‘Snow Way! It’s Seedy Sunday Time Again


Krista takes the blog controls again — though please don’t blame her for the headline.

I’m not often one to complain about the weather. I can dress for the cold, I don’t mind the heat, but this? What good is snow that I can’t ski on? Or temperatures that don’t let me ride my bike but make the canal and outdoor oval too soft for skating? As I look out my window at this slushy mess that is somewhere in between winter and spring, I start thinking “Maybe Wiarton Willie was right. Maybe it is time to start thinking about spring.”

Luckily Jill Bishop and the Urban Tomato came to my rescue with news of this year’s Seedy Sunday event – the 8th annual Peterborough seed sale and exchange – scheduled for Sunday, March 10th, 1 – 5pm. After all, talk of Seedy Sunday is the offical start of “Gearing up for Gardening” season! And, really, what better way to brighten a dreary day than with a little garden planning?

Seedy Sunday is a fantastic (and free) event for gardeners of all abilities and levels of obsession. Held at George Street United Church, Seedy Sunday is both a seed exchange and seed sale that is not to be missed. With a whole room full of vendors selling all kinds of seeds for just about any veggie you can think of, including many heritage varieties and organic seeds, the event really should come with a warning: be prepared for your garden to get bigger! While I always go to Seedy Sunday with a list of the things I’m looking for, it kind of ends up like grocery shopping when you’re hungry…you see all sorts of fun and interesting things that you NEED to grow and somehow you leave with far more than you had on your list.

Like any good gardening event, the expertize onhand at Seedy Sunday is often the best part. Be sure to take some time to talk to the growers and vendors – if you have a question, chances are good that they’ll have an answer. While there are some large vendors with a great variety of seeds to choose from, there are also a number of small growers who are only too happy to talk about their labour of love.

If you’ve already saved some of you own seeds from last year, bring along your extras to the seed exchange table. If you haven’t tried saving seeds before, you will want to make sure you catch the Seed Saving 101 workshop (which does come with a warning, by the way: seed saving can be addictive!).

Robin Tench of EarthWorks Eco-Gardening will also be in attendance, giving a workshop for those looking for information and advice on compost and organic gardening.

You can find out all the details from your internet venue of choice: http://urbantomato.blogspot.com, https://www.facebook.com/events/127511700757360/, or you can follow the event on Twitter: #ptboseedysunday. Be sure to follow Jill at @ @urbanTomatolady.

Downtown Culinary Tour Expands: Who Would You Like to See on the Tour?

Some of the tastes of the Downtown Culinary Tour.

Farm to Table Downtown Culinary Tours are gearing up for another year of great touring/tasting fun — and we want you to tell us where you’d like to go.

Last year we had a varied and exciting list of venues on the tour — see here for complete details — and we’re hoping to be able to feature all of them again this year. We’d also like to take the opportunity to expand the tour and feature even more downtown businesses.

The catch? The business has to either produce, sell, or serve foods that feature local and seasonal meats, cheeses, dairy, or produce. And not just the odd ingredient either. All of our business owners, managers, and chefs take time out to explain to tour participants what kind of local/seasonal ingredients they use — and why they choose them. And then they offers delicious samples.

So drop us a line — either in the comments section, by emailing donald@ptbolocalfoods.ca, or via Facebook and Twitter — and tell use who you would like to see featured on this season’s Farm to Table Culinary Tour.

Everyone who answers gets put into a draw for a free tour!

We can’t wait to hear what you suggest!

Cooking With Teens: Culinary Life Skills


Trying to get your kids more interested in cooking? Looking to pass on some culinary life-skills to your teen before he or she moves on to college, university, or that first job away from home?

I recently published an article on cooking with teens in the Kidz Ink series of magazines. You can find it at Peterborough Kids, Northumberland Kids, or Lakeridge Kids. Or you can click on the magazine cover to the left for a .pdf of the story.

An excerpt from Teens in the Kitchen:

By the sizzling sounds and sumptuous smells wafting from Karen August’s kitchen, you can tell that there is serious cooking going on. Not by Karen, however. She’s got her feet up in the living room, sipping a glass of wine and enjoying some after work downtime.

“Apparently, it’s ‘Taco Tuesday’” she smiles. “It is the boys’ night to cook, and they’ve decided on Mexican.”

“The boys” are Liam, 18, and Kieran, 15, two hungry teens that have grown up to be enthusiastic and quite competent cooks. They’re busy making tacos and fajitas from scratch. Peppers are being sliced and sautéed, beef is searing on the stove.

Now that’s a situation most parents would be thrilled about. After all, by having teens active in the kitchen, parents are ensuring that their kids will have the integral life skills needed to healthily feed themselves when they leave home. They’ll also pick up some practical applications for simple math skills, help free up time for the entire family, and maybe even find new career options in the culinary sector.

Oh, and along the way, they’ll probably spend a bit more quality time with mom and dad.

Portuguese Night at Brio Gusto

Portugal wine dinnerMy dear friends Brio Gusto are having an evening celebrating the food and wine of Portugal. And it sounds like it is going to be great. Five courses, five wines. I’ve heard rumours of some truly excellent port.

The lovely and truly talented Lindsey Dupuis offers up this preview:

“It’s going to be a varied night. The first course and main course will be served family style. For the second course, we’ll be giving our bellies a break with some refreshing soup and salad. The fourth course is going to be a knockout with Portuguese Cheese Company cheeses and port. We’ll wrap things up with a 5th course of traditional pasteries… perhaps more port… and espresso-based coffee drinks.”

It all starts at 6:30 with Portuguese-inspired cocktails.

Wednesday February 27th. It sounds like a night not to be missed!


Valentine’s Day

So, folks. What did you do for Valentine’s Day?

Krista and I did a little of this:
meat and cheese board
Followed up by a little of this:

Our meat and cheese board was made up of a combination of local and imported salamis. The cheese all came from Chasing the Cheese — and we chose some of our favourites, including a 12-month Manchego (definitely not local) and a pair of cheeses (Extra Old Smoked Cheddar and Ricotta Salata) from Maple Dale Cheese, located right down the road in Hastings. We also added some of Krista’s homemade pickles, a hot German mustard, as well as some Spiced Sour Cherry Spread by the Gracious Gourmet — again sourced from Chasing the Cheese.

For dessert, two incredible cheesecakes from Black Honey Desserts, on Hunter Street, right here in Peterborough.

What you didn’t get to see were the chocolates from Naked Chocolate on George Street. They were long gone before the camera came out.