Peterborough Downtown Farmers’ Market

My new column in Peterborough This Week has been launched. As has my My Kawartha (the online version of the newspaper) blog.

Check out my coverage of the Peterborough Downtown Farmers’ Market here.

The weekly market starts this week and runs each Wednesday from 8:30am until 2:00pm.  You can check out their website here.

Added bonus: my blog contains a wonderful Market Greens and Goat Cheese Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette.  It’s a bare bones salad that can be added to as other veggies (or fruits) come into season.

I’ll be interviewing Jillian Bishop, Market Coordinator and adding more coverage later in the week.

Menu from the Green-Up AGM today

Catered the Peterborough Green-Up Annual General Meeting today.  Feeding a local environmental organization, it was fun to put on a spread that showed off local goods.

It was a lovely afternoon, and I think most people walked away well fed.

The menu:


Red Fife/Winter Vegetable Samosas

Organic Red Fife Wheat from Merrylynd Farm, Lakefield
Organic All Purpose Flour from Merrylynd Farm, Lakefield
Butter from Kawartha Dairy
Potatoes, Onions and Carrots from Bailey’s Farms and Greenhouses, Colborne
Garlic from The Gaelic Garlic, Peterborough
Corn from McLean’s Berry Farm, Buckhorn
Cauliflower grown by Farm to Table
and Thai Dragon Chilis grown by Farm to Table

Goat Souvlaki w/Herbed Yogurt
On Red Fife Mini-Pitas

Leg of Goat from Crosswind Farm, Keene
Lamb from Lane’s End Farm, Reaboro
Dried Herbs from Porcupine Creek Farm, Marmora
Yogurt made from Kawartha Dairy milk by Farm To Table
Organic Red Fife Wheat from Merrylynd Farm, Lakefield
Organic All Purpose Flour from Merrylynd Farm, Lakefield


Apple Butter Bars

Apples from Bailey’s Farms and Greenhouses, Colborne
Oats from Merrylynd Farms, Lakefield
Organic Red Fife Wheat from Merrylynd Farms, Lakefield
Butter from Kawartha Dairy

Krista’s Secret Ginger Snaps

Organic Red Fife Wheat from Merrylynd Farms, Lakefield
Organic All Purpose Flour from Merrylynd Farms, Lakefield
Butter from Kawartha Dairy

Fresh Apples with Maple Yogurt


Apples from Bailey’s Farms and Greenhouses, Colborne
Yogurt made from Kawartha Dairy milk by Farm to Table

seedy sunday power point

Tomorrow, Krista and I are appearing at Seedy Sunday.

Here are the PowerPoint notes for our workshop.

Seedy Sunday PowerPoint Presentation

“Farm to Table’s Donald Fraser & Krista Campbell Fraser will take you through a year in the kitchen of a Peterborough “locavore.” Take a month-by-month seasonal trip through the Peterborough area and learn how to create versatile year-round menus using local ingredients and produce from your own urban garden. Explore the benefits of making your own breads, cereals, and yogurt. Learn to supplement your winter menus by canning, freezing, and drying foods during the harvest.”

beef ‘n ale tarts (and meat pies too!)

I’ve got to tell you, I’m tired.

It’s been a long week of writing.  I’ve been putting on my consulting hat a number of times over the past few days (including some pro bono work).  And I’ve been battling a cold.

Maybe it is just the February blahs, but I’ve been dragging my ass for days.

And yet, Saturday is here, and I’m needing my hockey night pub grub.

It’s times like this that a chef depends on his staff for the grunt work on a menu.  He gets the sous chef to whip the brigade into action and has each of the station cooks maxed out in getting things just right.

There’s a problem using this model in the Farm to Table kitchen, however.  First of all, I’m not a chef, per se.  Second of all, I have no staff.

I do, however, have a side-kick, partner and house-pâtissière.  Thank you, Krista.  While you may not know it, you’ll be carrying the brunt of this tired Saturday evening dish.  I’ll even be a good husband and get your pastry ingredients together.

Tonight, we’re going to face the winter blahs with a hearty and homey pub dish: Beef and Ale Pies.  These little tarts are my Central Ontario take on Steak and Guinness pie, but in tart form — with a top and bottom crust.  They will be the perfect showcase for some late winter local ingredients, and a wonderful pairing with our local Publican House Seasonal Dark Ale.

Because I have the ingredients out, I’ll also make up some Savoury Beef Tarts to put in the freezer. They can act as an even easier tired Saturday night treat in the future.

Krista will be home soon. I best get the fillings together.

As usual, scroll down for the local growers/suppliers of my ingredients. *note* I use a homemade tomato paste. I’ll blog instructions on the paste at a later date.

