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Culture Home Recreation

Getting Back to Nature in

West Elgin

A Farmer, A Foodie

& A Feast

with the Benners of Heritage Line Herbs & editors of the Plowing Match Cookbook

Wind n Willow Home Décor

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Local Chef Jonathan Collins talks about local food & cooking for President Obama


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Early Spring 2009 | Volume 3 | Issue 1

s h e l gi

May 20-June 6 Memories of the Rat Pack

by Chris McHarge & Colin Stewart

June 10-June 27 Animal Magnetism by Simon Joynes

July 1-July 18 Harvest by Ken Cameron

July 22-August 8 A Bench in the Sun by Ron Clark

August 12-September 5 Mending Fences


ent tal

nurturing great C ana

6-302 Bridge St, Pt Stanley

dia n

by Norm Foster

Artistic Director: Simon Joynes General Manager: Robert Taylor

Learn how to turn your big idea into reality at...


BUSINESS RESOURCE CENTRE A Community Futures Development Corporation

300 South Edgeware Rd. St. Thomas, ON


Celebrating 31 Years of Live Theatre by the Lake

Port Stanley Festival Theatre

Shelly had a big idea.


Spring Tweets from the Editor Not one to be techno-savvy, I just recently got around to checking out Twitter. I discovered, on their website, that it's a service that connects people “through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question, ‘What are you doing?'” Maybe it’s the nice bird graphics on the site, but before I could delve further, my mind began to wander to the outdoors… That's where Kathaleen McKay, our cover photographer, loves to be. She notices a world of nature in her backyard and connects with it in a way that is at the core of her creative talents. She often emails me beautiful pictures that remind me how much I need to get outside.

Copy Editor Debra Bagshaw Layout & Design Joanne Bagshaw Advertising Info Cover Image © Kathaleen McKay

To Subscribe:

Send a cheque for $10 (to cover mailing) to the following address. Includes 5 issues. P.O. Box 20058 St. Thomas, ON N5P 4H4 519.633.1992

A chat with Dan Kajan, a teacher at West Elgin Secondary School, revealed ways that many students there spend time in nature’s classroom, unplugged and immersed in the outdoors (page 7). Relish Elgin continues its focus on local food, which is all about farmers who must stay in touch with nature’s rhythms and demands to bring us the quality food we enjoy. “What are you doing?” I am hoping that your answer will be “I’m gone outdoors … to the back yard … to the woods … kayaking up a stream … to the market.” No twitter needed, save that of the birds.


Inside this Issue 4

Chef Jonathan Collins helped showcase Canadian fare during President Obama's Canadian visit, and shares his thoughts on utilizing local ingredients.



Map of Elgin Including events & seasonal produce in Elgin.

12 A Farmer, A Foodie & A Feast Join us from the farm to the table with Deb & Tom Benner of Heritage Line Herbs and the authors of the 2010 International Plowing Match Cookbook, Flavours of Elgin.

Getting Back to Nature A look at "Last Child in the Woods" and one local teacher's approach to get students outdoors.

Representing Canadian Cuisine


Wind n Willow Home Décor Discover this great store in downtown St. Thomas. Owner Terry Ranta-Hall provides advice on decorating for these economic times.

Copyright 2009, Relish Marketing & Promotions Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any material published in Relish Elgin is strictly prohibited without the written permission of the Publisher. Relish Elgin is published by Relish Marketing & Promotions Inc.

Relish Elgin Magazine • Early Spring 2009



Representing Local Cuisine Jonathan and Cynthia Collins are an Elgin County husband and wife chef team bent on bringing positive vibes and good food to Elgin County. The pair opened Shutters on the Beach in Port Bruce this past summer, and of late Jonathan has been executive chef at Lakeview Gardens for his father, Jim, owner of the popular restaurant and greenhouse. Jonathan was thrilled last month to be called upon to help prepare the meal served to President Obama on his Canadian visit.

From left: President Obama, Don Rooke, Oliver Bartsch, Jonathan Collins & John Leung.


