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Culture Home Recreation Fall 2012 | Volume 6 | Issue 4

FREE

Architect

John T. Findlay

PLUS

Singer Austin Gagnier St. Thomas Youth Choir The New Sparta Church Museum & Cultural Centre Rooted in Comfort with Chef Christie MassĂŠ Schroyens & Sons Shallots Sweet Magnolia House B&B


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VISIT THE NEW WINDJAMMER PANTRY Heat & Serve Entrees • Baked Goods • Local Gourmet Selections

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FROM THE EDITOR

INSIDE THIS ISSUE

“Adaptive Reuse”—it’s the process of converting an old building or structure to a new use different from its original function. It can have significant environmental and economic benefits compared to demolition and building anew and, in the case of historic structures, social benefits of preserving their character and community connections when the conversion is done thoughtfully.

16 Map of Elgin

Fairly recent examples include the CASO Railway Station, the Arts & Cookery Bank in West Lorne, Algoma University at St. Thomas in the former Wellington Street Public School and, upcoming, Thames Valley District School Board’s Adult Learning Centre, St. Thomas in the closed Balaclava Street Public School. In this edition of Relish Elgin you will read about the purchase this past summer of the former Sparta United Church for use as a Museum and Cultural Centre. Paul Baldwin’s article sheds light on the amazing architectural legacy of John T. Findlay. Fortunately, some of Findlay’s public buildings have been preserved by their conversion from old to new uses. The bright lights of adaptive re-use have all started with a willingness to imagine the possibilities presented by no-longer used structures. Recently, a proposal has been put forward to convert the massive MCR Kettle Creek Railway Bridge into an elevated park. It’s a big vision to preserve an important rail asset for the Railway Capital of Canada, create an outstanding piece of the Trans Canada Trail and provide a unique park for fitness and recreation. It would be a first in Canada with benefits to tourism and the local economy. It could become a very bright light indeed. You are invited to contribute your vision for the St. Thomas Elevated Park on the Ideas page at www.OnTrackStThomas.ca.

Debra RELISH FALL 2012

5 The Season's Events in Elgin 12 John T. Findlay: Architect By Paul Baldwin

Featuring locally in-season produce

19 Singer Austin Gagnier 21 The St. Thomas Youth Choir 25 Exhibition: Wedding Apparel

Sparta Church Museum & Cultural Centre

27 Rooted in Comfort

By Christie Massé, with a recipe for Maple Roasted Root Vegetable Purée

29 Schroyens & Sons Shallots 31 Sweet Magnolia House B&B By Sinda Simpson

OUR COVER IMAGE Our cover image of the Sparta Church Museum and Cultural Centre is by artist Connie Greger. Read more about Connie's work on page 26. Editor • Debra Bagshaw • editor@relishelgin.ca Design • Joanne Rowles • jo@relishelgin.ca Advertising Info • ads@relishelgin.ca Relish Elgin Magazine • 519-633-1992 P.O. Box 20058, St. Thomas, ON, N5P 4H4

www.relishelgin.ca

Copyright 2012, Relish Marketing & Promotions Inc. All rights reserved. Relish Elgin is published by Relish Marketing & Promotions Inc. Reproduction of any material published in Relish Elgin is strictly prohibited without the written permission of the Publisher.

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©Photos.com/Comstock

Events

Harvest Happenings EVENTS ACROSS ELGIN • MORE AT WWW.RELISHELGIN.CA

Every Sun Jammin’ Cabin Open Jams All musicians welcome | 1-4pm Jammin’ Cabin at Pinecroft 8048 Rogers Rd South, Aylmer 519-773-3435 | www.pinecroft.ca Mon Jan 2 to Mon Dec 31 ExhibitION: Photographs Through Time CASO Railway Station 750 Talbot St, St. Thomas 519-633-2535 | www.narhf.org Sats from May 12 to NOV 3 Horton Farmers’ Market 8am-12pm | Manitoba St, north of Talbot, St. Thomas www.hortonfarmersmarket.ca Tues July 17 to Sat Sept 29 Exhibition: Talbot Street—Present to Past Aylmer-Malahide Museum 14 East St, Aylmer | 519-773-9723 amtelecom.net/~aylmermuseum Wed Aug 1 to Wed Oct 31 Rush Creek Corn Maze $4/person (kids in strollers free) 48995 Jamestown Ln, RR2 Aylmer 519-773-5432 www.rushcreekwines.com

Fri Aug 17 to Sun Oct 14 Exhibition: Wedding Apparel Fri-Sun 11am-4:30pm Sparta Church Museum and Cultural Centre 6073 Quaker Rd, Sparta 519-775-2292 or 519-319-8092 Tues Aug 28 to Sat Sept 22 Exhibition: The Harvest Art Gallery of Lambeth 6-2452 Main St, Lambeth 519-652-5556 www.artgalleryoflambeth.com Sats & Suns in Sept & Oct, Mon Oct 8 Scenic PSTR Train Rides 11am, 1pm & 2:30pm Adults $13.50, Children (2-12) $9 Port Stanley Terminal Rail 309 Bridge St, Port Stanley 519-782-3730 | www.pstr.on.ca

Fri Sept 14 to Sun Sept 16 158th Rodney-Aldborough Agricultural Fair Rodney Park | 519-768-1858 135 Queen St, Rodney www.rodneyfair.ca Sat Sept 15 FREE CONCERT: Sam Hill Band at Pinecroft 1-5pm | Jammin’ Stage 8048 Rogers Rd South, Aylmer Paul Smith, 519-773-5535 www.pinecroft.ca Sat Sept 15 Sarah & Jeff: A Tribute to Johnny & June 8pm | $23 | 519-782-4353 Port Stanley Festival Theatre 6-302 Bridge St, Port Stanley www.portstanleytheatre.ca

Sat Sept 15 Aylmer Performing Arts Every Sat in Sept (8, 15, 22, 29) Presents Dala Doors at 7pm; show at 7:30pm Clovermead'S Annual Honey Harvest Festival $100 full season; $25/show 11am–4pm; Bee Beard at 2:30pm Old Town Hall Theatre $10/person, $45/group of 5 38 John St South, Aylmer 11302 Imperial Rd, Aylmer 519-765-3039 www.clovermead.com www.artsinaylmer.com

