Dear friend, These are indeed difficult and unusual times. Never in my 64 years have I seen or experienced anything like what our communities are experiencing now with the COVID-19 virus. I’m sure that it is the same for most of you reading this message.
I wanted to write to let you know how this pandemic has affected us at our store and production kitchen. For our staff, we have markedly increased the intensity and scope of our sanitation procedures around the store and in work areas. We as a staff also practice physical distancing as much as we can. We are producing new guidelines almost daily to meet the challenge of COVID-19.
As many of you know, who have visited the store recently, we have implemented some new store etiquette policies for customers, including hand sanitizer use upon entry and intentional physical distancing.
We now have a new phone-in shopping service with curbside pickup. See our website for details. We have reserved 8am to 9am for seniors and other vulnerable individuals to shop. We welcome all our other customers to shop after 9am.
I am very grateful to live in a time where we have sophisticated scientific research and Canadian leadership at many different levels to guide us as we push back COVID-19. We know about physical distancing, frequent hand-washing, making sure a sneeze or cough is covered by an elbow or with a tissue (then disposed of), followed by thorough hand washing. We have facts that tell us to limit our social interactions to household members only……and all the rest of the health regime.
We are Canadians and we believe in science so let’s make sure that we follow all the public health guidance from the authorities!
It’s way too early to know if there will be any silver linings to this current challenge in our country and in our world. But I’m looking for one. It’s been my experience that often from very difficult and bad situations good can come. Let’s keep looking for those silver linings in the days, weeks and months ahead to keep ourselves and our communities encouraged.
Please take good care of yourself and please look out for others around our communities who may need your help.
Sincerely, Jay Reesor Reesor’s Markets
On a happy note, sweet corn seeds have begun to arrive, ready for planting season.
This is a simple, delicious and not-too-indulgent Italian dessert from the region of Tuscany. Here in Canada, apples and cinnamon are an almost compulsory flavour pairing. But the lemon zest in this apple dessert gives it a nice fresh taste.
Make one for yourself or to share with others to whom you want to show some love. However, you, dear reader, are the apple of our eye! Happy Valentine’s Day.
2-1/2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour Pinch of salt 1/2 cup milk 2 eggs, beaten 2 Tbsp. sugar Zest of 1 lemon 2 apples, peeled and thinly sliced 2-3 Tbsp butter Confectioners sugar
Make a thin, smooth batter with the flour, salt and milk. Add the beaten eggs, sugar and lemon rind, and beat well. Stir the apple slices gently into the batter.
Melt the butter in a frying pan about 8-10 inches in diameter. Pour in the apple mixture, distributing the apple slices evenly over the bottom of the pan. Cook over medium heat until the omelette is set and golden brown on the underside. Place a slightly larger plate on the frying pan and invert the frying pan onto the plate. Then after adding a little more butter to the pan slide the omellette back into the pan to brown the other side. Turn the omelette out on to a heated serving dish and sprinkle with sifted icing sugar. Serve hot. Serves 2-4
Reesor’s Café is open Monday-Saturday from 8am to 3pm with delicious espresso-based drinks, chai latte, tea latte, and hot chocolate. We also have our own panini, quiches and salads. Eat in or take out. Our brewed coffee is available all day.
Stop in and enjoy one of our Valentine’s hot drinks, such as the Sweet Heart Red Velvet Hot Chocolate or the Chocolate Strawberry Tea Latte.
Are you one of our very loyal fans of Reesor’s Empire Cookies? They’re back for Valentine’s. If you haven’t tried them yet, now’s the time. We make them only at special holidays. They’re jam-filled, iced and so good. The heart-shape is perfect for nibbling.
Also now available at Reesor’s Market & Bakery is our lovely Nutella Cake. It’s a made-from-scratch white cake, with Nutella filling, cream cheese frosting and chocolate curls on top.
We are trying to reduce the use of single-use plastics in both our locations. In our town market we have recently installed a bulk food section where you can bring in your clean containers or buy one of our jars, and fill them yourself to take home. Lentils, popcorn, steel cut oats, sunflower seeds, almonds, raisins and more are now available.
