Holiday Gift Certificates Now Available

1297711469945_ORIGINALLooking for a great holiday stocking stuffer? We’ve got Peterborough Downtown Culinary Tour gift certificates available. While we don’t have a schedule for next year (they’re usually created in May), you can take a peek at last year’s schedule here.

The tours are hugely successful and sell out quickly!

The Farm to Table Downtown Culinary Tours showcase local boutique food stores and downtown restaurants, highlighting small batch, artisan food production and local/seasonal cooking. See here for more details.

We’re offering a few payment options: Call us/email us today and we can arrange to pay by cheque, money transfer, or cash. Or you can use Paypal.

Name on Gift Certificate

Happy holidays from all of us here at Farm to Table Peterborough!

New BBQ Joint “Sizzles” in Northumberland

A taste of some of the menu items from Sizzle BBQ in Cobourg.
A taste of some of the menu items from Sizzle BBQ in Cobourg.

Great news for BBQ fans in Northumberland County!

There’s a brand new smoked meat joint in town – and they’re serving up some killer grub.  Owner/chef of Sizzle BBQ, Gord Burdick, brings unique flavour profiles to standard Southern cooking, offering jerks and curry alongside more “traditional” fare.

Unable to resist a good smokehouse, the Farm to Table family swung by the Grand Opening of Sizzle a week ago – and were pretty darned impressed with what they were serving.

Taking a quick tour around the menu, we tried some ribs, pulled jerk chicken, and beef brisket.  While each was delectable in its own right, the ribs truly stole the show.  That’s probably because Burdick is a rib connoisseur, having judged rib competitions in the past.

And he’s no newbie around the smoker.  Before launching the restaurant, Burdick was marketing his own brand of specialty rubs and sauces.  They’ve been available across the Ottawa area for the past year and a half.

Sugar free and made with all-natural ingredients, these rubs and sauces marry his slow-cooking technique and make for a great smoked meat experience.

And while the meats will get your attention, don’t forget to slow down and enjoy the sides.  The mac ‘n cheese, baked beans, and slaw are all able to hold their own.

Sizzle BBQ is located at 994 Division Street (just north of Elgin) in Cobourg.  Check our their Facebook page.  Better yet, drop them a visit.

Tell ‘em Donald sent you.

*          *          *

As an added bonus, it was great to see my buddy — longtime Peterborough/Northumberland cook/picker of stringed instruments, Clayton Yates — slinging ribs and brisket in the kitchen.  His food always gets my seal of approval.


Of Trees and Traditions: Barrett’s Christmas Tree Farm; Plus My Latest Fathering Column in LocalParent Magazine

Tree expert and pony whisperer, Julie Barrett, takes some down time at the petting zoo. Don't let her gentle demeanor fool you -- she also wields a mean hacksaw.
Tree expert and pony whisperer, Julie Barrett, takes some down time at the petting zoo. Don’t let her gentle demeanor fool you — she also wields a mean hacksaw.

69IssuePK.inddMy latest LocalParent fathering column doesn’t have much to do with local food. In fact, the only food references are decidedly not local.  But it’s still a fun read — and a bit of inspiration for those who keep their Christmas prep until the last minute.  You can find the entire magazine here.

I would, however, like to point out that our procrastination wasn’t really the fault of, well… procrastination.  Instead, it was a result of our days-old infant ending up in the hospital.  But it did mean that some of the traditions we hoped to begin last year were put on hold.  It also meant starting a few new ones that we didn’t anticipate.  Take a read for yourself to see what I mean.

Now here is where we move from this article being a plug for my column into being a plug for some wonderful folks, just down the road in Cobourg.  In my story, I refer to the fact that we’ll be taking Baby Clara Grace out to chop our own tree.  What I didn’t include in the article was the fact that we’d be going to our favourite tree farm.  Really, I didn’t have to.  Barrett’s Christmas Tree Farm has a prominent ad right below my column.  I believe this is referred to as serendipity.

Barrett’s has pretty much everything you’re looking for in a traditional Christmas tree outing, including a great selection of tree varieties.  They’ve got five types of Spruce: White, Black, Blue, Norway, and Meyers. You can also add Scotch and White Pine, and Balsam Fir to the list.  Being Frasers, we picked out a lovely Fraser Fir for ourselves.  Now that’s tradition.

Acres of land to tromp around?  Check.

Horse Rides? Hiking Trails? A Petting Zoo? Campfire? And hot chocolate?  Check, check, check, check…  and… check.  Plus some hot apple cider to boot.

tree farmBut what appeals to us most is the close-knit, family-friendly vibe.

During our most recent visit, Bob (father) was seen driving a hay/tree wagon, stoking a campfire, and striking up conversation with just about anyone within hollering distance.  Diana (mother) was twisting up long strands of garland, handing out hot chocolate, and acting as hostess extraordinaire.  Julie (child #2) was introducing kids to ponies and giving advice on trees.  Ryan (child #1) was away at school, but will be joining in upon his return.

