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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

For Your Information

Please watch this area for important information like updates, food recalls, polls, contests, coupons, and freebies.
  • [January 15, 2016] - It's National Soup Month so this month's posts will focus on soups. Yum!
  • [February 1, 2016] - An interesting report on why you should always choose organic tea verses non-organic: Toxic Tea (pdf format)
  • Sticky Post - Warning: 4ever Recap reusable canning lids. The reports are growing daily of these lids losing their seal during storage. Some have lost their entire season's worth of canning to these seal failures!

Popular Posts

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Mom's Pizza Sauce

My busy canning season like the rest of the year has been a bit odd.  In the past, my husband would pick up two hampers of tomatoes at a time so I usually made four to six products sometimes more.  In the end, I would usually process ten hampers of tomatoes over a seven to ten day period which meant long, tiring days back-to-back.  This tomato season has been slow and relaxed.  So far, I've processed two hampers of tomatoes into three products - pizza sauce, dehydrated tomatoes and tomato powder.  I won't reach the ten hamper mark which is fine since I've been busy canning a lot of other foods as well.  This busy canning season is also a bit different in that I am doing a lot of tweaking and fine tuning of flavours to create unique home canned foods tailored to our family's tastes.

two days work resulting in forty-eight jars of pizza sauce
We use a lot of pizza sauce and I make extra to give to the kids.  This year I tweaked the pizza sauce recipe that I had previously modified from Bernardin's Tomatoes Canning & Speciality Recipes (2000).  Pizza sauce must be acidified so both the original and modified versions include lemon juice as the acidifier.

In my newest version, Mom's Pizza Sauce, the acidifier is citric acid added on a per jar basis just before sealing.  I tweaked the seasonings and added that little extra touch of flavour that sets this pizza sauce apart from the ordinary.  My husband determined the exact consistency he wanted for making homemade pizza.  While I make the dough, he usually shapes the dough and does the toppings.  The end result was a delicious, tasty tomato based pizza sauce worthy of being called Mom's!


Friday, September 27, 2013

Pretty in Pink - Low Sugar Chocolate Raspberry Sauce

There has been a breast cancer awareness badge on this blog since it was first created.  Like many, breast cancer has, in more than one way, affected our family.  I was delighted when Brad Steig, President of S&S Innovations, Corp invited me to promote their limited edition pink Tattler reusable lids.  This was an offer I could not refuse!  I have been using the Tattler reusable canning lids for over three years now and cannot say enough good things about them. 
 

low sugar chocolate raspberry sauce using limited edition pink Tattler reusable lids in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month
I wanted a special product to showcase my new pink Tattler lids.  I chose my original low sugar chocolate raspberry sauce because I thought the pretty pink lids would compliment it nicely.   The original recipe has a firmer consistency which makes the sauce perfect to topping cream cheese or as a dessert topping.  This time I made changes to my original recipe to give a softer texture sauce suitable for use as an ice cream topping.  With a bit of tweaking of the sugar and adding vanilla for a little warmth, I ended up with a delectable ice cream topping worthy of the limited edition pink Tattler lids.  My husband poured some of the left over chocolate raspberry sauce over French vanilla ice cream.  He declared it a winner and went for a second helping with a huge grin on his face.

I'd like to thank Brand Steig and S&S Innovations, Corp for sending me a sample of the limited edition pink Tattler lids.  They perform just as nicely as the regular white Tattler lids except 35% of proceeds from their sale is being donated to the Munson Medical Center Women's Cancer Fund in Traverse City, Michigan!  If you would like to buy some of these lids in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, you can you can click the pink button for the sale on the Women's Cancer information page on the Tattler website on October 1.  I just know you will enjoy these lids as much as I do!


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Kitchen Quick Tips - Ascorbic Acid

kitchen quick tips If you need to use ascorbic acid to prevent browning in fruit but have none, substitute a Vitamin C tablet.  A substitute for Fruit Fresh which our grocery stores are no longer carrying is a solution of lemon juice and a Vitamin C tablet in water.