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Events Fri Sept 21 Elgin Theatre Guild Presents Sarah & Jeff Johnny Cash & June Carter Tribute 8pm | $20 (Tickets at Medlyn Stained Glass, 643 Talbot St, St. Thomas, 519-633-3773) Princess Avenue Playhouse 40 Princess Ave, St. Thomas www.elgintheatreguild.ca FriS Sept 21, Oct 19, Nov 16 & Dec 21 Tea & History Series at John K. Galbraith Library 236 Shackleton St, Dutton 519-762-2780 www.elgincounty.ca Rush Creek Wines' Harvest Festival Fri Sept 21 to Sun Sept 30 Sat Sept 15 & Sun Sept 16 Sun Sept 16 Friends of Portside Terry Fox Run MIGRATORY Bird Demos Gallery Show and Sale 12-3pm (11:30am registration) 11am & 2pm | Hawk Cliff Reception Fri Sept 21, 7-9pm Sons of Scotland Park Off Dexter Line, Port Stanley 187 1/2 Main St, Port Stanley 1 Scotland St, Dutton 519-782-7066 Sat Sept 15 & Sun Sept 16 www.terryfox.org portside.cuttingpromotions.com Heritage Farm Show Mon Sept 17 to Fri Dec 21 Sat Sept 22 Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 9am-4pm Exhibition: J.T. Findlay, Sparta Church Museum & BBQ Sat, pancake breakfast Sun Cultural Centre HIGH TEA Backus-Page House | 519-762-3072 Architect Elgin County Museum 12pm, 1pm, 2pm & 3pm seatings 29424 Lakeview Ln, Wallacetown 450 Sunset Drive, St. Thomas, $15 | Call 519-775-2292 to reserve www.backuspagehouse.ca 4th Floor | 519-631-1460 x160 6073 Quaker Rd, Sparta Sat Sept 15 & Sat Sept 22 www.elgincounty.ca Sat Sept 22 13th Annual Stinger Doors Open East Elgin Tues Sept 18 Classic 2km Fun Runs Most sites open 10am-4pm Volunteer Elgin 2nd Sept 15 at Waterworks Park Annual Volunteer Fair Lynda Millard, 519-866-5521 Sept 22 at Pinafore Park www.doorsopenontario.on.ca 9:30am, $2 donation to Childcan 5-7pm | Elgin Mall Scott Shakir, runshake@rogers.com 417 Wellington St, St. Thomas Sat Sept 22 www.volunteerelgin.org Lace Up for STEGH RUN Sat Sept 15, Sat Sept 29, 10km run (11am) and 5km run/ Wed Sept 19 Fri Oct 26 & Sat Oct 27 walk (11:10am) to benefit the 100 Mile Harvest Dinner Murder Mystery DINNER Train Rides STEGH Foundation’s Orthopaedic Seatings at 4:30pm & 6pm Dinner 6pm, train departs 7pm Surgical Program Adults $12, kids 6-13 $6, kids Port Stanley Terminal Rail $40 (waived with $80 in pledges) under 6 free, families $30 309 Bridge St, Port Stanley Pinafore Park | 89 Elm St, St. Thomas Sparta Meeting House, 6387 519-782-3730 | www.pstr.on.ca Quaker Rd, Sparta | 519-775-9953 guestlistapp.com/events/106401

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Events Sat Sept 22 Recycle Your Electronics Animal Aide Fundraiser | 9am-3pm OK Tire, 18 Elgin St, St. Thomas Animal Aide, 519-633-3788 ontarioelectronicstewardship.ca Sat Sept 22 Not In My Backyard Play Workshop Pay what you can; space is limited Port Stanley Festival Theatre 6-302 Bridge St, Port Stanley 519-782-4353 www.portstanleytheatre.ca Sat Sept 22 Emergency Services Day Ontario Police College Open House 10am-3pm; Tours 10am, 12 & 2pm 10716 Hacienda Rd, Aylmer www.aylmer.ca

Sat Sept 22 & Sun Sept 23 Port Stanley Art Fair Art & live music presented by the Association of Port Stanley Artists 11am-5pm each day Legion grounds, Port Stanley 310 George St, Port Stanley www.portstanleyartists.com Sat Sept 22 & Sun Sept 23 Rush Creek Wines’ 16TH Annual Harvest Festival Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 12-5pm Rush Creek Wines | 519-773-5432 48995 Jamestown Line, Aylmer www.rushcreekwines.com Sat Sept 22 to Sat Oct 27 Exhibition: David Morris St. Thomas-Elgin Public Art Centre 301 Talbot St, St. Thomas 519-631-4040 | www.stepac.ca

F

Sats & Suns Sept 22 to Oct 28 Fall Family Fun Weekends 12-5pm | Talbotville Berry Farm 11054 Sunset Rd, Talbotville 519-633-1488 www.talbotvilleberryfarm.com Sun Sept 23 ACOUSTIC HOUSE CONCERT WITH Joe Fournier 7pm | $15 advance (limited seats) Village Square Coffee House 284 Bridge Street, Port Stanley 519-782-7777 www.joefournier.com Sun Sept 23 Walk a Mile in Her shoes 1:30-3pm | Pinafore Park 89 Elm St, St. Thomas Pam Dyck, 519-633-0155 www.vawsec.on.ca 18th Annual

S

ERGUSON’

WATCH FOR OUR

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Coffee House Scarecrow Festival Concerts! HUGE SELECTION OF PUMPKINS Weekends in October 11am-5pm

September 23rd—Joe Fournier LIMITED SEATING

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RELISH ELGIN FALL 2012

(including Thanksgiving Monday)

Ready-picked, or have some fun picking your own!

Corn Maze • Face Painting Straw Bales • Corn Stalks Wagon Rides (weather permitting) BRING OLD CLOTHES TO CREATE YOUR OWN SCARECROW!

Refreshments Available from Dutton Lion’s Club

COME JOIN THE FUN! 11026 Wellington Rd • 519-631-6589 Open Thurs-Sun 10am-6pm

www.fergusonproduce.com

Strawberries • Raspberries • Corn • Pumpkins • Preserves

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Events Sat Sept 29 Culture Days: Workshop Instructed by Robin Baratta 1-4pm | 226-658-1888 Art Emporium Port Stanley 177 Main St, Port Stanley www.artemporium.ca Sat Sept 29 & Sun Sept 30 Doors Open St. Thomas Most sites open 10am-4pm Laurence Grant, 519-764-2384 www.doorsopenontario.on.ca Wed Oct 3 CASO STATION Harvest Tea Wallacetown Fair (Photos by MG) 2pm (reservation required) | $10 Canada Southern Railway Station Thurs Sept 27 Sat Sept 29 750 Talbot St, St. Thomas Culture Days: Meet Words & Music 2012 Maureen Jennings 519-633-2535 With author David Rotenberg, Murdoch Mysteries author, with jazz vocalist Sharon Smith and FriS & SATS IN OCT Port Burwell author Janet Bolin the Rainbow Gardens Quartet Haunted Fairgrounds Free tickets at St. Thomas Library 6:30-8:30pm | Port Stanley Arena 7-9pm | $2 | Aylmer Fairgrounds 332 Carlow Rd, Port Stanley (goodwill offering suggested) 139 Pine St East, Aylmer Mary Lou McMillan, 519-762-2780 519-773-3445 | www.aylmerfair.ca Doors 7:30pm, show 8pm www.library.elgin-county.on.ca Princess Avenue Playhouse WeekendS in Oct, Mon Oct 8 Sat Sept 29 40 Princess Ave, St. Thomas Scarecrow Pumpkin Culture Days: St. Thomas 519-631-6050 Festival West End Arts Mingle www.st-thomas.library.on.ca 11am–5pm | Ferguson’s Produce Featuring artists and musicians Fri Sept 28 11026 Wellington Rd, St. Thomas 1-4pm | Talbot St between Belmont Corn Maze Opens www.fergusonproduce.com Elgin St and Pearl St, St. Thomas 46614 Crossley–Hunter Line, 519-631-4040 | www.stepac.ca SATS IN OCT, SAt Nov 3 Belmont | 519-644-1379 Clovermead Pumpkin Sat Sept 29 www.belmontcornmaze.net Doors Open Port Stanley Festival Fri Sept 28 to Sun Sept 30 11am-4 pm (open 9am-5:30pm) & Sparta 152nd Wallacetown Fair $10/person, $45/group of 5 Most sites open 10am-4pm Adults $6 Fri, $7 Sat/Sun; 11302 Imperial Rd, Aylmer Andrew Hibbert, 519-782-4563 Children 6-12 $2 Fri, $3 Sat/Sun www.doorsopenontario.on.ca www.clovermead.com Wallacetown Fairgrounds Mon Oct 8 Sat Sept 29 www.wallacetownfair.com Thanksgiving Dinner and BeatleMania Revisited Train Ride Sat Sept 29 3pm & 7:30pm | $25 11:30am Active Elgin Day Port Stanley Festival Theatre Port Stanley Terminal Rail Visit www.activeelgin.ca for a list 6-302 Bridge St, Port Stanley 309 Bridge St, Port Stanley 519-782-4353 of organizations offering try-it519-782-3730 | www.pstr.on.ca out sessions at a low cost or free. www.portstanleytheatre.ca

