Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

Sign in to follow this  
Kerry Beal

eG Foodblog: Kerry Beal - ChocDoc in the Land of the Haweaters

Recommended Posts

Good Morning fellow eGulletiers. Kerry Beal, the Chocolate Doctor, here blogging at you from beautiful downtown Little Current, Ontario. Little Current is on the north side of Manitoulin Island, the world's largest fresh water island. Manitoulin is located in the Great Lakes, with Lake Huron to the south, and Georgian Bay to the east.

Manitoulin Island itself contains 108 freshwater lakes. The population is 12,600 which increases greatly in the summer due to the influx of tourists who come in by car, plane and boat. A swing bridge brings traffic across from the mainland here in Little Current and a large ferry, the Chi-Cheemaun, brings traffic to South Baymouth at the south end of the island.

manmap.gif

gallery_28661_3596_8033.jpg

Here is a view of Little Current from the vicinity of the swing bridge that brings you on to the island from the north. After crossing the swing bridge you pass the only stop light that you will find on the island.

gallery_28661_3596_3331.jpg

A spot not far from where I am staying.

gallery_28661_3596_88255.jpg

Looking out over Georgian Bay from the east side of the island.

gallery_28661_3596_95853.jpg

A typical Manitoulin view, this is cattle country.

gallery_28661_3596_234799.jpg

Typical rock formation on parts of the island.

gallery_28661_3596_117431.jpg

West of Little Current is the village of Kagawong, with it's stunning views.

gallery_28661_3596_93618.jpg

More Kagawong views.

gallery_28661_3596_154901.jpg

The Manitoulin Chocolate Works, that we will visit later in the week.

So I guess I should tell you why I am here. Most of the year I live in southern Ontario, however a couple of times a year, for between 2 and 4 weeks, I come to Manitoulin to work as a locum physician, which allows the full time family physicians in Little Current the opportunity to take some time off, attend conferences, etc.

I stay in a condominium overlooking the water that is owned by one of the family docs here, and I spend the time I am here cooking, baking and entertaining. Back home I don't do much entertaining, and I'm hard pressed to find as much time as I would like to cook and bake, but here in Manitoulin it just seems to work.

I have been coming up here to work for about 6 years now, and I just about have the kitchen in the condo equipped the way I like. I pick things up at thrift stores to add to the kitchen, so right now I have a cuisinart food processor, an old Mixmaster mixer, a hand crank pasta roller, every imaginable loaf pan, baking pan, baking sheet and cooling rack you can imagine. This trip I brought up the dutch tea cosy that I showed you on the thrift store thread, some steak knives (cause someone nicked the last ones I brought) and a foodsaver vacuum sealer (which I've just discovered doesn't work - so I'll have to take it apart tomorrow).

I come up with my daughter Kira and her nanny Malou. Hubby stays at home to continue the renovations which have been ongoing for a number of years. Kira's 6th birthday is Tuesday, so we will have over a few of the neighbourhood kids and adults to eat hot dogs, hamburgers, finger foods and - most importantly - chocolate cake.

We bring some foodstuffs with us, things we know we might have trouble procuring here. So the car contained shallots, fresh ginger, brown sugar candy, fish sauce, several cheeses and a number of spices that needed replenishing. On the way up we stopped at the farmers market in Owen Sound and picked up tomatoes, garlic, a fresh basil plant, corn and some farm fresh eggs. Oh yeah, and I've brought about 12 1/2 kg of chocolate with me this trip, along with my compressor and airbrush. Much better to experiment with an airbrush and chocolate in someone elses kitchen.

gallery_28661_3596_61885.jpg

The fridge on our arrival.

gallery_28661_3596_83355.jpg

A few things in the door, enough relish to last several trips.

gallery_28661_3596_4788.jpg

The fridge the day after our arrival.

gallery_28661_3596_32784.jpg

The pantry after adding a few things on arrival.

gallery_28661_3596_49284.jpg

The pantry one day later.

gallery_28661_3596_61547.jpg

My spice cupboard. And on occasion I still can't find the one I want.

So in my intro line, I mention that I am in the land of the Haweaters. Anyone born on Manitoulin is a Haweater, which refers to the hawberries which grow well on the alkaline soil of the area. These are the berries of the hawthorn bush. Not edible as they are, they are made into jellies, jams and syrups. I have not tried any of these products, mostly because the locals have told me not to bother. Maybe this trip I should try them.

