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US: Columbia, MD – More Sheep and Wool Than You Can Imagine!

Discover the beauty of sheep, the warmth of wool and the delicious taste of lamb during a fun-filled weekend at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival, 45 years of celebrating all things sheep, from hoof to handwoven.

Sheep1-1jyf79sWith over 275 vendors, more than 800 sheep, and workshops, food, and entertainment, there is something for everyone. Check out the working sheep dogs or sheep shearing demonstrations, learn how to prepare lamb, cheese making, take a spinning class, or shop for a variety of fleece, yarn and roving.

The Parade of Breeds will introduce you to a large variety of sheep breeds, and the Sheep to Shawl Contest will demonstrate shearing, carding, spinning, and weaving a final product in just a few hours.face_wool_sheep_75916_1920x1200

There are auctions and sales for sheep equipment, fiber equipment, and fleeces. You can get many new ideas from the beautiful products on display from the many competitions.

Wool 8de3421d679f6b2f85cecd8e89c80b05With workshops and seminars galore, special activities for kids, cooking demonstrations, food booths, musical entertainment, this festival is going to be a hit with the whole family.

Location: Howard County Fairgrounds, 2210 Fairgrounds Rd, West Friendship, MD 21794-9604
Date: May 5 & 6, 2018
Time: Sat 8:30am – 6pm, Sun 8:30am – 5pm
Tel: 410- 531-3647
sheepandwool.org
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visithowardcounty.com

US: DeLand, FL – Bacon-lovers Won’t Want to miss this Sizzling Event

The word is out pig lovers won’t want to miss this one: the  DeLand Bacon and Brew Fest. Who does not like Bacon or Beer, a match made in heaven. There will be approximately 125 food and beverage vendors, variety of live music, and the event will play homage to all things bacon with a wide variety of bacon dishes, along with bacon-related and bacon inspired contests.DeLand Bacon Fest Bacon Costume

Imagine bacon, craft beer, wineries, and lots of vendors with their products. Indulge in mouth watering bacon-y deliciousness. You could buy bacon or beer jam, bacon-stuffed pretzels, sample bacon cupcakes, and purchase chocolate covered bacon—that’s just for starters. Many of the regular market vendors spiked their production line to include bacon in some way, whether in fudge, a cheese dip, or a cinnamon roll—or in one of 14 different varieties of bacon itself. Bacon Eating Contest at 2pm.Deland Bacon Fest Bacon Eating ContestDeLand Bacon Fest Group

A portion of the proceeds will go to The Neighborhood Center of West Volusia, so bring on the bacon!

 

 

Location: Earl Brown Park, 750 S Alabama Ave, DeLand, FL 32724
Date: Sat, Sept 30
Time: 1 – 7pm
Tel: 386-316-2959
baconandbrewfestdeland.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions:daytonabeach.com
visitnsbfl.com

Canada – Ontario Weekend Getaway: Low Fat Donuts, Fair Trade Coffee, Chainsaws and Friendly Alpacas

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Why not get away with your family to Almonte, ON, just west of Ottawa . The very first reason is that Ed Atwell of Healthy Food Technologies (hft) has figured out how to make low-fat donuts that are scrumptious. He “tricks” the donuts by frying them (in zero trans fat oil) for 1/2 the time and then baking them at the same temperature. Watch the video to see him explain the process he invented.

Now take a walk around the corner and pick up your to-go-with coffee at fair trade high quality Equator Coffee Roasters. They roast the beans right there, having bought them from small-scale farming communities and paid the farmers well. Do not  miss the Oh-so-Canadian maple-flavored latte. It’s worth driving there just for that! Kids can enjoy the hot chocolate.coffee


Next you can pick up snacks for the car or yummies to take home at Dandelion Foods co-op before a 45 min. drive to Wheelers Pancake House and Maple Sugar Camp. D
andelion Foods co-op sells whole, local and organic foods and some for specialty diets. Here you can buy the famous Hummingbird chocolate bars favored by Prime Minister Trudeau. Note the PB & Joy (with peanut butter) and the spicy Mayan.  Please bring back the Empire Cheese caramelized onion cheddar cheese for me.
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For lunch and fun, at Wheelers Pancake House you can visit the Maple Museum and the Chainsaw & Logging museum and the kids can have fun in the playground. Handy men and women will be mesmerized by Mark Wheeler’s dad Vernon’s collection of hundreds of chainsaws. Everyone will enjoy his “largest collection of pure maple syrup artifacts” which help explain the history of the maple sugar industry. From First Nations wooden spigots to the plastic lines of today, syrup pour-ers, molds, pails, and everything else related to this sweet topic, it’s all here at this 38-year family business. Don’t forget to leave room for the freshly made pancakes and delicious syrup right from their trees.
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For the grand finale, we visited Keith and Elizabeth Adam’s alpacas and llamas at their  Serendipity Farm. For retirement they decided to raise alpacas for the fun of it. The couple exudes their enjoyment of spending their golden years with these elegant, fluffy friends. They’ll chatter about the little quirks of each of the animals as well as the work associated with raising them.