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Events Fri Oct 12 Aylmer Performing Arts Presents Shuffle Demons Doors 7pm, show 7:30pm $100 full season, $25/show Old Town Hall Theatre, 38 John St South, Aylmer | 519-765-3039 www.artsinaylmer.com Fri Oct 12 to Sun Oct 14 3RD Annual Bowling For Boobs FUNDRAISER Heritage Lanes & Park N Bowl 1213 Talbot St & 1016 Talbot St, St. Thomas | 519-520-2235 www.facebook.com/ pages/Bowling-ForBoobs/114581675254963 Fri Oct 12 to Sun Oct 14 For Art’s Sake: Artists & Artisans Showcase Reception Fri Oct 12, 7-10pm 11am-5pm | 226-658-1888 Art Emporium Port Stanley 177 Main St, Port Stanley www.artemporium.ca Fri Oct 12 to Sat Oct 20 Geronimo Stilton at Elgin County Library Branches Visit www.elgincounty.ca for local branch dates and times FriS & SATS Oct 12 TO OCT 27 Haunted Corn Maze 7-10pm | Talbotville Berry Farm 11054 Sunset Rd, Talbotville 519-633-1488 www.talbotvilleberryfarm.com FriS & SATS Oct 12 TO OCT 27 Haunted Corn Maze Rain date Fri Nov 2 7-10pm (admission ends at 9pm) Belmont Corn Maze 46614 Crossley–Hunter Line, Belmont | 519-644-1379 www.belmontcornmaze.net

Sat Oct 13 Tim Readman & Jenny Bice CONCERT 7pm | $20 (call for limited spaces) Arbour Bed & Breakfast 10361 Talbotville Gore Rd, RR#7, St. Thomas | 519-933-3986 www.arbourbb.com Sat Oct 13 Elton John & Friends Dinner & show | 6pm | $45 The Wharf Restaurant 208 Main St, Port Stanley 519-782-7788 www.portstanleywharf.com Sat Oct 13 & Sun Oct 14 Fall Colours Studio Tour 11am-5pm www.artscountry.ca/forms/ElginFallColours.php Sun Oct 14 End of Season Party at the Bluffs GOLF CLUB 9 holes & meal afterwards 12pm | $20 35593 Lake Line, Port Stanley Sue Trowman, 519-782-7447 www.thebluffsgolfclub.com

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Tues Oct 16, Oct 23, Oct 30 Reviving the Lost Arts Learn traditional cooking/baking 6:30-8:30pm | 519-768-9986 The Arts & Cookery Bank 242 Graham Rd, West Lorne www.theartsandcookerybank.com Wed Oct 17 12TH Annual Small Business Sample Show 4-7pm | 519-631-1981 St. Anne’s Community Centre 20 Morrison Drive, St. Thomas www.stthomaschamber.on.ca Wed Oct 17 Elgin Theatre Guild Presents Steven Page 8pm | $40 | 633-8530 Princess Avenue Playhouse 40 Princess Avenue www.elgintheatreguild.ca Weds Oct 17 to Dec 12 Nine WedNESDAYS Culinary Hands-on Experiences 6:30-9:30pm | 519-768-9986 The Arts & Cookery Bank 242 Graham Rd, West Lorne www.theartsandcookerybank.com

Port Stanley Terminal Railway

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Events Thurs Oct 18 to Sat Oct 27 Aylmer Community Theatre Presents Nobody’s Perfect Thurs-Sat at 8pm, Sun at 2pm $15 adult, $10 student Aylmer Old Town Hall Theatre 38 John St South, Aylmer 519-773-3372 www.aylmertheatre.ca Thurs Oct 18 to Sun Oct 28 Elgin Theatre Guild Presents Fox on the Fairway Thurs-Sat at 8pm, Sun at 2pm $15 (1st Thurs $10) | 519-633-8530 Princess Avenue Playhouse 40 Princess Ave, St. Thomas www.elgintheatreguild.ca Thur Oct 18, Tues Nov 6 & Wed Dec 19 Fest-A-Month: Cultural Dinner Celebrations 6:30 pm | 519-768-9986 The Arts & Cookery Bank 242 Graham Rd, West Lorne www.theartsandcookerybank.com

Thurs Oct 25 to Sat Oct 27 Wallacetown Fairgrounds HAUNTED HOUSE Thurs 7-9pm, Fri & Sat 7-10pm Adults $7, kids 8 & under $3 www.wallacetownfair.com Sat Oct 27 Paraguayan Folk Fri Oct 19 & Sat Oct 20 Harpist Eduard Klassen TH Annual Brit Night 14 in Concert 3-courses & music by The Kards Fundraiser for Pearce Williams 6:30pm | $27.50 (reservation req'd) $25 adv, $30 door, under 13 free Sparta House Tea Room 7pm | Central United Church Main St, Sparta | 519-775-2313 135 Wellington St, St. Thomas www.spartahouse.com Meagen Pyper, 519-764-2317 Sat Oct 20 Sat Oct 27 Tiny Tots Scrap–a–thon The Jammin’ in the Cabin 9am–9pm | $40 | 519-785-2164 Band Fall Fundraiser With Graham Wardrop | 6:30pm West Elgin Community Centre $35/person (limited space) 135 Queen St, Rodney Pinecroft, 8122 Rogers Rd, Aylmer Sat Oct 20 Paul Smith, 519-773-5535 Cooking with Herbs: www.pinecroft.ca Full Meal Planning 1:30pm | $25 (registration req'd) Sat Oct 27 & Sun Oct 28 Heritage Line Herbs | 519-866-5577 Great Lakes Farms’ Pumpkin Fest 53443 Heritage Line, Aylmer 10am-5pm | 519-782-3433 www.heritagelineherbs.com 5111 Union Rd, Port Stanley www.greatlakesfarms.ca Wed Oct 31 Hallowe'en IN RODNEY Hallowe'en treats at the Olde Jail (135 Queen St) and free hotdogs sponsored by Rodney Lions Club at Town Hall (217 Furnival Rd) 6pm | www.westelgin.net Thurs Nov 1 Women’s Breakfast for Everyone Guest speaker Dr. Linda Baker 7-9am | St. Thomas Seniors Centre 225 Chestnut St, St. Thomas Pam Dyck, 519-633-0155 www.vawsec.on.ca Scarecrow Pumpkin Festival at Ferguson's Produce

