Spuds, taters, potatoes, and sweet potato madness

This month the Barrie Public Library’s Cookbook Club’s October theme is ‘potatoes’. Visit the Barrie Farmer’s Market on Saturdays to purchase local potatoes for your recipes.

Get some ideas for potato dishes from these library books about potatoes or from this list which has two different potato titles in it, don’t forget to check the vegetarian cookbooks or comfort food cookbooks that the library has to offer. You can also check the index of any cookbook for recipes that use potatoes as an ingredient.

In the mood to read about potatoes? Try:

Fun Potato Facts

  • Potatoes belong to the Vegetables and Fruit food group with Canada’s Food Guide. One Food Guide serving is ½ cup (125 mL) or ½ a medium-sized potato. Source: Eat Right Ontario
  • Potatoes are in season January to March and July to December. Source:Eat Right Ontario
  • Canada’s Food Guide recommends we eat one orange vegetable, like sweet potato, every day. Source: Eat Right Ontario
  • Potatoes are a source of Vitamin C, & Folate – Source: Foodland Ontario
  • Potatoes are cool not only because they were the first vegetable to be grown in space, but because they are nutritious, delicious and not costly. It’s no surprise that they are Ontario’s largest fresh vegetable crop! Source:  Foodland Ontario
  • Don’t peel away all the goodness in those potato skins! Eat them. They add flavor, nutrients and fiber. Source: Foodland Ontario
  • Canadian growers produce over 150 different varieties, see a list of them are here. How many do you recognize? Potato varieties are categorized into a few main groups, what are they? Check your guess here.

Learn More About Potatoes – Canadian Resources

  1. Eat Right Ontario – learn all about potatoes including how to choose, store and cook them. Website has recipes too. Find out all about sweet potatoes on this website too.
  2. The Prince Edward Island Potato Board also has information about nutrition, environmental sustainability, preparation, storing/handling and cooking of potatoes on their website.
  3. Learn about the History of the potato on the Canadian Encyclopedia.com or reference one of the Barrie Public Library’s many Encyclopedia and Reference databases (access using your library card # and 4-digit PIN).

Find out which foods are in season this October at the Simcoe County Farm Fresh webpage.

What is your favourite potato dish?

Mine is a tie between scalloped potatoes and potato latkes.

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Your Favourite Chef

The Club’s September theme is Your Favourite Chef. We all read a Chef’s entire cookbook OR a chef’s biography then made a recipe by this chef from one of their cookbooks.

Learn to cook Classes in Barrie

Want to improve your cooking skills at a recreational level and master becoming a true chef in the kitchen? Try these single classes:

Cooking classes are also perfect for the food lover on your holiday shopping list!

Here are a few library book lists to get you started for the Favourite Chef theme: Cook biographies, celebrity chefs, TV cooking shows & more food TV chefs.

For this month’s theme I made Kerryann’s Turkish-style couscous from Jaime Oliver’s website. I included a clove of garlic and didn’t use all of the fresh chilli.

Couscous Salad

Couscous Salad

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Celebrate Fall Harvest Locally

Local food

Try some local sunflower oil by Huron Sun. Buy some at the Barrie Farmer’s Market and Innisfil Farmer’s Market and these local retailers. Read more about this sunflower oil business in this Barrie Advance article. These local restaurants use Huron Sun Pure Virgin Sunflower Oil in select menu items; confirm before ordering. Here are some recipes to try.

Local Fall Food Events

  • Thursday, September 18th – 4pm and 8pm only Date Night – Movie: Magic in the Moonlight. Every third Thursday of the month you can enjoy a wonderful Barrie Film Festival film at the Uptown Theatre as well as a special menu offered by one of five amazing participating Restaurants. For more information check their website.
  • Friday, September 19th at 7pm. Barrie Curb Appeal: An Outdoor Dining Experience. Featuring 5 courses and 5 chefs $125. City dock @ Bayfield and Simcoe Streets
  • Sunday, September 28th. Lunch starts at 9 a.m. Harvest Daze – Barrie Farmers’ Market. $2 BBQ by Black Angus Farmgate & Entertainment by the Barrie Folk Society
  • Saturday, October 4th, 8am-12pm. Downtown Barrie Autumn Harvest Cider and Sweets. Where: Memorial Square. Fall in love with a locally owned shop. Event will include apple cider, cake, wagon rides, inflatables and more!
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It’s Grilling Time

June is the cookbook club’s final meeting until the fall. We were BBQ’ing in June. I have compiled a list of Grilling resources (with some recipes) and local BBQ restaurants.

To keep you busy this summer I have included some foodie books and local food events.

Get Grilling, try these resources:

BBQ Restaurants in Barrie:

Travelling this summer? Here is a list of the Top 10 BBQ Restaurants in Ontario (2012 list)

Foodie Books to read over the summer:

Summer Food events:

  • June 2-8 – Local Food Week – various events in Ontario
  • Saturday, June 14 9am-5pm – Canada’s Gluten-Free Market, presented by the Canadian Celia Association
  • Saturday, June 14, King City Craft Beer and Food Truck Festival
  • Thursday, July 3 – Sunday July 6 – Downtown Barrie Craft Beer & BBQ Festival
  • July (dates to be determined) BARRIELICIOUS, Restaurants throughout Barrie and area, Try a diversity of culinary experiences at independent restaurants in Barrie and area featuring three course price fixed menus.
  • Thursday, July 24 – BBQ Sizzle at the Innisfil Farmer’s Market
  • August 1 – 4 – KEMPENFEST at Waterfront Parks , One of the largest outdoor arts and crafts festivals. Buy handcrafted kitchen items and stock up on homemade sauces, seasonings, snacks and more.
  • Sunday August 24th – Savour Simcoe, Tickets $59/person. This annual local culinary tasting event showcases local farm/food/beverage business’ and the culinary talents of local chefs. It is hosted by Simcoe County Farm Fresh Marketing Association.