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Kitchen Memories Two A Collection of Recipes by The Little Schoolhouse and Museum in Tehkummah Township on Minitoulin Island, Ontario

During our great road trip/camping adventure we stayed overnight in South Baymouth, Ontario where we would board the Chi-Cheemaun ferry that would take us across Lake Huron to Tobermory.  The weather was cold and damp but we still took a walk-about before settling into our room for the night.  Across the main road from our motel we had a lovely view of the Chi-Cheemaun dock.  Scattered across Ontario there are a multitude of small, one room schoolhouses that have been converted into homes.  A few have been rescued and preserved as museums.  Such was the case with the was The Little Schoolhouse and Museum beside the motel to the north.  Unfortunately, we could only peer in the the windows for a glimpse of the past as the museum was closed.

Kitchen Memories Two a recipe collection by The Little Schoolhouse and Museum in Tehkummah Township on Manitoulin Island
We wandered from the museum around the motel pool ending up in the motel gift shop.  I always delight in finding community fundraiser cookbooks.  These types of cookbooks are comprised of a collection of recipes submitted by members of the community or organization then assembled into a booklet format to be sold as a fund raiser.  I was quite happy to find Kitchen Memories Two (June 2013), a collection of recipes by The Little Schoolhouse and Museum in Tehkummah Township on Minitoulin Island, Ontario.  This recipe book was compiled by residents of Tehkummah Township in support of the museum.  This really is a nice recipe book that I will be making a few recipes from!

These types of recipe books are a treasure not only from a cooking perspective but also are of interest to family historians and genealogists.  For example, several recipes in this book have the contributor's name  followed by 'sister' of so and so, giving valuable relationship connections useful in family history research.  Quite often recipes are contributed in honour of a loved one no longer living.  From a culinary perspective, these are very much home style cooking recipes.  Recipes contributed tend to be family favourites and family signature recipes, some handed down from generation to generation.  One thing I have found too, is the recipes submitted tend to use easily accessible ingredients. 

canning secting in the Kitchenen Memories Two recipe book
It is common for fundraiser recipe books to have one or more home canning recipes.  This can be problematic.  All home canned foods must be properly processed to ensure a safe product.  These types of recipe books seldom give the safe canning processing methods of boiling water bath (high acid foods) and pressure canning (low acid foods).  Some as in this recipe book may include instructions for unsafe canning methods such as oven or open kettle canning.  Someone following the instructions for canning meat in this recipe book could find themselves with a product that could make them very ill or possibly worse!  Another problem is ingredient omissions that would not be a problem when cooking but can be critical when home canning. 

I shudder when I see this type of thing.  Improperly home canned food is nothing to fool around with.  It really is like playing Russian roulette with your's or your loved ones' lives.  This recipe book was published in June of 2013 so there really is no excuse not to use current safe canning methods.  Honestly, I wish they would just refrain from publishing home canning recipes in these types of publications.  That being said, an experienced home canner can convert most of these recipes into safe-to- can simply by comparing them to tested home canning recipes, making the necessary adjustments then processing using the appropriate method. 


Monday, September 23, 2013

Food Waste Re-visited

From the very beginning of this blog a little over seven years ago, I have stressed the frugal aspects of all things food related.  We are very fortunate in North America to have for the most part a safe and secure food supply.  Yet from farm to table almost half of all food produced is wasted!  The following short video indicates that this food wastage breaks down to farm (8%), food industry (4%), supermarkets (6%), restaurants (15%) and households (25%).



Food waste is obviously a huge concern and one which everyone should be addressing.  Now, in fairness some food waste is unavoidable.  Crops (eg. fruits, vegetables, grains), milk, fish, meats, poultry and etcetera are a spoilable commodity subject to handling damage.  At the farm level, weather conditions and disease contribute towards food wastage.  Food is lost to spoilage during transit from farm to processing plants and even processed foods can be lost in transit from the processing plants to consumer.  Part of the food wastage in supermarkets is due to the sell by or best by dates but can also be due to equipment malfunction.  Supermarkets must discard foods at certain times due to health regulations and it must be discarded in such a manner (eg. into locked waste containers) to meet liability restrictions.  Food wastage in restaurants is two fold, that which occurs as a result of preparing the food which in most cases is minimal and that which occurs via patrons.  As a restaurant patron you can do your part to reduce food waste while there by: declining extras that come with your meal (eg. dinner rolls) if you know you won't eat them, eating what your order, bring home any leftovers and avoiding those restaurants that do not allow you to bring home your leftovers.  The highest level of food wastage occurs in the home and that is where you can actually make a difference that will save you a considerable amount of money.