Did you know that we have a frequent buyer Coffee Card to use when you buy any of our coffee, tea, hot chocolate or seasonal iced beverages at our town market café? Ask any of our cashiers or café staff and they will give you a card. Fill the card buying 10 beverages and you’ll receive your 11th for free (up to a $4 drink value).
Do you want to cut down on waste and save money? Bring in your own refillable to go container and we take 10 cents off the cost of your drink.
Winter is here, but there are some signs of spring
By Jay Reesor
For me, winters just don’t seem as long as they used to be. Getting older seems to make time go faster, so even winters go by more quickly than when I was younger. My feeling of getting older and time going quickly may have something to do with the fact that I can no longer sing the Beatles song “When I’m 64” as if it is in the future.
Even though, according to the calendar we are just over one month into the start of winter, spring doesn’t seem too far away. With seed catalogues coming in and seed salesmen and farm supply people calling – that’s a sign of spring for me!
And isn’t it awesome how the days are getting just a little bit longer? How encouraging! Until spring comes, I’m doing my best to enjoy this season and enjoy living each season as it comes. Spring will come and it will no longer just be something to look forward to.
While we are enjoying this winter season, why not take some time to plan how you can perhaps grow a little bit more of your own food this year. Because, as I always say, the best food is the food you grow yourself.
If you’re of a certain age you may remember this photo from the 1980 Milk Recipes Calendar. Back then in the pre-internet era, the free, colourful calendar insert in the newspaper was a bit of a big deal. I’ve adapted this recipe over time and keep it in my recipe book because it’s simple, has great sauce to go over egg noodles and it’s a favourite for family suppers or guests.
2-1/2 to 3 lb cut-up chicken pieces or 2 lb boneless thighs 1/3 cup all-purpose flour 1-2 Tbsp oil 1 cup finely chopped onion 1-2 garlic cloves minced 2-3 Tbsp paprika 1 tsp salt 1/2 tsp pepper 2 cups chicken bouillon or stock 1 cup milk 1 cup plain Greek style yogourt or sour cream
Mix flour, salt and pepper together. Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour mixture. Set aside 3 Tbsp of the flour for later.
Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large frying pan. Brown chicken. Remove chicken from pan; sauté onion until tender and add garlic towards the end, so it doesn’t burn. Stir in paprika and chicken stock.
Return chicken to pan, cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 25 to 30 min or until chicken is tender and no longer pink inside.
Remove chicken to a serving platter; keep warm.
Smoothly combine reserved 3 Tbsp flour and milk. Stir into pan juices. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil and thickens. Blend in yogourt or sour cream; gently heat through. Pour sauce over chicken and serve with egg noodles or your favourite way to enjoy the delicious sauce.
This is a delicious (non-chocolate) Easter treat–an oatmeal cookie, but deluxe. It does take time to do the decorating, so child or adult decorators are very helpful. I made 24 small cookies that were about 2 inches long. For one person it takes about 3 or 4 hours from start to finish to bake and decorate 24 cookies. You could bake on one day and decorate later. It helps if you get all the icing and colours organized and mixed ahead of time. If you make larger size cookies it speeds up the process.
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup quick-cooking oats
3/4 teaspoon salt
You may want to double this recipe to get all the colour ranges.
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2-1/2 tablespoons half-and-half cream
Cake decorating gel or food colouring, several colours of your choice.
In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla; mix well. Combine the flour, oats and salt and stir into creamed mixture.
Divide dough into four equal portions.
Use a spoon and your hands to portion and roll out uniform egg-shaped cookies in the size of your choice from each portion of dough.
Place on ungreased or parchment-lined cookie sheets. Bake at 350° for 15-25 minutes or until set. Smaller cookies will bake more quickly. Cool completely.
Combine glaze ingredients until smooth; spoon over cookies.
Decorate with the glaze and have fun.
Adapted from Country Woman magazine.
There’s still time to get a bit messy and creative for Easter. Make and decorate these delicious egg-shaped oat cookies.