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Fri Oct 19 Craig Cardiff Live With special guest Deni Gauthier 8pm | $15 advance, $20 at door Elgin County Youth Building 21 Edward St, St. Thomas facebook.com/#!/TheCraigCardiff

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Events Thurs Nov 1, Nov 8, Nov 15 ThursDAY'S Tempting Tastes AT THE BANK Tastes with local music 4-7pm | 519-768-9986 The Arts & Cookery Bank 242 Graham Rd, West Lorne www.theartsandcookerybank.com Fri Nov 2 STEPAC'S Annual FALL Art Auction Preview artwork on website 7-10:30pm | $10 St. Thomas–Elgin Public Art Centre 301 Talbot St, St. Thomas 519-631-4040 | www.stepac.ca Sat Nov 3 The Great Pumpkin Smash Bring your old jack-o-lantern 1–4pm | Belmont Corn Maze 46614 Crossley–Hunter Line, Belmont | 519-644-1379 www.belmontcornmaze.net

STEPAC's Annual Fall Art Auction Sun Nov 4 Port Burwell Armistice Day Parade Legion to Cenotaph | 519-874-4308

Fri Nov 9 Girl’s Night Out 6:30-9:30pm | 519-768-9986 The Arts & Cookery Bank 242 Graham Rd, West Lorne Sun Nov 4 www.theartsandcookerybank.com Shedden Remembrance Sat Nov 10 Day Service & TALK BY TED Sat Nov 3 & Sun Nov 4 BARRIS Cooking with Herbs: Annual Christmas Open Barris offers accounts from his Party Planning House at Cobblestones book Days of Victory: Canadian’s 1:30pm | $20 (registration req'd) 10am-5pm | 519-773-5912 Remember 1939-1945 Heritage Line Herbs | 519-866-5577 48664 John Wise Line, Aylmer 9:30-11:30am 53443 Heritage Line, RR1 Aylmer www.shelleymcvittie.com Keystone Community Complex, www.heritagelineherbs.com Shedden | 519-769-2010 Sat Nov 10 SatS Nov 3, Nov 10, Nov 17 Aylmer Performing Arts PHOTO Classes AT THE BANK Mon Nov 5 Adobe Lightroom 3, Digital SLR In- Arbour B&B Dinner & Song Presents Alfie Zappacosta Doors 7pm, show 7:30pm tro, or Point & Shoot Fundamentals with Alan Reid 7pm | Arbour Bed & Breakfast $100 full season, $25/show 9am-12pm | 519-768-9986 10361 Talbotville Gore Rd, RR#7 Old Town Hall Theatre, 38 John St The Arts & Cookery Bank St. Thomas | 519-933-3986 South, Aylmer | 519-765-3039 242 Graham Rd, West Lorne www.artsinaylmer.com www.theartsandcookerybank.com www.arbourbb.com

WE STRIVE FOR ACCURACY IN THESE LISTINGS, BUT DETAILS SOMETIMES CHANGE SO PLEASE CALL AHEAD.

FIND MORE AT WWW.RELISHELGIN.CA

More events, details and past event photos can be found on our website.

RELISH ELGIN FALL 2012

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Home & Garden

Architect

JOHN T. FINDLAY BY PAUL BALDWIN

This fall, from September 17th until December 21st, the Elgin County Museum will host a retrospective of the work of St. Thomas architect, John T. Findlay. Jack, as he was commonly known, came to St. Thomas from Inverness, Scotland in 1907, a 22 year old architect practising as a draughtsman in the office of Neil R. Darrach. Excepting three short leaves for work in Toronto and Ottawa, he was here for the next 40 years designing and supervising a volume of work in St. Thomas and across Elgin that numbered over 300 buildings and added the latest in styles and his own artistry to the public art of our area. His first stint in St. Thomas lasted about 2 years. The office was busy and, as was to be expected, much of the work reflected Darrach’s familiar Romanesque style. But the residence of George McCubbin at 85 Stanley (1908) had nuances of something new: curves at the eaves of both the roof and the dormers, second storey windows tucked tightly under the soffit, the roof slightly lower, the whole somewhat lighter. Looking at his later work, we see here the first inklings of Findlay’s architectural vocabulary.

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In 1909, John moved to Toronto to the office of Ellis & Connery. The impact of this experience is difficult to determine but a look at a former Presbyterian church at St. Clair West at Vaughan and a duplex on Annette St. designed by that firm at that time shows an interesting kinship to later buildings in Elgin. In the spring of 1911, Neil Darrach left St. Thomas for Regina, presenting an opportunity for John’s return. He took it. St. Thomas and Elgin needed an architect and from the warmth of the announcement in the Daily Times, we can assume John Findlay was appreciated. He was immediately at work with the construction of schools, stores with second storey dwellings, a hospital, a hotel, a factory for the Noble Biscuit Manufacturing Co., an engine house for the Michigan Central, and residences in whole or with renovations or additions. The focus was function, the style similar to Darrach’s perhaps because this was a style clients were used to and wanted but the residences of George Oldreive at 79 Metcalfe St., Miss Gilbert at 30 Margaret St., George Ferguson at 50 Rosebery and particularly that of J. McKelvey

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Home & Garden Urie at 2 Farley Place all show that Findlay had a voice of his own and given the opportunity, a style that was distinct from Darrach’s. Meanwhile, Lieutenant J.T. Findlay served with the 25th Elgin Regiment and Jack courted and in 1914, wed Ann Leith. They had a son, Donald, and bought the house at 15 (now 17) Margaret St.. And when, in 1917, work dried up in St. Thomas, the Findlays sold and moved to Toronto where John got a job with the Building and Bridges Department of the Grand Trunk Railway. They lived at 73 Vermont Ave., a few blocks south of Wychwood Park, a community of architects and artists with an appreciation of the Arts and Crafts Movement and horticulture that would have greatly interested both John and Ann. After difficulties in Regina, Neil Darrach came home to St. Thomas in 1917 and, in 1920, John also

returned to join in a partnership of Darrach & Findlay. They practised together until Darrach’s death in 1926, most notably designing the somewhat radical Elmdale Public School and putting heart and soul into the new Memorial Hospital. Both were flat-roofed and functional in the International style, classical only in that they were symmetrical and included hints of classical décor. From 1926 until 1947, John’s practice reflected the times: busy in the later ‘20s, depressed in the ‘30s, and revived after the War. He was the architect of school boards and notably built both the Dutton and the Sparta Continuation Schools, Locke’s, Centennial, and SS #17, Straffordville Public School (twice), and the charming schools in Richmond and north of Rodney. He was the architect of the St. Thomas Public Utilities Commission and in particular designed