Jonathan shares some of his food philosophy and thoughts on the future of local food.

ynthia and Jonathan are both graduates of Le Cordon Bleu Paris in Ottawa and had worked at the Prime Minister’s residence. Oliver Bartsch, executive chef at 24 Sussex Drive, requested that Jonathan return to Ottawa to help prepare the lunch along with John Leung, executive chef at the British High Commission, and Don Rooke. “It was,” says Jonathan, “an overwhelmingly positive experience.” The lunch represented Canada's culinary diversity; it was served in an elegant but humbly Canadian way, and the atmosphere was one of shared good feelings all around. Jonathan believes that the hopefulness Obama symbolizes will have a far reach, including in Canada. Trips to Ottawa, with it fine culinary offerings, are exciting, says Jonathan—he returns to fill in for the executive chef and Cynthia to work with the executive pastry chef at Rideau Hall. He notes, though, that Ottawa’s pace is a bit too hurried—Elgin County offers a lifestyle he enjoys. In charge of restaurants bookending the county, the Collins see a lot of Elgin. Jonathan and Cynthia make good use of their commute time, coming up with unique menu ideas.


Submitted by Jonathan Collins

Where did you get your interest in food? I come from a large family—Dad is a nurseryman; my grandparents were farmers; my Mom and aunts grew vegetables and my grandfather had a massive garden—I grew up close to the origin of food. In particular, I remember my aunt had a pig farm on Fingal Line, with rows of cherry trees and big gardens. It worries me that people aren’t cooking, their health is suffering and families don’t eat together.

What is your food style? It is based on starting with the right ingredients and respecting them, so that their natural properties come through on the plate. I would say my style is Rustic French Monday to Friday and Haute Cuisine Friday or Saturday. Even the Prime Minister’s family eats basic foods like casseroles, but there is a sense of occasion for special events.

What are your thoughts on the future of food and local food in particular? Well, in France, it is regulated that certain amounts of produce must come from the region—I think that is good idea. Organic will

Relish Elgin Magazine • Early Spring 2009


become the new norm and prices will drop, although we are challenged by our climate. Still, I think we should be buying local in season and making a reasonable attempt out of season. We should try a bit harder to use local foods. For example, blueberries are easy to freeze—I have some even now from Blueberry Hill and they are every bit as tasty as wild ones from Quebec—the owner, Irene Puddester, is truly a craftsperson. I also think it’s important that people put together the social and physical benefits of cooking at home.

ers. They make almost Gordon Ramseyesque demands on students and as a result they learn strong fundamentals. If your standard for yourself isn’t at the highest level, it is only going to slip further downward by the time the plate reaches the customer. A Canadian chef that I admire is Rob Feenie in Vancouver, the first Canadian to win Iron Chef America. He understands flavours and combinations.

Challenges? Canada grows amazing food. There aren’t many other countries where you can put such diversity on a plate. But often there is a lack of infrastructure for getting it to market. In Ottawa growers supply live sprouts and herbs—the chef just picks off what he needs and the grower doesn’t have to worry about packaging. I think that’s a great idea and would like to see it here. Farmer’s markets are great, but that alone can’t provide a market large enough for producers to build a sustainable business.

Favourite ingredient? Mushrooms—Chanterelles, cinnamon caps, truffles.

Favourite way to eat? A meal of robust red wine, baguette, great cheese, cured meats.

Maple syrup season is in progress in Elgin County. Do you have a favourite way to use it? It is the base of our signature 24 Vinaigrette. I also try to replace sugar with maple syrup in many dishes. The arctic char prepared for president Obama was cured in maple, miso paste, sea salt and fresh herbs—a great combination of sweet, savoury and bitter.

Admired chefs? I think Le Cordon Bleu Paris is one of the finest culinary institutes in the world—it has a fivediamond restaurant and very fine chef teach-

Submitted by Jonathan Collins

A Main Fit for a President: Applewood Smoked Plains Bison with Winter Root Vegetables, Local Mushrooms, Cauliflower & Rosemary Puree, and Juniper and Niagara Red Wine Jus. Find the complete menu from the President's Canadian visit at

Plans for Lakeview Restaurant and Shutters on the Beach? Cynthia and I have enjoyed developing the Lakeveiw menu—people have responded favourably to dishes with new ingredients. The dinner in the gardens concept has attracted new customers. Shutters on the Beach is a change of pace, and a lot of fun—it will reopen in March.

