keep it local

Posts Tagged ‘Eat Local’

More than just bread at C’est Tout Bakery

Monday, May 9, 2016 @ 02:05 PM
posted by admin

By: Howaida Sorour-Roberts

There’s a new bakery with a twist in town, and it’s right on Beckwith Street across from Ger-bos.  C’est Tout bakery, breakfast and lunch bar had its soft opening on March 24, right in time for Easter.

“For breakfast we’ll have the usual stuff, but I’m incorporating a muesli bar, so people can make their own yogurt parfait, and I will also have gluten free options,” said Amy Rensby, proprietor.

The Lunch counter will incorporate as much local produce as possible and include local meets, artisanal cheeses, and fresh soups along with all the baked goods.  Vegetarian and vegan options will also be available.

“There will be no seating, it will be strictly grab and go,” says Rensby.

In the meantime the venue will also be a full service bakery operating six days a week.

“We will have all the standards – like white, whole wheat and multigrain breads as well as deserts, buns and quiche,” says Rensby.

The idea came about when Rensby responded to her customer’s requests at Magnolia catering.

“We kept getting all these ad hoc requests for our baked goods, so I started doing a regular bakery every Friday, and we’ve built up a clientele that comes every Friday to buy all their baked good for the week,” said Rensby.

When a customer suggested she open a separate bakery last summer the idea took root.  Today her customers are very excited.

“To be able to purchase baked goods, that are made the same day in my community is important to me,” said Kathy Boelsma, a loyal customer.

The Boelsma family has been buying their weekly baking from Magnolia for the past year.

“I’ve been doing that every since she opened at Magnolia, but it meant we had to freeze some.  Now we’ll be able to go in every other day or every third day to pick up our breads and muffins, like it used to be before bread lasted three weeks on a shelf,” said Boelsma

C’est Tout Bakery will also carry a line of gluten free breads, rolls and deserts.

“We will also have gluten free buns available on a daily basis and at least one gluten free desert every day,” said Rensby.

The one caveat is that while Rensby is offering gluten free baked goods, they are not prepared in an exclusively gluten free kitchen.

“We do our gluten free baking at a different time slot than anything else – we can’t guarantee gluten free, but we do ensure that everything gets sanitized thoroughly between bakings and the gluten free baking is done in one shot by itself,” said Rensby.

Tastes of the Region: Fine Chocolate by Ludwig

Saturday, April 23, 2016 @ 08:04 AM
posted by admin

***needs an author**

If you’re a chocolate lover like I am, let me introduce you to some of the finest chocolate I have ever tasted: Fine Chocolate by Ludwig (http://finechocolate.ca), and its created right here in Lanark County.

I’ve never been a fan of dark chocolate. I’ve always found it too bitter, too strong, and sometimes with a grainy texture.  In short, nothing I would ever reach for as a treat.

That changed a couple of years ago, thanks to a client who left me a Christmas gift of a chocolate bar made by Ludwig Ratzinger.  I had never heard of it before, and again, not being a fan of dark chocolate, brought it home and it left it to sit on the counter for a few weeks.  In a moment of desperation, with no other chocolate around, I decided I would break open the gift from my client.   

Well, you could have knocked me over with a feather.  This was the most flavourful, yet delicate and smooth dark chocolate I had ever tasted. I was hooked.   

I had the opportunity to meet Ludwig earlier this year and get a tour of his chocolate making studio, located in Maberly, Ont., just west of Perth. As a professionally trained pastry chef and former employee of both the Chateau Laurier and the Governor General, Ludwig’s talent and experience shines through in his finished product.

Walking into the studio, the scent of chocolate was nothing short of extraordinary.  Ludwig walked me through his chocolate-making process, including everything from the packaging he designed, to how he selects his cacao beans, the custom molds he uses and the process he follows for turning cacao beans into the delectable bars of goodness found at various specialty shops around Eastern Ontario.  

Ludwig produces a wide selection of chocolate, including large bars ranging from 38% cacao to 80% cacao as well as milk chocolate, white chocolate and smaller flavoured chocolate bars.  A definite favourite of mine is the lime chocolate bar; a subtle hint of lime does nothing but enhance the chocolate. His packaging allows for customization for weddings and other special events.  

For more information about Ludwig, the chocolate he creates and locations where you can purchase it, check out Ludwig’s website at www.finechocolate.ca

 

What does it mean to Eat Local?

Saturday, February 7, 2015 @ 01:02 PM
posted by admin

BY: Amy Rensby

It’s quite the buzzword these days, but what does it really mean and how do you “eat local”?