I haven't really planned out this week too thoroughly, I think it might be more fun to just see where the week takes us. I know I want to take you to the Manitoulin Chocolate Works perhaps on Wednesday and we might get to Sudbury to do a little thrift store shopping on Sunday. I'd like to take you to Rocky Racoon's, a restaurant in Gore Bay, who's chef/owner makes some fabulous ribs, but I'll have to check on their hours first this late in the season.

I'm on call today (Monday) which means that for 24 hours I am responsible for things in emerg, so I'll be in and out of the house all day. I hope to get Kira's birthday cake made, as well as the finger foods for her party between trips in to the ER. With any luck I'll get some sleep Monday night, and be fresh for the party. We are planning to have Vietnamese chicken thighs for dinner tomorrow (hence the need for shallots, ginger, brown sugar candy and fish sauce), put together between trips to the ER.

I generally bake something each day while I am here to take for the staff. On our trip in to Espanola today to procure more groceries we found wild blueberries and bought a 3 quart basket. We had a wonderful blueberry buckle for dessert tonight and I'll be making blueberry oatmeal muffins first thing when I get up to take in and feed the staff at rounds.

I'm off to bed now, hope you'll join me in the morning for some nice muffins to start the day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What a nice surprise! Gorgeous scenery - and a nicely stocked kitchen. Can't wait to see what you get up to with the chocolate! Looking forward to your week.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kerry, fish sauce and a compressor. My kind of woman! Blog on, and enjoy us. And, tell the child that when the blog is done, ou won't insist on photoing every meal!

BTW, our cabin comes equipped with fish sauce, and much of the Odd Stuff, courtesy of me. Should it ever go on the market, someone would wonder "just what sort of person came here?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, I was reading about Manitoulin Island just the other day, totally at random! Maybe I had a premonition! :laugh:

I'll be looking forward to yet another virtual vacation to a place I have not yet had a chance to visit. Oh yeah--and a vicarious chocolate splurge. :biggrin:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great to see you blogging, Kerry. I hope you will share your recipe for Vietnamese chicken thighs. We eat a lot of these (cheap and tasty!) and a new preparation would make a nice change.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I first saw the teaser pictures, I thought the next blogger might be somewhere in Ontario!

I'm really looking forward to this--I can't wait to see what sweets you make up this week! (Still too humid in Japan to do more than just watch in envy!)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yaaayyy !!! It's great to see a local blogging, and I can't wait to see inside the Chocolate Works. :smile:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First the obligatory cat pictures. Of course the cats are back home with hubby.

gallery_28661_3596_76825.jpg

Widget, loves to sit in anything kid related, the smaller the better.

gallery_28661_3596_173364.jpg

Sam and Toby, friends now, bitterest of enemies before.

gallery_28661_3596_98854.jpg

It was raining overnight, this was the view from my balcony first thing this morning.

gallery_28661_3596_51373.jpg

The remains of the basket of blueberries I bought, after the 4 cups required for the buckle.

gallery_28661_3596_57614.jpg

Blueberry oat muffins ready to take to work.

gallery_28661_3596_98479.jpg

My quick cup of tea before work. This was the largest cup I could find at Value Village a couple of years ago. I need a decent sized cup in the morning. Actually I drink about 3 six cup pots a day, this cup holds about half a pot.

I'm off to work now, rounds start in 10 minutes. I'll post some pictures of the nanny and the rug rat later.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, the leaves are really changing up there. I'm excited to see you blogging. I've been as far north as Tobermoray, which I absolutely loved.

What's the population up there?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Wow, the leaves are really changing up there.  I'm excited to see you blogging.  I've been as far north as Tobermoray, which I absolutely loved. 

What's the population up there?

The population of Manitoulin is 12,600 at last count. But unlike in the city, there are a lot of babies born here.

That picture was actually from last year, so it would have been 2 or 3 weeks later than now, however the leaves are starting to change. I noticed the further up we came the more the change.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Kerry:

Great blog. What terrific scenery..............kinda different from my neck of the woods :wink: .

Blog on,

Bill


Edited by Flocko (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Neat trick, producing the first nearly empty fridge shot in eGullet Foodblog history!

I like the "starting with a clean slate" message that sends.

I also like fish sauce as a seasoning but cannot use it much any more. Partner's high blood pressure pretty much rules out anything but very sparing use of this sodium-laden condiment.

