Category Archives: lanark county food




Eat those carrots– but try a new food group with parsnips!




YIELD: Makes 12 to 16 servings



  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup canola oil or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
  • 2 cups (packed) shredded peeled parsnips (about 3 large)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted, chopped
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 3 cups (about 12 ounces) powdered sugar


Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Combine flour, sugar, ground ginger, baking powder, cinnamon, 3/4 teaspoon salt, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves in large bowl; whisk to combine. Whisk eggs, oil, milk, and 1 teaspoon vanilla in medium bowl to combine. Pour egg mixture over dry ingredients; stir until just combined. Stir in parsnips and walnuts. Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool cake completely in pan on rack.

Beat cream cheese and butter in large bowl until smooth. Beat in fresh ginger and remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Gradually add powdered sugar and beat until frosting is smooth. Spread over cake. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.)

“Shop The Carleton Place Farmer’s Market —- Because there is no place like home!”

Carleton Place Farmer’s Market

7 Beckwith St.
Carleton Place, Ontario
(613) 809-0660

830 am to 1230 pm

How to Grow Things from Your Carleton Place Farmer’s Market Kitchen Scraps

Carleton Place Farmer’s Market Zucchini Cupcakes

McGahey and White Oak Farms Sassy Sausage and Black Bean Soup

When Life Gives You Lemons at the Carleton Place Farmer’s Market

Chocolate Cake in a “Heart BEET” — Carleton Place Farmer’s Market

Want to Go To School With Batman? Carleton Place Farmer’s Market

How Do You End Being a Popcorn Farmer?

Don’t Waste One Jelly Bean Moment in Life — Christine Dixon

How Big is Your Head— of CABBAGE? — Carleton Place Farmer’s Market

Take the Pickle Challenge at The Carleton Place Farmer’s Market

May Proulx for President of your Next Tea Party!– Carleton Place Farmer’s Market

Waratah Downs Doesn’t Sell Cheeseburgers in Paradise! — Carleton Place Farmer’s Market

You Don’t Need to Go By the Pool to Get Dip — Carleton Place Farmer’s Market

Holy Cannoli Macaroni! From Italy With Love at The Carleton Place Farmer’s Market

Grandma Garrett is on Fire at the Carleton Place Farmer’s Market

The Secret Ingredient is Always Cheese — Carleton Place Farmer’s Market

Did I See your Mum Knitting at The Carleton Place Farmer’s Market?

Did You See the Blue Heron at the Carleton Place Farmer’s Market?

Wonder Woman lives at the Carleton Place Farmer’s Market

Why Shop at Farmers’ Markets and Remember Tupperware?

The Secret Lives of Pets – Tail Wagger Threads Now at the Carleton Place Farmer’s Market

The Big Buzz at the Carleton Place Farmer’s Market — Get Bee-autiful!

Carleton Place Farmer’s Market Re-Invents the McGriddle

Are You Stuck in a Vegetable Rut? The Carleton Place Farmer’s Market

Before and After Swagger Snacks from The Carleton Place Farmer’s Market

It’s Strawberry Time at The Farmer’s Market

A Fiesta in the Strawberry Patch at the Carleton Place Farmer’s Market

Baby, I’m a Wantin’ Some Brown Dog Bakery — Carleton Place Farmer’s Market

A Fiesta in the Strawberry Patch at the Carleton Place Farmer’s Market

Visit the Drama Free Zone Wall at The Carleton Place Farmer’s Market

Where to Go When You Don’t Have a Green Thumb — Two Fields Over at the Carleton Place Farmer’s Market

Put Your Chutney Where Your Mouth Is! — Carleton Place Farmers Market

Missy Moo’s Magical Hand Cream – Carleton Place Farmer’s Market

Buy Linda Secaspina’s Books— Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac– Tilting the Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place and 4 others on Amazon or Amazon Canada or Wisteria at 62 Bridge Street in Carleton Place

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


Get your Green On!– You’ve Got to Eat in Carleton Place!


There is nothing like celebrating St Patrick’s Day in Carleton Place, Ontario. You will meet everyone at our local watering holes: from an actual Irish dude, to the Dad who went out for cigarettes 12 years ago and never came back. Of course there will be those fake fighting Irish women, or the guy sporting a Shamrock tattoo that will actually pay off that day.

So what’s happening in Carleton Place on St. Patrick’s Day?