The figure I have heard recently is that 40% of every food dollar is wasted.  This figure has a bit more meaning to the frugal home cook than the 25% of all food is wasted in the home.  Either way, it helps to visualize the waste.  If you spend $100 on food, you will waste $40 of that food.  If you take a pie and cut it into four even pieces, then toss one piece out, that is 25% of the pie aka food gone.  It cost you money but you got nothing out of it and the worst part is, some of that food that was wasted could have fed someone in need.  All other factors aside, reducing food wastage at home is an easy, no cost, frugal activity for all household members.  Throughout this blog, there are a multitude of ways to reduce food waste and maximize your food dollar, including the regular Frugal Kitchens 101 series.  Here are ten things you can do to reduce food wastage in your home:
  1. serve smaller portion sizes
  2. buy or preserve in smaller container sizes so as to use the contents without left overs
  3. use up leftovers or freeze for later use
  4. don't peel fruits or vegetables unless absolutely necessary
  5. dehydrate fruit and vegetable peelings for homemade powders
  6. compost non-edible fruit and vegetable peelings
  7. store foods in proper storage containers 
  8. vacuum seal dry foods to protect against insect and moisture damage
  9. date all foods in storage especially those you have canned, frozen or dehydrated
  10. rotate your food supplies so that new goes at the back pushing the older stock to the front



Saturday, September 21, 2013

Put a Lid on Cancer!

Over the course of authoring this blog for over seven years, I have had the great pleasure to form online relationships as well as endorse products I use and believe in.  Quite some time ago, I did extensive testing of the Tattler reusable canning lids and wrote a review on them.  I've been using Tattler lids for a little over three years now.  They quickly became and remain my preferred canning lid to use wherever possible.  I should clarify the 'possible' which really means I don't like using them on home canned foods that will be gifted as they are meant to be kept and reused multiple times.  Earlier this month, I received an email from Brad Steig, President of S&S Innovations, Corp. manufacturer of Tattler Reusable Canning Lids asking me if I would be interested in promoting their limited edition pink reusable canning lids in support of breast cancer awareness month with 35% of proceeds from their sale being donated to the Munson Medical Center Women's Cancer Fund in Traverse City, Michigan.  Through this program, 100% of donated funds go directly toward assisting women in meeting the financial burdens associated with battling cancer.  This request was one I could not turn down!

Nearly 1.5 million world wide were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010.   While this statistic includes both male and female diagnosed with breast cancer, the disease remains the most common female cancer world wide.  North America along with the UK and Australia/New Zealand have the highest incidence rates world wide, making these countries a priority for breast cancer awareness.  October is breast cancer awareness month.  Breast cancer affects everyone.  Someone you know is now battling this disease or have lost their life to it.  Like most, we too have been affected by breast cancer which is rather prevalent on my husband's side.  In 2001 we welcomed our beautiful daughter-in-law into our family and hearts.  Little did we know that we would see her go through the devastating pain of losing a sister from breast cancer who left behind a husband and two very young children. 

limited edition pink Tattler reusable canning lids in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month October 2013
The S&S Innovations, Corp sent me four boxes of their Tattler reusable lids as pictured.  Two of the boxes were their limited edition pink reusable canning lids, one box of wide mouth and one box of standard!  They are gorgeous, the perfect shade of pink for breast cancer awareness month.  I will be using these lids for something special and share the results with you.

How can you get these gorgeous limited edition lids?  On October 1 you can click the pink button for the sale on the Women's Cancer information page on the Tattler website.  Be sure to get your special, limited edition pink Tattler lids to support this worthy cause!


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Kitchen Quick Tips - Olive Oil

kitchen quick tips
When shopping for olive oil, the word light refers to the colour and flavour of the oil, not the calorie content.


