September 18, 2013

Having a Field Day

Back in mid-August I had a weekend to myself as The Honey had gone away on a golf weekend. It was quite nice to have the time to myself and a break from my weekday routine. I had heard about a food event at Upper Canada Village and thought I would check it out.

Food Lovers’ Field Days was inside Upper Canada Village and was included with park admission. I only wanted to attend the food event since my hometown is close to other similar historic parks and buildings and I had been to them numerous times while growing up. Going through another was not of interest to me, especially after a long drive, so I wasn’t too pleased I had to pay park admission (around $18).

The vendors were in a field not too far from the entrance. Along with food, there was a brewer and two wineries and some cooking sessions. There was a variety on offer with pickling and canning, honey, bread, cheese, maple syrup, fruit and veggies, along with some prepared items. I got myself some tasting tickets and made my way to Niagara’s Palatine Hills Winery (Did I mention it had been a long drive?). Since the field was surrounded by an old fashioned fence, people were free to wander around with their wine/beer in hand.

LoveLoveFood had a selection of enticing jams and sauces. I couldn’t resist a raspberry ice wine jam and it was delectable on plain cheesecake. The Health Nut, aka Sylvie Thibert, brought healthy and mostly gluten-free goodies from Cornwall. I purchased a raspberry date bar for breakfast the following morning and it was filling and healthy. Of course I had to partake in some wine. From Palatine Hills (Niagara) the 2008 Chardonnay was full-bodied and fruity while the 2010 Sauvignon Blanc was fresh and crisp; perfect for the hot sunny day. I was also happy to try a few from Sandbanks (PEC) since we had skipped by it last summer. Dunes was a nice medium-bodied wine while the Rosé was sweet, crisp, and fresh; another perfect match for the temperatures.


Perth Pepper & Pestle makes fabulous red pepper jellies. I already had a few jars at home and the burger mustard tempted me instead. I have yet to open it, but I’m sure it’ll be good. Another vendor had jams, jellies, and canned produce and I couldn’t resist the raspberry jam because I didn’t make any this year. I also got a big jar of dill pickles after being told how good they were. They’re nice, but not the garlicky-type I prefer. The Mix Company also had a booth, but only had their spice blends and mixes. They are great, but since it was close to lunch I was getting hungry and hoped they had brought some baked goodies.

There were a few options for lunch: Aura Culinary Arts serving up raw food; Katerinas with Greek fare; some vendors with smoked meat, grilled sausages, and pizza; and Tai’s with wonderful looking Thai food. But I made my way to Natasha’s. It was too hot for cabbage rolls and I would have loved the pierogies, but it was the beet salad that lured me in. I love beets. Unfortunately, she didn’t have any so I ended up getting the potato salad. After taking my first bite I learnt I wasn’t settling for any old potato salad. It was a cold salad with the right amount of creaminess. There were peas, some dill and chopped pickles that gave the potato salad some kick. It was something my Babcia would have made. My glass of Sauvignon Blanc paired with it perfectly.

After doing a few laps of the field I was growing bored. I had browsed, purchased, drank, ate, and drank some more (those 2oz cups don’t go very far). I figured I would wander around the park; I had paid the admission after all. Although I was reluctant, it is nicely done and gives visitors a look at what life was like.