Farm to Table Spoons it Up

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It’s no secret that I’m a fan of the Seasoned Spoon at Trent University. I’ve blogged about them several times, written magazine articles about them, featured them in newspaper columns, and even profiled them in an article that appeared in Metroland Media papers/blogs in regions right across Ontario: Here’s the Ottawa page of that article.

Why is it that I love them so? Well, they pretty much represent all that I believe in when it comes to local and seasonal food. They’re a co-op that offers both educational and employment opportunities to students and Peterborough residents. They specialize in serving food that is either grown at Trent or sourced (whenever possible) by local growers. And they are a part of some great educational sustainable food projects, such as Trent’s rooftop garden, community field garden, and brand new root cellar. Plus, it is just a comfy place to hang out — with food that will knock your socks off.

What kind of food are we talking?

While the menu changes from day to day, it usually features at least two different types of soup, two different types of wraps, numerous salads, and entrees ranging from casseroles to quiches to traditional fare such as lasagna and shepherds pie. Of course, no meal is complete without dessert. The Seasoned Spoon prides itself on incredible daily baked goods – including some gluten free options.

Now, ordinarily, I’d be preaching the Spoon gospel by sending you up to Trent for lunch — and, really, why not? It’s a short drive or bike to get to Café (located in Champlain College)…

Today, though, I’d like to take care of a bit of time sensitive Spoon-related business.

1. The Spoon will be celebrating their 10th Anniversary this coming Saturday, April 6th, with a full day of activities, including workshops, guest speakers, a celebratory dinner, and an evening of round and square dancing. I’ll be on hand facilitating a panel of speakers: “New Farmers Growing Ecologically in the Kawarthas” will feature Josh of Chickabiddy Acres, Kate Logan of TerraVerde farm, and Pat Learmonth of Farms at Work. I may need to do some homework beforehand to keep up with these great growers. More details can be found here. I definitely hope to see you there.

2. There are only 3 days left in the Spoon Silent Auction. There are some great products and services to bid on, including local food and beverages, “date nights” on the town, massages, bookkeeping services… really, there’s something for everyone. You can even bid on a ticket for 2 for our Downtown Culinary Tours — with all money going to the Spoon and its great programs. Hop online at and get your bids in today.

Want to taste a bit of the Spoon from the comfort of your own home?

I managed to pry this recipe from longtime Spooner, Robyn Smith, who assures me that it is a wonderful addition to fries and curds.

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Miso-Mushroom Gravy

2-3 Tbsp. garlic (minced)
3 cups onions (diced really small!)
1 Tbsp. red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp. ginger
3 ½ cups mushrooms (chopped very small)
1-2 cups veggie stock
2-3 Tbsp. miso (it’s good without it too)
¾ cup tamari (or soy sauce)
½ tsp. black pepper

Fry onions with oil, pepper flakes and ginger, and when they are tender add in the mushrooms. Cook on moderate heat, stirring, until they start to release their delicious juices and break down a bit. When this happens, add your liquids a little at a time, so that a creamy texture is achieved.

If you’d like, you can also add a little rice vinegar for a kick, or a bit of almond or rice milk for extra creaminess. Keep cooking and stirring until things thicken up a bit and the mushrooms get totally absorbed in the sauce. The miso is not totally necessary, but very tasty, and I recommend it highly!

This gravy tastes awesome on many things, most notably poutine! To make an awesome poutine, slice potatoes in good big wedges, toss in oil, salt, pepper and spices (I like oregano and thyme) and bake at high heat (400o or so) until they get a crispy outside. Toss some cheese or, for vegans, nutritional yeast and sautéed veggies, then cover with gravy and stick back in the oven just long enough for everything to get all melty.

Mmm delicious!

* * *

Thank you, Robyn.


As a final note, how long have the folks at Farm to Table been fans of the Spoon? How about since before there was a Spoon. Here’s a photo of Krista in her role as the second ever rooftop garden coordinator way back in her days as a student at Trent.