September 14th, 2017 Missive from J.K. Farm
I see evidence of transformation in many places. An intricately patterned caterpillar inching its way towards the ideal location to spin its cocoon and then to emerge, a graceful butterfly leaving the torn remnant of its former life behind. A lobster, its flesh pushing outwards beyond the capacity of its rigid carapace. It molts, shedding its shell and begins the next chapter of its life anew. Its new exoskeleton is vulnerable in the early going, growing harder and more protective in time. I think of these creatures in nature and wonder how people show outward signs of transformation. I am walking along the streets of Toronto and pause in front of a house where there are clearly remnants of someone’s recent past. It is a sidewalk display of overturned dressers and bed frames with articles of clothing blowing in the wind like tumbleweed. As I take in the scene I have this strong sense that this person has sloughed off these weary reminders of a difficult time and has emerged from this torn cocoon transformed and ready to fly.
I remember hearing that Prince Edward County is a place where Monarch butterflies gather to shore up their strength before leaping into the air to begin their journey south, across the lake, before the winter. I am seeing more and more monarchs in the flowers in the fields. There are other signs of change around the farm. The sumacs are reddening. The days are growing shorter. The nights are cool. Even so, after a summer of unpredictable weather with high water levels and cooler temperatures and cloudy days, in this part of September we seem to be settling into a stretch of clear skies and warm days. This is wonderful news for vinegrowers ripening their soon to be harvested fruit. My tomatoes are basking in the sun and heat like reptiles on a sunny rock, finally getting a chance to ripen.
This past weekend we welcomed Stratus Vineyards and Fifth Town Cheese to the summer Dinner Series as our guests of honour. J.L. Groux, the winemaker at Stratus was at the table and spoke to the wonderful selection of wines that he had brought. The purity and elegance of these wines showed well and were delicious in concert with the menu we had prepared. Patricia Bertozzi, owner of Fifth Town cheese spoke to her handmade cheeses and our guests enjoyed sampling the many excellent and different styles that were presented under the stars and next to the roaring bonfire.
Saturday September 9, 2017
An evening with Stratus Vineyards
Hors d’Œuvres on the Ridge
JK Fries with Two Sauces
Curried Sweet Potato and Swiss Chard Croquettes
Wild Mushroom Strudel
Fish Cakes with Wild Leek Tartar Sauce
Roasted Red Pepper Canapé
Stratus 2016 Tollgate Rosé, VQA Niagara Peninsula
Menu in the Loafing Barn
Ratatouille Filled Squash with Sweet Corn Sauce
Stratus 2013 Stratus White, VQA Niagara Peninsula
Ontario Artichoke with Sorrel Hollandaise
Stratus 2013 Semillon, VQA Niagara Peninsula
Great Lakes and Maritime Chowder
Stratus 2014 Chardonnay, VQA Niagara Peninsula
Seared Hanger Steak with Celery and Blue Cheese Salad
Stratus 2014 Cabernet Franc, VQA Niagara Peninsula
Artisan Cheeses from Ontario and Quebec
with Various Greens from the Garden
Stratus 2013 Weather Report Red, VQA Niagara Peninsula
Poached Plums with Semifreddo
Stratus 2016 Late Harvest Cabernet, VQA Niagara Peninsula
Coffee or Tea
Thank you to Anne Rumble @rumblebee73 and Mark Staunton for these images.