Lakeview Gardens is located at 9353 Graham Road in Eagle, west of Wallacetown on Hwy #3 (; 519.768.1116). Shutters on the Beach is on the beach in Port Bruce (3159 Colin St.;; 519.773.5556).

Relish Elgin Magazine • Early Spring 2009



Getting Back to Nature Richard Louv won the 2008 Audubon Medal for “Last Child in the Woods—Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder.” He argues that children are increasingly separated from nature and deprived of invaluable sensory experiences with deleterious effect on their health and well being. Dan Kajan is one local teacher trying to get students back to nature. He reveals how West Elgin Secondary School in West Lorne offers opportunities for environmental stewardship and connecting with nature for learning and fun. If you think back to your own childhood and youth, chances are, your most vivid and pleasant memories are of time spent quite aimlessly, mucking about a stream, lying in the grass looking at the clouds, or in any one of a number of outdoor adventures. The same can’t be said of many children today. Not only are these kids deprived of the joys and benefits of nature, but Louv argues that children who have never had a nature connection are unlikely to be future stewards of the environment. Louv offers an in-depth analysis of causes, effects and solutions to this disconnect from nature. One of his guiding ideas is to “just get out there.” The book includes a smorgasbord of nature activities for kids and families.


Δ Make a “green hour” a new family tradition—give your kids one hour a day for unstructured play and interaction with the natural world. Δ Keep a “wonder bowl” where kids can empty their pockets of natural wonders—acorns, rocks, mushrooms. Δ Adopt a tree. Take pictures in its first snow; make bark rubbings; record what animals use the tree. The Elgin Heritage Tree Committee has created three colourful map guides and invites people to discover some of the over 200 kinds of trees labeled in Elgin County.

From Last Child in the Woods: "Passion is lifted from the earth itself by the muddy hands of the young; it travels along

Farm fresh produce, honey and flowers. Fabulous dining and shopping. Excellent fishing. Charming Bed & Breakfasts. Rodney's Fire Muster & West Lorne's Music & Art in the Park in June. West Lorne's Cactus Cattle & Cowboy Days in July. Port Glasgow's Fish Fry in August. Rodney's Fair in September. Beautiful Carolinian nature trails. North America's smallest jail in Rodney. Numerous bicycle routes. Great trailer parks. Port Glasgow Marina and Beach.

Experience West Elgin

Situated half way between Chatham and London; just 25 minutes from St. Thomas. Easy access off the 401 at Rodney and West Lorne exchanges.


Relish Elgin Magazine • Early Spring 2009


grass-stained sleeves to the heart. If we are going to save environmentalism and the environment, we must also save an endangered indicator species: the child in nature."

NATURE AS A CLASSROOM In his book, Louv argues that producing natureloving children and youth who care about the environment will take work on many fronts— in homes, schools, and other organizations. A chat with Dan Kajan at West Elgin Secondary School in West Lorne, revealed several ways his high school is a positive environment for bringing young adults and nature happily together.

Eco-School Students in West Elgin’s environmental club drive the school’s recycling program and collect green- and blue-bin contents each Friday (as well as cans which generate money for the school). Members also put their heads together annually to come up with a major club focus. This year’s goal is to achieve “Eco-School” eligibility. Students undertook

an in-depth analysis of how the school is doing in several categories, such as waste minimization and energy conservation. A points system helped them to determine where improvements are needed. Their report will be submitted this spring when they will find out if they’ll be awarded “Eco-School” status.

The Pond Last year’s Environmental Club project helped turn the school’s courtyard into a unique green space, and recognized the important connection between nature enjoyment and environmental awareness. One of the members applied for a grant that enabled them to add greenery, picnic tables and a pond. Kajan notes, “students appreciate a place to take a nature-break, and are determined this year to add fish to the pond.”

