Category Archives: food

Meet Chef Dusty Pettes from Ballygiblins



Gordon Ramsay has said that there is definitely a bond among kitchen staff. The staff of any restaurant spends more time in the kitchen than they do with their own families. Dusty Pettes has a wife and daughter, yet Ballygiblins in Carleton Place is mostly called home. The former “Undocumented Mayor of Prospect” began the hard way in the old Angus Barn on Highway 29. Within a month of beginning there as a cleaner, he moved up the culinary ladder prepping, and then progressed to Prime Rib and Steakhouse selections. Similar to how Chef Anthony Bourdain trains his chefs, Dusty worked his way up in the ‘streets” of the ktichen.

A chef is a mixture maybe of artistry and craft. You have to learn the craft really to get there. Dusty gained experience at local eating establishments like Leatherworks, and finally met Derek Levesque at the old Mississippi Hotel. From there, it was on to Ballygiblin’s where he never looked back. Bally’s is one of our local gems serving excellent food, sourced locally.

You don’t become a chef to become famous, and Dusty is all about using local produce and meats. Everything is made by scratch like it used to be. You won’t find them opening up a bag of frozen french fries at Ballygibin’s. Sure, it costs a bit more, but they support local farmers and butchers like Anderson Farms. They are known for their burgers, and the ground meat they buy locally is so good very little filler is needed. Their popular homestyle burger has seasonings, salt and pepper, and that’s all she wrote. No matter what it is, Dusty loves to push the boundaries of flavour. A home cooked meal, but with a different approach.

As a chef, you need to respect your guests and their needs. Dusty understands that, and they do a variation of food on the menu. From comfort food with a twist, to world foods, there is something for everyone. Some daily specials are featured as a testing ground to get feedback. It’s all about the customer! Dan, the baking chef’s desserts are so good he could be called “someone’s mom”. Cheese cakes are his specialties, and there is word a Tiramsu is in the works!

His work beliefs as a chef are carried on at home with his daughter being taught how to raise chickens, and his wife Jessica involved with our beloved community Beckwitch. (more about her this week) Fresh eggs, and expanding gardens, are all in the Pettes family mantra.

Dusty loves the small town feel of Carleton Place, but wishes there was more life in the downtown area. It would also be a prefect world if landlords showed some love–but then again, it is easy to say bring them in, but you can’t force anyone.

What final words did Chef Dusty Pettes have?

“You are only as good as your last plate!”


151 Bridge St, Carleton Place, ON K7C 2V6
(613) 253-7400

Pig Candy — Cooking With Chef Dr. Dusty from Ballygiblin’s

Carleton Place- The Happiest Damn Town in Lanark County

For the Facebook Group:

Tilting the Kilt, Vintage Whispers from Carleton Place by Linda Seccaspina is available at Wisteria at 62 Bridge Street, the Carleton Place Beckwith Museum in Carleton Place, Ontario and The Mississippi Valley Textile Mill in Almonte.  available on all Amazon sites (Canada, US, Europe) and Barnes and Noble

It’s Vintage Vicki Time!





From time to time we post our “found” second hand treasures on Facebook so others can see you just don’t need to spend a lot of money to look fabulous. I like to find the beauty in something that was tossed and no longer loved. I furnished my loft for practically free after finding everything I needed in salvage shops and consider myself a part-time freegan. One woman’s donation is my fashion find and joy– and more importantly – money for charities like Lanark County Interval House. By shopping at As Good As New and the other charity run shops we have in Carleton Place you make a difference!

So why should I write about a woman who lives out of town? Well in January, Vicki Racey decided she would bring her wares to the Carleton Place and Beckwith Museum, and sell stuff to raise money.

She could have picked Almonte, she could have gone to Ottawa, but no, she believed in our Museum and also has been a constant volunteer. This was the very first time that a vintage clothing sale was held inside a small town museum. Most of the time we have to head to Ottawa to search for vintage treasures.

Vicki Racey, who is also a vintage clothing collector, is going to open a summer pop-up store in nearby Almonte. When I was there there, construction was still going on, but Vicki was a lot calmer than I would be. She had racks and racks of clothes ready to be sold in a few weeks.

Of course those few weeks might turn into a teeny bit longer. But, if you are heading through the Main Street arch on your way to Barley Mow, check out the green door (63 Mill Street) on your right, and give her a Carleton Place Hi!

The vintage kitchen wear and the canisters she has reminded me of my Grandmother. I thought I would include a recipe for Molasses Cookies. Enjoy!

Vicki Racey

613-858-6348 store

Vintagewear on Facebook

Original recipe — MOLASSES COOKIES
3/4 cup margarine, melted
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup white sugar

In a medium bowl, mix together the melted margarine, 1 cup sugar, and egg until smooth. Stir in the molasses. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger; blend into the molasses mixture. Cover, and chill dough for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Roll dough into walnut sized balls, and roll them in the remaining white sugar. Place cookies 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until tops are cracked. Cool on wire racks.

