We are so very fortunate – that is both the big giant “we” that the webiverse contains and the little tiny “we” that is Dana and I. In the context of this post I can only share the details of the “micro-we”… ‘)
Dana and I have now been to Prince Edward County 3 times this summer with a fourth trip planned in September and I’m sure the surprises of fall and early winter will see us return. We had a lovely weekend that was centered around camping in Sandbanks Provincial Park and eating/ drinking locally.
Prince Edward County is a 2-2.5 hour drive east of Toronto. It captures the essence of Island living combined with a superb environment that is ripe with agriculture, horticulture, vineyard and culture. There is also a lot of water, outdoor activity, sandy beaches and great characters. It has become one of our favorite places to be.
A typical venture to the county, for us, includes an important piece of luggage: the empty cooler. We buy produce, meat and veggies locally (as well as wine and, often, beer) and aim to indulge in the feeling of eating as local as is possible without growing it yourself. We recognize the double-standard we are creating in that we are driving to the food and if it were coming to us it would be more fuel efficient and less than local but this is a conscious illusion and one which brings us great pleasure. It also leaves us wanting more and perhaps the day will come that the drive is much closer.
On Friday night we purchased our first meal – 6 corn, 3 monster tomatoes (more on them in a day or two) and a gorgeous purple onion. The total cost (paid direct to farmer) was $3.50.
We ate corn on Friday and Saturday night as I experimented with different ways to cook them directly over the campfire (something new for me). I thought I had placed the fresh cobs (husks on) onto the fire a little early as plenty of flame was still sneaking through the grill:
When cooking with a campfire, one typically attempts to have a lot of coal with little flame, similar to this:
Hunger got the best of us though and we let the heat do it’s magical thing, making sure that the husks did not burn completely through. The husks protected the inner sweetness and, essentially allowed the corn to steam within it’s protective outer layer:
Trial and error showed that fresh corn can take as much heat as a fire can throw at it. There was no need to soak it, wrap it or be overly protective from the fire. We watched closely and let it cook until almost all of the husk had burned away which produced a wonderful smoky-flavor while retaining the moist POP that only fresh corn can provide. To think of all the years that we boiled water in our screaming hot houses – we could have been cooking it on the bbq with less work and less heat.
Saturday night was the better of the two – if only because of the 2 bottles of wine we purchased from Norm Hardie (who insisted, as friends, that we borrow a pair of Riedel wine glasses for the campfire pairing). We’ll share more about Norm and the 2009 crop in the coming days.
Altogether a wonderful weekend away for the two of us!
For more info on Prince Edward County, check out the Taste Trail and the upcoming TASTE! event (a one-day event that generally sells out in advance). let us know if you`re going out and we`ll send you some places to see (this offer INCLUDES those of you we don`t know of course 🙂 – the more the merrier).