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Culture Home Recreation FREE

Floral Designs Artist Profile

Judy Minor A Farmer, A Foodie and

A Holiday Feast with Michelle Jory of Fairmeadow Farm & Ray Coddington of Farmgate Markets

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Tribute Wiener's


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A Remembrance Day

& Home Tours Galore!

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Holiday Parades, Open Houses

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Holiday 2008 | Volume 2 | Issue 4

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Contents 4 6

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In Season Enjoy the flavours of the season with locally available produce News & Events Find out what’s happening around Elgin, including a list of Christmas Home Tours and calendar of Open Houses Stones of Remembrance Written by Kathaleen McKay for Remembrance Day Map of Elgin Including a list of Holiday Parades in our area A Farmer, A Foodie & A Feast Join us from the farm to the table, with farmer Michelle Jory of Fairmeadow Farm in Sparta and butcher Ray Coddington of Farmgate Markets Inc. in St. Thomas. Wiener's Floral Designs Owner Wendy White talks flowers Artist Profile Judy Minor of Aylmer

Happy Holidays Copy Editor Debra Bagshaw Layout & Design Joanne Bagshaw Advertising Info Cover Image ©

To Subscribe:

Send a cheque for $8 (to cover mailing) to the following address. Includes 4 issues. P.O. Box 20058 St. Thomas, ON N5P 4H4 519.633.1992 Copyright 2008, 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.

The economic news of late has been a bit overwhelming, especially for the people of Elgin County where job losses have been particularly high. Individuals, industry and organizations are scrambling to come up with ways to cope now and solutions for the future. It is the time to remember that old adage, "it’s more important who you are than what you do." It applies both to individuals and to our community. "Who we are" is a caring, resilient community with much to offer. Individually and through local organizations, we will support each other through our immediate troubles. But the bottom line is we all need jobs. We are dependent on various levels of government to develop strategies to retrain and attract high-employment industry to the area. But, again, who we are is the key to future success, and we as individuals can contribute. We can celebrate and promote our art, music, theatre, history, food, festivals, recreation areas and facilities, and innovative small businesses. They are scattered across the county in overwhelming numbers— discover them, enjoy and tell the world. Neighbours, visitors and potential industry need to know “who we are”—caring and involved citizens in the best of communities to live, visit and do business. Peace and happiness in the upcoming Holiday Season and the New Year.

Relish Elgin Magazine • Holiday 2008

Deb 3


In Season for the Holidays

Relish the local harvest by featuring seasonal produce in your Holiday feast.

© ChristineDraheim



Leeks, a milder member of the onion family, are referred to in Europe as "the poor man's asparagus". Despite their humble reputation, the subtle sweet flavour of leeks is extremely versatile in cooking. They also boast many of the same health benefits as onions.

Native to South America, potatos are becoming increasingly essential in food production globally, particularly in developing nations with economic problems. To emphasize this importance, the World Health Organization has declared 2008 "The Year of the Potato."

Brussels Sprouts have received a bad reputation, largely due to the sulphorous smell that they emit when overcooked. If prepared properly—by steaming, roasting, pan frying, or in the microwave—brussels sprouts have a delicious, delicate, nutty flavour.


Relish Elgin Magazine • Holiday 2008


also in season: pears • apples • crabapples • greenhouse lettuce, tomatos &

cucumbers • rutabaga • cooking onions • beets • mushrooms • Asian vegetables • radishes • carrots • cauliflower • garlic • green onions • bean & alfalfa sprouts



© _Gentile_Creative

Cabbage can be consumed raw, cooked, or fermented & preserved, and so appears in a great variety of dishes. You can reduce the characteristic smell of boiling cabbage by placing a few slices of bread into the pot and discarding them when the cabbage is cooked.

Parsnips add a deep and complex, spicy flavour to stews and soups. They are also a good source of vitamin C and folate. Try mixing pureed parsnips in mashed potatoes, or substituting parsnips for carrots in carrot cake for an interestingly spicy change.

Winter Squash come in a myriad of shapes, sizes and colours and include butternut, Hubbard, buttercup, ambercup, acorn and spaghetti squash (among others), and pumpkins. Visit for an amazing recipe for squash and caramelized onion lasagna.

Relish Elgin Magazine • Holiday 2008



More Things to Relish in Elgin Find out what’s going on around the County.