The idea of eating local stems from a number of considerations, including cost, quality, and environmental impacts.   When we buy foods, particularly produce, grown in Mexico or China, or even the US, those foods are harvested before they’re ripe and packed into shipping containers destined for our grocery stores.   In some cases, that produce is sprayed with ripening agents to ensure it reaches its “peak” by the time it makes it onto the store shelves.   Sounds good, doesn’t it?   The need to transport produce long distances impacts the cost (it’s more expensive); compromises quality – have you tasted a tomato from Mexico in the middle of winter?   It’s like eating a cotton ball. Last but certainly not least, it’s impossible to deny the significant negative environmental impacts of trucking or shipping food around the world.

So, what can you do differently and how can you eat more local foods?

> Get to know your farmers! This is at the top of our list. Your farmers are proud of what they produce and want you to enjoy their food items. We love our farmers and consider them an integral part of our day, both in our business and at home.

> You can start by learning more about what produce is seasonal in your area – Lanark Local Flavour (http://www.lanarklocalflavour.ca/content/farm) is a phenomenal resource to learn more about what time of year certain produce is available and they also have a listing of local farms whom you can buy from.

> Eat as locally as possible.   Local can mean in your community but it can also mean within your province or even within Canada.   You’d be surprised how much Ontario produce is in the grocery store this time of year, including mushrooms!

> If you can’t find fresh local produce, you can often find it frozen and that’s the next best thing.

>Search online for recipes that use seasonal ingredients. In winter for example, search out recipes that use potatoes, squash, carrots, parsnips, beets, turnips and cabbage.

We’re fortunate to have an abundance of local farmers in the area who make fresh produce readily available at market stands, by cold storing it through the winter and some who are innovating and finding ways to grow produce later in the season than they ever have before!   And don’t forget local meats, eggs, cheese and honey! The number of local farms offering all of these food items is equally impressive. Does it mean we don’t buy lemons and limes and avocados?   No.   We buy them because we like those things and they’re important in our cooking. But we do try and eat mostly local foods and keep the out of country ingredients to a minimum.

Does it take some time and effort to track down these little gems of local farms?   Sure it does. But we can also help you find these great places and I promise you, your taste buds will thank you!   Because nobody enjoys a tomato that tastes like a cotton ball.

Amy Rensby is the owner of Magnolia Catering and Event Creations and can be reached at amy@magnoliacreations.ca or 613-799-8153

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Posts Tagged ‘Eat Local’

More than just bread at C’est Tout Bakery

Monday, May 9, 2016 @ 02:05 PM
posted by admin

By: Howaida Sorour-Roberts

There’s a new bakery with a twist in town, and it’s right on Beckwith Street across from Ger-bos.  C’est Tout bakery, breakfast and lunch bar had its soft opening on March 24, right in time for Easter.

“For breakfast we’ll have the usual stuff, but I’m incorporating a muesli bar, so people can make their own yogurt parfait, and I will also have gluten free options,” said Amy Rensby, proprietor.

The Lunch counter will incorporate as much local produce as possible and include local meets, artisanal cheeses, and fresh soups along with all the baked goods.  Vegetarian and vegan options will also be available.

“There will be no seating, it will be strictly grab and go,” says Rensby.

In the meantime the venue will also be a full service bakery operating six days a week.

“We will have all the standards – like white, whole wheat and multigrain breads as well as deserts, buns and quiche,” says Rensby.

The idea came about when Rensby responded to her customer’s requests at Magnolia catering.

“We kept getting all these ad hoc requests for our baked goods, so I started doing a regular bakery every Friday, and we’ve built up a clientele that comes every Friday to buy all their baked good for the week,” said Rensby.

When a customer suggested she open a separate bakery last summer the idea took root.  Today her customers are very excited.

“To be able to purchase baked goods, that are made the same day in my community is important to me,” said Kathy Boelsma, a loyal customer.

The Boelsma family has been buying their weekly baking from Magnolia for the past year.

“I’ve been doing that every since she opened at Magnolia, but it meant we had to freeze some.  Now we’ll be able to go in every other day or every third day to pick up our breads and muffins, like it used to be before bread lasted three weeks on a shelf,” said Boelsma

C’est Tout Bakery will also carry a line of gluten free breads, rolls and deserts.

“We will also have gluten free buns available on a daily basis and at least one gluten free desert every day,” said Rensby.

The one caveat is that while Rensby is offering gluten free baked goods, they are not prepared in an exclusively gluten free kitchen.

“We do our gluten free baking at a different time slot than anything else – we can’t guarantee gluten free, but we do ensure that everything gets sanitized thoroughly between bakings and the gluten free baking is done in one shot by itself,” said Rensby.

