Food From Off the Beaten Track: Fresh Corn in Mennonite Country

mennonite marketFrom my Farm to Table blog at Be sure to check it regularly, and watch for my monthly Farm to Table, local, seasonal cooking column in the print edition of Peterborough This Week.

For the entire article, please see my blog.

Click here for the article and full recipe.

Excerpt #1.

Krista and I don’t leave our love of local cuisine at home when we travel. Quite the opposite, in fact. We tend to go off the beaten track in order to take advantage of regional culinary delights.

One of the joys of seeking out local and seasonal food is that it allows for some adventures that you might otherwise miss while traveling. I’ve had the joy of experiencing a Cree village goose feast on the shores of James Bay. I’ve been fed cod cheeks by an enthusiastic Newfoundlander (though not in Newfoundland, I will admit). I’ve sampled a game platter of elk, bear, and caribou in the mountains of Alberta.

Cape Breton fiddleheads? Done. Foraged BC mushrooms. Absolutely. Wild Saskatoom berries in Saskathewan? Natch. Fresh roadside produce in provinces from the Atlantic to the Pacific? I have been blessed.

And then there are farmers’ markets.

If there is one thing guaranteed to put Krista and I behind on our driving travel schedule it is a sign for a farmers’ market.

Which is exactly what happened yesterday.

Excerpt #2

Pulling up to a small roadside, board and batten building, we got out of the car. Dark grey clouds were gathering overhead and the wind was picking up.

A young lad of perhaps 11 or 12 was staring up at the sky – his old-time clothes and straw hat made him look serious and years older than his baby face age.

We had, apparently, stumbled upon a Mennonite market.

I made some small talk about the weather, and the kid seemed surprised. He offered a shy smile. My guess was that he didn’t chat with strangers often.

As we walked inside, the wind whipped the door shut with a loud crash. Two heavily sideburned teens jumped at the sound. They, too, wore traditional garb. With rubber boots.

The few shelves of the small store contained fresh produce, eggs, and sausages. Hand-written signs indicated that everything came from the area.

When I struck up conversation, the two youngest boys fled. I feared that I had committed a social faux pas. After all, I knew next to nothing about Mennonite culture.

The third kid – a young man, really – was more forthcoming.

For the entire article, please see my blog. Click here for the article and full recipe.

Excerpt #3

Now that we’ve hooked up with our friends, I’m going to include corn in our dinnertime feast. We’re staying at a rented cottage, and I’ll be using a barbecue to make all of our supper. The menu? Burgers, corn, and what I like to call “Ross Potatoes” – they’re named after my dad, who included these tasty taters in almost all of our BBQ meals at home. He still does, in fact.

I’ll be posting a recipe for grilled corn on the cob soon, but, for now, will share instructions on some of the best potatoes you will ever eat.

It doesn’t get much simpler than this.

Ross Potatoes


Potatoes (while Dad uses standard white potatoes, I prefer either baby new potatoes or a mix of different coloured heritage varieties – reds and blues make for a pretty dish).
Salt and pepper

Recipe continued at the blog.

For the entire article, please see my blog. Click here for the article and full recipe.