Alongside the family were a crew of friends and neighbours — everyone quick with a smile and a bit of tree talk.

About that tree talk.  Julie offered us plenty.  And most of it came in the form of good advice.

Asked about what kind of tree will last the longest, she replied “one that is kept in water.”  She’s wise beyond her years, that kid.

Variety isn’t as important as care, she explained.  “It doesn’t matter what kind of tree you have. Unless you make sure that it is watered, it is going to drop its needles.”  She insists that any variety will last the season if treated right.

As for treating it right, Julie suggests making sure the cut is fresh.  “If you’ve let it sit a few days before putting it up, be sure to saw it again, about an inch from the bottom.”  She also explains that the first drink that you give the tree should be a hot one.  “Once your tree is up, fill your stand with the hottest water that your tap can pour.  It helps open the pores of the tree and prevent scabbing.”

Finally, don’t let that tree dry out.

“It’s a long holiday season,” she reminds.  “And when it comes to caring for our Christmas tree, you’ve really only got one job.”

Unlike the Barrett family of course.  They’ve got a tonne of them.  All of which go into making your Christmas visit a memorable one.

Barrett’s Christmas Tree Farm is a family owned and operated Christmas tree farm.  Located at 3141 Williamson Rd., just north of Cobourg. They are open every day of the Christmas season during daylight hours.  For more information, please visit their website.  Or “like” their Facebook page.

To read the entire edition of LocalParent Magazine, please visit their website.


‘Tis the Season for Boxes of Local: Peterborough and Northumberland Start-Ups Delivering Holiday Goods

imageWith Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Solstice, and Festivus all around the corner, people have been asking me for some holiday food and gift ideas.  This year, two new businesses have stepped up to provide some delicious options.

Kawartha Local will be opening a storefront sometime in the new year.  In the meantime, they’re offering up Kawartha’s Best Gift Crate — available for delivery anywhere in Peterborough County.

Each order includes:

• A bespoke Gift Crate, custom made for Kawartha Local by Peterborough’s Sustain Furniture (16″x9″x9″, converts to a bookshelf or little side table)
• Soda Syrup, made with real cane sugar, fruits, spices and herbs by Sugar Daddy Fresh Sodas, Peterborough (1 375 ml bottle – just add to club soda or your favourite sparkling water and mix)
• Gourmet Chocolate, handcrafted in Lakefield by The Chocolate Rabbit. (1 solid chocolate canoe, 3 solid chocolate frogs)
• Delicious Columbian Coffee, imported and processed locally by Carolina’s Columbia of Peterborough (1 lb fresh ground medium roast)
• Porcelain Coffee Cup by renowned ceramic artist and potter Bill Reddick. Individually handmade by the artist in his Peterborough studio.
• 1 kg Jar of Liquid Clover Honey – exactly as the bees make it by OtonaBEE Apiary.
• Maple Syrup and Sugar Candy, a sweet maple treat produced by Sugar Valley Farm of Indian River. (1 250 ml bottle Ontario No. 1 Medium Maple Syrup, 1 box of maple sugar candy)
• Wood Fired Granola by Hard Winter Bread Company, Lakefield. Walnuts, almonds and dried fruit, wood fired to perfection. (1 520 g bag)
• Strawberry Jam by McLean Berry Farm, near Buckhorn in the heart of the Kawarthas.(1 250 jar strawberry jam)

imageMeanwhile, In Northumberland, the fine folks that brought us the Cultivate Food and Drink Festival in Port Hope are introducing fun new hampers of charcuterie, cheese, preserves, sweets and beer.

Hamper products include:

• Empire 4 Year Cheddar
• Cultivate Mustard
• Sprucewood Cookies
• Pate by The Mill
• Yellow Cake Bakery Squares
• Haute Goat Caramel Corn
• Kawartha Country Wine Preserves
• Cross Wind Farms Goat Cheese
• Mercury Chocolates Truffles
• Lindsay Bandaged Goat Cheddar
• Cultivate Trout Rillet
• Our Lucky Stars Apple Chutney
• Pitchers Place Pickles
• Puddleduck Farms Maple Syrup

Rob Howard of Kawartha Local stresses the importance of shopping locally.  “These small operations create wonderful products and connect with local consumers in mostly traditional ways — farmgate sales, farmers markets, and pop up events and shows. This kind of local economy is more than buying and consuming, it’s a network of personal relationships between producers and customers that makes our area a far richer and more interesting place. When we make an effort to keep money in the local economy — support people who live and work here — the stronger and more resilient our community becomes.”

Many small businesses depend heavily on the holiday season, where large quantities of their annual sales are made.  Christmas in a particularly important time of the year for shopping locally.

Please pop back to the Farm to Table blog over the coming weeks, and we’ll offer up some other fantastic local holiday options.