Top: Dutton Hall; YWCA, Mary Street, St. Thomas Bottom: Hydro Building, St. Catharine Street, St. Thomas; Sparta Continuation School

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Home & Garden

Top: 79 Metcalfe Street, St. Thomas; 85 Stanley Street, St. Thomas Middle: Quill Pierce House, Aylmer; PUC Building, Waterworks Park, St. Thomas Bottom: 44 Crescent Avenue, St. Thomas; 27 Crescent Avenue, St. Thomas Previous page: 97 Stanley Street, St. Thomas

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Home & Garden the Hydro Building at the corner of St. Catharine and Gas Streets. For local municipalities he designed village halls in West Lorne, Dutton and Port Stanley; for the Hospital Board, the Nurses’ Residence on St. George St.; and for public use, the elegant YWCA, Broderick Memorial Church, the gymnasium at STCI and Horton Market. He was working on an addition to Alma College and the charming-no-longer Ella D. Bowes Chapel when he died. In these years, he also developed the architectural language and the styles that best express the influences he absorbed and the preferences he had. Remember that he was from Inverness and that his initial training was in Scotland at the time of the popular Arts and Crafts Movement so, while for a few clients the residences were large, for most, the homes were decidedly small. Two storey homes consciously separated the public space on the first floor from the private spaces on the second with a dog leg or quarter turn stair case while any one storey would provide privacy with discreet planning, small rooms, and doors. A solid foundation was fundamental, a high and dry basement obvious. A grade entrance was common and more than one owner has spoken about the quality of the materials used, the wood in particular. In residences, he could also experiment with style, from the stucco finish of his own home at 27 Crescent, that of his sister and brother-in-law at 25 Crescent and the home at 14 Gladstone Ave., to the Prairie style of the Pincombe homes at 40 and 44 Crescent Ave. and the Arts and Crafts homes on Farley Place. This latter style he mixed in with the earlier 4 square brick houses on Myrtle St. and Forest Ave. east of Fifth. On Alma St., Fourth Ave., and the Gravel Road (now Sunset Dr.), we find clusters of his work, often with a mixture of styles. Perhaps St. Thomas’ first modern apartment building at 8 Scott St. was his as were 16 Rosebery Pl., 13 Alma St., 49 Alexandria Ave., 30 Scott St., 70 East St., and 97 Stanley, a home and studio built for St. Thomas Smith upon his return from Scotland.

RELISH ELGIN FALL 2012

The list goes on. So should our awareness of John Findlay. In the week after his death, Times-Journal columnist Pete Birdsall wrote in Hank’s Corner: “We want to pay a last tribute to our very good friend, John T. (Jack) Findlay, whose untimely death occurred last Saturday. Scotland never sent a finer native son to Canada than Jack Findlay.” He left a lot. Check it out at the Elgin County Museum, on the 4th Floor of the County Building at 450 Sunset Drive. Paul Baldwin has been a long-time resident of Elgin, a retired teacher and administrator. He has a keen interest in biking, travel, and local history. All photos courtesy of Paul Baldwin

CURRENT EXHIBITION: SEPT 17 TH TO DEC 21ST

J.T. FINDLAY: ARCHITECT

A survey of Elgin County architects featuring the homes and public buildings of early twentieth century architect J. T. Findlay. Includes photos of his many now-classic homes and well-known landmarks. Elgin County Administration Building, 4th Floor, 450 Sunset Drive (Hwy 4), St. Thomas, Ontario Open Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm 519.631.1460 ext. 160

www.elgincounty.ca

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Map of Elgin

Harvest Delight SEPTEMBER & OCTOBER PRODUCE

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PORT STANLEY

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RELISH ELGIN FALL 2012

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Arts & Culture

Austin Gagnier ENTERTAINING ELGIN

Photos courtesy of Eireann Pryce-Gagnier (centre) and Mark Girdauskas, Photos by MG (right) Local singer Austin Gagnier’s recent meeting with an award-winning Canadian music producer may be instrumental in helping him bring his big talent to an audience beyond the local one. He is appreciative, however, of the fact that his first sixteen years have been interwoven with the fabric of community life in Fingal and Shedden. It’s a community where several events and initiatives are made possible each year largely through the efforts of volunteers. Some of them draw sizable crowds, like the Shedden Tractor Pull, which drew around 5,000 people this past June. Still, they could be considered somewhat as ‘local secrets’, as they are achieved without a lot of fanfare by the people who work to make them happen. Austin Gagnier’s talent itself was a well-kept secret, shared for the first time at a high school talent show two years ago. Since then, he has been generous in giving back to his community, performing at many of their events, like the Shedden Tractor Pull and Fingal Canada Day Celebration. In turn, the opportunity came to travel to Winnipeg to meet producer

RELISH ELGIN FALL 2012

Chris Burke-Gaffney and he and his mother, Eireann, were overwhelmed when three local organizations (Shedden Tractor Pull, Rosy Rhubarb Committee and Fingal Optimists) quickly offered financial assistance to help make the trip possible. Austin’s development as a singer occurred over his pre-teen years, unbeknownst to his friends and most of his family. He grew up within a short walk from his Nana Thel’s house on Fingal Line. He would visit and they would sing—they sang often and from a selection which covered a wide range of musical genres. Thel would sometimes mention Austin’s burgeoning talent to Eireann, but she really didn’t pay much attention and Austin was shy about singing in front of other people—when Eireann was finally invited to a performance at Nana’s house, she was even instructed to face the other way while he sang. Even so, Eireann says, “I was blown away by what I heard.” When Austin entered high school at Parkside in St. Thomas in 2010, he discovered that the school held an annual student talent show. He mulled

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Arts & Culture over the idea of entering, hesitating at the thought that many of his friends were more into sports than music and might not think much of his passion for singing. “But,” he says, “I really wanted to enter, and I told myself, 'This is it, I really want to do this.'” Doubting he would actually go through with getting up on stage, Eireann didn’t take time off work to hear him perform at the talent show, although his dad Daryn, Nana and Grandma were able to attend. He made quite a favourable impression. Says Austin, “It was a turning point in my life.” He laughs, “I know that sounds funny for a sixteen year old, but it really was the biggest thing that has happened for me so far.” Since the talent show, Austin has further developed his powerful voice, singing at many community events. He is a natural, but has steadily refined his nuances of expression and tone. His mother is now convinced that he is serious and has worked to help him make contacts and investigate possibilities. One of those contacts was Chris Burke-Gaffney. He is an acclaimed Canadian songwriter, musician, producer and artist manager at CBG Artist Development. In 1996 he formed CBG to manage and develop singer/songwriter Chantal Kreviazuk and co-wrote her triple platinum album "Under These Rocks and Stones". Chris has written and produced literally hundreds of songs and has helped artists including McMaster & James, Kyle Riabko, Sierra Noble and The Keats in developing material. Eireann’s email to Chris was answered almost immediately with a request for Austin to come to CBG in Winnipeg, all expenses except airfare covered. A whirlwind of activity ensued and, not long after, Austin, Eireann and Thel were on a plane to Winnipeg. Austin met with Chris and then spent three full days in the studio where he recorded five original songs. Chris was particularly delighted by Austin’s performance of one of the songs written by him