Saturday, September 14, 2013

Home Canned Beef and Mushrooms

Throughout the seven years that I have authored this blog, I have given considerable coverage on home canning.  Home canning is one of the most economical and eco-friendly activities a frugal home cook can do.  The bottom line is home canning very much fits in with my philosophy of home cooking so a lot of the dishes I make use my own home canned foods.  Like many who cook from scratch, I do appreciate using certain convenience products.  Unlike many, the vast majority of the convenience products I use are also homemade. 

home canned beef and mushrooms
One homemade convenience product I made with some of the mushrooms I recently bought was home canned beef and mushrooms.  This is a very versatile product that can be used as a soup or stew base, a sauce addition or the juice can be thickened for a rich beef and mushroom meat serving or meat pie filling.  The possibilities are endless.  A jar of beef and mushrooms combined with a handful of frozen vegetables along with pasta, rice, potatoes or bean and a mouthwatering dinner can be on the table in 15 minutes!  I made seven 500 ml wide mouth jars of this delicious homemade goodness that will be a welcomed addition in our pantry. I think the jars of beef and mushrooms look great!

Canning meats at home is not difficult and it can save considerable time and money.  It is a wonderful way to take advantage of those great meat sales you find.  Meats are low acid so must be processed in a pressure canner.  I use an All American model 921 pressure canner for all of my low acid canning needs.  I prefer using wide mouth jars for canning meat products if at all possible as it is easier to remove the contents for reheating later.  Standard mouth jars can be used but the shoulders can make it a little more difficult to get some meat products out of the jars later.  The jars pictured are the older Bernardin embossed pints that are slightly taller than their newer embossed 500 ml jars. 

Meats invariably have fat that can cause a seal failure.   Meats should be trimmed well before canning to remove excess fat and connective tissue.  I wipe the rim with alcohol to remove any grease that could prevent proper sealing.  A layer of fat will form on most home canned meat products once they have cooled.  Ideally, this will be minimal as pictured.  This fat can easily be removed before reheating if desired. 


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Dehydrated Mushrooms and Mushroom Powder

Dehydrating foods for storage can help immensely in stocking the pantry.  A larger amount of food can be stored dried than in other forms and properly dried foods have a long shelf life.  I honestly don't do as much dehydrating as I should.  We were getting low on dried mushrooms and mushroom powder so I decided to use some of my recent mushroom to replenish my supplies

loading mushrooms on dehydrator tray
Mushrooms are very easy to dry using a dehydrator with temperature control.  I dehydrated two batches (total of 12 trays) of sliced mushrooms, some to be used for mushroom powder.  This was about four pounds of mushrooms.  I am currently using a Nesco dehydrator expanded to six trays.  The mushrooms were simply brushed off, ends trimmed then sliced thinly.  There is no need to treat them to prevent darkening when dehydrating.  I placed the slices evenly on the ungreased dehydrator trays then dry at 130°F/54°C until the mushrooms are leathery feeling.  Once the mushrooms where dried, I vacuum sealed them for pantry storage.

dried mushrooms and mushroom powder
Dried mushrooms are the perfect addition for soups, stews and casseroles.  The two 500 ml (pint) jars of mushrooms will be enough to use in several dishes.  Mushroom powder is a must have in our home.  It is even more versatile than dried or fresh mushrooms.  A little adds a lot of flavour!
 
Dried foods are susceptible to moisture, insect infestation and rodents.  The easiest way to protect dried foods from this type of damage is to vacuum seal in glass containers.  I used my Foodsaver vacuum sealer with the jar attachment to seal the dried mushrooms and mushroom powder.  This is a perfect way to reuse the metal snap lids that can only be used once for canning. 


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Home Canned Mushrooms and Mushroom Stock

While writing about out great road trip/camping adventure, a tangent came along that saw me quite busy processing mushrooms, peaches and pears.  I recently bought 20 lb of mushrooms because we were on another road trip that took us by one of the area mushroom farms.  Produce is always very much being at the right place at the right time.  So, I took advantage of the opportunity.

home canned mushrooms
Mushrooms are a must have in our home.  We go through pounds and pounds of them!   Home canned mushrooms are a convenience pantry product for those rare times when I don't have fresh mushrooms on hand.  This is one of the very few products I make that hovers near the  price of store bought however it is a superior product in comparison to commercially canned mushrooms.  Despite a large number of mushroom farms in North America, commercially canned mushrooms are imported from China.  Unfortunately the food safety issues in China are horrid with report after report of unsafe food originating from there.  While I don't boycott other products made in China, I will not use food grown or produced in China.

