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Saturday, September 3, 2011

Ontario day trips to wind up summer; culinary adventures for fall

   One-Tank Trip published on Sept. 3/4 2011

   (c) By Jim Fox

   Looking for that last-minute, day trip on the last long weekend of the summer?
   Then check out these suggestions just in from Ontario Tourism along with some culinary getaways for later.

   Happening now
   - Canada’s Largest Ribfest – Burlington, through Monday from 11 a.m., with tasty ribs, entertainment and fun for the family.
“Canada’s Largest Ribfest” in Burlington will attract 140,000 people through Monday for a lip-smacking time at Spencer Smith Park on Lake Ontario.
   This event is huge, attracting about 140,000 people, and lip-smacking good as it marks its 16th year at Spencer Smith Park on Lake Ontario. Last year’s “People’s Choice” winner was the Boss Hogs from London.
Ribfest draws the crowds.
   - 87th Annual Homecoming Celebration – North Buxton, through Monday. This Underground Railroad settlement in Chatham-Kent celebrates its heritage with a dance, car show, food and lots of children’s activities.
   - Bayfest – Port Rowan/Long Point, through Sunday, is a family festival on the Lake Erie shoreline with a midway, fireworks, live entertainment and lots of fun.

   - Summer Sundown – Blue Mountain, through Monday, marks the “end of summer with one great big party” that includes street performances, live bands, fireworks, beach volleyball, hiking and cycling, and the Apple Pie Trail to savour.
Mustard Festival spices things up. (Ontario Tourism)

   - 14th Annual Mustard Festival – Hamilton, through Sunday, has family fun, entertainment, art, tasty food – and served with the zip of mustard. Also, today is the start of Dundurn Castle’s “On the Outside” event Saturdays this month where history comes alive.
   - Hagersville Summers End – Cayuga, on today, with activities including interactive farm displays, entertainment, a barbecue, kids’ activities and more.
   - Travelling Tiltons – Upper Canada Village, Morrisburg, through Monday, to “laugh along with the hilarious antics” of the 1860’s minstrel troupe that rolls in on a horse drawn-wagon.

   Get cooking on culinary getaways
   - Wine Country Cooking School, Niagara-on-the-Lake, is known as the country’s first winery cooking school for recreational cooks.
  The Wine Country Cooking School in Niagara-on-the-Lake has a popular program for recreational cooks. (Ontario Tourism photo)
   The school promotes “hands-on learning” and working in teams of two preparing all the recipes, with numerous options including one-or two-day culinary getaways and five-day culinary vacations.
   Participating accommodations include the Harbour House Hotel, Shaw Club and the Riverbend Inn.
   - The Rosseau resort, Port Carling, offers a culinary experience “while enjoying Muskoka’s natural beauty.”
   This includes a “cook Muskoka” workshop to explore fresh local flavours, buffet breakfast, treats from nearby Johnston’s cranberry marsh and dinner at Teca Restaurant.
   - The Little Inn on Bayfield, circa 1832, is Ontario’s oldest continually operating hostelry.
   Monthly culinary weekends combine local foraging and hands-on cooking lessons while culinary holidays are also available for individuals, couples and groups.
   - The Waring House, Prince Edward County, Picton offers cookery classes where “everyone cooks, everyone eats, everyone has fun.”
   Classes are for all levels of expertise to “expand your culinary repertoire and teach you new tricks and chef techniques.”
   - Collingwood Cooking Academy offers a bed-and-breakfast day course along with numerous culinary topics including chocolate and more chocolate, and the sushi and tempura night and Thai experience.
   There are three hours of in-class instruction, an overnight stay at Willow Trace Bed and Breakfast and two-hour breakfast cooking lesson.
Culinary getaways and vacations are offered at numerous inns and resorts across Ontario. (Ontario Tourism photo)
   - C’est Bon Cooking, Marriott Courtyard Hotel, Ottawa, offers the Gastronomic Adventure package with overnight accommodations, breakfast for two, parking and a food tour of the Byward Market.
   Class themes include entertaining in style, signature dishes, celebrating traditional holidays and special classes with popular French-inspired recipes.
   - Harmony Dawn Ontario Retreat, Hastings, features Chef Nicola Lawrence James and Shifu Andy James with guests experiencing a “vision of a cleaner, greener future.”
    Weekend workshops include Cooking for Health to make “simple yet profound changes” to cooking and eating while learning the fundamentals of Insight Meditation and Qi Gong for mind and body health.
   - Thirteen Moons, Norwood, has cooking retreats and workshops including celebrating the harvest (Sept. 23-25), cooking with super foods (Nov. 6 and March 6) and culinary transitions (Feb. 24-28).
   The harvest event has a focus on cooking with seasonal ingredients, planning menus, creating a balanced vegetarian diet, along with shopping, baking and cooking tips and two night’s accommodation and meals.
   - Piebird Bed and Breakfast, Nipissing, is a picturesque hideaway with a variety of food and wellness packages and workshops.
   Topics include herbs for culinary and medicinal use, strawberry jam canning, growing the food you eat, herbal medicine for children and babies, artisan bread, vegan and healthy baking and vegetarian cooking.
   For more details about Ontario getaways: www.ontariotravel.net; 1-800-ONTARIO.


Jim Fox can be reached at onetanktrips@hotmail.com

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