicy sauerkraut made with chili peppers and spices)..mmmm
Next stop was a look at the huge open blue waters of the bay before heading home for lunch. Our friends are excellent cooks, also eating a mainly local diet which includes items from a winter share with their local CSA (community supported agriculture). Our breakfast that morning had already consisted of farm fresh eggs, with toast from Rising Sun Bakery, a fine homemade elderberry-wildgrape-rosehip-sumac jam made last fall. Now lunch was: roasted roots soup (cream of celeriac, parsnip and maple syrup) topped with savoury toasted tempeh bits, more bread from Rising Sun Bakery, and a raw salad of shredded beets, carrots, apples and celeriac from the CSA, plus toasted sunflower & pumpkin seeds, and homemade pickles, firekraut, and for dessert, last summer's homecanned peaches with a splash of amaretto.
Post-lunch we had time for a cozy cup of tea infront of the fire in the woodstove, and then a short hike up the nearby Bruce Trail on the rugged cedar-lined escarpment trails. We got home rested, well-fed, inspired, reconnected...