Geography Unplugged Under the guidance of Geography Department Head Mike Van Dyk, encounters of the outdoor kind are a key element of geography courses. In grade 9, the Elora Gorge or Niagara Falls becomes the classroom—an effective setting to illustrate the year’s theoretical learning. In π

Steve Peters Elgin-Middlesex-London MPP 542 Talbot St. • St. Thomas, ON 519-631-0666 • 1-800-265-7638 TTY: 519.631-9904 FAX: 519-631-9478 Relish Elgin Magazine • Early Spring 2009



π grade 11, geography is brought to life with a half-day of geocaching with GPS; field trips to Big Bend to do a quadrant study of trees, seedlings, saplings and indications of animal life; and a half-day on a local stream. At the stream, students study river dynamics, making discharge calculations and studying the types of critters present, a good indication of whether a stream is clean or dirty. “A 3- or 4-day trip to Tobermory, hiking the Bruce Trail and checking out the caves is,” says Kajan, “a terrific way to reiterate the classroom lessons.”

The Fishing Club Then there’s the fishing club. Dan smiles, “not a lot of schools have a fishing club.” Pete Soos (another teacher) and I take 30 kids to a tournament in Aylmer—it brings hundreds of

students from across Ontario.” Also, the club usually takes a local trip to a gravel pit on one of the student’s properties. Kajan notes, “a lot of kids enjoy fishing, but just don’t make the time to do it—many people can’t believe we are given time off school to go fishing.” Asked whether all this hands-on outdoor adventure is more beneficial as an educational tool or as a way for students to have fun outdoors, Kajan smiles, “it’s educational and it’s fun—it’s a chance to see things first hand and to make memories.” Clearly, to him, there is no differentiating.

From Dan Kajan: "Parents can be role models. That works far better than words. Solving environmental issues and appreciating the outdoors requires

Outdoors in Elgin: Joe's Bush

Joe’s Bush is a 50-acre tract of forested land located in West Elgin, near Rodney. Three trails are designed to promote nature enjoyment in the predominantly Carolinian Forest habitat. It is a delight in spring, carpeted with trilliums. The Bush was a gift of Joe Schmid to the Village of Rodney in 1985. Schmid emigrated from Germany in 1904 with only $1.50 in his pocket, built up a very successful jewellery business in Rodney, but also had a passion for land and conservation. Joe’s Bush was his favourite of several tracts of land that he reforested. He spent countless hours replanting, thinning, pruning and grooming trails for the enjoyment of community residents. Joe’s Bush is a spot for public enjoyment, hiking and home to many of Ontario’s rare and endangered Carolinian forest species. To get to Joe’s Bush, follow Hwy #3 to New Glasgow, turn north on Furnival Road toward Rodney; turn left on Silver Clay Line and look for signs for Joe’s Bush.


Relish Elgin Magazine • Early Spring 2009


a change in lifestyle so that new ways become part of the culture. We are used to a lot of stimulus, entertainment and have an expectation that everything should be 'now.' We need to move toward a culture that limits some of that. Outside is an experience—you make your own fun.” Dan Kajan has taught at West Elgin Secondary School for five years and physical geography for three of them. He was among thirty-three educators honoured at this year’s Bishop Townshend annual awards dinner for outstanding high school teachers in the Thames Valley District school board. Last Child in the Woods, by Richard Louv, is published by Algonquin Books (2008). It is available at Oracles Book Shop, 556 Talbot Street, St. Thomas. For more information on outdoor recreation in Elgin, visit


ee 09 ive Care W 0 2 , 3-9 lliat

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Hike for Hospice Palliative Care Sunday May 3rd • Pinafore Park Check-in at 2pm; hike until 4pm

Please call Serenity House Hospice Resource Centre at


Or for more information visit us at 100% OF FUNDS RAISED IN OUR COMMUNITY STAYS IN OUR COMMUNITY


Landscape Services

Dreaming of a backyard makeover? We can help you design it and make it happen! Spring Clean-Up & Pruning Lawn Maintenance Garden Renovation Enchanting Water Features Landscape Design-Build Projects


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Find more events at Spirit of the Rails May 2nd & May 3rd

Canada Southern Railway Station presents this 90 minute walk through St. Thomas’ rail history with 15 theatrical sketches throughout the station. $5 for adults; $3 for children. Call 519.633.2535 to confirm your reservation. ille W yR d


Tim Horton's Trout Derby

April 25th & 26th, May 2nd & 3rd

Elgin Theatre Guild presents

I Hate Hamlet

April 16th to April 25th Come for the laughs in this dramatic comedy by Paul Rudnick. Contact 519.633.8530 or visit for times and tickets.

