Chef John Mairleitner’s cooking demonstration featuring local foods has become a tradition at the Wallacetown Fair. It’s a family affair with John's three daughters helping out. This year’s audience was treated to a demo of Pear & Apple Crumble and many an appreciative, “Mmmmmm” was heard as they enjoyed still-warm samples of the treat. See the recipe below.
Railway City Brewing has announced the winner of the Platform 13 Home Brew Competition. The judges were impressed with the overall quality of the many submissions but Ryan Harrison's IPA stood with its overall flavour balance and enjoyability. All of the judges could see themselves drinking more of it! Railway City customers will have that same pleasure in September when the winning entry will be brewed up for them.
Photos by Mark Girdauskas
Nine young chefs presented their delectable creations for judging in a Black Box Challenge at the Arts & Cookery Bank this past Friday (July 26th). The competition topped off a week-long Advanced Culinary Boot Camp whose “simple and fresh approach helps young chefs (ages 15-20) understand the food they eat, the landscape that produces it and the hands that grow it.”
The results were impressive. Poise, polish and style are the words that come to mind. Five teams (two per team and an extra lone chef) drew for one of five boxes containing three mystery items. They then put all their skills and creative talents to integrating the ingredients into an appetizer and a dessert to tantalize and impress the judges.
The Railway City Brewing Company has recently welcomed a new brewer. Zach Trynda is a recent graduate of the Niagara College brewing program. Along with Tom Anguish he has been off to a great start creating their new Belgian style Wit - their Witty Traveller which will be released on June 6th.
In his trunk, the Witty Traveller brings the distinguished beer flavours of the world. With a top-hat in hand he's stopped in Railway city to share his knowledge and adventure. With spices from the East, the fruits of the South, and yeasts of the North enveloped in taste and aromas of far flung places. He has stopped to offer us a pint !
Maple Syrup was on tap in Elgin County this past weekend, and many families took the opportunity to visit a local sugar bush. Both Springwater Conservation Area and Palmer’s Maple Syrup serve up syrup-making education along with pancakes and the sweet taste of spring Saturdays and Sundays in March. Springwater is also open all week during the March Break.
In February, welcome Chinese New Year – the Year of the Snake -- with Asian Pork and Vegetables. Lean Ontario pork tenderloin gets a burst of exotic flavour from chili garlic sauce and ginger. The earth may be frozen, but there’s still plenty of locally-grown cabbage and carrots around to stir-fry with the pork, along with year-round mushrooms and bean sprouts.
Monika & Leo Rastapkevicius of R-Gro Farms
The Arts & Cookery Bank ended their Twelve Days of Christmas events this year with a “Sweet Endings Long Lunch” celebrating of the sweet potato. It was a salute to locally grown food and the versatility of the sweet potato, with tasty treats consisting of sweet potato soup, fries, twice baked potato, and pie.
Local growers, Monika and Leo Rastapkevicius supplied the sweet potatoes from their R-Grow farm near West Lorne and stopped in to sample the sweet creations. They also grow sweet corn, muskmelons, seeded and seedless watermelons, ornamental pumpkins and gourds and cash crops.
Photo: Mark Girdauskas
With Hoptoberfest in the fermenter, a busy summer past and busier ones on the horizon, Railway City Brewing Company has just announced an upcoming facility expansion. It will enable them to keep up with ever-increasing demand for their popular brews, and grow into the future. If they have their way, there will be “a few more Dead Elephants coming out of St. Thomas, Ontario.”
In less than five years Railway City Brewery has established a reputation for good beer and good fun. It has made its mark with award-winning craft brews, special seasonal offerings, tastings and tours at its St. Thomas production and retail outlet. Funky brew names and branding have played on the Jumbo the elephant and Railway City themes, making it “our beer” for St. Thomas and Elgin County residents, and making it identifiable to craft beer-lovers across Ontario.
Aunt Lena’s Country Market opened earlier in 2012 offering a variety of specialty food items and preserves, ice-cream, and an interesting and diverse selection of gift- and décor-ware. Most importantly, though, they sell Aunt Lena's very popular and delicious homemade pies – it’s worth a stop just for the pie.
With 700 pre-sold tickets and a record for at-the-gate ticket sales for Motown Memories, the Quai du Vin music series continues to groove through summer. Saturday afternoon(July 29th) included performances from the Chris Murphy Motown Revue, Tribute to the Supremes, Ben Shane, Robin Banks and more.