We can’t wait until we are somewhere else, maybe more glamorous, a nicer climate, or with an unlimited budget to live our lives…the dream vacation. But life is happening everyday, all around us and it’s there if we choose to pay attention and participate. It’s right now. With that in mind, I’m going to write in my Community category about the people and places that make my part of the world a bountiful and amazing place to live.
I live in South Western Ontario, which is almost as far south in latitude as Northern California. We have clean air, fresh water, acres and acres of farmland which produces some of the world’s best fruit and vegetables. Right now in our markets we have blueberries, plums, peaches, apricots, beans, melons, zucchini, potatoes, sweet corn, onions, tomatoes, garlic, peppers,and so much more, too much for me to remeber. We have ample, lush pasture land so we produce terrific cheese; Monforte Dairy in Stratford and Gunns Hill in Woodstock are just two small producers within thirty minutes from my house. And the wine, Ontario vintners are creating gorgeous, luscious wines that I am proud to drink.
Of course, there’s maple syrup too, and delicious honey, jams and jellies, great farmer’s markets, wonderful bread bakers who use Canadian wheat (the best in the world), fantastic restaurants and a pretty good chef school around here as well.
I want to better appreciate what I have here, in all four of our seasons (except for winter, as I tend to hibernate, eat too many steamed puddings and complain a lot). I want to be a culinary tourist and a self-appointed ambassador for all things unique and delicious that South western Ontario has to offer, (at least until my next trip to Rome). So, here I go…
It was a beautiful day today, sunny with a cool breeze, which was a relief, after two weeks of unrelenting heat and humidity. It is also the last day of Ontario’s Civic holiday long weekend, always the first Monday in August. No one in Ontario really understands the holiday, it used to be Simcoe Day after Lord Simcoe, the first Governor of Upper Canada, but then people forgot who he was and probably First nations People were upset, so now it’s Civic Holiday. But it doesn’t matter what it’s called, what’s important is the fact that it is a long weekend, and Canadians love long weekends.
Rather then be responsible stay home and do house stuff we went for a drive, to taste wine, eat lunch and then buy wine. And while I don’t want to do restaurant/food/wine reviews, we sat on a nice patio with a view to the water, were shaded from the sun by a large umbrella and were cooled by light breeze coming off lake Erie. We were served good food, drank a nicely chilled and refreshing Riesling (but not too much). Life was good, and all of this less then an hour from my house.
People are doing interesting and delicious things around here,and I’m going to make a point of discovering what they have to offer, maybe even in the winter, because life is right here right now.
BURNING KILN WINERY, 1709 FRONT STREET, ST. WILLIAMS ON