Rainbow Trout are stocked in the Springwater Pond each year to create a fishing opportunity for both novice and avid anglers. Kid’s Derby on Sunday May 3rd. Anyone who catches a tagged trout will win a cash prize. Call 519.773.9037 or visit

In Season - enjoy fresh food with © AgisilaouSpyrouPhotography

Tomatoes - packed with lycopene, which gives this fruit its bright colour and is also a powerful antioxidant.


Cucumbers - silica in the skin and a high water content will help you achieve a glowing complexion.

Easter Egg Hunt Train

April 10th, 11th & 12th

Come ride the train and meet the Easter Bunny at the Port Stanley Terminal Rail station in Port Stanley. Call 519.782.3730 or 1-877-244-4478 or visit

Maple Syrup Festivals weekends in March

Combine the maple syrup taste experience with a visit to the maple bush: Springwater Conservation Area’s pancake house and old-fashioned sugar shanty; call 519.773.9037 for info. Palmer’s Maple Syrup at 34308 Lake Line outside Port Stanley offers tours and breakfast from 9:30am – 3pm; call 519.769.2245.

Fanshawe Faculty Exhibition now until May 2nd

As the St. Thomas-Elgin Public Art Centre celebrates their 40th anniversary, they also commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Fanshawe Fine Art Program. STEPAC presents a multimedia exhibition of recent work by the current Fanshawe College Fine Art Faculty. Call 519.631.4040 or visit for more information.

delicious local greenhouse produce ©

Peppers - brighten up your dishes with these colourful veggies, which are also an excellent source of vitamin C.


Lettuce - although not popular here until this century, lettuce was eaten by the kings of Persia 2,500 years ago.


A Farmer, A Foodie & A Feast Re-establishing the connection between field and table.

THE FARMER Visitors to Heritage Line Herbs farm, outdoor tearoom, and retail store discover an amazing array of herbs and related products, plus a wealth of herbal hints, free for the asking. Just as the plants they grow are dependent on good roots, you will find that the business itself is rooted in passion, hard work, innovation and teamwork.


s tobacco farmers in the 90’s, Deb and Tom Benner recognized that the future of tobacco was not promising, but they “were reluctant to abandon a third-generation family enterprise of over 70 years.” Then one day in the early summer of 2002, Deb came upon a wholesale herb business for sale less than 10 miles from their farm. Deb was an avid gardener; both Benners loved farming. Here was an opportunity to combine passion and work.

In 2003 they converted their greenhouses, organized their acquired assortment of herb seeds and stock plants and prepared to grow herbs wholesale. Needless to say, the switch from growing and selling tobacco was not without its sleepless nights and demands on the Benner’s abilities to problem-solve and innovate. In the first season, rosemary cuttings stubbornly resisted rooting. Today, Deb shows rosemary cuttings being rooted in oasis, a technique that they found increased the success rate from 65% to 95%. The first year also included a crash course in Biological Pest Control. Today Tom prefers the


natural method of using beneficial insects to clean up on pests. But he still recalls his initial conversation with the entomologist at a greenhouse supply company: “Now let me get this straight … you want me to pay money to buy a container of bugs to put in my greenhouse?” The potting shed and greenhouse feature in-floor radiant heating systems, floor heat pads and a corn furnace. The former bulk kilns and bunkhouse have become a kitchen, a retail store and washrooms. The Silver Birch Tearoom, which features herb-spiked treats and a vast assortment of teas, opened in 2006. The province recognized these developments in 2007 when Benner Farms was given a Premier's Agri-Food Innovation Excellence Award. The old tobacco kilns have proved a perfect place to dry herbs. Today, focus has shifted from wholesale potted herbs to dried herbs, retail and tearoom operations. Heritage Line is also on its way to achieving Local Food Plus and organic certifications (pending the final spring inspection) for their field herbs (12 acres for drying and bottling) and processing. The Benners are also growing 5 acres of mint

