I saw this picture this morning of Erica Zwicker from The Floral Shop and her husband and I had to laugh. People that own businesses have to be the employee of the month in my mind. There is no way anyone works harder than the self-employed. So who do you buy your Christmas flowers from in downtown Carleton Place? Well you buy them from your choice of floral employees of the month.
Employee of the Month-The Floral Boutique
Check out Erica’s displays in the alleyway beside her shop. Always something going on there.
Succulents and flowers. One dies the other does not-unless Linda is looking after them.
Unique Christmas Wreath
Flowers for small friends?
Is Joyce from Petals and Paint Florist and Home Decor employee of the month?
Now that is one beautiful Christmas log display
Lots of items to choose from
So it’s up to you which employee of the month you choose to buy from. Just remember they get along with everyone, they can show up to work in their pajamas and they will always be employee of the month to me. So give them all a hug for me and remember…
In the middle of November I was going to begin a regular column for Christmas. Unfortunately life intervened and the sickness and death of a pet can zap your holiday mood.
There were three done- and hopefully I can do a couple more.
Here are three that you might have missed.
Worry Dolls, Gingerbread and Bottles—Episode 3— Carleton Place’s (Favourite Things from Wisteria and The Granary)
Dolly, Dickens and Doggies —Episode 2— Carleton Place’s (Favourite Things things from the IDA and Natural Pet Foods)
Rockin’ Around Carleton Place — Episode 1— Carleton Place’s (Favourite Things from the Post Office and Applecheeks)
So here are some more special things around town. Support your local small business. It’s home after all.
TRACY LAMB-HIGH STREET-CARLETON PLACE
Tracy Lamb has a pretty impressive collection of sterling silver jewellery – some vintage, some new, but all really nice stuff. She will be setting up a show room at her home for those interested in browsing this week – Wed/Thurs/Fri evenings and from 10-2:00 on Saturday – 285 High Street.
Photo by Robin Andrew
There are dozens of earrings – both pierced and clip on (nice clip ons are so hard to find, but she has got a great selection). Designers include Jay King Mine Finds, Barse, Silpada, Joseph Esposito, and others. Tracy has been building inventory for the past 3-4 years– so the collection is quite fabulous.
TRACY’S FACEBOOK PAGE
December 16 – December 19
Dec 16 at 6 PM to Dec 19 at 2 PM in EST
285 High Street, Carleton Place
For most women, finding your jean identity is not an easy task. In today’s society where denim has become an essential part of every woman’s wardrobe. It is a MUST HAVE item for all seasons. It doesn’t matter if you are curvy, petite, straight or tall we will show you how to accent your best features, making you feel sexy but always comfortable. Go talk to Nancy!!
Olena has everything to make you picture perfect. As Rachel Zoe said when she saw Olena’s stuff.
“Joanna” in sapphire velvet!
These days we get into so many discussions about how we are killing our own small businesses by shopping at the big box stores. Supporting small town stores like Graham’s is a great way of doing that. I went in here and got some great Canadian made boots and they were fantastic. Lasted me several years of almost constant use. I think we all have to make an effort to reconnect with our small operators who can give us that personal service that is lacking some of the time at the big box stores.-Tariq H.
There are many benefits for us to consider buying local food. But, of course you have heard all this. Local vegetables and fruit produced close to our homes is fresh, tasty and well priced. By buying local it supports our local farmers, which helps to preserve farmland and ensures we have a supply of high quality, nutritious food.
The province of Ontario is investing $5.2 million through the Local Food Fund to bring more local food and beverages to tables across the province. But, is anyone still under the assumption that produce marked “local” means it comes from Joe Farmer’s farm 15 miles up the line? Do you really think those “local” peaches you just bought were grown in Middleville? Most times food that has been marked ‘local” has been dropped off a truck from all parts of Ontario.