Trillium Foundation Grant Helps Fuel CAR Initiative Celebrate Christmas and culture in West Lorne on Fri Nov 28th—see the evening Santa Claus parade then warm up at The Bank with hot apple cider and a Santa surprise. Tickets will also be available for the weekend’s Christmas Tour of Homes. Our summer edition featured the new Arts & Cookery Bank, located in West Lorne. The vision of those involved is to restore this building creatively for use as a heritage centre, with the goal to showcase local heritage and culture (past, present and future) through photographs and cuisine in ways that will promote, sustain and build a vibrant rural lifestyle. The “Sneak Peak” preview in June met with an enthusiastic response from hundreds of community members.

The Cultural Advisory Roundtable (CAR), a collaborative partnership between The Arts & Cookery Bank, four municipalities and three business organizations includes: the Municipalities of Dutton-Dunwich, Newbury, Southwest Middlesex, West Elgin and DuttonDunwich Chamber of Commerce, Southwest Middlesex Business Network and West Elgin Chamber of Commerce. An important early goal of the partnership is to identify and map cultural heritage and tourism elements within the four western municipalities of West Elgin and Southwest Middlesex. The Cultural Resource Map will be a huge boost to planning, marketing and economic development efforts at all levels, private, not-for-profit and government. In September the Ontario Trillium Foundation helped fuel the CAR initiative with a grant of $13,700.

Sandpyper Gallery

Sandi Pyper and David Champion bring a passion for fine craft to their new business venture, Sandpyper Gallery. The gallery showcases ceramics, glass, fabric art, print-making and metal work and opened in the Theatre Building, Port Stanley in September. A well-crafted piece is a reflection of the artist’s creativity, skill and passion. Sandi and David, with help and support from spouses John Pyper and Marla Champion have searched out a quality group of artists and can share the stories and processes that give each piece a unique life of its own. They invite you to visit them in Port Stanley and see their selection of unique hand crafted art. They are open daily throughout the Holiday Season.


Relish Elgin Magazine • Holiday 2008


Songbird’s Bar & Grill

as with colour from Sat Nov 8th to Wed Dec 24th.

A songbird (singer Gretchen Lamers), with husband Ron Lamers and friend Derrick Sibbick opened The Songbird’s Bar & Grill in Vienna late this summer. They promised tasty home cooking, a great atmosphere and a variety of entertainment. A visit will tell you that they have followed through on the first two counts. The menu includes a delicious variety of homemade items, including hearty soups, log cabin fries, yummy cabbage rolls, desserts and more. Walls of the spacious dining room are painted with delightful portraits of singing greats, by local artist Kris Jurenas. Gretchen is a little bit disappointed that they haven’t yet been able to offer the live entertainment, as their liquor licence hasn’t come through. When it does, the songbird (and friends) is poised to take flight with a whole lot of musical good times.

Original art by the St. Thomas-Elgin Artists’ Guild will be showcased in the grand setting of the CASO Train Station, St. Thomas from Fri Nov 21st to Sun Nov 23rd.

Stop in at Songbird’s if you are in the Vienna area (combine it with an outing to see one of the local parades or craft shows). It’s located at 6209 Plank Rd, Vienna and they can be contacted at 519.874.4600. Their banquet hall is available for up to 40 people. Kris Jurenas’ website is also well worth a visit. It is www. (and yes, the site name is based on a real event...).

Art Around Elgin Upcoming local art shows provide opportunities to view a wide range of local work, talk with the artists and maybe find the piece which would bring some inspiration to a spot in your home or make the perfect Christmas gift. Judy Minor winds up her show season with a traditional artist’s exhibit in her Aylmer home at 15 South Street East on Sat Nov 1st and Sun Nov 2nd. Read about Judy in our artist profile on page 26. Kim Clow’s art exhibition and sale, “Incidental Hues” fills the Trillium House in St. Thom-

Relish Elgin Magazine • Holiday 2008

The Portside Gallery artists have prepared the new work for their year-end show with the theme “As I See It”. The show will be featured at the gallery, 195 Main St in Port Stanley from Nov 1st to 30th. 4

Home Tours SAT NOV 29TH & SUN NOV 30TH


Enjoy a tour of five festively decorated homes plus "Festive Greens" at Empire Valley Farm Market. Proceeds go to Dutton Medical Centre Addition Renovation Fundraising. Call 519-762-6498 for passport information.