Relish Elgin Magazine • Early Spring 2009


for research at Guelph University into possible beneficial effects of rosmarinic acid for allergies and asthma. Heritage Line grows 150 varieties of herbs. The store carries 100’s of gifts that reflect the Benner’s dedication to herbs, environmentally responsible food and fair trade. The Silver Birch Tearoom welcomes hundreds of visitors throughout the summer. Numerous imaginative special events fill the Heritage Line calendar all year long. Teamwork plays a big role in the success of the business. Tom and Deb each have a slightly different approach and decisions are made with high regard for the other’s opinion. Collaboration also often extends to their children (Melissa, Justin, and Laurie and her husband Shawn) whose input Deb values highly. Ruth and Marilyn, two long-term employees, are also a respected part of the Heritage Line family. Ruth worked on the Benner tobacco farm for 20 years and was asked to continue on when they switched over to herbs. Marilyn, a long-time family friend, owns Hand to Soul, a line of herbal-based personal care products sold at Heritage Line, and specializes in hot stone and aromatherapy massage and reflexology. Is it hard work? Yes, and both Benners value getting away from the six- to seven-day a week operation occasionally. Tom enjoys some play-time on his motorcycle and jamming with friends at nearby Pinecroft. Deb relishes a little time alone with her favourite hobby—gardening!

Heritage Line Herbs is located at 53443 Heritage Line (519.866.5577). Check out their website,, for events, news, specials and herb-infused recipes. The Silver Birch Tearoom opens for the season June 1st.

Relish Elgin Magazine



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324 Smith St, Port Stanley 519-782-4173

Featuring Local Bounty & Regional Specialties Weekday ‘Taste the World’ Menu Join us for our

Cocktail Lounge Series Friday Nights 8-11pm

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Acoustic Brunch Sundays 9:30 to 3pm

Live Music Sets at 11:30 & 1:30

Open for Lunch & Dinner Tuesday through Saturday Sunday Brunch Private Dining Room Available Gift Certificates

Where passion meets plate!


THE FOODIES The International Plowing Match is coming to Elgin County next year, and is expected to draw thousands of people to our community. Naturally, part of the celebration involves food and a long-standing tradition, the Plowing Match Cookbook. The cookbook is intended to help fundraise for the event and showcase local flavours; the 2010 edition is appropriately titled “Flavours of Elgin".

The Authors Traditionally, the cookbook was put together by Women’s Institute members in the host county. Nowadays, the work has been taken on by other dedicated volunteers. Flavours of Elgin is a collaborative effort by Joan Winfield and Doreen Wilson, two women with just the right talents and skills to create a great cookbook worthy of Elgin’s culinary products and talents. Joan Winfield is a professional home economist who has written cookbooks and articles for numerous publications and participated in hundreds of food demonstrations. Doreen Wilson is a registered dietitian and author of “R4-Food, Fashion, Fitness, Facts.” She has counselled hundred of people to prepare, eat and enjoy healthier meals.

The Challenge Joan and Doreen set out to “showcase local food and the talented residents who use local fare with a flare and demonstrate versatility in putting food on the table.” They have succeeded with 268 pages of recipes, hints, tips and imaginative ideas for good nutrition. Contributions came in from across the county, from producers (with products from a to w asparagus to wine - and lots in between), a brewery, a festival (Rosy Rhubarb), and many more. “The Women’s Institute continues to be a major recipe contributor,” says Joan, “especially of fantastic dessert recipes.”


2010 Plowing Match Cookbook Editors Doreen Wilson & Joan Winfield

The authors also have another goal. The Bruce County cookbook sold 10,000 copies. “I plan to sell 10,001 copies,” says Joan with assured determination.

The Team Joan and Doreen were a natural choice for the task of tracking down recipes with local flavour. Joan enjoys putting cookbooks together and is an expert at taking rough recipes and formatting them for ease of use. Doreen enjoys reading cookbooks and ensured that there's plenty to read, even for the armchair gourmet. The two obviously enjoy working (and laughing) together—something they have done before. Doreen notes that at the 1985 IPM in Elgin County, she was in charge of the huge food and entertainment tent and enlisted Joan’s help. This time around Joan was approached to create the cookbook and knew immediately who to recruit as collaborator. Their ability to work efficiently together was a necessity as they had only a few months to solicit contributions, review, edit and input recipes and add a wealth of other content.

The "Flavours of Elgin" Plowing Match Cookbook will be launched on March 24th at a “Marketing Caravan” event in Shedden. It will be available at various locations throughout Elgin County for $10 and on-line at at a future date.