Home canned mushrooms are easy to process using a pressure canner.   There is no metallic taste as there is with commercially canned mushrooms.  I put up ten 500 ml jars of home canned mushrooms which used up about 5 lb.  This will be enough home canned mushrooms to last us 6 months.  I make a few stops at the mushroom farm throughout the year so can always restock my pantry supplies as needed.
 
home canned mushroom stock
One of the ways a home canner can make a high cost product more economical is canning a by product in addition to the main product.  So it is with mushrooms.  Mushroom stock is a very easy to make stock originating from the preparation of mushrooms for other purposes including home canning.  I canned six 1 - L jars of mushroom stock, a welcomed addition to the pantry.  This rich, tasty stock will be used for soups, stews and gravies.  Six litres will be enough to last us for 6 months.

With mushrooms and mushroom stock canned it was time to move on to other ways to use up the mushrooms.  Trust me, we had no problem doing that!  We went through the entire 20 lbs of mushrooms in less than a week but almost half was preserved for later use.  I'll have to make another trip to the mushroom farm!


Monday, September 09, 2013

Frugal Kitchens 101 - Back to School

Frugal Kitchens 101
The kids are back to school in our corner of beautiful Ontario, Canada.  Along with preparing the kids for their new academic year with school supplies and new clothes, parents everywhere are turning their attention to getting back into the school routine.  There's the hurry up and out the door breakfast, brown bag lunches, starvin' Marvin after school snacks and only 20 minutes to eat before soccer practice dinners.  Parents become busier themselves as organizations they are involved with resume activities after their summer hiatus.  For many families, Sunday is reserved for religious activities leaving only Saturday for a catch-up day which often ends up being a day to do something more enjoyable like a trip to the orchard.  Complicating the time restraints and heavy demands is the increasing number of parents who themselves are either starting or returning to their academic studies (been there, done that).  At any rate, September marks the beginning of an increasingly hectic time for many which in turn creates mealtime issues. 

September brings with it pack lunches, quick snacks and easy to prepare weekday meals.  The problem is as the days get busier many families resort to take-out or fast food because some days it is simply easier to eat en route in the car than to sit down and eat at home.  Unfortunately, this is the worst solution on many levels.  Here are a few ways to avoid the take-out or fast food rut in favour of delicious, healthy and lower cost meals during those busy time:

  • be organized - Schedule in meal prep and perhaps one or two baking sessions for cookies or other baked goodies for lunches.  For best results, write it into your planner or put it on your kitchen reminder.
  • plan ahead - I'm not a huge fan of menu planning but for busy families, menu planning can save a lot of headaches while keeping the cost of your grocery bill down.
  • prepare ahead - Clean out your fridge before grocery shopping.  When you return from grocery shopping, set aside those items that can be easily prepared for the following week.  Wash fruits and put into a fruit bowl for easy self serve after school snacking.  Cut carrots and celery for lunch snacks.  This will only take a few minutes at the end of putting groceries away but save both time and money while encouraging healthy snacking habits.  Cooked beans, rice and pasta all keep well in the fridge.  Cook a larger batch of one or more depending on your family size then use as a basis for meals throughout the week. 
  • bulk cooking - Once a month cooking or bulk cooking can easily put a month's worth of prepared meals in your freezer with only a day's worth of cooking AND only once a month.  I relied heavily on once a month cooking when the kids were at home and I was in university.  The method works well but should be modified to meet your family's needs.  Kids can help with the prep work and my husband has always been a huge help in the kitchen so helped with these sessions as well. 
  • enlist help - Enlist the help of each member of the family.  Even a small child can help put together snack packets for the following week.  Kids as young as six can make a meal with guidance.  Older children can be given increasing more complex kitchen chores and are often able to make complete meals after school ready for a family sit down meal.  Make this easy by doing a bit of prep the night before so all they have to do is put the casserole in the oven, turn it to the correct temperature then set the table.
  • the slow cooker -  The slow cooker can be a busy family's best friend.  It is truly amazing what can be cooked in a slow cooker including breads and cakes so think outside the box.  Using your menu plan, prep the ingredients for the next day's dinner the night before.  The next morning put the ingredients into the slow cooker, set to program or low and when you get home dinner is ready.  All you need is to add a side salad
  • KISS - Keep it simple, silly!  You don't need to spend an elaborate amount of time in the kitchen to put good food on the table.  Many meals can be made in 30 minutes or less ; several 15 and 30 minutes meals are in this blog's archives.   Seriously, there is nothing wrong with having pancakes for dinner or an easy meal of soup and sandwich.