Tastes of the Region: Fine Chocolate by Ludwig

Saturday, April 23, 2016 @ 08:04 AM
posted by admin

***needs an author**

If you’re a chocolate lover like I am, let me introduce you to some of the finest chocolate I have ever tasted: Fine Chocolate by Ludwig (http://finechocolate.ca), and its created right here in Lanark County.

I’ve never been a fan of dark chocolate. I’ve always found it too bitter, too strong, and sometimes with a grainy texture.  In short, nothing I would ever reach for as a treat.

That changed a couple of years ago, thanks to a client who left me a Christmas gift of a chocolate bar made by Ludwig Ratzinger.  I had never heard of it before, and again, not being a fan of dark chocolate, brought it home and it left it to sit on the counter for a few weeks.  In a moment of desperation, with no other chocolate around, I decided I would break open the gift from my client.   

Well, you could have knocked me over with a feather.  This was the most flavourful, yet delicate and smooth dark chocolate I had ever tasted. I was hooked.   

I had the opportunity to meet Ludwig earlier this year and get a tour of his chocolate making studio, located in Maberly, Ont., just west of Perth. As a professionally trained pastry chef and former employee of both the Chateau Laurier and the Governor General, Ludwig’s talent and experience shines through in his finished product.

Walking into the studio, the scent of chocolate was nothing short of extraordinary.  Ludwig walked me through his chocolate-making process, including everything from the packaging he designed, to how he selects his cacao beans, the custom molds he uses and the process he follows for turning cacao beans into the delectable bars of goodness found at various specialty shops around Eastern Ontario.  

Ludwig produces a wide selection of chocolate, including large bars ranging from 38% cacao to 80% cacao as well as milk chocolate, white chocolate and smaller flavoured chocolate bars.  A definite favourite of mine is the lime chocolate bar; a subtle hint of lime does nothing but enhance the chocolate. His packaging allows for customization for weddings and other special events.  

For more information about Ludwig, the chocolate he creates and locations where you can purchase it, check out Ludwig’s website at www.finechocolate.ca

 

What does it mean to Eat Local?

Saturday, February 7, 2015 @ 01:02 PM
posted by admin

BY: Amy Rensby

It’s quite the buzzword these days, but what does it really mean and how do you “eat local”?

The idea of eating local stems from a number of considerations, including cost, quality, and environmental impacts.   When we buy foods, particularly produce, grown in Mexico or China, or even the US, those foods are harvested before they’re ripe and packed into shipping containers destined for our grocery stores.   In some cases, that produce is sprayed with ripening agents to ensure it reaches its “peak” by the time it makes it onto the store shelves.   Sounds good, doesn’t it?   The need to transport produce long distances impacts the cost (it’s more expensive); compromises quality – have you tasted a tomato from Mexico in the middle of winter?   It’s like eating a cotton ball. Last but certainly not least, it’s impossible to deny the significant negative environmental impacts of trucking or shipping food around the world.

So, what can you do differently and how can you eat more local foods?

> Get to know your farmers! This is at the top of our list. Your farmers are proud of what they produce and want you to enjoy their food items. We love our farmers and consider them an integral part of our day, both in our business and at home.

> You can start by learning more about what produce is seasonal in your area – Lanark Local Flavour (http://www.lanarklocalflavour.ca/content/farm) is a phenomenal resource to learn more about what time of year certain produce is available and they also have a listing of local farms whom you can buy from.

> Eat as locally as possible.   Local can mean in your community but it can also mean within your province or even within Canada.   You’d be surprised how much Ontario produce is in the grocery store this time of year, including mushrooms!

> If you can’t find fresh local produce, you can often find it frozen and that’s the next best thing.

>Search online for recipes that use seasonal ingredients. In winter for example, search out recipes that use potatoes, squash, carrots, parsnips, beets, turnips and cabbage.

We’re fortunate to have an abundance of local farmers in the area who make fresh produce readily available at market stands, by cold storing it through the winter and some who are innovating and finding ways to grow produce later in the season than they ever have before!   And don’t forget local meats, eggs, cheese and honey! The number of local farms offering all of these food items is equally impressive. Does it mean we don’t buy lemons and limes and avocados?   No.   We buy them because we like those things and they’re important in our cooking. But we do try and eat mostly local foods and keep the out of country ingredients to a minimum.

Does it take some time and effort to track down these little gems of local farms?   Sure it does. But we can also help you find these great places and I promise you, your taste buds will thank you!   Because nobody enjoys a tomato that tastes like a cotton ball.

Amy Rensby is the owner of Magnolia Catering and Event Creations and can be reached at amy@magnoliacreations.ca or 613-799-8153

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