Find more local food events in the Simcoe County Farm Fresh calendar.

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Sweets that don’t go to your Hips

The cookbook club’s April theme is healthy desserts.

My Podleski sister’s cookbooks are a go-to for good recipes. The new Looneyspoons Collection didn’t let me down this month. I made Greta’s Gluten-Free Miracle Brownies. The gluten free flour I used may have been why my brownies didn’t rise as well as those in the picture. Baker beware: I find when baking gluten free it generally is best to use the flour combination or flour brand recommended in the recipe for best results. My experience with this recipe proves the wisdom I had but ignored due to time constraints. Substitutions for what was in my cupboard:

  • 57% dark chocolate cocoa with some cane sugar
  • dairy free mini chocolate chips
  •  Isaiah’s flour gluten-free flour blend from this cookbook

Cooking time: 25 min. + 15min. My brownies needed an extra 15 minutes cooking time as they were still gooey in the centre. My oven is temperamental.

Gluten-free fudgy brownies

Gluten-free fudgy brownies

Find more healthy recipes in the library catalogue.

Family Recipes – March Theme

I am playing catch-up my family recipes from March are only getting posted now. I really enjoyed going through my recipes and finding true family recipes or ‘new’ (one generation) family recipes. What a difference to flip through my binder of recipes and see hand written recipes among typed recipes as well as ones printed from the internet and photocopied or clipped from magazines. A few years back my sister typed and photocopied all of our parents family recipes from all the looseleaf recipe cards and sheets of paper and compiled them into a binder which she shared with everyone in the family. I used this binder for my recipes in March. At our March meeting club members shared some keepsake cookbooks from their families and we had great discussion around them. Casserole, if I am not mistaken my recipe was from my Mom’s high school cooking class. My notes are handwritten with no exact measurements.

Mom's casserole

Mom’s casserole

My Dad makes wonderful chicken wings. He would always make a hot and ‘wimpy’ batch for my friends when we had parties at our cottage. These hot wings are even better wood smoked on his hand crafted wood smoker/enclosed fire pit. This version is oven baked.

Bob's Broil Wings

Bob’s Broil Wings

My Granny’s jam jams didn’t get a picture before they were all eaten. They are cookies with jam in the centre. I ended up using corn syrup because my molasses was questionably over a year old, they were lighter in colour but otherwise no noticeable difference. My Nana used to freeze these in large film canisters with wax paper layers between them for the holidays.

Find family recipe cookbooks at the library.

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Get inspired this spring

Calling all brave BBQrs

Find your BBQ in that snow pile, it’s spring try one of these recipes :Canadian Craft Beer Cookbook. Find more BBQ recipes on the library website here.

Barrie Community Time Bank – share your love of food

Know someone who needs food or can make food? Tell them to register for the Barrie Community Time Bank. Participants trade goods and services with each other rather than paying for them. People have been very generous will their time, they need people willing to take others up on their offers for help. Learn more at barriecom.timebanks.org.

Local Food Events

  • Toronto’s Good Food and Drink Festival April 3-6, food trucks, wine, beer with samples and demos!
  • Georgian Dining International Dinners (scroll down and click on ‘International Dinners’). Second year students prepare a three-course menu for $49.95. There are still dates from April 3rd to 17th. Themed menus listed here.

All things maple

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Food from the hearth

Delicious foods that we make with our families is the topic for March’s Cookbook Club. Do you have a secret or ‘go to’ family recipe and what is it? I have a copy of my Grandpa’s spaghetti and meatballs recipe tucked away.

Cookbook Club Family Recipe Swap: Don’t forget to bring a copy of one of your family recipes to share with the other club members to our upcoming meeting.

If you just don’t have time to dig through your pile of loose recipes feel free to borrow someone else’s family recipe from these library cookbooks about family cooking and make something from their cookbook.

FUN FACT: Butter tart filling started here! “According to a recent article in Toronto Life, “the first known recipe for butter tart filling – the voluptuous mix of eggs, butter, sugar and currents – appeared in a cookbook produced by the Royal Victoria Hospital’s Woman’s Auxiliary in Barrie in 1900, attributed to one Mrs. Malcolm MacLeod.” Read more of this article here.


Buy the IPM (International Plowing Match) 2014 cookbook (fundraising cookbook) which is a collection featuring the best recipes from residents of Simcoe County.  It is available at various local retailers in Barrie including Fox’s Bakery, Local Foods Mart, & Simcoe Sew & Quilt.

Napolean Home Comfort also puts out ‘Grill Accessory’ cookbooks, we have Napolean’s Everyday Gourmet Plank Grilling at the library.

Also try the Ontario Table Cookbook which was a 2012 Taste Canada Awards finalist. The website says this is only available Online but I believe I have seen Local Foods selling copies at their checkout. Also have a look at Lynn Ogryzlo’s Ontario Table blog.

Pick up a copy of the Gilda’s Club Cookbook with over 200 recipes for $20. All of the recipes were submitted by Gilda’s Club members and 100% of the proceeds help provide social and emotional support for anyone affected by cancer in our community.

I can’t wait to collect some great recipes this month!

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