Holiday Wreaths to Go

The Tyrconnell Heritage Society is proud to present handmade wreaths, the perfect addition to your holiday décor or as a hostess gift. Pre-order your wreath and it will be ready for pick up during the Christmas Tour of Homes, November 29th and 30th at Backus Page House. Wreaths are $10 apiece. Contact the Carriage House Office at 519-762-3072 or for more information or to order your wreaths today. SAT NOV 15TH – SUN NOV 16TH

CHRISTMAS IN ST. THOMAS 13TH ANNUAL "TOUR OF HOMES" Check or call 519633-0838 or 631-0211 for information on this annual festive tour of five homes. FRI NOV 21ST – SUN NOV 23RD

AYLMER MUSEUM'S 2008 ANNUAL CHRISTMAS TOUR OF HOMES For information contact 519.773.9723.


Open Houses


Open houses give you a chance to get your shopping done and also enjoy some additional perks. Businesses are dressed up for the season (with lots of decorating ideas) and offer tasty treats to sample and other fun. Friday Nov 7th – Sunday Nov 9th Cobblestone's, Shelley McVittie's Gallery Victorian Elegance Wind n Willow Saturday Nov 8th & Sunday Nov 9th Rush Creek Wines Saturday Nov 15th & Sunday Nov16th Heritage Line Herbs Canadale Nurseries Friday Nov 21st Wiener’s Floral Designs Friday Nov 21st & Saturday Nov 22nd Flower Fountain Friday Nov 21st – Sunday Nov 23rd Lakeview Gardens & Greenhouses Saturday Nov 29th & Sunday Nov 30th Sparta merchants, including Heart Angel, Beyond the Garden Gate, Lavender Blue, Sparta House Tea Room & Peter Robson Studios


4 There’s a lot going on at the St. ThomasElgin Public Art Centre in upcoming weeks. The annual art auction takes place on Sat Nov 1st; “Letters from Home” documents The First World War with text and images and features selections from the permanent collection starting Nov 1st. Other exhibits include Tobey C. Anderson’s “New American Century Project” opening Nov 15th, Mary Louise White in the Studio Nov 21st to 25th and Jason Turner in the Studio with his stained glass Nov 28th to 30th. Check out

Other Holiday Happenings Witness a Christmas transformation for the 3rd Annual Windows of Christmas at the Historic Canada Southern Railway Station on Sat Nov 15th. Downtown St. Thomas kicks off the holiday season with the Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony, horse drawn wagon rides, entertainment and more on Fri Nov 21st at 6pm. The lights go on for the Holiday Fantasy of Lights in Pinafore Park on Nov 28th. Bundle up and join the hundreds of visitors to the Christmas Spirit Walk at Springwater Forest on Sat Dec 6th. Find details on the walk at

Theatre It’s the Great Depression, the government has outlawed alcohol, the economy is lousy, and4

Relish Elgin Magazine • Holiday 2008


4most of the world is at war as the family prepares for Christmas Eve. The Princess Avenue Theatre hosts the classic, “The Homecoming” by Earle Hamner Jr, based on the Christmas special that led to the “The Waltons”. On Dec 4th to 13th. Call 519.633.8530 for reservations.

Music There will be bountiful opportunities to hear holiday music in the next two months. Aylmer Performing Arts presents Lori Anna Reid on Fri Nov 7th and Emilie-Claire Barlow on Fri Dec 12th. Call 519.765.3039 for tickets or 519.765.1616 for inquiries.

The festive annual Carol Sing brings the Old St. Thomas Church to life on Sun Dec 7th. Celebrate a Celtic Christmas with the Sheridan Band at the Princess Ave Playhouse in St. Thomas on Sat Dec 20th—call Jeff Sheridan at 519.633.6118 for tickets.

For more details on these and other events across the county, check out

Find a list of Holiday Parades in Elgin on our centrefold map (page 14).

Bonnie Doone Glass

Bonnie Doone Glass produces an array of imaginative designs in functional fused glass. The company is family owned and operated. Sisters Tammy Fleet-Schmid (Bonnie Doone Studio) and Sandy Fleet-Sullivan (St. Thomas Studio) along with their mother Marj Fleet (St. Thomas) hand cut, assemble and kiln fire glass in their home studios. Inspired by trees, earth and water, they use glass as the perfect medium to represent colour and movement as they see in nature. It is amazing to see colour combinations they create in their functional art pieces. Their beautiful pieces include plates, platters and serving pieces as well as window or wall hangers, jewellery pieces and sculptures. Bonnie Doone designs can be found locally at Heart Angel in Sparta and at the St. ThomasElgin Public Art Centre. Sandy Fleet-Sullivan can be reached at 519.631.0860. They are holding an open house Sat Nov 29th and Sun Nov 30th from 10-4 at 18 Gertrude Street, just south of St. Thomas. For more information go to

