By Danielle French

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Favorite Holiday

Happy Thanksgiving or Columbus Day whichever you might celebrating this long weekend. This is one of my very favorite holidays and I love being able to celebrate both here at home in Pontypool and with my family in Vermont – double the turkey and pies, two wonderful meals to be grateful for. This past week, the weather has been nothing short of amazing. Warm, sunny days and cool at nights, enough for me to start the cook stove both at dinner and in the morning. I love the smell of wood in and outside the house and to be cooking on it again after the summer break. Our new puppies, Ozzie and Harriet, are getting into the routine too, finding a place just by the fire under the jackets to cuddle up in.

The Best Part of the Week

Earlier this year, I started a post about the best part of my week. I never really continued with it as truthfully, I have so many good parts of the week it’s hard to single one thing out. This week, Olivia arrived for a short stay which of course, we all love. We officially finished the “in- the- barn” season with Chilli and Pie and we transitioned to holding events and brunch in our kitchen which means it is looking beautiful and organized. I love that part of the fall – organizing things and getting everything into its place. I also was lucky enough to be part of The Story Exchange – Inspiration and information for women entrepreneurs. Three creators of stories about women entrepreneurs and small business journeys came from New York to Pontypool to film and speak with us about what we do. That was truly wonderful and I’m honoured.

I also journeyed to Toronto to offer a cooking demonstration for the Ontario Farm Fresh Marketing Association in Nathan Philips Square  (right next to an office building I used to work from in a former life!). The conversation revolved around using up vegetables from the garden in a salad or side dish. I love the taste of roasted vegetables especially squash. It is so sweet and delicious. I can eat roasted squash any time of the day – including for breakfast with a soft boiled egg. The recipe is for a Harvest Salad that can be served warm or at room temperature and uses a variety of squash and swiss chard! It is perfect for this coming weekend!

Harvest Salad Recipe

Harvest Salad

Served warm or at room temperature| Vegetables can be roasted in advance | Assemble and dress just before serving

Honey Orange Dressing

| Mix together in a small bowl |
4 tbsp sherry vinegar or white wine vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
3/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper
Zest of 1 orange


Assortment of roasted vegetables that you have on hand. Pumpkin seeds or any type of nut.
Heat oven to 350 degrees
Beets – roasted in their skins in a oven proof pot with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 cup water, covered 45 minutes.
In a roasting pan prepare:

Squash (Acorn, Butternut, Hubbard) peeled, carrots, thickly sliced fennel.  Brush with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and bake 45 minutes or until tender.

Thinly slice kale or Swiss chard into ribbons. If serving the salad warm, in a frying pan, heat 3 tablespoons of oil and heat the kale or chard.

Place the greens on a platter and layer vegetables on top, spoon dressing over vegetables, sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt and pepper.  Sprinkle with toasted pumpkin seeds, or nuts.

Happy cooking!

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