Relish Elgin Magazine • Early Spring 2009

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Here we present you with a hearty feast featuring seasonal produce. Challenge yourself to make these dishes with as many local products as you can. Recipes not printed here, along with many others, can be found on the Relish Elgin website,


Early Spring Feast Menu

Salad Greens with Ontario Greenhouse Tomatoes & Cucumbers Heritage Line Herbs' Easy Dill Salad Dressing Ontario Maple Syrup & Rum Baked Cranberry Beans Apple Sausages Cornmeal Bacon Muffins with Rosemary Blueberry Parfait

Maple Syrup & Rum Baked Beans 21/4 cups dry cranberry beans 6 cups water 12 slices bacon, cut into 2" pieces 1 cup maple syrup ∞ cup rum ∞ large onion, chopped 1∞ tsp salt ∞ tsp dry mustard 2 tsp brown sugar 2 Tbsp butter •• Bring beans and water to a boil in a covered pan. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for one hour. •• Return to heat and bring to a boil. Simmer for one hour, then drain, reserving 2∞ cups of the liquid. •• Place 3 slices of bacon in the bottom of a casserole dish or bean pot; add beans. •• In a separate bowl, mix 2 cups of reserved bean liquid with maple syrup, rum, onion, salt and mustard. Pour over beans. •• Top the beans with the remaining bacon, cover, and bake for 3 hours at 300˚F, stirring frequently.


•• Cream the brown sugar and butter togeth-

er and sprinkle over the beans, then put back into the oven, uncovered, for another 1 to 2 hours, until the beans are tender (add more bean liquid in the last half hour of baking, if necessary). Makes 10-12 servings. From the 2010 Plowing Match Cookbook, Flavours of Elgin (see page 14). Recipe submitted by Joanne Ferguson of Ferguson Fine Beans.

Easy Dill Salad Dressing 1 1 1 1 1 1

cup mayonnaise cup buttermilk tsp garlic powder Tbsp chopped fresh dill Tbsp chopped fresh parsley Tbsp chopped fresh chives •• Mix all ingredients together well; chill before serving to allow the flavours to blend. For a milder taste, reduce the fresh herbs to taste. From Heritage Line Herbs' Cooking With Herbs, available in their store (see page 13).

Relish Elgin Magazine • Early Spring 2009

• Spring Knitting & Quilting Classes •Knitting Social every other Friday • A Community Quilt Always in Progress Opportunities for Student Community Hours


Quilting & Knitting 43 Talbot St W, Aylmer

Knitting Goddesses Guild knits scarves & mitts for “Keeping Kids Warm”; the Quilter’s Guild creates quilts for children & residents at VAWSEC shelter.


Trillium House Fine Art Gallery NEW Print & Copy Centre

563 Talbot Street, St. Thomas 519-637-8354

Fine Art Gifts Original Local Art Artist Supplies Custom Framing Art & Photo Printing Mounting Texture Laminating Banners & Signs


Tues-Fri 10am-5pm, Sat 10am-3pm Or by appointment UPCOMING EXHIBIT

Gallery Showcase

March 6th-April 25th, 2009

Check Out What’s New in

Downtown St. Thomas

Come out and see our new banners and areas! Downtown St. Thomas has great shops, services, restaurants, offices, and attractions ... and now has 4 new distinctive areas! • West Village is where you’ll find unique shops, services & restaurants • Talbot Centre revolves around City Hall and includes shopping, banking, churches & cafés • Market Square is home to the CASO railway station, restaurants and the Horton Market • East Village offers work. various fast food and specialty restaurants.

West Village


East Village

Talbot Centre



Market Square


Wind n Willow Home Décor Wind n Willow Home Décor is the culmination of owner Terry Ranta-Hall’s longtime interest in home design. There you'll find an impressive array of wares for your home and garden, from wall art and accessories to kitchen tools and tableware. She also offers home staging and decorating services for those who are looking to sell their house, host a special event, or simply update their décor.


erry previously worked in financial services, at her own business, and also dabbled in real estate. She completed a program in interior decorating and has practised her trade while living in Manitoba, Nova Scotia and Ontario. More recently she completed accredited professional staging designation and has served on the executive of the London & District Staging Association.