Relish Elgin Magazine • Holiday 2008



stones of remembrance

Written by Kathaleen McKay in honour of Remembrance Day . ©


stare at an old photograph of a young man dressed in military uniform, kneeling beside his eldest brother’s headstone. The two brothers are my uncles, born three years apart; both served in the Canadian Forces during World War II. Uncle Doug, a piper with the Black Watch, safely returned home, while Uncle John, a member of the Royal Canadian Air Force, rests in Germany’s Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, along with thousands of others buried there. He died at the age of twenty.

force uniform and for years it never moved from the same wall. She also never missed the Remembrance Day ceremony on television. It was a day she held close to her heart— a sacred day. I searched through a collection of river rocks I’d saved to find three that invited me to use

To my knowledge, Uncle Doug is the only relative to have visited John’s grave. There is no date written on the back of this photo, the identity of the photographer remains a mystery, and the inscription of John’s stone can barely be deciphered. Yet the expression on Doug’s lean face, and his caring posture as he kneels beside the stone that bears his brother’s name, speak of a powerful bond of brotherly love. Sacred memories…sacred stones. Five words of honor appear on these monuments, chosen by Rudyard Kipling: “Their Name Liveth for Evermore.” Sacred words… sacred stones. A couple of years ago, on Remembrance Day, I decided to take a message to the woods in honour of my Uncle John, whom I had never met. My mother was fourteen when the family received news of the plane crash over Duisburg, Germany, that killed him and six other members of his crew.

them for my ritual of remembrance. I felt guided to write one word on the smooth surface of each rock. With the stones in my pocket, I hiked through the woods until I found a beautiful place near a stream. I took the stones out of my pocket and said a prayer.

Although Mom rarely expressed her sorrow in words, she kept a picture of John in his air

As I held the weatherworn stones in my palm, I thought of their beauty and enduring quality. 4

Relish Elgin Magazine • Holiday 2008



4 The quiet moments felt sacred, as I prayed for all families who experienced the loss of loved ones. My thoughts returned to Uncle John as I carefully arranged my three stones on the ground, to be cradled once more by the earth they came from. Their words echoed the thoughts of my heart, “Lest We Forget”. "Stones of Remembrance" was first published in Sacred Stones (Adams Media, 2005).

Kathaleen McKay is a St. Thomas writer, photographer, and word puzzle creator. Kathaleen's photography is featured in two slide shows now on display at Trillium House, St. Thomas. She can be contacted at

"At the going down of the sun and in the morning ...

We will remember them." Laurence Binyon, "For the Fallen"



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

Meet “my farmer”. Her name is Michelle Jory. She grew up in Toronto, graduated with an Honours B.Sc. in Environmental Science from the University of Guelph, and then began the journey of becoming a great farmer.


fter one visit to Michelle’s Fairmeadow Farm this summer, my husband and I were so impressed that we immediately signed up for membership in the new fall/ winter share program. I mention to Michelle, a bit sheepishly, that I have started to refer to this as “my farm” (although I am definitely not the one doing the farm work). Michelle assures me that this is ok. “The nicest part of being a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farmer,” she says, “is the sense of community and the positive experience members derive coming to the farm. Also, it’s literal support for a farm family.”

offers work for learning exchanges, room and board and joint field trip/workshop experiences which expose interns to a range of growing and management practices. Michelle’s Ontario internship was at Orchard Hill Farm, owned by Martha and Ken Laing. There, she “fell in love with working with draft horses and playing in the dirt.” Michelle also liked the CSA model. “The philosophy is based on the development of a mutually helpful relationship between garden members and the farmer. Garden members

How does a Toronto born and raised young person end up becoming a farmer? Michelle says, “I enjoyed high school courses in world issues and especially the topic of food security. I have always been interested in food, went to the Royal Winter Fair each year and have become increasingly aware of farming and its impact from an environmental perspective. The idea of being a farmer just grew over time.” She spent the last four years apprenticing on two organic vegetable farms in Ontario and Quebec. CRAFT Ontario (Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training) is made up of more than a dozen southern Ontario organic farms. Each


commit to sharing the inherent risks and bounty of farming. The farmer, in turn, commits to growing high-quality, healthy produce in a way that is good to the earth.” 4