Friday, September 06, 2013

Peaches, Pears & Mushrooms - Oh My!

No, I haven't forgotten that I was telling you all about our great road trip/camping adventure.  As life goes, the busy canning season is upon me and for whatever reason it is proving difficult to juggle the many demands on my time.  At any rate, I shall finish the story of our road trip/camping adventure shortly but here are just a few things that has side tracked me :)

peaches, pears, mushrooms
I had to drop of my husband at a golf course near one of the mushroom farms so stopped in.  I reasoned that we were having an end of summer party featuring steak, lobster, scallops and shrimp so stuffed mushrooms would be a nice appetizer.  I made my standard purchase of 20 lb of mushrooms, 2 boxes each of firsts and seconds (left).  A little further down the road I stopped for large peaches (right, black bin) despite the fact we had just finished picking over 3 hampers of pears and two good sized boxes of small peaches from our trees (right).  Only some of the fruit from our trees are pictured as I gave some to our neighbour and an couple of friends.

When we moved into this house in 2011, I was ecstatic to discover 3 peach trees, a pear tree, a gooseberry bush and several herbs.  Imagine my dismay when two of the peach trees had to be removed as they were damaged enough that last year's frost that resulted in almost no fruit also was the last straw for those trees.  So we are left with a peach tree and a pear tree for fruit trees.  This year, the peach tree looked to be doing quite good then all of a sudden, the branches drooped heavily to the ground.  The tree is over laden with small fruit and we don't know if it can be saved with a good pruning or not.  The pear tree definitely needs pruning but the fruit is large and abundant!  Both the peaches and pears are deliciously juicy.   I don't use any pesticides or synthetic fertilizers on foods I grow so this is just one example of how I save on the cost of organic foods.  Of note, one of our kids lives in the GTA with a postage stamp size front lawn about 7' x 7' if that.  They planted a small peach tree instead of the normal ornamental tree and it produced nicely this year too.  They also grow a few potted edible plants on their small balcony.  This is proof positive that it doesn't take much space or effort to grow a few fruits, vegetables or herbs to supplement your grocery purchases.

At any rate, I've been busy quite busy in the kitchen...


Monday, September 02, 2013

Devastating St. Jacob's Farmer's Market Fire (Ontario)

St Jacob's Farmer's Market fire photo courtest of CFPL
St. Jacob's Farmer's Market Fire
photo courtesy of CFPL AM 980

This blog has always covered anything of interest food related.  For the most part, everything shared has been rather positive.  I am beyond saddened to share with you today the devastating news coming out of St. Jacob's just north of Waterloo that the St. Jacob's Farmer's Market burned to the ground in an early Sunday morning fire.  This is a huge disaster for the Kitchener-Waterloo Mennonite community as well as the general community at large.

The St. Jacob's Farmer's Market has been a must stop whenever we are in the Kitchener-Waterloo area which is quite often.  While it was famous for attracting tourists, this farmer's market was a staple for those living.  The building housed several artisan style small businesses including a couple of butcher shops and cheese shops along with artwork and some of the finest quality handmade wood furniture you could buy.  There were several food vendors selling a wide range of products including free range eggs, wild game meat, homemade sausages, bird seed, jams and other home canned foods, specialty foods and so much more.  Of course there was the locally grown produce.  There were a few small eateries to enjoy including a booth selling piping hot, freshly made mini doughnuts.  Now those were divine!  The outside of the building was surrounded by more vendors and a market farmyard.  This was the place to go! It was a foodie mecca!

This farmer's market was so much more though.  It was a community!  It was where families spent their Saturdays, where farmer's met to sell their produce and connect with other farmers and it was a way of life for many in the area.  It was their livelihood!    The demise of this farmer's market will negatively impact the local economy to a large extent.  The Amish and Mennonite community in Ontario are strong so there is no doubt the market will be rebuilt and back in operation with the support of those both locally and from afar who loved and depended on the farmer's market.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected by this devastating fire.