Winter. What’s it good for?

by Jay Reesor

At this time of year many of us are already very tired of winter. Perhaps this winter especially, with the extremely cold temperatures and then the awful ice storm and power outages. Unless we are skiers or snowshoe enthusiasts, what is winter good for?

Well on the farm, winter is good for something!  Those very cold temperatures help to destroy plant disease organisms as well as make life very difficult for overwintering insects. Although we obviously cannot be growing things year-round in the fields of southern Ontario, winter is indeed good for something.

But winter won’t be here forever and there are a few signs of spring out here on the farm. The first sign of course is the longer days. Hurray! The second  is the calendar. Because in a few days it will be February and that means time for the maple syrup producers to tap their trees. Now that is a sign of spring for sure and then soon we won’t have to think about winter for a long, long time!

Glazed Orange Ginger Carrots

carrots cooked

Our Ontario Nantes carrots are a good way to keep eating locally grown food through the winter.  This side-dish recipe is made with your kitchen’s basic ingredients and comes together quickly.  At the end we’re including two ways you can use any leftover cooked carrots in a soup or a Morrocan-flavoured salad.

Reesor’s Market & Bakery is carrying the Nantes variety of carrot from now until the new crop of spring Ontario carrots is harvested.  Recognized by their blunt tip and their delicious, sweet flavour Nantes are the favourite of many of our customers.  Nantes carrots from the Holland Marsh, the heartland of Ontario’s carrot producers, are tasty fresh or cooked.

    • 6 large carrots, cut on diagonal or your preferred shape
    • 3 Tbsp butter
    • 2 Tbsp orange juice
    • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
    • ½ tsp ground, dried ginger or 1 tsp grated fresh ginger-root
    • Grated zest from one orange

Cook carrots in a medium saucepan, adding enough water to cover.  Bring to a boil and then simmer until the carrots are crisply tender.

Drain water and return carrots to the saucepan.
Add all the remaining ingredients. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally until heated through, about 3-5 minutes.

Leftovers?

Puree the glazed carrots in a food processor or blender, adding some chicken or vegetable broth and heat.  Then add some milk or cream heating gently. Add salt and pepper to taste to make Carrot Ginger Soup.

In a small bowl mix together ¼ tsp chili powder, ¼ tsp ground cinnamon, ½ tsp minced garlic, juice of half a lemon, splash of olive oil, salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Pour the dressing over your left-over cooked carrots, mixing together for a  Marinated Salad with the flavours of Morocco.  Add fresh or preserved green or red pepper if you have some on hand.

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A whole lot of baking going on

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It’s almost a year since we moved our town market from Ringwood Dr. opening on Main St., Stouffville.  After some renovations at our kitchen and bakery on Ringwood Dr. our team of bakers and cooks have been able to spread out and have more room for making food for you–all from scratch. We like to say that we cook and bake using the same ingredients that you use at home.

Remarkably, our wonderful bakers and cooks make over 60 kinds of cookies, cakes and muffins, and more than 50 kinds of entrees, soups and salads. Plus our bakers on Main St. make more than 20 kinds of pies, so that there are always good smells welcoming you as you walk in the door at Reesor’s.

Santa Lucia Cheese

Reesor’s now carries a delicious handcrafted cheese line, Santa Lucia, made in Toronto by the International Cheese Company.

The Provolone Pignata is wonderful in sandwiches or on a homemade pizza.  It’s mild and full-bodied, but with a hint of salty sharpness.

The pre-packaged grated Parmesan has a good depth of flavour and is convenient.

The Ricotta is fresh-tasting and has a mild nutty flavour.

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Creating 6 of your own signature dishes using Reesor’s Turkey Meatballs

We make our turkey meatballs using ground turkey from Round the Bend Farm in Kettleby, Ont.  They are already cooked for you to heat and serve at home.  They’re made with celery, onions, parmesan cheese, milk, eggs, canola oil and other seasonings.  Made with Jennifer’s Original GF bread they are gluten free.  We also offer frozen ground turkey and turkey sausages from Round the Bend Farm.

The kitchen team at Reesor’s is often thinking of different ways of enjoying the foods we make. And if you know some of Jay’s extended Reesor family you may know that we love to talk about and analyze food.

Joyce, who is Jay’s first cousin and is pictured above holding the salad bowl, and his sister Susan put their minds to our turkey meatballs and suggest these six variations.

  1. Heat them in the microwave and add to Reesor’s Vegetable Barley Soup.
  2. Make a meatball sandwich:  Heat the meatballs, slicing them in half and laying them on your choice of bread or bun.  Add sliced provolone cheese, tomato sauce, sautéed mushrooms or sautéed spinach.
  3. Make a wrap:  Heat the meatballs, slice them in half, put them in a tortilla, add salsa, shredded carrots, fresh cilantro, and mozzarella cheese.
  4. Heat the meatballs and serve them on a bed of couscous mixed with almonds, apricots and shredded carrots.
  5. Make a pizza with Reesor’s pizza dough. Add a layer of tomato sauce or pesto, adding meatballs and mozzarella cheese.
  6. Heat them in a tomato sauce; serve over pasta.