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I could eat fresh local tomatoes at all meals all day long…

A week or so ago a dear dear friend came to visit me from Australia. Much to my delight and her chagrin I liked noticing all the Aussie-isms she has picked up like her new way of pronouncing tomato and little sayings like “Happy as Larry”, which her Australian boyfriend noted is actually just her saying as no one in Australia says that and no one can figure out who this Larry she keeps referring to is. But we agree it is probably a good thing he is so happy.

I then got lots of practice saying Tomato however I chose at a Tomato themed cooking class in Prince Edward County at the Waring House.

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These smoked tomatoes only took a couple of hours, but holy crap… they were like bites of amazing! Such a deep smoked flavour.

It’s a funny thing. Ever since I declared Prince Edward County as my personal Happiest Place On Earth, I have always been slightly worried that my next trip into the fantastically lovely wine region wouldn’t live up to the hype I have built up in my head. That one day I will have a trip to the county that has me saying “Yeah it was good… it was the county, what do you expect??” I know it could never be bad, but I fear the day that it’s excellence doesn’t excite me.

I shouldn’t have been so silly.

My latest visit blew my socks off!! I really have to stop brining socks to the county.

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Class just about to kick off!

This time I was at The Waring House. A beautiful country inn located just a skip from Barley Days Brewery. In fact, they are the same owner. Which means that the pub is fully stocked! In addition to having a great restaurant, a spa, a pub, a resident artist and rooms that may need some updating (but beds that make a marshmallow feel like rock) they also have a cookery school.

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Which of my beer loving friends have seen this painting before?? Perhaps on a Loyalist Lager label?!? You betcha’!

Our class was all about tomatoes. From smoked tomatoes (which I am desperate to make at home) to tomato salad to a tomato tart tatin – it was a celebration of my favourite fruit/vegetable bastard produce.

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A little trip to the herb garden before class.

Chef Jordan McGuinness introduced our group of students (who all happened to be from Ottawa by sheer luck) to lamb tenders – the tenderloin of the lamb, the Waring House herb garden and the versatility of the tomato. I like to think that I have an above average knowledge of the world of food. But there is always new tricks and ingredients to learn and let’s face it, cooking in a group is really fun and many of us don’t do it often enough.

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The base of the tart tatin… when it was finished you would swear they were plums! Sweet and amazing tomato dessert – who knew?!?

Just another fantastic way to spend time in the County! You can book a room/class package through the Waring House, or just an evening at the cooking school if you already have a favourite B&B. I’m excited to come back and learn more from Chef Jordan – an approachable guy and excellent teacher. I can’t wait to see what the county has to show me next!

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