Adventures in Prince Edward County

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We had a total field day today in Prince Edward County. Hubby and I attended the Heirloom Hurrah Tomato Tasting. Who knew there were so many amazing varieties of tomatoes. The event took place at Vicki’s Veggies farm. There was a long table set up with over 100 tomato varieties for you to sample. After sampling, and re-sampling, we picked up a 3L basket and filled it with some of our favourites, and a few that just had interesting sounding names. Many of the names made it difficult to resist tasting, like Chocolate Cherry, Lemon Drop, or the Pink Egg. Even more irresistible were the vibrant colours.  I can’t wait to make a colourful tomato salad with our purchases today.

Afterwards, we were going to stop by Fifth Town Artisan Cheese, only to sadly discover that it has closed due to financial hardships. The Fifth Town Artisan Cheese Company was a privately owned, environmentally and socially responsible enterprise producing fine hand made cheeses using fresh, locally produced goat and sheep milk. We decided to stop at a U-Pick Blueberry stop we had seen along the way, not far from Waupoos Winery. There was a plot of land with about 15 rows blueberry shrubs growing under a canopy of landscape cloth. When you reached the end of the row, you had were by the water’s edge (Lake Ontario). Hubby and I each took a 1 pint container and started down a row. Although many of the berries were small, they were jam-packed with real blueberry flavour. We were on the hunt for the big berries, so filling our pints took an hour. It certainly didn’t feel like an hour. Being shaded by the landscape cloth and with the occasional gentle breeze from the lake, it was such a relaxing environment, minus the 2 families with very loud children. I could have stayed longer, but the ladies running the place told us that they were getting ready to leave for the day.

The last time we were in the area, we had stayed and dined at Merrill Inn. The food was delicious, so I decided to call them to see if they could seat us. No surprise, they were completely booked, as were East & Main and Milford Bistro. When I called Bloomfield Carriage House, they said they could seat us, but at 6:00 (in half an hour). Although earlier than usual for us, we accepted. The restaurant features dishes prepared with local produce by chef Scott Kapitan. Hubby and I decided to share the house made charcuterie, which included tasty items including cured boar, beef, pork and duck meats, a wonderful terrine with dried sour cherries and pistachios, a peach and red pepper chutney and my favourite, a chicken liver pâté with cocoa nibs ($16).

Hubby ordered the roasted leg of lamb with pea purée, grilled vegetables and a red wine reduction ($24).

I had the seared duck breast special with fried potato gnocchi and grilled vegetables ($26).

We paired our meal with a half litre of the 2009 Cuvée County Pinot Noir, locally produced by Rosehall Run Vineyards. The lamb was a little tough, but hubby said it had good flavour. The duck breast was nicely cooked (not over-cooked) and the presentation was well done. The wine was a standard Prince Edward County wine – nothing that really excites the palate. Overall, the food was good.

On our drive home, we noticed a full moon. Yesterday was the Blue Moon. August 2012 is a month with two full moons. And, by popular acclaim, that means it’s a Blue Moon month – but Blue in name only. That’s because a Blue Moon is sometimes defined as the second full moon in a calendar month. The first full moon was August 1. This is the worst photo one can take, but we were on the highway and I only had my phone in the car to take the photo with.

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