A lot of winter produce comes from Mexico, and yes it doesn’t change the fact that the “factory stuff” is cheaper. Some complain that one has to be relatively well-off to consistently buy local food at a higher price.The fact is, however, that local farming does has its costs, and those must be weighed with the advantages of having real fresh food and supporting your local community.
For instance— fruits like strawberries and peaches, need to be picked semi-ripe and shipped quickly and expensively. As a consequence, the store-bought varieties never develop full flavor, and a significant percentage of the crop is lost to spoilage in shipping, at the grocers, or after purchase. You want to talk about strawberries and corn? I will happily trade away year-round mediocrity for a month of local strawberry and corn nirvana.
The Carleton Place Farmer’s Market is one place to go to purchase food grown by local farmers. People are able to interact with the farmers directly to ask them about the gardening process and how the food is grown. Last year Jeff Mitchell owner of our local Mitchell’s Independent Grocers began to carry produce that is grown a hop, skip and a jump from your home. He supported: White Oak Farms, Limekiln Farms and McGregors etc. in his produce shopping aisle.
I want to support local farmers who grow local produce, rather than mass producing lowest common denominator crops. Why? Because local produce tastes better. Even if this is hard to quantify, the local farmer sells me something that the centralized food distribution system is simply unable to provide. In short, I buy locally grown food from Lanark because it is healthier–i.e., the best quality I can find. We should keep our REAL LOCAL food systems a reality– the local farmers that live in our backyard. It’s the right thing to do.
Carleton Place Farmer’s Market opens May 14th!
Now about those Magic Purple Beans from White Oak Farms that everyone was afraid of last year because they were not yellow or green. This year try some!!!
There’s something so majestic about purple beans. The pods are richly colored and easy to spot among the leaves, and they look beautiful tossed into a green salad. I call them magic beans, and the magic happens when you cook them.When it comes to purple beans, however, heat plays a role when you cook them. Boiling, baking or sauteing at high temperatures causes the anthocyanins to deteriorate. The heat breaks down the plant cells, diluting the acidity of the cell sap as the pigments are dispersed in a more neutral solution (water). What’s left behind is green chlorophyll, which was always present in the beans but masked by the plant’s anthocyanins. So, your purple beans end up as green beans.
Purple Bean Salad from How to Cook like Your Grandmother
¾ pound of purple beans (green beans would work as well)
¼ cup garbanzo beans (that’s how much I had left from the previous night’s salad)
¼ cup diced red pepper (also left from the previous night’s salad)
¼ cup onion
1 cup vinaigrette dressing
Chive Blossom Vinaigrette
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup chive blossom vinegar
3-5 gloves garlic
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
Peel the garlic, split each clove in half and remove any green stem.
Then roughly chop the pieces and toss them into the cup for your immersion blender.
But what if you don’t have an immersion blender? Then you’ll need to mince the garlic really fine, crush it with a mortar and pestle if you have one. But the immersion blender is what lead to the discovery.
Add the vinegar and oil. Exact amounts aren’t that important, but keep the ratio at about two parts oil to one part vinegar.
Here’s the cool discovery. It took me several attempts to get the technique for making mayonnaise. I kept breaking the emulsion. With this vinaigrette I wasn’t even trying to make an emulsion, I just wanted to chop the garlic and mix the oil and vinegar. But as soon as I started to blend it, it thickened up really nicely.
Add the salt and pepper and blend a little more to combine everything, then set it aside until you’re done with the veggies.
Wash the beans and trim the ends. I started doing this by hand, but the knife is quicker.
Cut the beans into bite-size lengths, about an inch or less.
If you’ve never had them before, it’s really amazing just how purple the outside is, and how green the inside.
Dice the pepper, and shave the onion very thin before cutting into short pieces.
Toss the beans, pepper and onion in a mixing bowl, along with the chick peas and the vinaigrette.
Mix well, and store in the refrigerator in an air-tight container at least overnight to let the dressing soak into the beans.
And that’s it.
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