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August, 2011:

Preserving Party

Canning food can be a lot of work that goes much more easily when divided between many hands. After our massive tomato sauce session (two bushels worth) at the cottage last year this isn’t a new idea to me. This year was the first time, though, I’d gotten together with friends for a preserving party.

These sinks are ideal for shocking the skins off peaches.

These sinks are ideal for shocking the skins off peaches.

We were lucky that one of the group teaches at a small private school north of the city, King’s College School, that generously donated the use of their kitchen for our purposes. Working in what amounted to a small commercial kitchen, with ten full-power gas burners and a huge amount of counter space really helped. (more…)

Confederation Cove Mussels

In my first two posts about our trip to PEI I sang the praises of the delicious Three Pigs burger, shared my impression of a good takeout fish spot, and remembered the best black cherry milkshake I’ve had in a long time. Here’s the thing, none of those were really the highlight of the trip for me. What I was really interested in was the tour we got of the Confederation Cove Mussel plant in Borden-Carleton and the mussels we brought home.

Picturesque wharf scene including old-timer who ignored the "No Trespassing" signs to fish there.

Picturesque PEI scene including old-timer who ignored the “No Trespassing” signs to fish there.

The plant manager, Len, was kind enough to take us on a thorough tour of their facilities. We started by walking out to the end of the break-wall that protects their wharf (Len thinks it might be the only privately owned one in Canada) and offers a spectacular view of the Confederation Bridge.

The Confederation Cove wharf in Borden-Carlton.

The Confederation Cove wharf in Borden-Carleton.

On the way back inside we visited the By The Water Shellfish facility that is also located on Confederation Cove owned land. By The Water has impressively modern and controlled system for sorting, storing, and packing Atlantic lobster. The lobster holding tanks can keep up to 400,000 lbs of live lobster in suitable conditions for months, thereby extending the season for live lobster. (more…)

Hitting the Road

“It’s five o’clock in Toronto and 1953 on PEI” That’s a joking reference one my girlfriend’s friends makes to how quaint Canada’s smallest province can be.  My post from last week went through some of the highlights from our meals in big-city Charlottetown at restaurants that could easily compete in Toronto. Today I’m going to look at our more nostalgic meals. Nostalgia for a time before I was born in a place I’ve only been to once before.

The harbour view in Rusticoville.

The harbour view in Rusticoville.

There’s something about red-sand beaches and wide, blue skies that fade into the ocean that bring out the best on the faces of native Islanders. I’d offer photographic evidence to prove this but my travel companion hates having her picture taken enough that I don’t dare ask her permission to post one. After spending the end of an afternoon–after 4PM is the best time to go when noisy children have tired and their grandparents are heeding the call of the early-bird dinner gong–on one of the north shore’s national park beaches we decided to climb over the dunes and search for a local restaurant. (more…)

We Sure Can Launch

The We Sure Can/The Cookbook Store table at the Leslieville Farmers' Market

I know this borders on the oxymoronic for blogging but I try to keep the self-indulgence to a minimum on Food With Legs. Consider this post a partial exception.

In May 2010 Sarah Hood asked if I would contribute a few recipes from this site to her book project on canning and preserving. Needless to say I was honoured and happy to comply.

As I mentioned in an early post I collected three of my favourites (French Cornichons, Cottage Garden Pickle, and Serviceberry Jam) and Sarah after some very rigorous editing made the recipes much more presentable and easier-to-follow for those who don’t live in my head. My only complaint is that all measures had to be changed to volume but as I understand from Sarah, and have posted about before, this is regrettably standard practice for Canadian publishers. (more…)

Trip Report: Charlottetown

The Three Pigs Burger: bacon, pulled pork, and ground pork in one harmonious patty.

I just finished what counts as a whirlwind vacation on P.E.I., Canada’s most relaxed and relaxing province.  We toured a mussel packing plant, cooked and ate more than our fair-share of lobster rolls, and saw a traditional Acadian clay oven. These will all get due coverage in later posts but, while the experience is fresh with me I want to spend a few words on the restaurants in Charlottetown where we ate and drank.

DB Brickhouse at 125 Sydney Street

DB Brickhouse at 125 Sydney Street

On our first day on The Island we looked for lunch by foot and when we found that the much-discussed Lot 30 doesn’t open until dinner service at 5 PM, we turned to our second choice, The Daniel Brenan Brickhouse. (more…)