Relish Elgin Magazine • Holiday 2008


4 The Laings have run a 160-member CSA garden in the summer for twelve years. Michelle’s Fairmeadow Farm is located on 4 acres of Orchard Hill Farm and her program is designed to take over through fall and winter when the summer program ends. Her program is a bit ground-breaking—literally and figuratively! First of all, fall/winter programs are less common than summer ones. Then there’s the hoophouse which was constructed to protect the greens over winter. Evidently several types of greens are quite able to survive and grow (albeit slowly) throughout the winter in the unheated hoophouse. Every 2nd week members will visit the farm and pick up fresh greens, root vegetables, storage crops, and dried beans. Michelle has worked hard over the summer to construct the hoophouse, plant, harvest and prepare vegetables for storage. She speaks knowledgeably about caring for the soil, and learning the idosyncracies not just of the Orchard Hill micro-climate but of her particular four acres. She enthuses about several types of heritage beans she will supply to her members, and other benefits like recipes, newsletters and possibly milled flour and other grocery items. There are many solutions to the problems inherent in our food chain which often involves thousands of miles and hundreds of ingredients, processes and people. Farms like this are just one of them. But when you listen to Michelle speak of her farm in this beautiful valley, and contemplate weeks of meals made from whole foods grown with care by a farmer who has been directly and reasonably com-

pensated, you can’t help but be struck by the fact that the concept is so simple—so simple that it is almost breathtaking.

Orchard Hill Farm

Notes from the CRAFT Ontario Website “Orchard Hill farm is an 80 acre diversified certified organic farm that strives to balance land area, livestock, manure production, energy use and crop production so that we have a largely energy self-sufficient farm that maintains or improves its soil fertility and productivity while producing clean and nutritious food for our local community. Our crops consist of 5 acres of vegetables and small fruit to supply our 160-family CSA, hay pasture and grains grown for the livestock and seed. Most of our farm work is done with Suffolk Punch horses, a very old and rare breed of draft horse specially suited for work in field and forest. We are happy to share the lessons of our 29 years of farming and to teach skills that young farmers require to get started on their own.”

Orchard Hill & Fairmeadow Farms are located at 45415 Fruit Ridge Line, near Sparta. For more information go to and Fairmeadow Farm is growing vegetables, herbs and dried beans for 125 shares in its inaugural season of Community Supported Agriculture. The season runs for 12 weeks from the week of Oct 20th through the week of Jan 5th. For more information call Michelle at 519.773.3341 or email

Relish Elgin Magazine • Holiday 2008




Farmgate Markets, located in St. Thomas, is a partnership between Sandy Lyle, a Fingal area pork, beef and cash crop farmer and Ray Coddington, a certified Canadian Butcher Specialist. The popular deli and fresh meat shop celebrates its fourth birthday this December. Ray recently shared some of his thoughts on the business to date.

Members of the Farmgate team: Cheryl Hall, Ray Coddington, Jeff Bain & Dorothy Cook.

How did Farmgate get started? Sandy originally had a store on his farm but closed it when operating both became too much. However, with his strong belief in Ontario raised products, and encouragement from a close friend, he decided to open up a store in St. Thomas.

How did you become involved? Sandy was looking for a butcher to operate his new business. We talked and it didn’t take long to realize we both had the same vision of local product and superior quality. I was convinced that it was possible to make better quality sausages and deli meats commercially and talked about the recipes I had developed. Sandy and I “clicked” right away.

What is your background? I went to George Brown College and then completed 6,000 hours of hands-on experience. I trained with three master butchers from Germany, in Stratford at Conroy meats.

What got you interested in recipe development? I became interested in developing sausage and deli meat made without by-products, phosphate-free and leaner than others. I had been told that the concept wouldn’t “work”. It’s true that such products are harder to make and I have done a lot of recipe develop-


ment which has taken from a couple of days to years. But I think we are proving that it’s possible.

What are your thoughts on the recent emphasis on local food? It has been central to our business since its beginning. Who else will support your community if you don’t? As well as carrying only in-store deli products, we sell only Ontario meats—Conestoga pork, beef from Norwich packers, chickens from Grand River Poultry. We also feature other local producers—Ferguson’s beans, Palmer’s maple syrup, Shaw’s ice-cream, Pine River cheese and Killer Desserts. Local eateries using our products include Windjammer Inn, Kettle Creek Inn, City Coffee and Killer Desserts.

