Location: Whitby, Ontario, Canada

Born in Malta but in Canada since age 5. Has written three books and presently does several columns about wine and food for various magazines.

Monday, September 26, 2011

September 18th Day Four: A Delicious Appleicious And A Drive Up The North Cape!

Some Facts About Apples
I never knew that apples were not native to North America. In fact they are an import from the Middle East. The fruit has a history of some 5o0o years and was known in places such as Ancient Greece. Normans brought the apple with them to the British Isles. The French also were responsible for bringing the fruit to Canada in the 17th Century. The rest as they say is history.
Apples have been part of PEI's history for over 150 years. Presently there are seven apple orchards in PEI growing over 40 varieties of apples.
On To Appleicious
Our drive that morning was going to be a long one---about 2 to 3 hours and would take us from Souris on the East Coast of PEI to Arlington on the West Coast. Since our scheduled time was to be around 11:45 AM we needed to hustle and were off on the road by 8:30 AM. The drive was a lovely one and of course took us through Charlottetown. We also made our way through the City of Summerside, Wellington, Richmond and on to Arlington. Though never lost, we did have to stop and get directions to make sure we were on the correct route.
Appleicious is part of the PEI Fall Flavours Festival, a month long culinary celebration which highlighted authentic island tastes and traditions in various communities throughout PEI. The celebrations included guest chefs, culinary tastings and competitions, games, songs and other attractions for both young and old.
Appleicious was held at Arlington Apple Orchards owned by Barry and Carol Balsom. On the property are grown some 31 types of apples plus seven types of plums and four types of pears.
There was some 35 acres with fruit trees close to the protective waters of Malpeque Bay.
The land which covers over 70 Acres has been in family for over 200 years and had gone through various incarnations from wood servicing and ship building.
Fun activities range from full blown events such as Appleicious and The Annual Shriner's Scarecrow Festival to Hay Rides and Farm Days when people come to look around and have fun.
Such things as Scarecrow making contests, pie eating, balloon animal making, face painting and
just plain old sausage and food cooking/tasting takes place. A portion of every thing sold goes to
a charity.
Open every day of the week from September to October and with apples available at various markets in Miscouche (Monahan Street) and Charlottetown (Ellen's Creek Plaza) from August to December. patrons can enjoy their fresh apples on a constant basis.
Guest Celebrities
Guest Celebrities included Chef Lynne Crawford known for her hosting of "Pitchin' In & Restaurant Makeover"for Food Network Canada and "Iron Chef Competition", Chef Crawford is always her humorous and gracious self. She has attracted much attention for her new restaurant "Ruby Watchco" and is the only female to have been crowned with the "Executive Chef" position at the Four Seasons in New York City.
Chef Crawford was a dream of a person and exhibited her gracious manner and humour in an incident when I was interviewing local Durham personality (and Appleicious Moderator) Christian Pritchard.
Coming over to the interview area, she asked to "shoot" the scene. We obliged and Roy gave her some points about the workings of the camera----not that she didn't know! She "shot" us and then turned the camera onto herself. It was fun and of course she graciously spent time with locals who had their pictures take with her. We couldn't resist either!!!!!
Christian and I who have known each other for some time now did a great "serious" interview about what was happening. He flew down every week of the "Fall Favours" month long celebrations and moderated/introduced for such celebs as Chef Curtis Stone, Lynne Crawford, Corbin Thomaszeski, Mark Mckwan and Thomas Moore.
Lennie Gallant a native of Rustico PEI and well recognized as a great songwriter was also on hand with his band. Mr. Gallant had nine albums and many awards including JUNO and East Coast Music Award nominations to his credit. Well known internationally, he had a great welcome at the event.
Also at the event Roy and I heard an opening series of songs by song writer/singer Norman Bowser who was excellent in both word and music. We got his permission to record him on the series.
The event went very well with other interview such as: Chef Jeff McCourt and his assistant Carolyn who gave us a great "Pork Belly" hors oeuvres and caterers "Two Friends Catering" with their delicious mussels and apple pie. The event, cooking, food, entertainment and all that went with it was fun. The only drawback to the whole event was the sneaky and insidious mosquitoes that didn't even have the courtesy of letting you know that they were going to land on your head and bite until you had been bitten. I got a couple but some got away!!!
With the event under our belt we decided to leave and make our way down the North Cape Coastal Drive which offered a unique and picturesque scenery and secluded beaches.
We also took pictures such as the bridge from PEI to Nova Scotia, French Cemetery and various
other landmarks.
We got back to Souris and decided to do some scenic "takes" of the area. First we went to the lighthouse and did a segment on it including mentioning the trawler heading out to catch herring. The lighthouse, a tall (14.3 metres) tapered, red and white building constructed of wood was built in 1880 and preceded the incorporation of Souris (1910). The lighthouse has been the symbol of the area ever since. From its top lookout that people can climb, one could see the Cape Breton Highlands on a clear day.
With the segments done and the day wearing on, we went back to the Platter House and spent a delightful supper and relaxing evening preparing for the next day.
End Of Day Four