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and Chantal Kreviazuk and another written by Chris and Victoria Shaw. Victoria’s compositions include songs for Garth Brooks (The River and She’s Every Woman), Ricky Martin and Christina Aguilera and she co-produced Lady Antebellum’s platinum debut. To say Austin has been exposed to some powerhouses of the country music world would be an understatement. Austin was impressed with Chris’s laid back, downto earth manner. Chris commented to Eireann, “I’ve been waiting for a voice like this... he has huge potential, and he’s a great kid.” He also brought in three other songwriters who sat down with Austin to co-write a piece, a new and exciting experience. They discussed where Austin wanted to go with his music. Did Chris have any advice? Says Austin, “Chris suggested I focus on one genre of music, and other than that, just keep singing, and maybe develop my guitar skills.” Chris also advised that the key to performing is being remembered by people because without that you are “just another singer”. Austin returned home with a new focus. He decided, “I want people to remember me because I have made a connection with them. I want to concentrate on a genre of ‘country with a pop twist’ because I think that people identify more easily with that type of music.” Austin tried out that philosophy at his next public performance, Ribfest in London, telling himself, “I need to work on engaging the audience, and make them remember me because listening to my music makes them feel good. It couldn’t have gone better.” One couple even approached him after the show and told him, “You made our day!” Austin’s home just west of Fingal is surrounded by big fields and wide open spaces, conducive perhaps to dreaming big. Support from family and friends who live in that rural setting and Austin’s dream of taking a long-hidden talent to others has so far taken him all the way to Winnipeg. We’re excited to see what the future holds for him.

RELISH ELGIN FALL 2012


Arts & Culture

Youth Choir

ST. THOMAS

Each September for the past twenty-two years, the St. Thomas Youth Choir has eagerly welcomed new singers. Most find the music-making opportunity to be a satisfying and joyous one; many stay for several years and are sad when it’s their turn to graduate from high school and move on. For some, being part of the Choir piques an interest in pursuing a music-related career. STYC has attracted youth between the ages of twelve and nineteen from St. Thomas and surrounding area since starting up in 1990 under the direction of Hugh Van Pelt. Rob Cairns took on the director’s position in 2000. Rob’s love for music is contagious and his teaching manner and methods encourage choir members to approach the work of making beautiful music together with enthusiasm and determination.

RELISH ELGIN FALL 2012

The Choir was on hand at the St. Thomas Horton Market opening day this past May, presenting a polished demonstration of what they had learned over the 2011/12 season. They won market-goer approval and Rob’s praise, “They are a great group of kids.” Says Rob, “There are from twelve to twenty boys and girls in the choir each year. They learn how to read music, do concerts and sing solo. We do a couple of big concerts annually in spring and fall. During the summer, every two years, the choir has had the opportunity to tour abroad.” STYC’s first major trip was to Ireland in 1991. Since that time, they have been to England, Wales, Germany, France, The Netherlands and Canada’s East Coast.

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HERITAGE LINE

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Call us for details and to reserve your space. DOORS OPEN EAST ELGIN - SAT SEPT 22 COOKING WITH HERBS: FULL MEAL PLANNING - SAT OCT 20 COOKING WITH HERBS: PARTY PLANNING - SAT NOV 10 CHRISTMAS OPEN HOUSE - SAT NOV 17 & SUN NOV 18 Visit our website for a complete list of events, recipes & more.

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Arts & Culture A NOTE FROM CHOIR GRAD SAMANTHA BALLARD Samantha Ballard is currently living in New York City and working as an actor/singer. She graduated from Western University’s Bachelor of Musical Arts program and more recently from Circle in the Square Theatre School in New York City. She just finished playing in a new musical that debuted at the New York International Fringe Festival. I was lucky enough to be part of the St. Thomas Youth Choir for many years and toured all over the world with them. Although I have not been part of the choir since graduating from high school in 2007, I still find myself missing it on Tuesday nights. It was such an amazing part of my life. It helped me realize how much I loved singing and now it’s my career. During the tours I was able to open myself up to many different cultures. I still speak to many of the friends I met in the choir on a regular basis. If anyone has the opportunity to be part of it, I would recommend it! Below: Samantha Ballard in the musical version of Waiting for Lefty by Clifford Odets, directed by Alan Langdon at Circle in the Square Theatre on Broadway.  Photo courtesy of Samantha Ballard

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR Rob Cairns performs as a tenor soloist in various concert series in southern Ontario, is the tenor soloist and director of the hand bell choirs at the Metropolitan United Church in London and teaches at the Lester B. Pearson School for the Arts, London. He graduated from the Technical Theatre Program at Ryerson Polytechnic Institute and went on to obtain his Honours Bachelor and Masters Degrees from the University of Western Ontario Faculty of Music, and Education Degree from Althouse College. Rehearsals resume in early September. There’s also a St. Thomas Children’s Choir for children ages 7-12. For more information about becoming part of the Children’s or Youth Choir, call Rob at 519-672-6841 or visit www.styc-stcc.info. Photos courtesy of Rob Cairns (above, top) & Serge Lavoie (above, bottom; previous page)

RELISH ELGIN FALL 2012

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Make our garden your garden! sweet corn pumpkins apples and much more seasonally available

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Arts & Culture

Wedding Apparel

AT THE NEW SPARTA CHURCH MUSEUM & CULTURAL CENTRE

Sally Martyn is Treasurer and Exhibit Co-ordinator of the Sparta Historical Society. She is pictured in the museum with her own wedding dress. Here comes the bride, all dressed in white... or perhaps pastel blue. As you will discover at the new Sparta Church Museum and Cultural Centre’s inaugural exhibit, white became fashionable for brides only when Queen Victoria wore it to her own wedding. There’s a lot to take in as you stroll amongst the wedding, bridesmaid and flower-girl dresses, groom and “going away” attire, gloves and bouquets plus interesting (and often bizarre) snippets of wedding history, lore and tradition. From the decade by decade sampler of 20th century dresses which stretches across the front of the church, to the displays and photos wending along the sides, the exhibit captures a slice of fashion history and the wedding day’s sense of occasion. You are sure to find yourself chuckling over some of the informational tidbits and perhaps over the multitude of fashion changes you may identify with from your own wedding experiences. For many, it will be fun to recognize familiar names and faces of local

RELISH ELGIN FALL 2012

people on their wedding days. Some dresses were worn by more than one bride in a family, and others even took multi-generational trips down the aisle. The “Wedding Apparel” Exhibit marks the launch of the Sparta Church Museum and Cultural Centre. This will be the Sparta Historical Society’s second location in Sparta. Until now, the Forge & Anvil Museum has been the Society’s only centre for activity aimed at preserving area history and making it accessible in lively and life-size format. The adobe building was constructed about 1827 and served as a blacksmith and carriage shop in the early community. It is packed to the rafters with local artefacts. When decreasing attendance forced the Sparta United Church to disband, substantial funds were raised by the congregation and the Sparta Historical Society, enabling the latter to acquire the church for use as a museum and cultural centre. Transfer of ownership took place on May 28th. Not long after, it was decided that a wedding exhibit

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Arts & Culture would grace the sanctuary quite nicely and work was begun, collecting the pieces and then building the displays which include over sixty outfits from 1900 to 2010. A High Tea is planned for Saturday September 22nd. It’s a suiting fundraiser to hold in conjunction with the wedding exhibit—one can just imagine the many tea-drinking occasions which would have been associated with the weddings represented there. Next year, the historic buzz will build as Sparta turns 200. The Society will hold an old fashioned celebration in the woods on the anniversary date, May 11th. The dinner will involve venison stew on an open fire. The 2013 Feast at the Forge on November 9th will be set in 1913, as if the town were celebrating its 100th birthday. The Forge and Anvil Museum is open from mid-April until the end of October from 11am-5pm every Saturday, Sunday and holidays, and weekdays from mid-May till Labour Day. The Sparta Church Museum and Cultural Centre is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 11am-4:30pm. For more info or to make a reservation for High Tea, call 519-775-2292 or 519-319-8092.

