Feasting on Fall
As you load up your harvest table with a Thanksgiving meal for your extended family, or conspire to enjoy a cozy fireside dinner for two, you’ll find there’s much to be thankful for in these hills – especially the local goodies you can gather without venturing far.
With a little planning, Thanksgiving’s centrepiece can be a principled and delicious bite. Call your local butcher well in advance to source an ethically raised and/or organically fed turkey to complement the fresh apples, pumpkins and other fall bounty you’ve collected. A few of our favourite meat stops: Howard the Butcher in Caledon East, Caledon’s Heatherlea Farm Shoppe, and Dave’s Butcher Shop in Orangeville.
Grand Valley artist Courtney Collier makes these folksy signs out of recycled wood pallets under her Bugs Boutique label. This Home Sweet Home plaque is the perfect choice to welcome friends and family to any feast. Her work is available at Orangeville’s Route 145, Grand Valley’s Ace Hardware and French’s Flowers in Shelburne. Check out the Bugs Boutique Facebook page for examples of her custom work too. ($40, Route 145)
Up your salad game with a selection of olive oils and vinegars from local purveyors. Caledon’s Paradise Farms – known for its beef – sources its house brand from Spain. Route 145 features a range of olive oil and balsamic vinegar blends from Spain, Australia, Portugal, Chile and Italy that they bottle for you right in the store. Many of its oils are infused and fused (the latter means additional ingredients are pressed along with the olives rather than added after pressing) with flavours including garlic, chili and blood orange, pictured here. ($4.90 for 500 ml, Paradise Farms Prime Beef Boutique; $15 for 200 ml, Route 145)
Bowls of plenty
Hillsburgh wood artist Jennifer McKinnon lets the rugged pieces of downed branches and trees she collects guide her designs. A few standouts, from left: A pale poplar bowl, a maple chalice and a maple bowl named “In a Nut Shell” for its acornesque form. ($40, $105 and $320, Jennifer McKinnon)
With a twist
Erin artisan Cam Lavers transforms fallen branches into sculptural salt and pepper mills so handsome you’ll want to leave them on the table for the whole meal. (Martha Stewart is a fan and recently featured the mills on her website!) The grinders – depending on your choice of wood and size, ranging from 6.2 to 18 inches – can be used for all sorts of spices, even coffee beans. Pictured from left are cherry and spalted maple. ($65–$160, peppermills.ca)
Barb Vivian has become a staple at area farmers’ markets with her racks upon racks of handmade preserves, jams and jellies. Mrs. V’s Preserves include so many varieties, you’d be hard-pressed to ever eat your way through her whole collection. Just a few of her offerings that pair perfectly with Thanksgiving meals, fall salads, cheese plates and cozy curries: Brandied Cranberry Sauce, Sweet Red Onion Rings, Red Pepper Jelly and Mango Chutney. ($5.99 for 250 ml, $7.99 for 500 ml, Inglewood General Store)
Ontario hard apple ciders are having a moment and since launching in 2011, Caledon-based Pommies is one of the top players with its light, crisp taste. Nick and Lindsay Sutcliffe have expanded their line to include a bottled cider made from a blend of Ontario Bartlett and Bosc pears – and the cute name Pommies Perry to match. It is available in fall and early winter at select LCBOs, bars and restaurants. ($12.95 for 4 355 ml cans, LCBO)
- Bugs Boutique, Grand Valley. 519-216-0449. On Facebook at Bugs Boutique.
- Cam Lavers Designs/Peppermills.ca, Erin. 905-703-8112. peppermills.ca
- Dave’s Butcher Shop, 75 Alder St, Orangeville. 519-415-6328. davesbutchershop.ca
- Heatherlea Farm Shoppe, 17049 Winston Churchill Blvd, Caledon. 519-927-5902. heatherlea.ca
- Howard the Butcher, 15980 Airport Rd, Caledon East. 905-584-2934
- Inglewood General Store, 15596 McLaughlin Rd, Inglewood. 905-838-4386
- Jennifer McKinnon, Turn of Fate Studio, 5890 4th Line Erin. 519-855-9639. turnoffatestudio.ca
- Mrs. V’s Preserves, Terra Cotta. 905-838-4163. mrsvspreserves.com
- Paradise Farms Prime Beef Boutique, 2 Thompson Cres, Erin. 519-315-8000. paradisefarmsbistro.com
- Pommies, Caledon. 905-857-5432. pommies.com
- Route 145, 145 Broadway, Orangeville. 519-942-2673. route145broadway.ca