What challenges have you faced in your first few years in business? People often think that because we are a specialty shop our prices will be outrageous. Often products similar to ours are more money and contain phosphates and a lot of water. We became a provincially inspected plant in 2007 and following those regulations is costly, but sanitation and a clean environment are our top priority. High quality and business success are possible though, as long as we have sufficient volumes. 4

Relish Elgin Magazine • Holiday 2008


4 What are your hopes for the future? We would like to move to a bigger location and offer a wider menu with full cooked meals, to assist people in a hurry. I would also like to see certification for butchers similar to what is set up in some provinces. Ray notes that his staff are “the best”. You definitely get the feeling on a visit to Farmgate that the friendly people behind the counter are also very proud of the products they sell.

Farmgate Markets Inc. is located at 310 Wellington Street in St. Thomas. Vistit for further product information, in-store promotions, a coupon and more about Farmgate's food safety measures. Pick up some of their stewing beef and try the Hearty Guiness Beef Stew recipe on page 21.

Relish Elgin Magazine • Holiday 2008



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. The Pumpkin Mousse Parfait recipe, as well as other seasonal recipes, can be found on our website,


Holiday Season Feast Menu Sweet Potato & Cauliflower Soup Lavender Blue's Lavender Honey Mustard Salad Dressing Hearty Guiness Beef Stew Lavender Blue's Fireside Lavender Bread Apple Cider from your nearest orchard Pumpkin Mousse Parfait

Sweet Potato & Cauliflower Soup Lavender Honey Mustard Dressing 2 Tbsp margarine 2 leeks, chopped, white part only 3 cloves garlic, chopped 1 sweet potato, cubed (1∞” cubes) 1 head cauliflower, broken into florets 4 cups chicken stock 1 tsp each dried tarragon & curry powder ∞ tsp salt, or to taste 1/4 tsp pepper 1∞ cups shredded cheddar •• Melt the margarine in a stockpot over medium high heat. •• Add leeks and garlic; cook stirring for 2 minutes. •• Add diced sweet potato and cauliflower and cook stirring for 5 minutes. •• Stir in the chicken stock and seasonings. Simmer covered, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes. •• Puree the soup in batches in a blender, being careful to vent for steam to escape. Return to the pot. •• Stir in the grated cheddar and heat gently till cheese is melted. •• Garnish with parsley (optional).

∞ cup olive oil 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar 1 clove garlic, minced 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard 1 Tbsp lavender infused honey* 2 tsp dried lavender buds*, finely ground freshly ground black pepper •• In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients. •• Pour over mixed greens & toss.


Relish Elgin Magazine • Holiday 2008

Fireside Lavender Bread

∞ cup whole milk 2 Tbsp lavender infused honey* 1∞ Tbsp dried lavender buds* 1 cup plain yogurt 1 cup sugar ∞ cup butter, softened 3 large eggs 2∞ cups all-purpose flour 1 Tbsp baking powder ∞ tsp baking soda ∞ tsp salt 1 Tbsp dried lavender buds*, finely ground 2 Tbsp icing sugar

relishfood •• Bring milk to a simmer in a small sauce

pan; stir in honey & lavender buds. Remove from heat, cover & steep 30 mins. •• Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 3L Bundt pan; set aside. •• Strain milk mixture into medium bowl; discard solids, add yogurt and mix well. •• In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until fluffy, then beat in eggs 1 at a time. •• In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, soda, salt & ground lavender. Stir into batter alternately with milk mixture, making 3 additions of dry ingredients and 2 of milk mixture. •• Bake in prepared pan in centre of a 350°F oven for 30–40 mins, or until tester inserted into centre comes out clean. •• Cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan & cool completely on rack. •• Sift icing sugar over cake. * Lavender infused honey and dried lavender buds are available at Lavender Blue Lavender Farm.