ARTIST

CONNIE GREGER Artist Connie Greger has spent many hours over the past few months, rendering Sparta’s local historic buildings in sketches and paintings. As an artist, Connie appreciates the aesthetic qualities of the many examples of early Ontario architecture in the village. She was further immersed in the location’s ambience as historian Bill Fishleigh shared stories and background on each building as she worked. An exhibit of Connie’s work, “Historical Architecture Sparta: The Inheritance” will be on display at the St. Thomas-Elgin Public Art Centre from September 28th-30th. This is the third year that Connie has donated the proceeds from a show towards community art programming. This year, it will be carried out in collaboration with the English as a Second Language Class offered through the YWCA St. Thomas-Elgin. She thinks this is a particularly fitting connection as Sparta was settled by Quakers who sought refuge and cultural sustainability—Connie recognizes the importance of today’s newcomers receiving opportunities for cultural, along with social and economic inclusion. Connie shared her painting of the Sparta Church Museum and Cultural Centre for the cover of this edition of Relish Elgin.

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RELISH ELGIN FALL 2012


©Photos.com/Kenishirotie

Food & Dining

Rooted IN COMFORT By CHEF Christie MassÉ

As the days get shorter and the nights cool down our cravings adjust and we tend to yearn for dishes that have a warm comforting effect on our stomachs and our souls. Fall is riddled with hearty root vegetables and innumerable possibilities for comforting culinary creations. With the spectrum of flavours that our seasonal root vegetables offer, any dish can be designed to the cook’s preference. If you enjoy a predominately sweet dish go for carrots, beets, celeriac, squash, and sweet potatoes. If you like a bitter bite, look for daikon radish, turnip, and parsnip. For those in search of heat try some fresh horseradish or ginger root and for the more pungent driven palate fall offers garlic, onions, and their often overlooked sister, shallot. A shallot is a wondrous thing. Not quite an onion, it's similar in structure to a head of garlic, and blessed with a sweet and subtle pungency conducive to a vast number of applications in any kitchen. One thing not many other ingredients can own is the fact that shallots are successfully utilized from bases to finishing touches, similarly to the function of fine and hearty herbs in many fall dishes. They can act as a member of a band of base ingredients for soups, stews, and roasts and make an encore appearance as a garnish. Whether it be shaved and pickled, slow braised in butter, panéd and fried, or minced and whisked into a finishing vinaigrette or

RELISH ELGIN FALL 2012

whipped into a compound butter, shallots contribute a je ne sais quoi flavour satisfaction. In terms of comparison from my cheffy perspective, shallots are the sherry vinegar of root vegetables. Allow me to jump start your experimentation brain by introducing you to the quick pickled shallot. Take a shallot or two. Peel and slice them using a mandolin (or by hand using your awesome cheffy skills) and set them aside in a medium sized bowl or lidded heatproof container. Put two parts water and one part vinegar in a small saucepan, enough to cover the amount of shallot you’ve sliced. This can be any vinegar you like—I suggest sherry or red wine, but not white as it should be used as nothing more than a cleaning product. Bring to a rolling boil, remove from heat and pour over your shaved shallot assuring the slices are completely submerged. Allow this to cool, lid or cover and keep refrigerated preferably overnight. The shallot shavings will become pink in colour and soft in texture and flavour. Their natural pungency is replaced with the acidity of pickling, making them much more palatable on their own. Feel free to include stalks of rosemary or thyme, whole peppercorns or other spices like star anise or coriander for added flavouring. This can be used as a garnish for soups, salads, and pizzas as well as a topping on sandwiches and panini, or whatever your creative culinary drive desires!

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Food & Dining There seem to be some universally accepted complimentary flavours to accompany root vegetables. Two things almost all root vegetables seem to schmooze with are maple and goat’s cheese. Another favourable contribution to any root based dish is the earthy flavour of various nuts. We are going to play with all three of these added flavours with this fall recipe. As a starter for the beginning of autumn, I am presenting a roasted root vegetable purée in hopes that you choose to play with the balance of flavours and ingredients in this soup to suit your personalized taste buds. Purée time:

MAPLE ROASTED ROOT VEGETABLE PURÉE WITH GOAT'S CHEESE, PICKLED SHALLOT & WALNUT OIL Yield: 4L Note: use amounts of root vegetables to your preference based on taste and character Ingredients: 1 large sweet potato, large dice 1 large parsnip, large dice 1 small celeriac, peeled and large dice ½ small butternut squash, peeled and large dice 2 large carrots, large dice 2 large turnips, large dice ½ med daikon radish, large dice 4 slices horseradish 5-7 slices ginger, peeled 1 med head garlic, peeled 8-10 small shallots, peeled and halved ½ bunch rosemary stalks ½ bunch thyme stalks 3 Tbsp olive oil ½ cup maple syrup 2 Tbsp coriander seed 2 L chicken or vegetable stock salt & pepper, to taste goat’s cheese, for garnish quick pickled shallot, for garnish walnut oil, for garnish

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Method: 1. Preheat oven to 400°F. 2. Combine veg, oil, maple, herbs, and coriander in large roasting pan. Toss until all vegetables are coated in oil/maple. Level ingredients, cover with foil or lid and roast for 25 minutes. 3. Test veg with paring knife, toss all ingredients again, remove lid and return to oven. Based on doneness, bake further and estimate timing (maybe another 25 minutes—all ovens vary). 4. Test veg again. At this point you should see colour and caramelization on vegetables. If done (completely tender when punctured), deglaze hot roasting pan with stock and scrape caramelized yummy bits from bottom and sides of pan. 5. Remove rosemary and thyme stalks from pan. 6. In batches, carefully ladle contents of pan into blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Repeat until all contents are puréed. 7. Reheat purée in saucepan over medium heat. If soup is too thick, let it out with more stock or water and allow it to cook a bit further to incorporate liquid. Taste and adjust seasoning accordingly. 8. Bowl soup and garnish with a drizzle of walnut oil, crumbled goat’s cheese and pickled shallot. Serve. Wine Pairing: As long as your soup isn’t overly sweet, a glass of Quai du Vin’s serene Maple Wine will compliment this dish beautifully, but if you’re looking for more of a contrast I suggest a nice oaky Chardonnay to introduce another dimension to this fall-friendly favourite. Enjoy! Christie Massé is a graduate of Stratford Chefs School. She owns Crust Bakery. For more information about their custom cakes, go to www.crustcatering.ca or call 519-494-1061.