St James Gate- Our Original Irish Pub- 111 Bridge Street is beginning to party at 11am. They will be featuring their Celtic meals like: their delicious St. James Pie and Fish N Chips, as well as green beer. Don’t forget they exclusively serve Easy Amber and Bud Buster from the Perth Brewery. Say Hi to Rebecca, and the other St James gals, and tip them your festive hat and some green!

Ballygiblins on Bridge Street -151 Bridge Street

If you never had a real Irish Stew you need to walk, no run, to Ballygiblin’s tomorrow. Chef Dusty Pettes (“Just Dusty” to me) told me he is making ‘the real deal’— you got it- Irish Lamb Stew. Lamb stew is Irish penicillin: a rich stew full of potatoes, leeks and carrots that’ll cure whatever ails you. While you’re there you should order the Lamb Meatloaf with all the fixins’ to take home for dinner. After drinking all that green beer you are going to be in NO condition to cook, so might as well kill two birds with one stone. As usual, they offer Gluten-free choices, and if you are on a diet there is always the festive Giblin’s Greens.

Old Town Bakery—73 Lake Avenue West

This was a review I found on Yelp:

They have a literal WALL of fresh bread and baked goods. A sneeze-guarded rack of brownies and butter tarts and nanaimo bars and things I’ve never heard of that would re-assign the sneeze-guard as a drool-guard. They have a sandwich station set up ala Subway, but brother – this ain’t Subway. They have fresh loaves of bread waiting to be sliced into extra-thick pieces for your giant sandwich. Lots of sandwich fixin’s to choose from and they’re not stingy. Once your sandwich is complete they wrap it in wax paper and stick it satisfyingly into a brown paper bag, Then you have to try hard not to request any croissants or broccoli and cheese filled something-or-rathers which can be heated up if that’s your fancy.

My thoughts are: You have to go in there to meet Kathy! Tomorrow, they will have Shamrock Cookies, Shamrock Krispie Squares, and they told me today that they were baking St Patrick Day cupcakes. Get one of each, and give Kathy a hug – or try:)


The Queens 142 Bridge Street

If you have read my book “Tilting the Kilt” you need to make at least ONE pit-stop at this historic hotel. As legend goes, Mrs. Mary Chatterton ran the “Chatterton House” in the Queen’s Hotel alleyway. It was well reputed that Mrs. Chatterton served more than alcohol to her clients! An advertisement for Chatterton House read: the proprietress has spent a large portion of her time in catering to the wants of the traveling public and this house has become justly famous for its good cheer and pleasant associations.” 

The Queen’s Hotel no longer has to deal with Lady Chatterton, but will be having LIVE music all day (The Diplomats from 6-10), and of course, will be serving up Guinness Beer. On March 17th, 13 million pints of Guinness will be knocked back around the world in honour of St. Patrick so have one for me at The Queens. They will also be giving out pairs of SENS tickets, hats you name it. May the road rise up to meet you at The Queens.

The Lunch Box (Army Navy Club) Townline Road

The gals will be serving up some good old fashioned home-cooking from 11-5- serving home made Irish Stew on top of mashed potatoes. When I was there they were just baking Key Lime Pies for tomorrow. Enjoy a lunch there like Mum used to make.  And, don’t forget our local legion ANAF on Townline are having an Irish breakfast at 11:00 and festivities during the day .

The Waterfront Gastro Pub-12 Bell Street

According to the meals at the Waterfront are good, hearty and homemade, so will St. Paddy’s day be any different? The people who work there are friendly, professional, and this historical establishment is just across the town’s main bridge nestled along the Mississippi river bank. They are going to have live music until 1 am, and lots of yummy Irish fare. So may the sound of happy music, and the lilt of Irish music fill your heart with gladness.

The Thirsty Moose 20 Bridge Street

Lets face it– why does anyone go to the Moose? If you are reading this outside of Carleton Place, you need to go there once in your life to meet the Moose’s owner, Bubba. When I asked him what was going on he told me no lies- just the facts shot from his spot on the bar eating a salad. A salad? There goes Bubba’s reputation around town.

Bubba sadly told me ‘the damn band canceled’ for St. Paddy’s Day. Anyone that knows the Carleton Place watering hole knows you don’t need a damn band at The Moose. So bring along your harmonica, guitar, and singing voice, as Bubba is already chilling the Green Beer and stirring the Irish Stew. When I asked him why people should come to The Moose on St. Patrick’s Day, his response was,

Where else are you going to get hammered on a Tuesday?”


“Get in My Tummy” — Ballygiblins — Ultimate Sticky Toffee Pudding

Carleton Place- The Happiest Damn Town in Lanark County

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