Relish Elgin Magazine • Holiday 2008

Hearty Guiness Beef Stew 2 lbs stewing beef, in 1∞" cubes 4 tbsp all-purpose flour 1 can tomato paste (5.5oz) 8-10 new potatos, scrubbed & quartered 5 medium carrots, cut into 1" pieces 1 medium onion, cut into 1" pieces 2 cups reduced-sodium beef broth 1 can Guiness 5 cloves garlic, sliced 1 tsp each dried savoury, basil & thyme 2 tsp dried rosemary salt & pepper, to taste 1 can baby sweet peas, drained •• Preheat oven to 350°F. •• Coat beef with flour in a plastic bag, then brown with oil on the stove in a Dutch oven. •• Add tomato paste, potatos, carrots, beer, onions, broth, garlic, herbs, salt & pepper. •• Cover & bring to a boil over medium heat. •• Transfer covered pot to oven and cook until meat is fork-tender (2∞-3hours). •• Stir in peas; garnish with a sprig of thyme.



Wiener's Floral Designs Wendy White has operated Wiener’s Floral Designs since December of 2004 when she bought the business from Marion Wiener. Tucked at the top of St. George Street in St. Thomas, the bright little shop invites you to breathe deeply and then check out the creative activity in the back. Visitors to Wiener’s Flowers quickly sense that they are in the care of someone who loves flowers and is also passionate about helping them express their intended sentiment, whether they are in need of an arrangement or a single stem.

What do you enjoy about the flower business? The flowers themselves—I’ve loved them since I was a little girl—and the opportunity for creative expression. I like that the designs are constantly changing. I usually tour flower shops in other cities when I visit to keep upto-date on what’s new. (I also like to check out their quality for wire orders). I also enjoy being self-directed. I was given a lot of freedom when I came to work for Marion Wiener, the original owner—it was almost like being a partner and I enjoyed that.

How did you learn the business? I was working as a hairdresser when a friend who knew I loved flowers talked me into going to Clinton’s Flowers (formerly in St. Thomas) to ask about a job. I learned a lot from each of the designers there—Marion Wiener, Amy Rylands and Lynn Jones. They all had a unique style and I learned something different from each. Marion’s ‘light and airy’ designs were the ones that I found most intriguing. When she opened up her own shop and asked me to come and work for her I was delighted.

Relish Elgin Magazine • Holiday 2008

How have flower designs changed? Arrangements are simpler—fewer flowers say a lot. Chrysanthemums, carnations, roses, gladiolas and snapdragons were the main flowers when I started designing. Today there are more choices available and many customers want more exotic flowers.

What are some of the business’s challenges? There's a decreasing demand for traditional arrangements. Less flowers are sent for funerals, with shorter visitation times and donations in lieu of flowers. With the trend to simple, people create their own arrangements for weddings, and often halls come pre-decorated. Additionally, flowers must be purchased in lots of 10’s or 25’s of a colour. Keeping a fresh stock of flowers without a lot going to waste depends on a consistent flow of business. Page 24: Easy Festive Flower Ideas4

Wiener’s Floral Designs is located at 18 George St., St. Thomas. To contact them call 519.633.6003 or visit



Deck the Halls Easy Festive Flower Ideas

The trend this Christmas is toward natural and “green”. Pinecones, berries, greenery and fruit fit in with the theme. There is also an emphasis on traditional red and green for decorating. Here are a few ideas that fit in with any decorating scheme.

4Punch up Christmas greenery with a hit of colour. Use a few flowers in your chosen colour scheme to punch up holiday greens. Fill a large vase with oasis. Add a mixture of holiday greens. Tuck in flowers. Hang tiny ornaments from the greenery. Change out the flowers for fresh ones to revive the arrangement. 4Holly & Berries. Drop sprigs of holly and a handful of cranberries into cylinder vases. Fill with water and add a floating candle. Use on a mantle, entranceway table or anywhere in your home to add colour and sparkle. 4Mini Arrangements with Big Effect. Fill an odd number of tiny narrow-necked vases with sprigs of long-needle greenery, holly and roses or lilies in red or white. Use them anywhere you want to quickly add a festive dash of colour: place the vases down the centre of the dining table with a trail of rose petals between; group them on a little table; put them along the bathroom vanity. 4Holly Placecards. Punch a hole in the top of dinner placecards. Poke a sprig of holly through the card and into a filled water pick. Keeping Flowers Fresh To keep your flowers looking fresh as long as possible: use lukewarm water and floral food; fill the container at least 3/4 full; re-cut stems and refresh the water every few days; keep flowers away from heat and direct sunlight.

Arrangements courtesy of Wiener's Floral Designs


Relish Elgin Magazine • Holiday 2008


Artist Profile: Judy Minor Judy Minor is an Aylmer artist whose works are now collected in several countries around the globe. Her paintings have been featured in many group and solo exhibitions, on national and international magazine covers, and commissioned by the NHL for their ‘Visions of Hockey’ Collection. She is also author/illustrator of the award-winning children’s book “Popsicles for Breakfast”, an international medallist for her paintings in miniature, and a recipient of an Award of Excellence at the World Exhibition of Miniatures (Smithsonian International Gallery, Washington DC).