Last year saw the business grow to include a kitchen nook at the back that will bring out your inner gourmet.

Over the years, Terry had dreamed of owning a home décor retail store and when the opportunity came along, her husband was supportive and gave a gentle nudge saying, “It’s now or never.” In 2004 she opened not one, but two businesses: Wind n Willow Home Décor and Wind n Willow Staging.

House vs Home

The Store The store at 435 Talbot St in St. Thomas displays an extensive variety of items for inspired home decorating, along with a great selection of gifts and garden accessories.


Signature product lines include Wind & Willow gourmet mixes and Lampe Berger fragrance lamps and oils. Terry is known for “going the extra mile” in tracking down just the right home accent for a customer. As a home-stager, Terry guides home-sellers in undertaking the changes that will make their houses more saleable. With past experience in real estate, she knows what buyers are looking for. Having moved often herself, she has found that the best approach is to turn the process into a positive one, to start envisioning and looking forward to the new home. When the real estate agent is unable to convince a seller to make changes, Terry takes

Relish Elgin Magazine • Early Spring 2009


on the sometimes daunting task of being the “bad guy”. Telling a homeowner that “yes, the 12 foot living room mural of the Rocky Mountains really has to go” isn’t always easy, but she gently advises, “It’s best to think of this as a house now—not as your home.” Terry also offers advice for decorating the home for an event like a wedding, or for clients who just want to update. Although she keeps her eye on colour and design trends, her focus is always on what makes people feel comfortable and at home. She recommends that spouses choose their décor items together, and bases her recommendations on a questionnaire designed to get input from the whole family, including the kids.

Decorating Advice from Terry Home sellers have to keep in mind that they are competing against new homes and models where everything is “just right.” Two major buyer turn-offs are smells (cooking, animals, smoke) and an uninviting entranceway. "As a real estate agent I had potential buyers that wouldn’t even get out of their cars." Any style and décor can work. Use white and silver to brighten things up. Wall art is a versatile option—it comes in metal, wood, glass or a combination of materials, and designs from abstract to whimsical. It is usually more neutral than paintings or prints, so matching with room colours isn’t as tricky. One trend I have seen is people reconsidering selling. They are deciding to stay where they are and make their homes more comfortable, maybe re-purposing rooms from bedrooms to sitting rooms or offices to better suit their changing lifestyles and tastes.

Wind n Willow is located at 435 Talbot Street in St. Thomas (519.637.3904). Visit the store website at and find out more about Terry's home staging services at www.

Relish Elgin Magazine


445 Talbot St, St. Thomas


Check out what’s in for

Easter, Spring & Garden Expanded Selection of

Baby & Jewellery plus

NEW Interchangeable straps with infinite possibilities.

Change your look, not your sole!

Canadale Nurseries 2nd Annual

Spring Garden Show

Friday March 27th - Sunday March 29th

2 Landscaped Indoor Displays by Local Landscapers 2 2 See the Newest & Coolest Perennials 2 2 The Most Unique Tropicals, Annuals & Herbs 2 2 The Latest in Garden & Home Decor 2 2 Community Charity, Interest Groups & Exhibitors 2 Informative Seminars & Demonstrations Featuring

Denis Flanagan

Great Sa les of HGTV on New Trends in Gardening Food & F for Every un one e Spre Door Priz ! Shopping es founding editor of Canadian Gardening Magazine & author of Gardening Basics for Canadians for Dummies

t to Win Free Ticke


Liz Primeau

Environmentally Friendly Lawn & Garden Care Garden Swap-Shop • Pets in the Garden • Cooking with Herbs Pruning to Perfection • Ring in Spring with the Bell Ringers & many more informative sessions

269 Sunset Drive, St. Thomas • • 519-631-7264

Voted Ontario’s Favourite Garden Centre!

Profile for Joanne Bagshaw

Relish Elgin Early Spring 2009 Edition  

Relish Elgin is a lifestyles magazine, promoting the people, place, businesses and events of Elgin County, Ontario, Canada.

Relish Elgin Early Spring 2009 Edition  

Relish Elgin is a lifestyles magazine, promoting the people, place, businesses and events of Elgin County, Ontario, Canada.


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