Tips from Vacay.ca Staff
Heading for the cottage this long weekend? Vacay.ca has 10 food suggestions that we hope will make your trip to the lake and countryside even more enjoyable than usual.
1. A fine selection of Canadian wines: Canada has some of the finest wines in the world, and Vacay.ca has written about many of them. From the beautiful vineyards in the Okanagan Valley to Nova Scotia and the much-loved Niagara Region, there is simply too much choice for you to allow yourself to be at the cottage without a bottle from a Canadian winery.
From the Okanagan Valley, try a bottle from a bottle of Portfolio from Laughing Stock Vineyards or a variety of the bottles at Cedar Creek Estate Winery. Annapolis Highlands Vineyards, Avondale Sky, and Benjamin Bridge are three well-regarded wineries from Atlantic Canada. And there are no shortages of outstanding ice wines out of Niagara, including bottles from Diamond Estates, Hernder Estates Wines and Vineland Estates.
Go International: We’re no wine snobs. If you’re looking for global selections, there are a choice of selections from France that you will happily sip on your porch or dockside chair. Being a hot August weekend, try a bottle of beaujolais, which are lighter and fruitier than Bordeauxs and Merlots.
2. Hummus and salsa: There’s nothing wrong with packing celery for a road trip but if you’re driving with children it isn’t a bad idea to have something else a bit more fun with you. Great snack ideas that are healthy as well as fun are hummus and salsa. You’ll find these at your grocery store thanks to Sabra. The food maker features roasted pine nut, spinach and artichoke, and greek olive hummus, as well as salsa. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you won’t stop for a hamburger and milkshake along the way. It just means those stops won’t be so frequent.
3. Chips: It’s hard to imagine being at the cottage without something to crunch on. For a tasty option try Neal Brothers, a Canadian chip company that features healthier choices like Multigrain and Organic Blue Blue Corn tortilla chips. They’re available at many grocery stores.
4. Unibroue Ephemere fruit-flavoured beer: Why this beer? It’s a world champion, that’s why. Unibroue, the Quebec-based craft brewer, has racked up 210 awards at the World Beer Championships. Ephemere just contributed to that count this week with two gold medals in the flavoured wheat beer category at the Chicago awards. One of those top prizes went to its cherry-flavoured beer that was released in June. A wonderful, tasty beer that’s ideal for a summer day, Unibroue Ephemere also features an apple-flavoured wheat beer.
5. Boundary Ale: Staying on the topic of beer, Moosehead recently launched its newest brew, Boundary Ale, crafted using old and new world hops, and an assortment of seven different malt varieties. The ale is available in draught in Ontario and the Maritimes all summer. A smooth choice to sip near the campsite, Boundary Ale is a good choice if you’re looking for a new beer to try this weekend.
6. Fruit and Salad: One of the things that will set you back on a road trip are the frequent stops along the way and all the junk food those stops have to offer. Two items to pick up at the grocery store that will curb hunger and eliminate unhealthy choices are salads and fruits. Salads are especially good to bring with you because they go so well with all the fish you’re going to catch up at the lake.
Speaking of fish …
7. Fish: Vacay.ca often spotlights fishing lodges and let’s face it, nothing says cottage more than the sweet smell of fresh-caught fish being roasted over a campfire. In our Deals of the Day, we have mentioned Selwyn Lake Lodge and Shadd Lake Cabins in Saskatchewan, Queen Charlotte Lodge in British Columbia and BBJ Tackle and Fishing Adventures in Alberta. But let’s face it, not everyone is an Ernest Hemingway.
If the closest you want to get to the water is your cabin patio, that’s okay. We suggest you carry your fish with you. Any farmers’ market will carry vacuum-sealed smoked pickerel or trout that can travel very well in a cooler. And don’t worry … the neighbours don’t need to know you didn’t catch it. Canadian Tire, Home Depot and Mountain Equipment Coop are three companies with a wide selection of coolers.
8. Hot dogs and hamburger patties: It’s hard to justify a trip to the cottage without mentioning hot dogs or hamburgers grilling over an open flame. While you’re picking up fish at your farmers’ market, shop for meat items, as well. Another great reason to support your local farmers’ market is because August 3 is Food Day in Canada 2013. This weekend think about fresh, locally produced food when you make your choices for the cottage.
9. Popcorn and Marshmallows: Okay, they’re not good for you. But you’re on holiday, it’s okay to indulge a little. Although Orville Redenbacher is a well-known brand, you might want to try Toronto-headquartered Kernels for your popcorn. Marshmallows, meanwhile, are must if you plan on cooking over a fire. The kids in your family — big and small — will always enjoy roasting marshmallows on a stick.
10. Coffee: Canadians love Tim Hortons coffee and are usually not caught without it. While this may be a harmless addiction, it isn’t so harmless when you’re at the cottage and the nearest Timmies is a 45-minute drive away. To avoid that horror, pick up a bag of Tim Hortons coffee at the grocery store or at a Tim Hortons outlet. Make sure you also pick up a coffee maker, or coffee plunger if you need one. If you prefer, Starbucks also sells its coffee in grocery stores by the bag in different flavours. And to cut down on making frequent stops, consider making the coffee at home before you leave — get a good thermos and enjoy a cup or two while you’re driving.