Once upon a weekend in Prince Edward County

Written by Chef Charlotte

Once upon a weekend there was a small group of food gypsy’s who packed their caravan full of tasty treats...

Wild Mushrooms, peaches and corn. Tomatoes and smoked fish. Off they went….

They drove and drove and watched the sun go down and the cloud animals move around the sky. A sea horse floated over their resting place. A large barn filled with brilliant light awaited them and they smiled at each other aware of how lucky they were to be alive. Glasses of chilled, lightly amber coloured liquid was placed in their hands as the Gypsy’s unpacked their wares. Robust cuts of meat and thinly skinned red fruits tumbled out of their satchels as the coals of the fire were stoked, revealing the heat trapped inside of them. Thin slices of fragrant celery, shavings of rich parmesan and chunks of tomato were blended together with cider vinegar and cold pressed sunflower oil. The coals flickered and spit as the meat was presented to it, almost as if it knew what it had to do. In the coals nestled summer corn, smoke and sweet filled the air as the family awaited their meal. A gathering of plates, liquids replenished and the group fell upon the meal with fervour. Each bite a gift of our land. A few lingering tastes and the meal was done, the laughter and stories still flowing as abundantly as the wine. They faded into the night as the stars took over the sky and it was with this sign, they rested.

Early next morning, the bright warm sun awoke these people with smiles on their faces. They were ready and full of anticipation for their next adventure.

A few roads away, the Trails Estate Winery was awaiting their arrival.

Tents lined the field and wild flowers were piled on the table tops. Fresh seasonal wines were being introduced there and the gypsy’s had brought tastes to pair with them.The band of gypsy’s started setting up and a short while later, they were ready to feed their guests. Freshly shucked sweet peas with a red currant mignonette started off the meal. Guests mingled as they slurped down the fresh peas and sipped on chardonnay that shone with a pale clean wash. A slew of canned fish, bagna cauda, smoked oysters, smoked trout and pickled white bass followed and the guests dipped and shared and passed the tastes around the table. Crispy summer vegetables were there to dip and refresh the palate between the bits and sips they were enjoying.

A leg of lamb, roasted in spice was sliced cold and covered in a wild mustard sauce. Slices of cucumber tossed in fresh dill, purslane, wild dandelion vinaigrette. Toasty sunflower seeds added crunch and creaminess to the bright sour crunch of the cucumber. Peaches, apricots and plums were roasted slowly and tossed in fresh cheese, topped with sheep sorrel to brighten and showcase the richness of the fruit. Wild mushrooms, roasted, simply. Left to shone on their own. A bright green salad of Broccoli, marinated and then grilled until slightly charred was made love to with a smoked oyster emulsion and teased by wild carrot seeds. Thick and rich boudin noir was spread on toast and highlighted with small summer tomatoes that enhanced the iron quality of the dish, bringing it back to life in your mouth.

The guests, drunk on the summer sun, the food and wine began to slow down. Relaxed and full of joy, the spoke with one another softly and sighed about how their bellies were beginning to be be stretched.

Just one more……

Something sweet to entice your palate and reinvigorate your day. Fresh Cheese, whipped with honey and salt, roasted peaches and toasted honey crumbs.

A subtle farewell and the band left quietly, so as not to stop the moment. Off to the shore they went and they revelled in the care they had for each other and the others they had cared for.