New Crops in Late Spring

hpim1377Canada’s breadbasket –  Southern Ontario shows the promise of the bounty to come with the springing up of corn and hay crops.

The first cut of hay is in progress. The corn is growing as you can see in the picture. The beans are up and the grain is high and waiting for sunshine to turn it golden. We had more rain than normal this Spring so the crops are later than normal. Today is the 2nd day of Summer and we have plenty of rhubarb, asparagus, strawberries and lettuce and raspberries are just beginning. Most farmers markets are open. We got beautiful produce and berries at the Grand Bend market on Wednesday. I have been busy making pies and crepes using our beautiful fresh berries. Yum. I will include some recipes in my next blog.

 

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February Is Here

Here We Are in February

It is February already and we will soon have Winter on the run. According to Wiarton Willie our local Ground Hog we can expect an early Spring. Next week many of us will pay tribute to our loved ones with chocolate or flowers for Valentine’s Day. My soul mate and I have plans to overnight at the Historic Arlington Hotel in romantic Paris Ontario. Our suite overlooks the Grand River. It may not be The Seine but we will enjoy its splendour with the moonlight bouncing off its banks. My Sweetheart is taking me out for Dinner at the Stillwater a fine restaurant overlooking those same beautiful riverbanks. On the following day we will take a leisurely drive home. We intend to stop at Stratford and have lunch at an English Pub. Home before dark and a quiet evening to follow.

We can expect a few cold days and perhaps some snow before Winter waves goodbye to us. The first sign of Spring will be the opening of our Sugar bushes. My sources at the Fort Rose Maple Company tell me that they will be open for breakfast in the last week of this month. A veritable feast of pancakes, sausages, eggs, potatoes, muffins, juice along with plenty of fresh Maple Syrup flowing. We have all of this to look forward to this month. We are truly blessed to have so much to enjoy. I haven’t made pancakes for a long time so will have to look it up. I make crepes often and many Europeans consider them to be pancakes so I will give you that recipe for now.

REGULAR CREPE BATTER

Ingredients

2 large eggs

1/4 Tsp salt

2 cups flour

2 1/4 cups milk

1/4 cup butter (melted)

Method

Combine eggs and salt – gradually add flour alternating with milk beating until smooth. Gently beat in melted butter.

Note! Over – beating will produce tough batter.

A Brand New Year

A Brand New Year

It is with a renewed hope for good things ahead that we face 2017. We have just been through 3 years of outrageously bad luck through no fault of our own. I will not explain the circumstance nor will I dwell on them. What I will do is move forward and enjoy a wonderful new year and many more to come. We try to make it a point to associate with successful and positive thinking people. I wish all of my loyal readers a health and prosperous 2017 loaded with crimson days and purple nights.

January is almost past and we have been blessed with a mild winter although a tad on the wet side. Here in Southern Ontario Spring is quickly approaching. We can still expect a few cold days and perhaps a snow storm or two but they will pass quickly. We had a fine feast of pierogies and cabbage rolls to celebrate Ukranian Christmas honouring my wife’s ancestry. Gung Hey Fat Choy to those of you celebrating Chinese New Year the year of the Rooster. I will be back soon with my thoughts and new recipes.

November Musings

I haven’t been writing for the past few weeks and so much has happened that I don’t know where to start. I have been busy putting up a 220 foot fence around my back yard. I also erected a metal garden shed which my wife gave to me for my birthday last month. We had a beautiful Canadian Thanksgiving with plenty of good food to be thankful for. The first of many events following Thanksgiving was the arrival of ghosts, goblins, Princes and Princesses when the local children visited our home in search of Halloween treats. I carved out pumpkins to make jack-o-lanterns in order to guide the trick or treaters to our door. The next event of note was the World Series. The sentimental favourite Chicago Cubs went on to victory in this Fall Classic. America elected a new President this week. The Russians seem delighted with the outcome. Which brings us to this very special day. November 11th Remembrance Day. A time to salute our Veterans and pay our respects to all who gave their lives so we may enjoy our freedom. The event which was most important in my personal life was the addition to our family of a dog named Abby. She is a 9 year old Cocker Spaniel who needed a home because nobody wanted her. She now has a forever home.