Carleton Place- The Happiest Damn Town in Lanark County

For the Facebook Group:

Tilting the Kilt, Vintage Whispers from Carleton Place by Linda Seccaspina is available at Wisteria at 62 Bridge Street, the Carleton Place Beckwith Museum in Carleton Place, Ontario and The Mississippi Valley Textile Mill in Almonte.  available on all Amazon sites (Canada, US, Europe) and Barnes and Noble

Longing for Spring — Poutine— C & D’s Fresh Cut Fries


Just saw on the Carleton Place Restaurant Review Page they have ended an era..

April 18 2017

Happy Spring time everyone
I would like to thank all the customers that have passed under the portals of my red roof for their burgers and fries A Happy Easter .
I also am announcing that C & D Fries has closed , we will miss the many faces that appeared at my window. many good friendships were made.
I would like to thank all the staff members that have work for me over the many years, a special Thanks to Miss Claire she always has went above and beyond to help me from day up to day end, and still helping me clean up.
A big thanks to Junior, Bud, Kent and Jason for moving and cleaning up my site.

Take care folks
You will see my smiling face as a Cashier at the local Freshco store.



Just in case you can’t wait, there is a recipe at the end





1 quart vegetable oil for frying
1 (10.25 ounce) can beef gravy
5 medium potatoes, cut into fries
2 cups cheese curds
Heat oil in a deep fryer or deep heavy skillet to 365 degrees F (185 degrees C). While the oil is heating, you can begin to warm your gravy.
Place the fries into the hot oil, and cook until light brown, about 5 minutes. Make the fries in batches if necessary to allow them room to move a little in the oil. Remove to a paper towel lined plate to drain.
Place the fries on a serving platter, and sprinkle the cheese over them. Ladle gravy over the fries and cheese, and serve immediately.
Add cut up cooked chicken or hamburger.
Use shredded mozzarella cheese in place of cheese curds.
Italian Poutine: Substitute marinara for gravy.
BBQ Poutine: Substitute a light BBQ sauce for gravy.

Meet Jeff Mitchell from Mitchell’s Independent Grocery Store


No one likes change. My aged mother-in-law was horrified when she heard ownership had changed at our local Independent grocery store. Each Sunday since the new owner, Jeff Mitchell, took over our Carleton Place, Ontario store, she has grilled me about the status. Is that nice butcher Glen still there? Is the iconic Brian still working in the store helping everyone?

Others asked, and wondered, what the newcomer and new owner of Mitchell’s Independent had in store for our little town. Mitchell is no stranger to the Independent Grocer family. Even though there is a great story written about him somewhere online, I knew I had to find out for myself what Jeff Mitchell was all about.

In the back of my mind I expected to meet someone quite different. Even though he claims he can retire, he could have fooled me. Along with his youthful appearance, his attitude is, that grocery shopping shouldn’t be considered a form of punishment. Not only is customer service at the top of his list, customer awareness, and education, are key components of success for the store.

I had noticed the changes a few weeks ago. There seemed to be more simplified language, and clearer signage in the store. Even the produce at the front was displayed in a more attractive way. Just by a few changes, I immediately understood, that Jeff ensures that every kid who comes through the door knows the way to the fruit section. He already knows the inner workings of our grocery store having been a district manager for our Carleton Place location for years. Jeff has over 40 years of experience in the grocery business, beginning his employment as a humble buggy boy.

There are big plans for the store, with the downsizing of the “general merchandise dept.” to make way for a 5000 sq foot Joe Fresh store. For anyone who has not seen their catchy television ads, Joe Fresh is a Canadian chain created by Loblaws featuring hip, trendy apparel and accessories for men, women and kids. The company has also just signed a deal with Aldo Group shoes for the design of all Joe Fresh’s footwear, which will be introduced in spring of 2016.

The ‘fresh food section’ as he calls it is also going to have a new look. The salad bar, brand new cheeses, and it’s all about the new Sikorski sausage being introduced to the store. Jeff has a mission that the big empty room upstairs is finally going to be used for the community. “What’s For Dinner” will be held every Tuesday with samplings of food items, accompanied by recipes, and teaching customers how to prepare unfamiliar foods. Birthday parties, cooking classes, are also on the community development list. They are also looking for a local web page developer for the store, so if you think you can keep up to Jeff and his ideas, please contact him.

You can feel the passion he has about about the food service business as well as the love for his family. He is a proud Grandfather, has two grown children, Crystal, 33, and Jeff, 30, and has been married for 35 years. His wife also works at the store as a bookkeeper and partner. They always wanted to settle in the country, and now finally, they have 2 acres on the 9th line.

Jeff wants you to know he doesn’t have to do this. He is pensionable as he says, but has always dreamed of owning his own store. So if you see someone just a little bit older than the regular staff bagging your groceries one day when you are in there, don’t even bat an eye. That is your new owner of Mitchell’s Independent store here in Carleton Place, and it’s all about customer service.



Tilting the Kilt, Vintage Whispers from Carleton Place by Linda Seccaspina is available at Wisteria at 62 Bridge Street, the Carleton Place Beckwith Museum in Carleton Place, Ontario and The Mississippi Valley Textile Mill in Almonte.  available on all Amazon sites (Canada, US, Europe) and Barnes and Noble