RELISH ELGIN FALL 2012


Food & Dining

Photos courtesy of Christie Massé

SCHROYENS & SONS SHALLOTS When a friend in the produce business recommended to Frank Schroyens that he grow shallots on his former tobacco acreage, he was intrigued and set about investigating the possibility. He then took on the challenge of growing the specialty crop with the same devotion to quality he had brought to his past business endeavours. Frank was operating an established and successful business in Belgium when he and wife Monique decided to visit Canada for a vacation in 1979. Says Monique,“I fell in love with the area.” They contemplated the idea of farming, bought some land near Straffordville and soon after moved here to begin their lives as tobacco farmers. When the trend to transitioning away from tobacco started, they shifted to vegetable growing, mainly peppers and tomatoes. Frank, however, was drawn to the idea of growing something more specialized but still suited to his sandy loam soil when he hit upon the idea of growing shallots. Shallots look like little onions and they belong to the same plant family, but are distinctly

RELISH ELGIN FALL 2012

different and appreciated for their ability to add an intriguing depth of flavour. With the move to this new crop, Frank set out to make a unique contribution and to become a primary supplier of shallots, each package carrying the “Frank Schroyens & Sons” name. That goal has certainly been accomplished— the Schroyenses’ customers include Costco, Metro, Loblaws, Fortinos and the Toronto Food Terminal. All require a year-round supply of consistently sized, quality product, in large amounts, often on short notice. To meet that demand, Frank and Monique have expanded their acreage in shallots and invested in expansion of their storage barn and in packaging equipment. “In the beginning, we often worked day and night to meet orders,” says Monique. Frank adds, “The new equipment is amazing. It used to take a day for two people to process seven 2,000 lb skids of shallots— the new equipment enables us to process a skid in seven minutes. In addition to the demands of supplying major grocery chains, the Schroyenses found that shallot growing itself presents its own unique

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challenges. In the beginning, obtaining sufficient quantities of seeds was difficult. Shallots require a high, steady supply of nutrients and just the right amount of water at the right time in their growing cycle, and they are susceptible to several bacterial diseases. Frank discovered early on the benefits of seeking and heeding the advice of a trusted expert. As for many farmers, 2012 has been a difficult year. Notes Monique, “Shallots are a hard crop.” Frank nods in agreement and adds, “Onions cost about one-quarter as much to produce.” However, Frank and Monique strike you as people who approach life and business with an accent on the positive. Along with sons Gunther and Danny, they have responded to the ups and downs by finding solutions. They are justifiably proud of growing a unique, quality product which is finding a special place in the hearts of an ever-growing number of food lovers.

Frank, Monique, son Gunther and Gunther's wife Betty

CERTIFIED ORGANIC CHICKEN Whole or vac-packed pieces. Phone to order and arrange pickup.

EAT WHAT WE EAT

McSmiths is Affordable for Families, so we can all eat certified organic meat, eggs and produce

FEED WHAT WE FEED

Organic poultry rations available for “Backyard Farmers”

519-631-0279 • 42828 Shorlea Line, St. Thomas

www.McsmithsOrganicFarm.com

TALBOT

BALACLAVA

ALMA

MANITOBA

FLORA HORTON

KAINS

ROSS

HORTON FARMERS’ MARKET • SAT 8-12 (UNTIL OCT 6) Organic Fruits, Vegetables, Herbs & Preserves THE FARM • 42828 SHORLEA LN, ST. THOMAS Organic Pastured Pork & Beef • Organic Brown Eggs Fresh Organic Chicken available on Chicken Days (see website or call for details and prices)

HORTON MARKET


RETREATING TO

Recreation

Sweet Magnolia House BY SINDA SIMPSON

Photos at left and bottom right courtesy of Sweet Magnolia House B&B Recently my husband and I had our very first bed and Breakfast experience—and what a wonderful experience it was. While visiting family in St. Thomas we were offered accommodations at the Sweet Magnolia House in the neighbouring town of Aylmer. Hot, tired and ready to enjoy the first relaxing night of our weeklong vacation we drove Hwy #3, aka Talbot Trail, from St. Thomas to Aylmer. Nestled back off the main street amongst the trees and greenery is the beautifully restored 1870s home that is Sweet Magnolia House. We were greeted warmly by Brenda who offered cozy slippers before taking us on a tour of the home. The Sweet Magnolia House has three quaint bedrooms—two with ensuites and one with a separate, private bath. A lovely common area on the second floor includes a fridge with complimentary water, coffee, tea as well as fresh fruit. We had the pleasure of enjoying the King Suite on the third floor with its warm earth colours, separate living room with a sleeper couch and cute little alcove perfect for a child to crawl into to sleep. The

RELISH ELGIN FALL 2012

room also contained a beautiful modern ensuite with a very large shower, ceramic counters and quality toiletries. The king size bed was very comfortable and while it was a very hot and humid evening, the third floor of this home was cool and inviting with a state-of-the-art air conditioning system. Before turning in for the night we were asked to select our breakfast for the next morning—Sweet, Savoury or Continental—and what time we would like it prepared for. The outstanding and hearty breakfast was served in a classically furnished and decorated dining room. Now well rested and even more well fed we headed out refreshed and better prepared for our weeks’ vacation—camping. You can imagine the number of times we relished the idea of returning to Sweet Magnolia House. The Sweet Magnolia House Bed & Breakfast is located at 236 Talbot Street East, Aylmer. Call to make a reservation at 519-765-3038 or visit www.sweetmagnoliahouse.com.

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From fine dining to fresh produce, farmers’ markets, wineries and breweries, Elgin County will satisfy every taste. New locations, new recipes, and a new surprise are all part of the 2012 guide, available now.

Savour the tastes of Elgin County. For more on Savour Elgin, call 1-877-GO ELGIN x137 or visit

www.savourelgin.ca From original paintings to pottery, the studios, galleries and crafters along the Elgin Arts Trail take visitors on an imaginative and unforgettable journey.

Experience Elgin’s Finest Visual Arts Attractions at: Art Emporium Port Stanley • Winter Wheat • Portside Gallery Peter Robson Studios • Pinecroft Ceramic Art Studio The Arts & Cookery Bank • Shelley McVittie’s Gallery St. Thomas-Elgin Public Art Centre • Concreations Little Red Mitten • Village Crier Gallery Minerva Art Gallery • Clayworks Studio Anything Used & Sparta Country Candles

www.elginartstrail.ca

Profile for Joanne Bagshaw

Relish Elgin Fall 2012 Edition  

Relish Elgin is a seasonal magazine that promotes the people, places, businesses and events of Elgin County, Ontario, Canada.

Relish Elgin Fall 2012 Edition  

Relish Elgin is a seasonal magazine that promotes the people, places, businesses and events of Elgin County, Ontario, Canada.

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