The county’s bounty

Sandy and I went to Prince Edward County and surrounding areas for a speedy 48 hours this week. We took the train to and from Belleville, and were able to relax in the air conditioning and work, using wifi, both ways. It was a great trip, and I came back with some good pictures and wonderful things.


Susan, who moved to the area recently, met us at the train station in her jaunty convertible, and we began our adventures.

Our first stop was at Maple Dale Cheese in Plainfield. Unfortunately, I didn’t take my camera with me into the store! What a wealth of cheese, local preserves, and other goods that go with cheese. I came away with some roasted garlic oil, cheddar shortbreads, garlic cheese curds, Mediterranean Trimmings cheese (contains green olives, sundried tomatoes, roasted garlic and sweet basil) and a hunk of X-Hot Smoked Cheddar. Other interesting cheeses they have include a beer-rinsed cheddar, a horseradish cheddar, and a number of flavoured curd cheeses. I confess, a lot of it is now in the freezer as soon as I photographed it, because there is only so much cheese I can eat. Sandy and Susan also picked up some cheeses for our afternoon snack (more later).

After Maple Dale, we continued deep into farming country and ended up at the farm and red barn of Chef Drew Ferguson, who grows garlic and is a professor at the Culinary School of Loyalist College. What a beautiful place: the barn was filled with hanging garlic. Alas, Drew wasn’t there for us to winkle some recipes from him, but Betty was, fortunately, so we were able to purchase some.

Drying garlic

Of course, we couldn’t walk away empty-handed: both Sandy and I got hanging bunches, and Susan got a big bundle of small heads of garlic. She’s planning on doing some garlic pickling!

Close-up of drying garlic

From there, it was over to Susan’s place near Roslin, and a tour of her century home and the renovations she’s been making since she moved in in June. The next order of the day was to sit in the shade of the oak tree and eat cheese and pickles and drink wine. Sandy and Susan were in charge of the food: I hauled garden furniture.

Under the oak tree

We were joined for dinner by Carole and Margot, two of Susan’s friends who have homes in the area.

Dinner guests

Susan slow-roasted ribs, made a wonderful salad, and we continued with cheese and olives and pickled garlic. Dessert was amazing polvorons – shortbreads with cinnamon and pork fat that Susan brought back with her on a trip to Spain.  Absolutely delicious.

Ribs and things

Closeup on ribs

After dinner, it was time to pull out the Bocce set, and play the game, until the mosquitoes got to us.

Bocce time

Playing bocce downhill

Getting dark, time to go in.

Risen crescent moon

The next day, Wednesday, it rained until about 7 in the evening (when we got home!). Susan bravely soldiered on, driving us hither and yon, and we went to a number of places:

  • County Cider,
  • a house that had an honour system set up for buying maple syrup,
  • Fifth Town Cheese
  • Black River Cheese
  • The Carriage House Cooperage
  • and
  • Highline Mushroom Farm.

More about them in future blog posts!

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