What is your approach to painting, your process?

as they desaturate the colours, deaden the shadows, and often distort the shapes.

My theme is the light and how its wonderful effects can change our perception of ordinary things. The desire to paint a subject can be triggered from just about anything, the light and atmosphere of a place or the texture of a thing or simply the mood of an experience. I’ve often dreamed them.

I find that unless a piece has underlying good design and composition–‘good bones’–it will not be satisfying. There are many rules for good design, but in the end I listen to my intuition.

I then think about the many different ways I could make the image, shuffling components this way and that in my ‘mind’s eye’. The thinking process from there depends upon the subject. If it is a simple landscape, I tend to move/recolour/resize shapes around to achieve good design. For still life, I have a shelf built above my easel to change the actual objects around that way too. With more complicated works, initial shape and value (light-to-dark) sketches are often useful and can save a lot of head-aches later. For landscape in particular, I find that on-site colour studies are essential. Although cameras have been in use since the French Impressionists in 1838, they are only a fair to poor backup


For me, what the subject is has far less importance than the way in which it’s painted. I never end up with the exact painting that is in my mind. Paintings evolve, and each brushstroke determines the next one. My preferred style is what I call ‘soft realism’; ‘realism’ because that’s more challenging to me and communicates better, and ‘soft’ because it’s exciting to bend the image by pushing and pulling the light and the colour around.

What sparked your interest in being an artist? The big desire to ‘make stuff’ was always there, and the need to imagine, to learn and communicate in a visual manner. I remember the worrisome realization that many other 4

Relish Elgin Magazine • Holiday 2008


4kids didn’t focus this way and being secretly very relieved and excited when a teacher was able to teach well visually. Otherwise, the report cards always seemed to come home with the notation, ‘Judy is a good student, but tends to daydream’! I remember studying colour plates of art in the encyclopedia with great pleasure. It seemed in those days that visual art was considered ‘a frill’ and teaching in school was biased towards the auditory and written word, which may have sidelined many visual learners. Thanks to new brain imaging techniques, we now know how important the visual part of the brain is, particularly to the sciences, engineering, the trades and for inventors. I have a feeling that in the future, learning to ‘see’ and to develop a ‘good eye’ (visual literacy) will become even more important. Studying existing art or learning to draw is a wonderful entry point to that way of thinking.

I’ve spoken with a number of adult learners who are thrilled with the rich new world that it opens up to them.

How would you describe where you are at with your art now and what are your future goals? I like to challenge myself with each painting, and strive for excellence. After show season is over each year, I can get back to steady days at the easel and I look forward to that a great deal. I tend to set learning tasks for myself. I also try to do an experimental work annually too, and shake things up a bit. I think being an artist means being a constant student, and each new ‘aha’ moment opens up dozens more possibilities if you ‘keep your eyes open’. Like many artists, I feel that I’d probably need several more lifetimes, that I have barely scratched the surface of what can be learned.

Judy’s website is a delight of thoughtprovoking material on her approach to art, visual learning, and the role of art for both the artist and those viewing it. One entry describes the process she used to create “Across the Avon,” which captures both the look of the footbridge to Tom Patterson Island in Stratford and the feel of a “magical misty morning” in “a place bursting with creativity and whimsy”.

this video and others like it get thousands of views from around the world—it’s a wonderful form of universal communication. Her site is dotted with art-related quotations; one from Winston Churchill seems to sum up perfectly Judy’s approach to her work: “When I die and go to heaven, I want to spend the first million years painting—so I can get to the bottom of the subject.”

Judy enjoyed creating a time-lapse video of “Brush Study” (shown). This was a new experience which involved jumping out of the way each time the camera alarm went. She notes that

Judy winds up her show season with a traditional artist’s exhibit held in her 19th century saltbox home in Aylmer on Sat Nov 1st from 11pm to 4pm and Sun Nov 2nd from noon to 4pm.

Photos courtesy of Judy Minor

Relish Elgin Magazine • Holiday 2008


Profile for Joanne Bagshaw

Relish Elgin Holiday 2008 Edition  

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

Relish Elgin Holiday 2008 Edition  

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


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