Alpacas produce fiber that is as fine as cashmere, soft, silky and much warmer than sheep’s wool, while also wicking moisture away from the body.alpacas
In their little shop you can buy scarves, gloves, purses, as well as fiber felted sheets, alpaca and fiber rovings and handspun yarn.

Leave some time too for the local shops which wind their way along the downtown streets. Yes there’s plenty to do in Lanark County for a low-key interesting getaway weekend. We are not sure how this area attracted so many hippie/free trade/entrepreneurial types who seem to care for the planet. You can feel virtuous spending time and money in this town.

Equator Coffee Roasters, 451-A Ottawa St, Almonte, ON K0A 1A0, Tel: 613-256-5960
www.equator.ca

Dandelion Foods, 541 Ottawa St, Almonte, ON K0A 1A0,  Tel: 1-613-256-4545
www.dandelionfoods.ca

Healthy Food Technologies, 25 Industrial Rd., Almonte ON  Tel: 613-256-9900
(HFT) https://www.facebook.com/HFTinc

Wheelers Pancake House and Maple Sugar Camp, 1001 Highland Line, McDonalds Corners(Lanark Highlands), ON K0G 1M0 Tel: 613-278-2090
www.wheelersmaple.com

Serendipity Farm Alpacas & Llamas,  929 South Lavant Rd, Lanark, ON K0G1K0  Tel: 613-259-3304 or 613-222-6303
www.serendipityalpacas.ca

www.lanarkcounty.ca

 

US: Florence, SC – Basically Love at First Bite at Fatz Cafe

At Fatz Cafe, the motto on the menu,“Where everybody is a regular”, is true and that’s because they
get addicted to the warm buttery poppy seed rolls (hint of donut taste to us). Locals come for the fried Calabash
chicken, which is marinated in buttermilk and served with honey mustard, and to enjoy the oldies music and photos of
the Florence/PeeDee area in the 60’s and 70’s.  Fatz Cafe Food

A popular starter is the fried green tomatoes on cheese grits with remoulade sauce or the shareable hot Cajun firecracker sticks stuffed with spicy shrimp, andouille sausage, onions, peppers, melted cheese in a tomato/basil tortilla. A hit of the meal was the Edisto shrimps and grits made with crumbled bacon in a mushroom burgundy gravy with Parmesan cheese. You could come in for the mahi mahi, spinach salad, ribs, pork chops, burgers or a sirloin steak marinated in hard cider, but you must leave room for the Carolina peach cobbler, which tastes like your gramma made it (vanilla ice cream and walnuts on top). 

Fstz Cafe

Location: 2007 W. Lucas, Florence, SC
Tel: 843-413-9186
www.fatzcafe.com
For Regional Accommodations and Attractions: www.visitflo.com
www.drivei95.com

Canada: Cape Breton, Nova Scotia – Typical Meal in the 18th Century

In the eighteenth century at Fortress Louisbourg, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, the lower class diet included locally prepared bread, spruce beer, meat or fish. Staples like butter, cheese, and rum were imported. Here I dined on pea soup and an apple tart for dessert. They ate with spoons. Gathering for a meal was not only for sustenance but also for news, companionship and games of chance.

Fortress Food

 

 

Cosmos Tour: Prague Vienna Budapest – Halushka dumplings and Cimbalon

On the Cosmos Tour to Prague, Vienna and Budapest, the first optional excursion was a typical Slavic evening in the well-known U Marčanů restaurant, and included folk music with Bohemian, Moravian and Slovakian singing and dancing, plus gypsy music and dancing. The performers were fabulous at getting the audience involved, and great fun ensued. A musical instrument called a cimbalon was played; it’s a large, trapezoidal box with metal strings stretched across, and is played by striking two hammers against the strings.

Here’s a short video of the cimbalon in action:

 

The  3-course meal accompanied by unlimited drinks (wine/ beer/soft drinks) started with my favorite food of the whole trip – halushka , little dumpling bits topped with cheese and  fried bacon (probably called bryndza) which is one of the the Slovak national dishes. Now we know why. The main course was pork on a skewer with delicate Lyonnaise potatoes, green beans and roasted potatoes.PragueDinner

Everyone ate and laughed and enjoyed the evening.

www.cosmos.com/Product.aspx?trip=46050