Sunday, 11 June 2017

10th Blogaversary! - Best Outings & Rants

Today is Seasonal Ontario Food's 10th Blogaversary! Seasonal Ontario Food is 10 years old today!

It all started when repairs were being made to the stairs in our apartment building and I had to make a choice to go out all day, or to stay in all day. I opted to stay in, got bored, and the rest is history. Little did I know what I was getting into.

I went back and perused my earliest recipes in a fit of nostalgia; some of them were awfully simple. Simple is a theme of this blog but I posted things then I wouldn't post now. On the other hand, my very first recipe was a salad I really enjoyed then and still regard as very fine (and it's in season at the moment!) There are also some recipes from the early years that have not been noticed as much as they should have been, as I had next to no readers in those days. Today and tomorrow I am going to highlight some of my favourites from over the years, including some of those early ones.

In keeping with the idea of simplicity I have tried to avoid buying new dishes or gadgets just to have new props for the blog. Consequently people will recognize the dishes and table cloths that show up again and again. I also don't make food just to "pose" it. You see it; we ate it. Sometimes it's hard to get the light right and set things up nicely when everybody is already sitting at the table, forks in hand, waiting, waiting...  I also went with the plainest blog design and have kept photos a very similar size/proportion to keep a simple and unified look. Too plain? Maybe, but it's my style, and I was and remain an amateur in both senses of the word.

Still, right from the beginning I wanted to get out of my own kitchen and post about what other people were doing with Ontario food. The last few years I have struggled to be able to do that, as family obligations have kept me close to home. I still hope that I will be able to do more jaunting about and sticking my nose in other people's business in the future. So today I am going to revisit 10 of my favourite outings. I'm also going to link to a few of the rants I've gone on, which I think help illuminate my philosophy of food. As for the future... well, I hope there will be one. I admit that I don't find myself too wildly optimistic about much at the moment, including the future of local food.

Without further ado, 10 favourite jaunts (although I will say - it was very hard to choose. VERY hard):

Wahta Mohawks Iroquois Cranberry Growers - a tart autumn treat, or dried or as juice all year.

Meeting Place Organic Farm - which would be a marvellous place even if they weren't friends of ours.

Lennox Farm Rhubarb - fruity seasonal treats in February!

Micro Greens from a Micro-Farm. No longer in business, but a post that continues to get a lot of views, because you can grow your own at home too.

I love local food and I love historic sites; Watson's Mill in Manotick is both.

There were lots of outings to pick berries; Blueberry Knoll near Dunnville was one of the most impressive. And look! There's my dad, picking berries, sniff.

I've done a lot of posts about farmers markets, but this one where I spent the day with a market vendor (100 Mile Produce) getting ready remains my favourite, and I think many readers found it a bit of an eye-opener.

FOODSTOCK was not only an amazing event, it was an awe-inspiring demonstration that there are lots and lots of people who love Ontario and its farmland (and I've managed to sneak in a reference to Monforte Dairy here).

The more I've gardened, the more I get interested in seeds. I loved our trip to Hawthorn Farm Organic Seeds.

And the more I've gotten interested in seeds, the more I've gotten interested in not just saving but breeding my own, so Duane Falk's Potato Breeding Day is fondly remembered.

Finally, I do occasionally go off on a RANT. I would actually like to do more of them, but they are surprisingly time-consuming to do and need just the right trigger. Here are 5 that have a little coherence, and have held some relevance over time: Local Berries Are Expensive. There is a Reason; some poems about Hunger; what is "Natural"; an Open Letter to the Ontario Government; and lastly a Meditation on $8 Cauliflower.


Melynda Brown said...

I have been reading your blog/writings for almost that long. Our style is the same, the same dishes, tablecloths, etc because the food goes on our table. Thanks for what you do, I have been delighted with many of your recipes and tried different foods from your posts.

Marnie said...

A very happy blogaversary to you! You've certainly put a lot of work into this over the years and educated a lot of people. Thank you!

Peter Tschirhart said...

Can't remember when I first bookmarked your blog but I promise to be a faithful reader as long as keep at it. I really love your ideas in the kitchen and tips in the garden, your work has value and I think you are making a difference out there. Thank you

Ferdzy said...

And thank you Melynda, Marnie and Peter! I am really happy to have you all as readers and commenters.

MMeadows said...

Congratulations on such an amazing milestone! I am one of your newer readers but love your blog none the less! It's very helpful to see your celebratory recipe lists - wow so much stuff to still try!

Ferdzy said...

Thanks, MMeadows!