Looking forward to seeing your water-filled landscape after a week spent amidst very little of it. :wink:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cool, I didn't know you were a doctor doctor as well as a chocolate doctor. And a remote and watery part of the world really appeals to me - this should be a great blog. And please do show us how you do the Vietnamese thighs, as I'm another one that would like to make them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow. That scenery is amazing...I especially love that picture of the crumbling old stone house...beautiful. This looks like my kind of vacation spot - water, but cool, and not a thong bikini in sight. :wink:

Those muffins look tasty, too!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

gallery_28661_3596_88255.jpg

Looking out over Georgian Bay from the east side of the island.

Oooh, don't you just love fall in Ontario? :wub: I never thought I'd miss Canadian weather when I moved to England, but now (somehow) I'm even missing the winters.

gallery_28661_3596_98479.jpg

Is that a sort of extra-padded tea cosy?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was a rather busy morning in emerg. I must have seen 5 people with eye problems today. Interesting how things seem to come in batches.

First in answer to questions - what am I going to do with all that chocolate? Well, that remains to be seen. I have brought about 6 polycarbonate molds, as well as 3 metal figure molds, a monkey, a pig and a cat. I brought them because they are smooth molds and I want to try a few effects with the airbrush. If you airbrush chocolate onto a frozen figure you get fuzz. If you airbrush onto a room temperature figure you get shine.

I plan to get together next week with Beth from the Manitoulin Chocolate Works and do some development work. She wants me to come up with a recipe for a peanut butter chocolate and she wants to learn some new techniques, so we will likely spend a day doing that.

For the birthday party tomorrow, if time permits, I might make a few chocolate dipped things for the kids. I've noticed that chocolate always goes over well (and with the adults).

That puffy thing is a dutch tea cosy. You can find one at any dutch store. It keeps the tea warm forever.

Megan, I have never seen a string bikini on Manitoulin, and I'm sure if I did they would be wearing a plaid lumberjack jacket over it to keep warm.

It's hunting season coming up later in October. I always try to get out of here before then. No fun in the ER when they start shooting each other. "I thought he was a deer..."

gallery_28661_3596_63295.jpg

I forgot to this pic post earlier, this was my breakfast before work. Just a toasted english muffin, a bit of well aged cheddar and some apricot jam. In the city I would normally have a Tim Horton's everything bagel, double toasted, with plain cream cheese on the side. And not cut it in half again if I can get to them before they do it.

gallery_28661_3596_87078.jpg

Lunch today. Leftovers from dinner last night, some rice, with pork tenderloin done on the BBQ with some home made BBQ sauce.

Ok, the kiddie photo's. This is Kira, aka 'the toad' or 'bug'. Kira will be 6 tomorrow, but she has very significant developmental delays, so she isn't where the other kids her age are. She doesn't walk, talk or sit, but so does do looking gorgeous very well, I'm sure you'll agree. Maybe she can make her living as a model, as long as standing isn't a requirement. She has no official diagnosis, which of course makes the school unhappy, as they like to be able to pigeonhole each kid.

gallery_28661_3596_72998.jpg

Kira on the couch.

gallery_28661_3596_34309.jpg

Waiting patiently for breakfast.

gallery_28661_3596_26198.jpg

Kira with her nanny Malou (short for Maria Louisa) listening to her Samonas CD. Prescibed by an amazing occupational therapist she has seen a couple of times. Unfortunately the OT lives on Vancouver island so we don't get to see her much.

Now I'm going to try to start making a few things for tomorrow until I get called back in to work. Malou is making filipino spring rolls this afternoon for the party, so I'll post pictures of those later too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome!

It sounds like so much fun to start with a shiny-clean almost-empty fridge, stock it and the rest of the kitchen, and go to it! Food, with a back drop of such beautiful scenery again... We blog fans are blessed!

Enjoy. :smile:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
For the birthday party tomorrow, if time permits, I might make a few chocolate dipped things for the kids.  I've noticed that chocolate always goes over well (and with the adults).

Chocolates goes over well with kids? You don't say.:laugh:

All joking aside, I think it's great that the kids are getting good quality chocolate, rather than the junk that usually gets stuffed into treat bags.

May I ask what you usually give out to during Halloween?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
For the birthday party tomorrow, if time permits, I might make a few chocolate dipped things for the kids.  I've noticed that chocolate always goes over well (and with the adults).

