Food + Drink Winter 2019

Winter’s savoury side: mobile sushi, chic tipples and go-to gourmet gifts.

November 22, 2019 | | Food + Drink

How she rolls

Emily Dickson’s Miso Hungry mobile sushi-making service wants you to throw a dinner party with a difference. “My idea is to take my love of sushi to people so they can make it at home themselves,” says Emily, who lived in Japan for years.

Emily brings all the sushi-rolling mats and ingredients, and teaches guests the secret behind norimaki (rolls with the seaweed, or nori, on the outside) and uramaki (which have rice on the exterior). Then, she cleans up while you munch on your creations. The price of $30 per guest includes a keeper sushi-making kit.  Miso Hungry Sushi on Facebook

Bites and sips: Fancy a cuppa?

Holiday décor – including a few dozen nutcrackers – sets the scene at The Millcroft Inn’s Nutcracker Afternoon Tea on Saturday and Sunday, December 21 and 22 (11:30am and 3:30pm). The event’s debut was a success last year, so it’s back, says food and beverage manager Jeffrey Bursey. Tchaikovsky’s classic plays in the background as you sip your brew and nibble upscale tea sandwiches and assorted mini pastries.

At the chic Butter and Cup in Mayfield West, your fresh-made tea and drool-worthy scones demand an Instagram closeup. If the Great British Baking Show sets off cravings for an authentic Victoria sponge served on delicate china, take your Lady Grey at the new Top Hat Tea Room in Orangeville. They also stock Mono’s herbal hitmakers Escarpment Gardens. High tea comes with finger sandwiches and classic English desserts. Erin’s Maddie Hatter Tea Shop & Café offers a classic high tea sure to please Alice in Wonderland-loving youngsters or grownups yearning for a fix of clotted cream.

A bonus bit of local tea lore: Did you know Creemore’s Clearview Tea Company makes the blend served at Queen’s Park? Consider trying it in your office kitchen, too.

’Tis the season: The retro tipple

Take a cue from Orangeville’s new speakeasy-style cocktail bar Revival 1863 for your own holiday gathering. Co-owner Angela Ward suggests fans try making their Winter Whisky Sour, a handcrafted tipple topped with “a bit of nostalgic Christmas spice.” The drink exemplifies the cozy, classic feel of the lounge, which Angela conceived as a throwback to a simpler time when families and friends slowed down to “break bread and talk over a great drink.”

Winter Whisky Sour

  • 2 oz Forty Creek Copper Pot whisky
  • 1 oz maple syrup
  • 1 oz fresh lime
  • 1 oz fresh lemon
  • Rosemary, mint leaves, cranberries and grated cinnamon to garnish.

Method: Shake all ingredients with ice. Strain and pour into a low glass over ice. Garnish with rosemary, mint, cranberries and cinnamon. revival1863.com

Sweet somethings

Barb Chafey of The Chocolate Shop in Orangeville sweetens the season with chocolate stars ($1.50 each) that work as present toppers. A 3-D Christmas sleigh on a tray can do duty as a centrepiece, then as dessert (from $35). And a box of eight chocolates ($12) is a welcome hostess gift filled with caramels, chocolate truffle mice and Irish cream truffles.

Heather Blahut’s Chocolate Gardener treats are a star at the Holiday Treasures show at the Museum of Dufferin. This year, watch for truffles and funky barks including matcha in white chocolate and Himalayan pink salt in dark    chocolate ($6.50).

The Sisters Touch of Christmas shop north of Bolton is worth a trip, if only to see the spectacular setting – a festive standalone shop at the end of the long laneway at St. Kosmas Aitolos Greek Orthodox Monastery. You’ll also want to stock up on baked goods. Scoop up single sugar cookies ($6.50) and gingerbread people ($4.50) or elegant boxes of eight gourmet cookies including chocolate mint crème, hazelnut chocolate, snowball Linzer or red velvet praline ($15). Shortbread comes in original, maple, cranberry, double chocolate or lavender-honey ($22).

Entertain this idea

Heatherlea Farm Shoppe takes the butcher box trend to the next level with a wide range of options. The Low & Slow – a box full of seven braising or roasting cuts, such as chuck roast and brisket, along with house-made beef stock – will aid in feeding your gang over the holidays ($336). A steak lover on your gift list will surely appreciate the Steak Taster ($277) featuring seven types, from flank to flat iron. Just remember to angle for an invite.

A great opportunity to shop in person: Heatherlea’s Christmas at the Farm event November 23, 11am to 3pm, features sugar cookie decorating, a holiday photo booth and seasonal snacks. The $10 family entry fee benefits SickKids. heatherlea.shop

Save the date: Soup Sisters and Broth Brothers

 Join the upcoming Soup Sisters and Broth Brothers events November 24, January 28 and March 31, 6 to 9pm, in the kitchen at Lavender Blue Catering. Guests (ages 12+) assemble to prep, chop and make soup to fill the freezer at Family Transition Place, then reward a job well done with dinner and a glass of wine (for those of age). Tickets are $65. On March 3, National Soup It Forward Day, a special event will benefit four local charities. See details on website.

Pantry goodies

Deb Ferrier, the baker at Mrs. Mitchell’s for 30 years, gives her fellow staff homemade pickles every Christmas. Thanks to backup from the restaurant’s chef, Derrick Shedlosky, the rest of us can now partake for about $10 a jar. Go classic with Deb’s Dills hot, dill, and bread and butter. Or try asparagus spears and pickled golden beets.

Diane Walmsley and Cheryl Duvall’s new Hockley Pickling Co. quickly sold out online. But you can still nab their Classic Garlic Dills and Spicy [email protected] at Sheldon Creek Dairy and Hockley Valley Farm’s Christmas market, Saturday, November 23 to Monday, December 23 ($6–$10).

And don’t forget Rosemont General Store’s house-made bread-and-butter and dill pickles ($6–$8) on your next pit stop.

About the Author More by Janice Quirt

Janice Quirt is a freelance writer who lives in Orangeville.

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