Beef and Ale Filling

2 tbsp clarified butter
2 lbs stewing beef (1 inch cubes)
1 tbs all-purpose flour
1 tbsp red fife wheat flour
2 tsp course black pepper
1 tsp salt
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves minced
250 ml beef stock
250 ml dark ale
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 to 1 tsp dried thyme leaves
1/2 tsp dried rosemary leaves
1/4 cup water

1. heat butter in deep saucepan.
2. dredge beef in flour/salt/pepper.
3. brown beef in small batches — 5 minutes per batch — and remove to clean bowl.
4. deglaze with garlic/onion/water and saute until onion is just soft.
5. add beef, tomato paste, stock, ale, worcestershire, thyme and rosemary
6. cover and braise on low, bubbling, for 1 to 1 1/2 hours

Savoury Ground Beef Filling

2 lbs ground beef
2 tsp course black pepper
1 tsp salt
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves minced
125 ml beef stock
125 ml dark ale
2 1/2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 to 1 tsp dried thyme leaves
1/2 tsp dried rosemary leaves
1/4 cup water

1. Mix all ingredients.
2. Brown over medium high heat, skimming fat.

Notes on the Tarts by Krista:

Unsweetened Pastry (recipe unabashedly borrowed from Moosewood cook book, with some notes for guidance)
6 tbsp butter (cut into small pieces)
1 1/2 cups flour
about 4tbsp cold water

1. Cut together butter and flour (I just use a fork)
2. Add just enough water to hold the dough together (mix with finger tips)
3. Roll out dough and cut to fit into tart shells
*Notes: rolling the dough between two sheets of parchment or waxed paper can make it easier to roll out; plan carefully so you are able to handle the dough as little as possible as you cut the crusts and lids (if you have to re-roll some scraps, use them for the lids)
4. Add filling
5. Dampen the edges of the crust & place the lids and pinch closed.
6. Seal by pressing a fork around the edges, cut off excess pastry & puncture the lid a few times
7. Bake at 400F for 25 – 35 minutes (until edges are brown and filing is bubbling!)

Local Producers:
Clarified butter: clarified from Sterling Butter (Sterling)
Stewing beef: private local supplier
All-purpose flour: Merrylynd Farm (Lakefield)
Red fife wheat flour: Merrylynd Farm (Lakefield)
Onion: Beyers Farm (Peterborough)
Garlic: Gaelic Garlic (Peterborough)
Beef stock: Farm to Table
Henry’s Irish Ale: Publican House Brewery (Peterborough)
Tomato paste: Farm to Table

organic red fife flour tortillas

I’m a week late in blogging this recipe, but… better late than never, right?

I apologize, I’ve had a busy week wearing my Small Print Writing and Consulting hat. But, a good recipe or two is worth the wait, right?

Last weekend, I live tweeted the creation of my dinner. It was my traditional “hockey night fun food adventure,” in real time. The tweeting lacked a photo element. It also should have had a blogged recipe to work from. These are lessons learned, and tools you’ll see next time around. The tweets did, I think, capture some of the fun.

Saturday night, you see, is all about the casual, sport-friendly dinner. It is about food that goes well with hockey. It is pub food, fun food, food that goes just as well with easy-drinking ales and lagers as local red wines. It is food to be consumed while wearing a Montreal Canadiens jersey. On Saturday night at Farm to Table, you are likely to find gourmet burgers, specialty pizzas, jerk chicken, chicken wings, fun sandwiches, home-baked chips. You’re likely to be given a beer. Once 7 o’clock hits, you’ll be asked to pay attention to the hockey, not just be present. You might be asked to cheer.

Anyhow, last Saturday was Fajita Night in Canada, featuring skirt steak fajitas on home-griddled red fife tortillas. Local, pasture-fed top sirloin met fresh, hot tortillas. They were topped with sautéed onions and peppers and a variety of salsas and hot sauces.

I’m going to get to the full fajita recipe later in the week, but, in the short term, will fulfill the requests for the red fife tortillas. It has been a week, after all. As usual, look to the bottom of the post for the local producers behind the local ingredients.

Let me get this out of the way first, though. There are going to be some food purists who will turn their nose up at this recipe. First of all, it is a wheat tortilla, not corn. Second of all, it contains a leavening agent (baking powder), where a traditional tortilla wouldn’t.


Tough cookies.

This is Tex-Mex, folks. It is hardly traditional Mexican.

I’m sure I will feature some authentic Mexican cuisine on this blog at some point — or as authentic as a white dude from Central Ontario can produce — but in the meantime, I’m here for some good, clean, hockey night fun.

With that in mind, I give you:

Griddled Organic Red Fife Flour Tortillas.

makes 8 tortillas

1 cup of all purpose flour
1 cup of red fife wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of melted clarified butter
3/4 cups of warm milk

1. Mix together the dry ingredients and oil.
2. Slowly add the warm milk.
3. Mix just until a sticky ball is formed.
4. Knead for two minutes on a floured surface.
5. Place in a bowl and cover with a damp cloth for 20 min.
6. Separate into eight sections and roll into balls in your hands.
7. Cover with a damp cloth and rest for 15 min.
8. Place ball in floured surface and press flat.
9. Roll with a rolling pin, starting from centre, until 7-8 inches wide, and very thin. Do not overwork! Cover until ready to fry.
10. Dry fry on a griddle or in a large frying pan, 30 second per side. They should have a just slightly charred look.
11. Cover with a towel until ready to serve.

Local Producers:
Organic all purpose flour: Merrylynd Farm (Lakefield)
Organic red fife wheat flour: Merrylynd Farm (Lakefield)
Butter: Kawartha Dairy (Bobcaygeon)