Chocolates goes over well with kids? You don't say.:laugh:

All joking aside, I think it's great that the kids are getting good quality chocolate, rather than the junk that usually gets stuffed into treat bags.

May I ask what you usually give out to during Halloween?

Unfortunately I have to give out the same crap that everyone else does at halloween. Back when I was young and naive I gave out home made candy one year. Kids had been trained not to take it. So only the daring ones got good stuff that year.

Oh course I'm popular at adult halloween parties. And I'll made thing for the kids at preschool cause their moms all know my stuff. The odd one trades their child for crap candy and keeps my stuff for themselves.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Megan, I have never seen a string bikini on Manitoulin, and I'm sure if I did they would be wearing a plaid lumberjack jacket over it to keep warm.

Q: How can you spot Ms Canada at the Ms Universe competition?

A: By her plaid flannel swimsuit! :wink:

SB (alternately, you might catch het putting vinegar or gravy on her french fries)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Unfortunately I have to give out the same crap that everyone else does at halloween.  Back when I was young and naive I gave out home made candy one year.  Kids had been trained not to take it.  So only the daring ones got good stuff that year. 

Your stuff looks so professional that I don't think anyone could distinguish your chocolates from factory-produced stuff. If it were my kids, I'd be sending them straight to your door to ask for the "good stuff."

Halloween is a real dilemna. I just hate giving out crap that I wouldn't feed to my kids, and chips are no better. Maybe I'll have to spring for that case of Pocky...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From sandy, rosy mountains to blue shiny sea overnight---this is just the most amazing site on all the 'Net!

What an exciting, busy life you lead, and with time to make chocolate :wub: as well. This is gonna be wonderful.

And I'm already lost in those gorgeous brown eyes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Oh course I'm popular at adult halloween parties.  And I'll made thing for the kids at preschool cause their moms all know my stuff.  The odd one trades their child for crap candy and keeps my stuff for themselves.

You mean they trade their child for the candy, or they trade with their child for the candy? :wink:

Cute little girl you've got there. :smile:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Oh course I'm popular at adult halloween parties.  And I'll made thing for the kids at preschool cause their moms all know my stuff.  The odd one trades their child for crap candy and keeps my stuff for themselves.

You mean they trade their child for the candy, or they trade with their child for the candy? :wink:

Cute little girl you've got there. :smile:

Good point. I have had a few offers to take other peoples kids, but I don't think they were completely serious.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  

  • Similar Content

    • By sartoric
      We’ve just returned from a fun filled 16 days on the beautiful island of Sri Lanka. The food was fantastic, the people friendly, the markets chaotic, the temples serene, the mountains breathtaking, the wildlife plentiful and the weather ? Well, you can’t have everything, it was mostly hot, and at times very wet. 
       
      Why Sri Lanka ? We loved time spent earlier this year in southern India, especially the food. Sri Lanka lies just off the southern tip of India and has been influenced over time by various invading Indian dynasties.  Often referred to as the spice Island, it’s been an important trading post for centuries. Other countries have also played their part in shaping Sri Lankan cuisine. The Portuguese arrived in the early part of the 16th century, the Dutch gained control in the 17th century, the British had control by 1815, and independence was proclaimed in 1948. Throughout these years, Chinese traders also contributed to the evolution of Sri Lanka. 
       
      So, what’s the food like ? Delicious !
       
      Our first night was spent at a homestay in the coastal city of Negombo. All day the rain bucketed down. It was difficult to go anywhere else, so we asked our hosts to provide dinner. Good move ! 
       
      The rain let up long enough for a quick quick visit to the fish market, the first of several we’d see.

       
       
      Our hostess made 10 different dishes including a mango curry where I watched her pluck the fruit from the tree in the front yard. There was sour fish curry,  chicken curry, dal, several veggie curries, chutney, two rice and roti bread. The meal cost 900 rupees pp, or about $6. Gosh it was good. Lousy photo, some better ones to come.

       
    • By Duvel
      “… and so it begins!”
       