Here are some pictures that you might enjoy. My Jack-O-lanternshpim1424hpim1425

Orchards and Pumpkin Patch

We went to the Juicy Fruit apple orchard and to the Twin Pines cider works to get some apples and pumpkins. We were amazed at the crowds of people that were out to stroll through the orchards and fields of pumpkins on a beautiful sunny afternoon. One could hardly call the acres of pumpkins a pumpkin patch. We got a large basket of mixed apples for $3.00 and 2 nice medium pumpkins for $6.00. We also purchase a jug of Twin Pines Original hard cider to enjoy at ou leisure. Our home is only 10 minutes from the orchards so it is a small outing for us but I suspect most of the crowds consisted of people from the nearby cities of London and Sarnia. We will be ready for Halloween with a pair of Jack-o-lanterns. I better brush up on my carving skills. The apples will make a nice snack and I plan to try a new recipe for apple pie. It is a apple, cheese and bacon pie recipe which I will borrow from Canadian Living magazine.The leaves are still brilliant in their Fall glory. I took this picture from my front porch and the other is at the Parkhill Conservation area 1/4 mile from our home. We are blessed to live in such a beautiful environment.

apple-cheese-bacon-pie-2our-pumpkins

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Canadian Thanksgiving

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I live in Southwestern Ontario Canada which is located between the 42nd latitude and the 45th latitude. We are the bread basket of Canada because we grow abundant amounts of corn, hay, soy beans, vegetables and fruit and berries. You can find market gardens with fields of tomatoes, potatoes and other vegetables along side apple, peach, plumb and other orchards, vineyards and dairy farms. All of these within a 2 hour drive. Located amidst all of this you can find miles of sandy beaches on the largest fresh water lakes in the world. Needless to say. There is plenty of good fishing here.

Thanksgiving has arrived here in Canada. We celebrate it in the peak of harvest season in this country. Apples and grapes pumpkins and pears can be seen in abundance in many a farmer’s field. Families gather together to celebrate our good fortune in having this wonderful food readily available to fill our pantries and freezers. Our traditional meal consists of Turkey and ham, squash and Brussels sprouts accompanied by lots of turkey dressing and potatoes with gravy. Dessert is Pumpkin Pie and Apple Pie with cheese or ice cream. Local Apple Cider and wines are pleasant additions to our feast. Happy Thanksgiving Everyone.

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The Bread Basket of Canada

corn-ready-for-harvest     

 

 

 

3 Photos taken in October just before harvest. The corn is 7 feet tall and the sunflowers are 5 feet tall. acres-of-sunflowers sunflowers-galorehpim1372  

“There are corn fields and wheat fields enough to grow.” (Jackie DeShannon)

Here are some pictures from June this Summer of 2016 that I hope you will enjoy.hpim1377hpim1371

The importance of corn in our lives is overlooked or down played by most people. Many producers of animal food make out corn to be a filler containing no nutritional value. Corn by- products can be and often are used in this manner. However, corn’s positive attributes far outweigh the negative. Let’s have a closer look at the many uses of corn that have a positive influence on our everyday lives.

The uses of corn are too numerous to document here but J will attempt provide you with a short list to give you a notion of the vast number of uses for corn.

  • Cooking oil and salad dressings and corn meal
  • Alcoholic beverages and industrial alcohol
  • ice cream, jam and soft drinks
  • food for livestock and poultry
  • glucose
  • ethanol
  • paper products
  • pharmaceuticals
  • adhesives and insecticides
  • soap

Southern Ontario produces thousands of acres of corn each year’ It is a very important crop to this region and the rest of the country.

Sweet corn is a different variety from industrial corn and is grown primarily for direct human consumption. You cook sweet corn by placing a small amount of water in a large pot and bring to boil. Shuck cobs of corn and  add to boiling water for 4 minutes. Remove corn and place on a large platter. Grab a cob and generously slather with butter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and eat the corn directly from the cob. YUM                                                  ALTERNATELY – You can leave the husks on the cobs and immerse them briefly in water.  Place them on hot grill or campfire and rotate 3 times(about 2 minutes each turn) Remove them from the fire and shuck them. Serve with butter, salt and pepper.  ENJOY

About

Hi There,

My name is Rick and I am a retired Airline Employee, Book Publisher’s Rep and Personal Chef. I live in Southern Ontario, Canada with my beautiful wife and St. John’s Ambulance Therapy Dog Archie. My passions which  I share with my family are good food and travel. I hope that you will enjoy sharing my past and present experiences. Welcome my friends.