As travel (even close by) seems like it might not be an option again soon, a few weekends ago we decided to take advantage of our beautiful province. With 7 of our girlfriends in tow, we packed up the car for Prince Edward County.
For those of you who are not familiar with this area of Ontario, it has a lot to offer. PEC is an island situated in Lake Ontario, with a bunch of cute small towns surrounded by farms and vineyards. Food is at its prime here, with many top rated restaurants and small outdoor pop ups, you really can find local ingredients at their best.
Fall is a great time to visit, after the summer rush, while you can still enjoy most things outdoors.
Here is a list of 5 of our favourite things to do while in the County.
If you are at all like us, this alpaca farm is not to be missed. We could spend all day staring at these cute furry guys if there was nothing else to do (but we've got places to go!). Even though you can’t give them a squeeze, you can still feel how soft their fur is by visiting the beautiful shop. We’ve bought socks, pom poms, sweaters and scarves from here over the years. How can you resist that cute little face in the window?? Our dream is to one day have an alpaca or two at Windswept Farm, but until then we will just keep visiting…
2. The County Cider Co., Waupoos
We didn’t think we liked cider! Maybe it was the stunning view that captivated us, or the wood fired pizza, but this place is not to be missed. From the converted barn (always sourcing ideas for ours) to walking through the apple orchard, this place is a labour of love. Adding yet another fav drink to our repertoire!
3. Antiquing in the County
In every small town you can find at least one shop that sells other people’s treasures. We absolutely love coming across a worn spoon or floral plate to use for our photo styling. As vintage sourcing is très au courant as people are trying to repurpose and reuse, there are a ton of sourcing options in the County. We found a silver knife we liked in a bag with about 50 other pieces of cutlery. The owner sold us the whole bag for $20! Steal!! Here is a list of some of our fav spots.
Dead People’s Stuff, Bloomfield Hand Works, Bloomfield The Local Store, Westlake The Lake House Vintage, Wellington
4. Making Unexpected Stops
Sometimes it’s best to have no agenda. We have discovered so many awesome wineries, stunning views, pop up food trucks and farmer’s stands just by pulling over. There really is so much to explore in this beautiful County.
Last year we pulled down a long driveway to discover a small batch family run winery called Domaine Darius. We had a great time speaking with the owners and learning about their passion, we ordered a couple of cases of wine! They were ready to be picked up this spring but Covid halted our travel plans. The owners shipped us the wine the same day. Just in time for rosé season!
This year we were told about a pop up sandwich shop called Flossie's in the back of Carson’s Garden and Market that sells handcrafted sandwiches in an outdoor living room. Delish! Inside, the market store has an amazing plant selection- get your fix of every imaginable succulent out there. But the true highlight for us was meeting the 3 goats that were adopted from Coveted Kennels and Sanctuary. We were in talks with this organization about adopting goats this summer but our barn isn’t completely goat ready yet. When the time comes, this is where our babies will be coming from!
5. Delicious Eats- Flame & Smith
This resto on the edge of Bloomfield, is not to be missed. Yummy and super cool. Local produce + wood fired oven = next level. Every time we go, we have had the chef’s tasting menu, and it never disappoints. Flame + Smith was generous to share their Ember-Roasted Butternut Squash with Maple, Whisky, Candied Chili Pecans and Torched Herbs recipe in Watershed Magazine, and we recreated it here using an oven. Consider this for your next Thanksgiving side dish. Yay you!
Candied Chili Pecans
1 cup pecan halves ¼ cup maple syrup 1 ½ tbsp butter ¼ tsp chili powder
Preheat oven to 350° and line a cookie sheet with parchment. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the maple syrup, butter and chili powder, and bring to a boil. Stir in the pecans and mix until well coated. Spread the pecans and the remaining sauce evenly over the prepared cookie sheet; bake for 5 to 8 minutes. They should look caramelized and a little sticky. Allow to cool.
Maple Syrup Whisky Sauce
1 cup maple syrup
1 oz. bourbon or Canadian whisky, preferably not too smoky.
Into a small saucepan add the syrup and whisky. Set over medium-low heat, whisk and bring up to a simmer – do not boil – remove from heat and set aside.
Butternut Squash and Herb Bundle
2 butternut squashes, halved and seeds removed
4 Tbsp butter
Handful of fresh herbs such as thyme, sage, and bay leaves
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Place squashes on baking sheet or in a baking dish.
Into the hollows of each half, pour a little Maple Syrup Whisky Sauce and a tablespoon of butter.
Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt and bake for 50-60 minutes, until the squash is tender.
Use a spoon to baste the squash during the baking process for deeper caramelization.
Once cooked, using a large soup spoon, scoop out the cooked flesh, without taking any of the outer skin, and arrange the scoops in a ceramic baking dish with a lid.
Drizzle the maple whisky sauce over the squash. Place the candied pecans on top and add a sprinkle of good sea salt.
Just before serving, introduce a flame to the top of the herb bundle – a lighter, small kitchen torch or gas flame will work – then place the smouldering little bundle inside of the dish and close the lid immediately. Bring straight to the table and remove the lid. The dish will beautifully perfume your dining room with its woody aromas.
Happy Travels, even if it's close to home xx2DA