      Welcome to “Tales from the Fragrant Harbour”!
      In the next couple of days I am hoping to take you to a little excursion to Hong Kong to explore the local food and food culture as well as maybe a little bit more about my personal culinary background. I hope I can give you a good impression of what life is like on this side of the globe and am looking very forward to answering questions, engaging in spirited discussions and just can share a bit of my everyday life with you. Before starting with the regular revealing shots of my fridge’s content and some more information on myself, I’d like to start this blog and a slightly different place.
      For today's night, I ‘d like to report back from Chiba city, close to Tokyo, Japan. It’s my last day of a three day business trip and it’s a special day here in Japan: “Doyou no ushi no hi”. The “midsummer day of the ox”, which is actually one of the earlier (successful) attempts of a clever marketing stunt.  As sales of the traditional winter dish “Unagi” (grilled eel with sweet soy sauce) plummeted in summer, a clever merchant took advantage of the folk tale that food items starting with the letter “U” (like ume = sour plum and uri = gourd) dispel the summer heat, so he introduced “Unagi” as a new dish best enjoyed on this day. It was successful, and even in the supermarkets the sell Unagi-Don and related foods. Of course, I could not resist to take advantage and requested tonight dinner featuring eel. Thnaks to our kind production plant colleagues, I had what I was craving …
      (of course the rest of the food was not half as bad)

      Todays suggestion: Unagi (grilled eel) and the fitting Sake !
       

      For starters: Seeweed (upper left), raw baby mackerel with ginger (upper right) and sea snails. I did not care for the algae, but the little fishes were very tasty.
       

      Sahimi: Sea bream, Tuna and clam ...
       

      Tempura: Shrimp, Okra, Cod and Mioga (young pickled ginger sprouts).
       

      Shioyaki Ayu: salt-grilled river fish. I like this one a lot. I particularly enjoy the fixed shape mimicking the swimming motion. The best was the tail fin
       

      Wagyu: "nuff said ...
       

      Gourd. With a kind of jellied Oden stock. Nice !
       

      Unagi with Sansho (mountain pepper)
       

      So, so good. Rich and fat and sweet and smoky. I could eat a looooot of that ...
       

      Chawan Mushi:steamed egg custard. A bit overcooked. My Japanese hosts very surprised when I told them that I find it to be cooked at to high temperatures (causing the custard to loose it's silkiness), but they agreed.
       

      Part of the experience was of course the Sake. I enjoyed it a lot but whether this is the one to augment the taste of the Unagi I could not tell ...
       

      More Unagi (hey it's only twice per year) ...
       

      Miso soup with clams ...
       

      Tiramisu.
       

      Outside view of the restaurant. Very casual!
      On the way home I enjoyed a local IPA. Craft beer is a big thing in Japan at the moment (as probably anywhere else in the world), so at 29 oC in front of the train station I had this. Very fruity …

       
      When I came back to the hotel, the turn down service had made my bed and placed a little Origami crane on my pillow. You just have to love this attention to detail.

    • By KennethT
      OK.... here we go again!!!  While this post is a bit premature (we don't take off until around 1:30AM tonight), I am extremely excited so I figured I'd just set up the topic now.  As in previous foodblogs, I may post a bit from time to time while we're there, depending on how good my internet connection is, and how much free time I have... but the bulk of posting will really get started around July 9th - the day after we get home (hopefully without too much jetlag!!!)
    • By Ian Dao
      Hi everyone, 
       
      Recently, I just found this paradise for Foodie and it is my pleasure to be here. My name is Ian and I am from Salzburg. I love to eat but have to hold myself back before I could roll faster than walk. Last month, I started my own food blog (mostly about restaurant, travel and stories). Reasons I want to be here are to improve my knowledge about food/wine and to learn more how to describe ingredients around me. 
       
      Thank you and have a great week =D 
       
      Guten Hunger (German)
      Mahlzeit (Austrian) 
      --> Enjoy your meal =D 
       
      www.iandao.com
    • By sartoric
      We're 50 something Aussies who enjoy travelling, eating, cooking, markets, kitchen shops, cooking utensils, animals & plants (often food related), architecture & photography (both kitchens and food) and exploring different cultures (of which food is a big part). The trip was January 14 - February 6, it was just marvellous. My favourite meal is now masala dosa with sambar, I had many. Here's some highlights of the food.
       
      A late afternoon snack of Sichuan pepper squid was washed down with a beer at the Ajantha Seaview Hotel on the promenade in Pondicherry. It's a colonial building with a first floor terrace overlooking the colourful display of women in their finest, and the Bay of Bengal. We're here on a Monday public holiday for the Pongal festival, a four day celebration of the harvest, with many different ceremonies and traditions.
       
       

       
      A visual bonus, cows (and sometimes goats) get their horns painted and wear flower garlands or other decorations.

       
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×